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Dr. John Poffenbarger
Department Chair
Email: jpoffenbarger@wju.edu
Phone: 1-304-243-2334

Department of Political Science


The 21st Century will require men and women who are thoughtful citizens and capable professionals. The political science major at Wheeling Jesuit University will do more than just prepare you for these responsibilities and opportunities - it will provide you with an introduction to American politics and government, international affairs and the ideas that create an informed political life.

Why choose Wheeling Jesuit University?

Through the political science program at Wheeling Jesuit, you will learn the basic concepts of government and politics and gain general knowledge of the structure and functions of government at all levels. You will be able to explain the philosophical underpinnings of various forms of government and have the ability to understand relations among states. The major offers courses in the following areas:

  • American Government - courses include The American Presidency, Constitutional Law, Civil Rights and Liberties and Public Policy
  • International Relations - courses include Comparative Politics, American Foreign Policy, Global Politics and International Political Economy
  • Political Thought - studies the history of political ideas-justice, equality, democracy and freedom.

You can pursue your particular interests in any of these areas by choosing from a wide variety of elective courses or by combining study in political science with a major or minor in disciplines from philosophy, religious studies, history and English to criminal justice, international studies, communications and psychology.

Beyond the classroom, internships are available in state, local and federal government agencies. Ample opportunities exist for community service and involvement.

As a political science major, you must complete a senior thesis under the direction of a faculty member in the department. This project has proven invaluable to students who are either entering the job market or pursuing graduate or professional education. The thesis requirement is yet another way in which our graduates distinguish themselves from the competition.

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