About the Department

Many Political Science departments at elite institutions look to draw clear distinctions between the theoretical and the practical. Not W&L.

Politics at Washington and Lee is comprehensively and simultaneously linked to various academic disciplines, internship programs in Washington, DC, and New York City, study abroad, and a host of interdisciplinary programs. We offer a genuine liberal arts curriculum for the 21st century. Religion, philosophy, science, and culture are integrated in courses that study bioethics, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, millenarian and apocalyptic theologies, Shakespeare as a political thinker, Tocqueville, and the American experience.

While attending to questions of citizenship and civic engagement in the domestic sphere, the Politics Department offers a wide array of courses in Global Politics, specializing in Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The curriculum makes room for the study of languages, and encourages and supports foreign travel.

Boasting a student/faculty ratio of 10/1, the Politics Department offers an intimate setting that allows exceptional and motivated students to devise independent studies and honors theses on topics of their own choice. The department's situation in one of the top undergraduate business programs in the country, the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, enables students to link politics and business, most prominently through a program that places students in the heart of New York's financial scene.

The study of Politics at W&L includes opportunities to participate in our Mock Convention, publish in our Political Review, work with high school students in our Model UN program and engage in a host of community service projects. Our graduates go on to enjoy careers in a variety of settings, including politics, business, public service, non-profit organizations, the law, and public school teaching.

Many have earned prestigious scholarships, such as Fulbright, Rhodes, Rotary, and Watson Fellowships. Some of our students go on to pursue graduate study and are now teachers of Politics themselves. Politics at W&L is a truly interdisciplinary, international liberal arts experience. Our faculty come from a variety of backgrounds and offer a diverse range of perspectives on the study of politics. The major offers something for everyone.