Politics Major (BA)

Political science majors at George Fox study in a Christian university environment that integrates faith with learning.


Looking for a degree that gives you versatility in the job market? George Fox University’s bachelor’s degree in politics enables graduates to succeed in any field they choose – including politics, public service, conflict resolution, law, development and business. Possible fields of emphasis include American institutions, law, international relations, comparative government, peace studies, political theory and public policy.

At the center of the program is the conviction that the Christian faith is relevant to all of life – including politics. Our professors draw from the best of George Fox’s evangelical and Quaker heritage, and are actively engaged in research and current events.

Chat with a Current Student

Please note that most questions will be responded to immediately, but because of class schedules and activities, sometimes responses may be delayed.

Jobs, Internships and Graduate School

As a politcal science major at George Fox, you will get individual attention in an encouraging Christian college environment.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of political scientists is projected to grow faster than average, reflecting the growing importance of public policy and research. Demand for research in this field is growing because of increasing interest in politics, foreign affairs, development, social policy, environmental policy, health care, crime and immigration.

  • Policy Analyst and Member Services Director, Oregon House Republican Office
  • Public Policy Assistant, American Farm Bureau Federation
  • Source Analyst, Department of Defense
  • Field Researcher, National Republican Senatorial Committee
  • Funding Operations Specialist, Community Assistance Network
  • Database Technician, Republican National Committee
  • Deputy Director of Early Voting, Victory 2008
  • School Liaison and Counselor, Youth Guidance Association
  • Staff Assistant, Organization for International Investment
  • Assistant Account Executive, The Sherry Group
  • Cambridge University, Master of Philosophy in International Relations program
  • Catholic University of America, PhD program in Political Science
  • Cornell University School of Law
  • George Washington University Law School
  • University of Minnesota School of Law
  • University of Michigan School of Law
  • The White House
  • The Center for National Policy
  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • United States House and Senate
  • United States Department of State
  • The Heritage Foundation
  • U.S. Embassy, Nicaragua
  • National Right to Life
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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

An introduction to the study of the use of political processes to decide public policy and the distribution of resources within and among communities and nations. Systems of government, and individual behaviors and informal political processes within those systems, will be examined using examples from various parts of the world throughout history. In the process, students will begin to explore the major questions of political philosophy, civic leadership, and Christian public ethics.

Only 3 hours of credit may be earned from one internship. Up to 6 hours of major requirements may be earned from intership credit, but of these only 3 may be upper-division credit.

Explores the methods and resources for undertaking research in political science and writing persuasive and sound analytical papers. A required course for all political science majors and minors. Students are strongly encouraged to take this course during their sophomore year whenever possible. Prerequisite: PSCI 150 Introduction to Political Science.
This capstone course requires majors to think in a sophisticated manner about the relationship between their Christian faith and politics. In addition, students will complete a major project that requires them to draw together skills and information they have learned in lower-level courses.

Choose one of the following:

The theory and practice of the federal government and the study of key issues in government in general.
The origins, evolution, structure, and present functions of state, county, and city government, with particular reference to Oregon. Special attention is given to the rising problems of urban government and regional planning.
Considers the powers of the federal judiciary, Congress, and president; the distribution of authority between the national and state governments; and how the Constitution has reflected our evolving theories of politics.
This course focuses on the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment. Special emphasis is placed upon the religion clauses of the First Amendment.
This course considers how Christianity and politics have been related throughout American history, how they are related today, and how they should be related. Special attention is given to Quaker contributions to America's political development.
Considers issues surrounding American campaigns and elections. Special emphasis is placed on the role of political parties and the voting behavior of individuals and groups.

Choose one of the following:

Whoever knows only one country knows none. This course introduces students to the field of comparative government and politics by examining the variety of political systems in the world. Particular attention will be paid to contrasting democratic and non-democratic governance, exploring the nature of democracy and the processes of democratization, and evaluating how American institutions and processes compare to other countries.
This course covers the main issues faced by developing countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. Special attention is given to economic development and the impact of globalization on these nations. (PSCI 330 and INTL 330 are identical courses)

Choose one of the following:

An introduction to the core issues and problems that affect the entire world, including threats to security such as war and terrorism, the rise of globalization, the persistence of inequality between rich and poor countries, and the degradation of the environment. (Identical to INTL 230.)
Why do wars and conflicts occur and how do we prevent these? This course considers the causes of global insecurity (from wars between countries to transnational terrorism to genocide) and examines the various approaches to their resolution, including the creation of international institutions and military alliances. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of religion in global political conflict.
This course explores the range of national and international environmental problems (from toxic chemicals to nuclear waste to climate change) and the politics that have been created to deal with these issues. A key focus of the course is the development of a faith-based, Christian perspective to caring for creation and responding to environmental realities in this country and around the world.
An inquiry into relationships between the social structure and ideological tradition of the United States and its conduct in world affairs. Attention is given to the substance of American foreign and military policy; to the roles of the White House, State Department, CIA, the military, Congress, private elites, and mass opinion; and to foreign policy impacts on domestic life.
This course provides students with a solid theoretical and practical understanding of the nature of international organizations (i.e. their origins, structure, and function in world politics) and relation to emerging international law. The practical component of this course examines the historical development, activities, and performance of specific institutions and agencies on a diverse set of policy issues including: security, economics (trade and development), humanitarian assistance, and human rights.

Choose one of the following:

A study of great political thinkers and issues from Socrates to the present. Students are encouraged to understand and evaluate these thinkers in their historical contexts, and to consider them as philosophers whose insights are relevant for contemporary debates. (Identical to HIST 280 and PHIL 280.)
A survey of the major developments in U.S. political theory from the Puritans to the present. The relationship between Christianity and American political theory is given special attention. (HIST 300 and PSCI 300 are identical courses)

Choose one of the following:

A study of communication principles found useful in managing conflict productively. Focus is given to conflict occurring in institutional and organizational settings between individuals and groups. Attention also is given to conflict in social, national, and international settings.
An exploration of American thought on the subject of war, both today and in past crises such as the American Revolution, Civil War, wars with the American Indians, the world wars, Vietnam War, and the Gulf War; a study of the official position major church bodies have taken in regard to war; and the experiences of individuals who refused to fight.
A study of mediation skills and their uses in community disputes, including neighborhood conflicts, public policy issues, and as court-annexed alternatives to litigation. Students also will examine the impact of mediation on democratic political theory, on the theory underlying our adversarial legal system, and on Christian views of conflict in the public arena.
An advanced study of the main theories of peace and nonviolence: what peace is; how it emerges in human, civil, and international relationships; what sustains it; what causes it to break down; and the potential and practice of active nonviolence. Emphasis is given to theories articulated by both scholars and prominent activists (such as Woolman, Gandhi, King, and Dix), and to ideas embodied in such practices as South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Choose one of the following:

In addition to the courses listed above, students may select from the following courses to bring the total to 36 semester hours.
This course introduces students to causes and consequences of 'the wealth of nations.' Students will learn theories of economic growth and poverty alleviation. Topics to be covered include: globalization, education, international trade, holistic conceptions of development, and the role of institutions. (Identical to INTL 370 and SOCI 370.) Prerequisites: ECON 211 Principles of Macroeconomics or ECON 212 Principles of Microeconomics
A general study of the role of law and the legal profession in American life, and a survey of the major topics addressed by the law. Attention also is given to the values promoted by our legal system and the Christian's interaction with it.
A seminar dealing with various topics as announced that represent current faculty interests and competencies.
A seminar dealing with various topics as announced that represent current faculty interests and competencies.
Applied statistics for the social and behavioral sciences. Emphasis is placed on statistical logic and decision making. Prerequisite: high school algebra or equivalent.

Student Experiences

Daniel Bennett, Associate Professor of Political Science, John Brown University

"Majoring in political science has been the best decision I’ve made at George Fox. The faculty are beyond capable and highly personable, and the classes are both challenging and rewarding."

- Daniel Bennett, Associate Professor of Political Science, John Brown University

Points of Distinction

  • Work with a prelaw advisor who graduated from one of the nation’s top 10 law schools.
  • Learn from professors who are published authors and remain engaged in current political and legal debates.
  • Choose from an extensive database of internship opportunities tailored to your interests.
  • All of our students who have applied to graduate school or law school have been accepted.
  • Explore the moral, strategic and practical aspects of peacemaking with a peace studies minor.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country..

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