Politics

Examine hard issues in today’s society with a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics

Do you find questions of power, conflict, rights, law or justice interesting? Do you like examining and debating issues such as immigration, war and peace, the environment, campaign finance, foreign relations, human rights or nationalism? Do you want to learn how other countries struggle to face political challenges in ways that often differ dramatically from those of the United States? If so, a Politics major may be right for you. The Loras Politics major offers courses in American and global politics and political thought. Professors emphasize multiple perspectives, critical thinking and lively student interaction.

Unlike the study of politics at many other colleges, the Loras program examines the moral principles and ethical dilemmas underlying political matters across its courses. The college’s Iowa location gives students a front-row seat to the influential first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, including campus visits by presidential candidates and the chance to work on the nationally-recognized Loras College Poll. Loras also fields nationally ranked teams in moot court and mock trial. Each spring Loras hosts students from France studying American politics.

Learn About Our Major in Politics

Student Experience

Loras is affiliated with the Washington Center, and regularly sends students to study and intern in Washington, D.C. This experience is invaluable and creates a program that combines a theoretically rigorous curriculum rooted in the liberal arts with professional experience. For those with interests beyond U.S. politics, the Washington Center has numerous internship opportunities with organizations and institutions that have a global focus.

Learn More

 

PI SIGMA ALPHA
Loras College is home to the Alpha Alpha Upsilon chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha.

As the national political science honor society, the organization’s purpose is “to promote worthwhile curricular and extracurricular activities related to political science,” and “to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interest in political science.” Induction into the organization is a sign of a student’s superior academic achievement in the study of politics. The Loras chapter, founded in 2003, is the 589th chapter nationwide.

LORAS POLITICS ALUMNI SUCCESS
Politics alumni have gone on to distinguished careers as lawyers, business executives, nonprofit directors, urban planners, congressional staff members, members of the U.S. military, teachers at the elementary and secondary levels, lobbyists, college professors, government administrators, policy analysts, and diplomats.

They include several state legislators, two former members of Congress, a state attorney general, and the owner of a private detective agency.

Here are just a few examples of graduates and their positions:

Candace Eudaley, Assistant Director, Iowa East Central Intergovernmental Association
Meghan Healy, Attorney, Di Renzo and Bomier
Susan Hess, Attorney, Hammer, Simon, and Jensen
Jeff Loftsgaarden, Healthcare Strategy Manager, DaVita HealthCare Partners
Michael Loebach, Treasury Investment Specialist, Heartland Financial USA
Steve Lukan, Director, State of Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy
Kelsey McElroy, Management Analyst at City of Thornton, Colorado
Jake Oeth, Staff Member, United States Congressman Bruce Braley
Neil Ruhland, TARP Fund Investigator, United States Department of Justice

STUDENT OUTCOMES GOALS
Unlike the study of politics at many other colleges, the Loras program examines the moral principles and ethical dilemmas underlying political matters across its courses.

  • You will learn how to look at problems in different ways, how to untangle cause and effect relationships and how to develop creative solutions.
  • You will learn about the underlying dynamics of human conflict and cooperation.
  • You will learn how to gauge the influence of current events in the local, national and global arenas.
  • You will learn how to effectively communicate with others in both written and oral forms, a critically important ability in today’s information-based society.

LORAS POLITICS STUDENT EXPERIENCES
An area for particularly active and competitive state and congressional races, Dubuque itself offers Politics majors unparalleled access to political campaigns and candidates. Large numbers of majors work often times through academic internships, in political campaigns at both the state and federal level or in local government lobbying efforts and organizations.

In addition to the myriad of professional experiences available locally, Loras is affiliated with the Washington Center, and regularly sends students to study and intern in Washington, D.C. This experience is invaluable and creates a program that combines a theoretically rigorous curriculum rooted in the liberal arts with professional experience. For those with interests beyond U.S. politics, the Washington Center has numerous internship opportunities with organizations and institutions that have a global focus.

Locally, Politics majors are frequently placed in internships with the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, the East Central Intergovernmental Association or Dubuque City Government.

The Politics program houses the Loras College Moot Court program—an intercollegiate competition in which Loras is traditionally very successful. Loras is also the home to the annual Upper Midwest Regional Moot Court Tournament—one of six tournaments serving as qualifiers to the national championships.

Student Learning Outcomes

 

Student Learning Outcomes – Politics
1. Basic Political Literacy—mastery of core political concepts
2. Global Awareness—the ability to recognize and understand the ways in which global political dynamics, institutions, and ideas influence political life
3. Normative Awareness—the ability to recognize and understand the inescapable moral dimensions of political life
4. Intellectual Openness—the ability to recognize and understand a range of critical perspectives on political life
5. Critical Thinking—the ability to analyze arguments, synthesize ideas, defend positions, and develop coherent and consistent lines of thought
6. Group Work—the ability to effectively initiate, develop, and complete projects in collaboration with other students
7. Written Communication—the ability to effectively communicate written ideas that are coherent, insightful, well-organized, grammatically correct, and supported by evidence
8. Oral Communication—the ability to effectively communicate spoken ideas, in both formal presentations and informal discussions, that are coherent, insightful, well-organized, and supported by evidence

 

Curriculum

View Highlighted Courses

 

The Road to the White House
This course provides students the opportunity to both study and participate in the Iowa caucuses. Students will examine the issues, voters, interest groups, campaigns, and candidates. Through direct observation of the campaigns and candidates, and the collection of campaign artifacts students will analyze political tactics and decisions, as well as the electorate. As part of the course students will choose what party to caucus with and ultimately which presidential candidate they support by caucusing for that candidate on election night.

Political Thought & Contemporary Social Issues
This course examines the relationship between philosophical principles like justice, rights, duty, equality, liberty, and democracy and current social and political issues in which they find concrete expression.

Politics in the Developing World
This course examines the nature and fundamental features of politics in the developing world. It includes investigation of historical, socioeconomic, and cultural influences on politics, as well as the effects of forces such as social change, international political economy and issues such as poverty and debt.

Campaigns & Elections
This course examines the nature of political campaigns and elections in the United States, with particular attention to presidential and Congressional elections.

International Politics
The course examines the origins and evolution of the modern international system with a focus on nationalism, violent conflict, diplomacy, international organizations and law, global political economy, and emerging issues and patterns in the post-Cold War period. It integrates theoretical perspectives with current issues.

View All Politics Course Offerings PDF

Major & Minor Requirements

Students will complete the following requirements in order to achieve a major or minor in Politics. 

Degree Requirements

 

Requirements for the major in Politics (B.A.):

Req Course Cr’s
1 Issues in American Politics 3
2 Issues in Global Politics 3
3 Foundations of Western Political Thought 3
4 Senior Seminar 3
Three of the following must be at the 300+ level
5 Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one American Politics) 3
6 Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one Global Politics) 3
7 Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one Political Thought) 3
8 Elective: Additional Politics course (any group) 3
9 Elective: Additional Politics course (any group) 3
10 Elective: Additional Politics course (any group) 3
30 total required credits

Requirements for the minor in Politics:

Req Course Cr’s
Select one from Req 1
1 Issues in American Politics 3
1 Issues in Global Politics 3
Two of the following must be at the 300+ level
2 Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one American Politics) 3
3 Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one Global Politics) 3
4 Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one Political Thought) 3
5 Elective: Additional Politics course (any group) 3
6 Elective: Additional Politics course (any group) 3
18 total required credits

View Full Requirements & Additional Information PDF

Career Opportunities

“What can you do with a Politics degree?”

As a Politics major, you will be prepared for a variety of interesting careers.

  • Lawyer
  • Business Executive
  • Nonprofit Director
  • Urban Planner
  • Congressional Staff Member
  • U.S. Military
  • Elementary/High School Teacher
  • Lobbyist
  • Government Administrator
  • Policy Analyst
  • Diplomat
  • Journalist

Supporting Your Investment

Loras takes great pride in supporting your investment – both through providing an exceptional learning experience and in sharing the cost of your degree. 100% of Loras students receive financial aid. We have scholarships, grants and special awards for all students based on their achievements and financial need.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take me to earn my Loras degree?

Most students earn their undergraduate degree in four years or less. If you have questions about transferring any previously earned credits or degrees, please see our Transfer Student Information.

How much is tuition?

At Loras College, financial access to education is one of our defining values. We are committed to helping all of our students make their degree affordable. We partner with every student and family to understand their unique financial needs ensuring 100% of Loras students receive financial aid. We offer Scholarships, grants and special awards for all students based on their achievements and financial need. Loras is consistently ranked as one of the best universities for return on investment.  View our Tuition and Fees page.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Submit your federal FAFSA, apply to Loras College and visit loras.edu/financial-aid for information, scholarship opportunities and much more.