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EIU Department of Political Science

Faculty and Staff Listing

The Department of Political Science provides critical knowledge and understanding of politics, governments, and public policies to students and the EIU community. Through classes and applied learning, students gain essential research, writing, communication, and professional skills, preparing them for careers in government and the public sector, nonprofits, legal fields, higher education, and the corporate world. We are committed to diversity and inclusive excellence as we strive to prepare students to be responsible citizens in a diverse world.

Karen B Swenson, Professor and Pre-Law Coordinator, Political Science

Office: 2321 - Coleman Hall

Dr. Swenson (J.D. Vanderbilt University; Ph.D. Ohio State) teaches courses in constitutional law and judicial politics, including courses on Criminal Law and Civil Liberties in America. Her research interests focus on politics and the legal process. Professor Swenson's recent publications include “President Obama’s Policy Agenda in the Supreme Court: What We Know So Far From the Office of the Solicitor General’s Service as Amicus Curiae.” Southern Illinois University Law Journal. Vol 34 (Winter 2010). Her current research agenda further examines the nature of amicus curiae participation before the Supreme Court. Recently, she published an article in the Justice System Journal entitled “Amicus Curiae Briefs and the Court: When Liberal and Conservative Groups Support the Same Party.” Dr. Swenson also the university's Pre-Law Advisor and enjoys coaching the Moot Court teams. As a member of the Board of Directors of MAPLA (the Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors), Swenson has visited numerous law schools and can offer tailored advice about which are a good fit for her advisees. 

Fall 2020 Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday  2-3:30 pm, and by appointment
  • Students: please email to set up a virtual Teams meeting. If we must meet in person for more than 5 minutes, we will relocate outdoors or in an unused classroom.

Fall 2020 Schedule

  • PLS 3523, Criminal Law, MWF 1:00-2:30, hybrid
  • PLS 2513, Moot Court, TR 3:30-4:20, hybrid
  • PLS 4774, Constitutional Law, TR 12:30-1:45, hybrid

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Contact Information

Department of Political Science

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

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