Political Science


Political science is the study of how people interact with each other to solve collective challenges, how they negotiate, bargain and, in a democracy, compromise with each other to settle conflict. Politics is the everyday life of the community and the institutions of that community that provide the means through which the processes of politics takes place. Everyone engages in politics in every facet of their life as a member of society.

Political science is taught as part of a liberal arts tradition whereby students focus on the overarching questions of life and examine them within a political vocabulary and perspective. Students at Thomas More are broadly introduced to the field through a study of the theory and practice of politics in each of several sub fields, including American and world politics, public administration, and political philosophy. Thomas More students are introduced to political science as both an area of intensive scholarly study as well as a field for professional work.

Students will be studying the principle questions of the field in application to a variety of sub fields learning how politics plays out in relations between people, cultures, and organizations, and through experiential learning where they will gain valuable experiences and perspectives that contribute to their scholarly studies.

Dr. John T. Spence, AICP, Associate Professor of political science is the primary instructor for this degree program.  With over 20 years of experience in community and economic development, having worked in the public and private sector, and served as an elected official, Dr. Spence is well qualified to bring together theory and practice in the classroom. Students will also take classes with a number of faculty from other programs that augment, expand, and broadly contribute to the student’s study of the field of politics.

Alumni of the political science program are employed in a variety of fields, including with city government, the federal government, private business, and nonprofit management. Thomas More alumni have had a variety of internships with organizations and groups, including The Washington Center, Congressional offices, local and state governments, and local law firms and nonprofits. While the program is organized to provide a strong background for graduate study in a variety of fields, many graduates have immediately gone into the work force after graduation in both the public and private sectors.

Legislative and public policy positions, community organizing, local and state government public administration, law offices, nonprofit administration, and private business are some of the fields where political science majors have developed careers.

A variety of internships are possible through the program depending upon the interests and capabilities of the student. Students have had internships in local and state government, including areas such as parks and recreation, finance, law, and executive leadership offices. In nonprofit organizations, internship opportunities include working with community organizers, lobbyist, and social service agencies. Other experiential opportunities include working with law offices and with Congressional offices. Many other internship possibilities exist depending upon the interests and flexibility of the student.

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