Political Science


Whether you aspire to be a leader in politics, law, government service, or within a public agency, St. Ambrose has a program to help you achieve your goals.

Our graduates work at the U.S. District Court, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Hopkins & Huebner, AmeriCorps, and others. Many advance to graduate studies and have attended the University of Iowa and DePaul University Law School, among others.


Ambrose Advantages

  • We Educate Future Leaders
  • Opportunities Beyond the Classroom
  • Extraordinary Faculty and Courses

Students at Model UN

Duk Kim in front of class

Students in a row

Our Political Science program teaches you to think critically, understand the challenges and opportunities faced by a complex world, and discern the role you can play in the betterment of society.

See our fact sheet on Political Science (pdf)



More Information on the Political Science Program

What will I learn?

Courses include American government, law, leadership studies, political philosophy, global issues, terrorism, campaigns and elections, foreign policy, comparative politics, and environmental politics. You also can complete an internship and learn from leaders who are active in government or agencies that serve the public.

You can choose from three concentrations: Pre-Law, Public Administration, and International Politics. If you're interested in pursuing law school, we offer a pre-law program in conjunction with the University of Iowa (see below).

Throughout your studies, you will learn how to think carefully and critically about important questions, write and speak well, ground problems in historic issues, collect information to analyze problems and gain theoretical insight, and gather practical knowledge of the political world.

Our faculty will teach you quantitative skills - such as collecting and interpreting statistics - and qualitative skills - such as discerning between public opinion and propaganda.

What unique learning opportunities will I have?
  • Join Mock Trial at SAU. This program simulates a real courtroom trial with students serving as attorneys and witnesses. Our team consistently earns top ranks at competitions, and first-year and transfer students who commit to the team can apply for a $1,000 annual scholarship, renewable for up to eight semesters. For more information on Mock Trial, contact coach Sarah Gorham.
  • Join Model U.N. and explore a range of global issues, such as international conflicts, terrorism, nuclear weapons and poverty. In November, the SAU chapter represented Colombia at the American Model United Nations Conference in Chicago. In February 2018, we will represent Germany at the Midwest Model United Nations Conference in St. Louis.
  • Are you interested in a law degree? SAU has an agreement with the University of Iowa College of Law that allows you to earn your undergraduate and law degree in six years. You can apply for the 3+3 Program your junior year and if accepted, earn your senior year of undergraduate credits during your first year of law school. And, we will help you plan for your goal. Our faculty advise all pre-law students, regardless of their major. For more information, contact Dr. Joe Hebert, director of Pre-Law Studies at St. Ambrose.
  • Talk to SAU alumni. Our faculty stays connected with our graduates, many who are willing to meet with current students in and outside the classroom to share their experiences in public service and leadership.
  • Iowa is "first in the nation" to caucus for presidential elections, which brings a steady stream of presidential hopefuls to the area and to campus. SAU also hosts many legislative forums and political debates featuring candidates seeking local, state and national offices. These events provide extraordinary opportunities to observe, participate, volunteer, or even intern or make a career connection.
  • If you are adventurous with a deep personal drive to act and seek to be immersed in countries and cultures outside of your own, our Peace Corps Prep program will help you gain the intercultural skills you need for a life-changing service experience. SAU is one of few universities in Iowa offering Peace Corps Prep, a program that makes you a stronger candidate for volunteer positions within the Peace Corps or other service programs. Employers value the skills and cultural worldview you gain in Peace Corps, and best of all, most students can earn the Peace Corps certificate without taking extra courses.

What are some potential career outcomes?

You could work for legislative, executive and judicial agencies at the national, state and local levels of government.

Your skills are also valued by non-profit agencies, including those specializing in education, philanthropy, social and community service. Or, work for a large or small business, go into communications, or technology consulting.

Our graduates go on to law school, graduate school, are employed in all levels of government, run for political office, and manage business, non-profit, and government organizations.

Where are some of our alums working?
  • Joe Barnum '16 is employed with AmeriCorps as a team leader for FEMA in the Southern Region of the United States headquartered in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • Kathryn Brown '14 is at DePaul University Law School and serves as judicial extern for the Honorable Joan H. Lefkow of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and is the managing editor of lead articles for the DePaul Law Review.
  • Henry J. Marquard '13 is the Director of Government Affairs at the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce in Davenport.     
Faculty

William Parsons, PhD, Professor and Chair

L. Joseph Hebert, PhD, Professor
Duk Kim, PhD, Assoc. Professor

Pre-Law Program

3+3 Law Degree Plan with University of Iowa

In your junior year, you can apply to the University of Iowa Law School and earn both your undergraduate and law degree in a total of six years.

If accepted to the program, you fulfill the senior year of undergraduate credits through their first year of law school courses.

This program is part of an agreement with the University of Iowa College of Law.

For more information, view the Pre-Law program page or contact Dr. Joe Hebert, Director of Pre-Law Studies at St. Ambrose.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science (36 credits)

Required:
+PSCI 101 American Government
+PSCI 110 Law and Society: An Introduction to the American Legal System or +PSCI 120 Truth, Justice & Politics: An Introduction to Political Philosophy
+PSCI 130 Global Issues
PSCI 400 Research in Political Science
STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning for the Sciences

At least two courses from each of the following subject areas:

  1. Law and Political Philosophy: PSCI 304, PSCI 320, PSCI 330
  2. Government and Leadership: PSCI 301, PSCI 360, PSCI 365, PSCI 370
  3. International Relations: PSCI 230, PSCI 309, PSCI 313, PSCI 316, PSCI 319

At least one of the following:
PSCI 104 Introduction to Leadership Studies
PSCI 305 (3 semesters) Mock Trial, 1 credit each
PSCI 306 (3 semesters) Model United Nations, 1 credit each
PSCI 351 Internship in Pre-Law
PSCI 353 Internship in Politics

Read course descriptions in the online course catalog

Note: Public Administration students must consult with the Chair of Political Science for approval of electives toward the concentration. Public Administration students are strongly encouraged to double major in another field related to public service; for instance, sociology, criminal justice, psychology, etc. Public Administration students should also complete an interdisciplinary minor related to their studies; such as the organizational leadership minor, the environmental studies minor, or the pre-law minor.

For approval of second major and interdisciplinary minor, consult with political science chair, the chair of second major department, and the coordinator/director of the appropriate interdisciplinary minor.

Minor in Political Science (18 credits)

Required:
+PSCI 101 American Government
+PSCI 130 Global Issues
1 course in law and political philosophy
1 course in government and leadership
1 course in international studies

One of the following:
+PSCI 104 Introduction to Leadership Studies
+PSCI 110 Law and Society: An Introduction to the American Legal System
+PSCI 120 Truth, Justice & Politics: An Introduction to Political Philosophy

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study for graduating in four years with a degree in Political Science and Leadership Studies. This plan assumes the student has not met the foreign language requirement (three years of foreign language in high school).

Year One

FallCreditSpringCredit
PSCI 101, 104, or 110 3 +PSCI 130 Global Issues 3
+Oral Communication 3 PSCI 101, 104, or 110 3
+Quantitative Reasoning 3 +Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3
+Humanities 3 Foreign Language 101 3
NSS New Student Seminar 1 Creative Arts 3
Information Literacy 1 +KIN 149 1
Total Credits 14 Total Credits 16

Year Two

FallCreditSpringCredit
+PSCI 120 Truth, Justice and Politics 3 PSCI 230 or 232; 309 or 316*; 309 or 319 3
PSCI 320* OR 330* 3 PSCI 320* or 330* 3
+Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3 +Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3
+Humanities 3 Foreign Language 102 3
+Health and Fitness 3 Natural Science 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Three

FallCreditSpringCredit
PSCI 301, 360, or 370 3 PSCI 230, 309, 316, 319 3
+Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3 PSCI 365* 3
+STAT 213 3 Electives 6
PSCI 230, 309, 313, 316, or 319 3
Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 12

Year Four

FallCreditSpringCredit
PSCI 400* (either fall or spring) 3 PSCI 400* (either fall or spring) 3
Electives 12 Electives 12
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

*Needs prerequisite
+satisfies a general education requirement

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Scholarships

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

First-Year Scholarships

Amounts are for first-year students entering St. Ambrose in the 2019-20 academic year. There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies, for up to four years, as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and remain a full-time student. 

On Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Trustee Scholarships
Criteria: unweighted 4.0 GPA and minimum 30 ACT or 1390 SAT score
Award: $23,000/year and invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship

Presidential Scholarships
Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score
Award: $20,000/year

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $14,000/year, $15,000/year, $16,000/year, or $17,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
$12,000/year

On Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of a Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $1,000/year

Off Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year, $12,000/year, $13,000/year, or $14,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $10,000/year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of a Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $500/year

International Student Scholarships

At SAU, our international students can qualify for university scholarships and grants based on academic achievement, merit, and their performance and abilities in fine arts and athletics.

Below, you'll find a quick summary of financial awards, and we continually look for ways to make an Ambrosian education even more affordable and attainable. Recently, we began offering athletic scholarships for Marching Band and Esports.

If you have any questions or want to apply, please contact the International Student Admissions office. 

Institutional Scholarships (2018-19)
There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students are automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria, although some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year

Athletic Scholarships
We have many international student-athletes who are contributing and growing their skills as valued team players. As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes. The amount varies and is based on performance and ability. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody the value of developing both the mind and body.

To qualify for an athletic scholarship you must be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

To learn more about all of our athletic teams and opportunities – including Esports – click here

Fine Art Scholarships

These scholarships are based on your performance and ability in art, music, or theatre, and you may qualify for the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required. Contact the Admissions office to apply or for more information. 

See below to learn more about outside scholarships and we encourage you to begin your search early.

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2019-20 academic year. 

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

Scholarships

Phi Theta Kappa
Criteria: awarded to all Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society members transferring from a community college
Award: $14,000

OR

Transfer Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on GPA
Awards:
3.5-4.00 GPA $13,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $12,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $11,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $9,000 

Out-of-State Grants
Criteria: non-Iowa resident
Award: $2,000 per year

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate; on-campus students only
Award: $1,000 per year

Dual Admission Scholarships
Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 per year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $1,000 per year on-campus; $500 per year off-campus

Federal and State Aid

Federal Pell Grant
Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $6,095 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Iowa Tuition Grant
Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: $5,650

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


Rachel Molsberry '14, JD


"Although nothing can fully prepare you for law school or being a lawyer," Rachel said, "St. Ambrose gave me the foundations necessary and helped me find my passion, health law."

Read my story

Apply Visit Info

Contact


William Parsons, PhD, Chairperson

Political Science and Leadership Studies
Folwell Center
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport
563-333-6171
ParsonsWilliamW@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 27 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!