At the College of Liberal Arts, your pursuit of a Political Science degree may start in the classroom, but it doesn’t end there. Make the most of your education by taking on an internship, spending a semester in Washington, D.C. or Harrisburg, joining the Political Science Society or Pi Sigma Alpha or even studying abroad! Finally, exceptional students are eligible for various departmental and CLA awards and scholarships, which are listed on the College of Liberal Arts Awards and Scholarships page.
Internships comprise an integral part of the major experience. CLA students are permitted to earn up to 12 credit hours through internships. In our department, however, students can further use six of those credit hours to replace two upper-level courses (POLS 2000-4999) for their major or minor degrees. There are two common ways of undertaking internships. One path consists of the Harrisburg and Washington Semesters, which provide financial assistance and placement into relevant government-related positions (below). The other path is to secure internships individually. By working closely with our Internship Coordinator and CLA Advising, students can ensure they earn eligible credit hours through organizations relevant to their interests. Political science interns demonstrating excellence and need are eligible for financial assistance from the Paul Tully Award, McKenna Memorial Award, and Political Science Alumni Board Award, which are administered by the department.
For more information, please consult the Internship Coordinator.
Pennsylvania Capital Semester
Many students interested in local and state politics pursue an internship semester in Harrisburg. In close cooperation with Temple’s Harrisburg campus, students are placed in various branches of state government and related institutions. Alumni of the program often return to Harrisburg to work in exciting jobs after graduating due to the networking opportunities it provides. Enrollment in the program comes with a financial stipend. For more information, please consult the Internship Coordinator.
The Washington Semester
The Washington Semester places students in internships in our nation’s capital through close collaboration with The Washington Center. Students work in varying fields, including not just political institutions like the House of Representatives but also public organizations in the arts, business, international relations, journalism, environment, and other fields. They also undertake coursework through the TWC. Enrollment in the program comes with a financial stipend. For more information, please consult the Internship Coordinator.
The Political Science Society
The Political Science Society welcomes all students taking political science coursework at Temple University. As an inclusive student organization, it sponsors exciting weekly and monthly activities including career forums, lectures, student and faculty mixers, law and graduate forums, seminars on popular topics, and trips to locales like New York City and Washington, D.C. Interested students should consult the Society’s website, Facebook page or inquire directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pi Sigma Alpha
Pi Sigma Alpha is the national political science honors society. It was founded in 1920 and now includes over 500 college and university chapters in the US. Temple houses the Delta Rho chapter, which hosts public events with support from the national office, collaborates with other chapters in Philadelphia, and supports scholarship and publication opportunities for members. The chapter recruit majors every semester based upon a minimum GPA (3.65) and credit requirement (75). Inquiries should be directed to the chapter advisor and undergraduate chair.
Temple provides a number of opportunities for students to study abroad; to experience of living in, and meeting people from, other cultures; seeing different countries; and learning a foreign language. This can greatly enrich the undergraduate experience, particularly for political science majors studying international affairs and comparative politics.
The Office of Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses (200 Tuttleman Learning Center; phone: 215-204-0720) has information on a variety of programs abroad. Popular Temple study abroad locations include Tokyo, Rome, London, Paris, Germany (Tübingen and Hamburg) and Spain (Oviedo). Many Political Science majors opt to do a second major in Global Studies which has a “regional enrichment” requirement of study abroad or additional coursework. For more information on study abroad and the Global Studies major visit the Study Abroad website.
Featherman Lecture Series
In addition to our thriving departmental lecture series, we offer the exciting Sandra and Bernard Featherman Lecture Series. This series centers on coping with and resolving major policy problems. Made possible by generous benefactors, the series features the voices of eminent political scientists who address timely and timeless challenges confronting the United States. Past speakers include Cornel West (1991), Frances Fox Piven (1998), Margaret Levi (2006), Jane Mansbridge (2007) and Edward G. Rendell (2015).
Sandra Featherman was a former member of the Department of Political Science and University of New England president. With a particular scholarly interest in urban politics, Sandra Featherman was actively involved in the boards of over 40 community and charitable organizations within the Philadelphia area. Sadly, she passed away April 26, 2018. Bernard Featherman is an alumnus of the Temple School of Business and attended Temple Law School. A former business executive, Bernard Featherman has been an active voice in public policy, serving on many boards for urban enterprise zones and community health organizations.
1991: Cornel West, Princeton University,
Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies
The Color Line and American Democracy: The Ongoing Dilemma
1993: Mancur Olson, University of Maryland
Professor of Economics
Revisiting The Logic of Collective Action
1996: Theda Skocpol*, Harvard University
Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology
Civic Associations and American Democracy
1998: Frances Fox Piven, City University of New York
Social Meanness, Welfare Reform, and the Transformation of Electoral Politics
2002: Michael Walzer, Princeton University
Professor Emeritus of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study
Just War Theory Revisited
2004: Rogers Smith, University of Pennsylvania
Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science
The Anatomy of the American Racial State
2006: Margaret Levi*, University of Washington
Jere L. Bachrach Professor of International Studies
Achieving Good Government – and Perhaps Legitimacy – in Third World States
2007: Jane Mansbridge* , Harvard University
Adams Professor Political Leadership and Democratic Values
What do We Want from Our Representatives, and Can We Get it?
2010: Ira Katznelson*, Columbia University
Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History
Shaded by Fear: The New Deal and Its Legacies
2013: Jacob Hacker, Yale University
Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science
Is American Politics Undermining the American Dream?
2015: Edward G. Rendell
Pennsylvania Governor (2003-2011)
Philadelphia Mayor (1992-2000)
Chairman, Democratic National Committee (2000)
The Direction of National Politics and Policy
2017: Peter Dreier
E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics
Chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College
Is a New Progressive Movement on the Horizon? Thinking and Organizing Beyond Trump
Affiliations at the time of Lecture. * Former President of American Political Science Association.