Political Science

Political Science

Program Details

We study who gets power and how it may be used. Our students learn analytical and numerical skills that they can apply in many careers. Students also gain practical experience through legal and political internships. Our graduates are distinctively well prepared for the demands of the professional world and the rigors of graduate studies or law school.

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About the Program

Political Science at Carroll College

Whether your goal is a career in law, politics, foreign service, teaching or journalism, Carroll’s Department of Political Science will provide the training necessary to prepare you for your future. With excellent professors, courses that require students to develop their skills in writing, critical thinking, and communication, and abundant opportunities to gain practical experience through Carroll’s legal and political internship programs, Carroll political science graduates are uniquely prepared for the demands of the professional world and the rigors of graduate studies or law school.

What to Expect

We combine rigorous academic training with unique opportunities for research and internships. You will learn with the strongest set of political science students in the Rocky Mountain West.

Our location in Montana's state capital gives you unparalleled access to state and federal governments, including internships that yield hands-on experience, professional contacts, and job offers.

Victoria Nickol

My time at Carroll prepared me for my career in the law in all the expected ways: the Honors Scholars Program immersed me in challenging material and demanded excellent work product; the Political Science Department pushed me to think critically and analytically, particularly about the role of institutions and individuals within society; and the English Department sharpened my writing and molded me into a discerning reader. I am incredibly grateful for the friendships, lessons, and opportunities I’ve enjoyed as a result of my time at Carroll.

Victoria Nickol Class of 2016, 2023-2024 United States Supreme Court Fellow

Life After Graduation

Carroll is a great place to sharpen your skills and get a start in legal and political careers. Many students work in Helena for the Governor's office, for lobbyists or for U.S. Senators while completing their studies.

Students conduct a real life exit poll

Since the fall of 2014, students in a Carroll College class on Elections have been running exit polls on Election Day through a class with Dr. Street.

Political Science students write their own theses

Our Political Science students publish their own Theses before they graduate. 

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Rachel Prevost conducted research and found internships that led to even working on a Presidential campaign.
Tyler Evilsizer

My Carroll experience played a crucial role in shaping my life decisions after college. The political science department helped move me from having a general goal--make a positive difference in the world--to a specific set of skills I could use. More than anywhere else I've seen, the professors take the time to get to know each student, providing individual advice. My political internship, lobbying with a Carroll-affiliated environmental group at the state Capitol, gave me the confidence and skills to be an effective advocate for my beliefs. Without the well-rounded experience I got from Carroll's study abroad programs, extracurriculars, and excellent professors, I would not be nearly as successful at work and in graduate school.

Tyler Evilsizer Carroll Class of 2008; Harvard Kennedy School Class of 2012 - Masters in Public Policy; Currently Senior Budget Analyst, U.S. Senate Budget Committee.

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Colton Passmore presents his Undergraduate research project at S.U.R.F

The State Capitol means lots of internships

Most students can choose from multiple internship opportunities with political campaigns, interest groups, lobbying firms, and offices of the State and Federal Government.

Whom Do You Contact If Interested?

For both students and employers the best place to start is Dr. Jeremy Johnson, who is the political science department's internship coordinator. 

By e-mail: jjohnson@carroll.edu
By phone:  406-447-5404.

An internship is a great opportunity to apply the lessons from the classroom to the real world.  Interns have a chance to learn new skills, network with professionals, and get a taste of what you can do with a political science degree in the real world.  Plus, internships can count towards your credits for completion of the major.  Additionally, you can customize your internship to fit into your own schedule.  Internship times are flexible, and your internship can earn 1, 2, 3 or more course credits.

Political science internships take all sorts of forms. Students can work in law enforcement, at the capital, or with a state agency.  Other students work with lawyers, lobbyists, and political parties. Being in the state capital, there are a wealth of options for students. Remember, if you don't see an internship posted you're interested in - you can always make your own!   

The first step is going to be downloading the Internship Student Guide and Approval Form from Career Services. The internship form will tell you a lot more about what an internship is, and what the expectations are for completing an internship. Most importantly, the form lays out the process you need to complete to get your internship.

Then write your internship proposal. Explain where you will be interning and what your duties will be. The department insists that your internship work be substantive. We don't want you out there just getting coffee or filing papers. We want you engaged in the real work of the organization, and involved in projects of your own.

In addition, we would like for your internship to be an intellectual as well as a professional experience. Therefore, your final grade for the internship will have three components. First, you are required to take weekly notes on what you have been learning.  Second, you are expected to write an 8-12 page research paper about how your work over the semester links to the ideas we have discussed in your other classes at Carroll. Finally, your grade also depends on an evaluation of your site supervisor and the internship coordinator. So, you not only have to learn a lot from your internship, you also have to work hard and do your work well!

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