Political Science Department

Karen Adams, Chair

Political Science is the systematic study of politics. Politics influence how people and institutions exercise and resist power. Political Science, therefore, is concerned with how nations and communities are governed and who governs them. The departmental faculty members have as their mission the engagement and enlightenment of their students, professional colleagues, and fellow citizens about the nature of politics.

The department offers a varied undergraduate curriculum covering domestic, foreign, and international politics. By meeting the requirements outlined below, a student may earn a bachelor's degree in political science or in political science-history; a minor in political science or global public health; or a bachelor's degree in political science with an option in one of the following: American politics, international relations and comparative politics, public administration, non-profit administration, international development studies, or public law. A Master of Arts degree in political science and a Master of Public Administration degree are also offered.

The scope of the faculty's interest and research is wide. They bring special insights gained through study and residence in Europe, Russia, Africa, Central Asia, India, the Far East and Latin America, as well as in Montana and Washington, D.C. 

Courses offered in the department are designed to: (1) assist students to secure a broad liberal education and to equip them with the foundations for American citizenship; (2) provide undergraduate preparation for those students who propose to continue study at the graduate level with the ultimate goal of college teaching and research; (3) offer a broad program of training for those students who plan careers in government or politics; 4) assist in preparing students for careers in teaching at both the elementary and secondary levels; (5) provide a sound background for those students who intend to enroll in law and other professional schools.

The major fields of political science are (1) American government and politics with national, state and local government, and public law as sub-fields; (2) public administration; (3) political theory; (4) comparative government; (5) international relations, organization and law. Majors are eligible for membership in Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honorary and are active in student political activities. The Department of Political Science secures a number of legislative and administrative internships in state and local government each year. Internships and other learning opportunities in Washington, D.C., are also available.

Undergraduate Degrees Available

Subject Type Option Track
Global Public Health Minor
Nonprofit Administration Minor
Political Science Bachelor of Arts
Political Science Bachelor of Arts Teaching Government
Political Science Bachelor of Arts American Politics
Political Science Bachelor of Arts Internat Rel & Compar Politics
Political Science Bachelor of Arts Public Administration
Political Science Bachelor of Arts Public Law
Political Science Minor
Political Science Minor Teaching Government

Department Faculty


  • Jeffrey Greene, American Government & Public Administration
  • Ramona Grey, Co-coordinator of the Grad Program
  • Paul Haber, Globalization, Latin America, Environmental Politics, Social Movements
  • Peter Koehn, Comparative Government & Politics & Public Administration

Associate Professors

  • Karen Ruth Adams, Associate Professor and Chair, International Relations
  • Christopher Muste, American Politics, Public Opinion, Political Psychology, News Media & Co-coordinator of the M.A. Program
  • Robert Saldin

Assistant Professors

  • Abhishek Chatterjee, International & Comparative Politics, International Political Economy
  • Sara Rinfret, Political Science and Public Administration
  • Eric Schluessel, Assistant Professor of History and Political Science

Adjunct Faculty

  • Geoff Badenoch, American Politics
  • Anna Conley, Adjunct Professor
  • Eva-Maria Maggi, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • William McLauchlan, Public Law
  • Keri McWilliams, Non-Profit Administration
  • Trisha Miller, Public Administration
  • Nicholas Potratz, Model United Nations


  • Anthony Johnstone, Associate Professor
  • Abraham Kim, Executive Director
  • Dane Scott, Associate Professor of Ethics; Director of the Center for Ethics
  • Brock Tessman, Dean, Davidson Honors College
  • Andrea Vernon, Director of Office of Civic Engagement

Emeritus Professors

  • Forest Grieves, Comparative Government & Politics & International Relations
  • Louis Hayes, Comparative Government & Politics & International Relations
  • James Lopach, American Government & Public Law
  • Jon Tompkins, Professor Emeritus
  • Terry Weidner, International Relations & Comparative Politics