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EIU Department of Political Science

Message from the Chair

Prospective Students:

We are pleased that you are considering Political Science at Eastern Illinois University—whether you are a high school student making one of the biggest decisions of your life, a community college student preparing to transfer to a four-year institution, a currently enrolled four-year college/university student contemplating transferring to EIU, or an already enrolled Eastern student thinking about us for your major or minor.

Programs and Options

We have several Political Science curriculum options at Eastern.

  • Political Science major: A flexible program that also covers the key fields in the study of politics—from comparative politics and international relations on through American politics and government, public law, public administration and political theory.
  • International Studies optionIf you enjoy studying international issues and global politics, you should consider this option, which enables you to concentrate on comparative politics and international relations courses, and take interdisciplinary courses in Economics and History, along with foreign language competency at the intermediate level.
  • Civic & Nonprofit Leadership option: This option is ideal if you are strongly committed to pursuing careers in nonprofit management,state and local government agencies, interest groups, advocacy organizations, and international NGOs.  Students who select this option will choose a U.S. Leadership/Advocacy Track or a Global Leadership/Advocacy Track.
  • Social Science Teacher certificationWe also offer the Political Science Designation in the Social Science Teaching Major Program — a program that prepares students to teach a wide range of social science courses, from politics and government on through History, Economics, Geography, Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology.
  • Accelerated Graduate ProgramWe have a new opportunity for majors with a minimum 3.25 cumulative gpa. They can seek early graduate school admission to double-count up to 9 credits of undergraduate/graduate coursework, shortening the time to earn both a BA and MA.


Applied and Experiential Learning Opportunities


Political Science students at EIU have a rich variety of opportunities in applied learning and educational and professional development. All Political Science majors complete at least one of the following: 


  • Internships ranging from the courthouse and private law firms on through legislative staffing positions and a variety of government offices and agencies.
  • Study Abroad coursework that can be counted toward the Political Science Major along with university degree requirements.
  • Departmental Honors features a multi-semester research project that culminates in writing an Undergraduate Honors Thesis during the senior year.  Along the way, Departmental Honors students also take one of our 5000-level graduate seminars, which provides an excellent opportunity to experience what graduate school will be like.
  • Government simulations in Moot Court and Model Illinois Government.
  • Independent studies on a special topic with a faculty mentor, or working directly with professors on research culminating in conference presentations, campus research presentations, and award opportunities. 


Outside the classroom, our majors and minors are active leaders on campus, in organizations including the Political Science Association, Pi Sigma Alpha (the Political Science Honorary Society) Phi Alpha Delta (the Pre Law Honorary Society), Model United Nations, Student Government, and Greek Life.


Minoring and Double-Majoring

Many of our students pursue double-majors and minors. Popular programs to consider include:

  • Africana Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Criminology
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • Ethics 
  • Film Studies
  • Foreign Languages
  • Geographic Information Sciences
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Latin American Studies
  • Pre-Law
  • Religious Studies
  • Rural Studies
  • Sociology
  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Faculty Excellence

Like Eastern Illinois University, we stand out for the high quality of our professors. The Political Science Department’s professors have a wide range of research and teaching specializations and interests, and they are strongly committed to striking the right balance between research and teaching.  Our professors regularly publish their research and scholarship in a number of academic venues—from authoring books on through publishing in scholarly journals and edited volumes. We also encourage our majors and minors to work directly with faculty members on scholarly projects, which is a great way for students to experience first-hand the excitement of investigation of a research question or problem.

In the classroom itself--Eastern’s highest priority—we are committed to challenging our students to develop skills in critical thinking, research, analysis, writing and verbal communication. And it must be noted that EIU's Political Science professors are known among both current majors and our alumni for their accessibility to students and their commitment to our majors' intellectual and professional development.

An Invitation

Should you have any questions or need more information, we encourage you to contact our department. You can reach us at 217-581-2523, or send an email directly to Professor Melinda Mueller, at  We will be glad to hear from you, and please know that we welcome you to consider scheduling an on-campus visit with us.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Department of Political Science

Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-2926

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