Whether your passion is politics or foreign affairs, Randolph-Macon political science majors have unique access to the systems and ideas that organize human societies. The College’s ideal location – just 15 minutes from Virginia’s General Assembly and a 90-minute train ride to Washington D.C. – gives students a firm footing in the core concepts of political science, and unique internship, research, and hands-on learning opportunities in a specialization of their choosing: American politics; international relations; foreign and comparative politics; and political theory in the ideal campus setting. An RMC political science degree provides you with a strong foundation for careers in law, public administration, election campaigns, social justice, and public service. 

Political Science
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In and Beyond the Classroom

Political Science students standing in front of the Virginia Capitol Building

high-impact Internships

Randolph-Macon political science majors test their skills with internships at agencies and organizations at the heart of our nation’s government. Students gain valuable, hands-on skills for future careers and graduate study as they engage with constituents, lobbyists and other legislators, and learn about event planning, legislative tracking, and political communication. RMC political science students recently completed internships at:

  • U.S. Congress, offices of members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Virginia General Assembly
  • Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies 
  • Blue Compass Strategies 


The study of politics is a global endeavor, and RMC’s variety of interesting travel courses extend it worldwide. Travel courses have included:

  •  Comparative Legislatures (PSCI 330), in which students compared the U.S. Congress with the legislature of Japan, traveling to both Washington, D.C. and Tokyo for an immersive learning experience. 
  • Retail Politics (PSCI 306), where students worked directly on a presidential campaign in the run-up to the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation primary elections. 
  • Revolutionary Cuba (PSCI 336), in which students journeyed across the island to explore how Cubans live today and the legacy of the 1959 revolution. 
Political Science students in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC
Gallery of presidential campaign signs

hands-on research

The diverse specializations of RMC’s celebrated political science faculty lend themselves to a range of original research opportunities in which students address relevant, real-world issues. These mentored research projects help ensure RMC students graduate prepared to use advanced methods for research and legal work. Recent political science research projects include:

  • Hannah Mercer ’19 – “The Neglected Gender Dimension of Brain Drain,” supervised by Dr. Steve Lang
  • Ella Swager ’25 – “Elections in Paraguay,” co-authored with Dr. Brian Turner and presented at the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies conference in March 2022. 
  • Jordyn Sinsel ’23 – “Rare Event of Normal Behavior?: Explaining Dissenting Behavior on the Supreme Court of Japan” supervised by Dr. Lauren Bell in summer 2022.
  • JR Darling ’22 – “Equal Justice Under Law: Prosecutor Demographics and the Death Penalty,” supervised by Dr. Lauren Bell in summer 2021 and published in the fall 2022 Social Science Quarterly.
  • Mackenzie Phillips ’23 – “A Change Will Do You Good: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Changing Climate Change Attitudes” supervised by Dr. Lauren Bell in summer 2021 and presented at the 2022 Southwest Social Science Association conference. 
  • Rebecca (Liskiewicz) Daniel ’16 – “Invisible Coattails: Presidential Approval and Gubernatorial Elections, 1994-2014,” co-authored with Dr. Elliott Fullmer and published in The Forum in 2018.

Advising and Mentorship

Randolph-Macon political science faculty believe in learning by doing, resulting in graduates who are well-equipped for any endeavor upon graduation. As a political science student, you are supported by caring faculty in class and out, where professors act as mentors and guide you through original research methods and other hands-on learning opportunities. 

A student walking and talking with a professor
  • $122,510
    the median annual salary of a political scientist
  • 1st
    century BCE is when political science originated in the writings of Plato and Aristotle
  • 28%
    of the 118th U.S. Congress are women
Virginia state seal

Political Science
in full
Courses You Won’t Want to Miss

(A very small sample)

PSCI 310

Interest Group Politics

Study the roles of interest groups in the American political system. Explore interest group goals, how and why they influence members of Congress, the executive, and the courts, as well as their activities and influence during electoral campaigns. Conduct original research on what interests you most about political interest groups. 

PSCI 327

International Terrorism 

Analyze international terrorism from an individual, organizational, and systems perspective. Study the history, causes, methods, and characteristics of terrorism. Learn why international terrorism occurs and what governments can do to reduce or prevent it.

PSCI 385

Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship is a process that applies innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing social problems. Learn about the theory and practice of social entrepreneurship through academic study, as well as activities beyond the classroom including field trips, speakers, and community service. Develop a business plan for a viable social enterprise that seeks to address and solve an existing social problem in a local or remote community. 

Opportunities Worth Grabbing

Popular activities and programs among political science majors

Pi Sigma Alpha

Political Science Honor Society


Pre-law society

Young Democrats

College Republicans

From Here To What you can do with a Political Science degree from RMC.

Jordon Mpingo '16

Jordon Mpingo ’16

Program Specialist, Scholastic Competitions Program
United States Institute of Peace

“My time at Randolph-Macon was an enriching experience that propelled me forward after graduation. Through participating in various organizations including Greek Life, I made lifelong connections which have been both personally and professionally rewarding. My professors utilized their wealth of knowledge and expertise to design excellent course material around relevant topics and current issues in the world, all of which prepared me for my career in international affairs. The career center and my professors supported me and were instrumental in helping me obtain various internships, allowing me to apply what I learned in class to real-world settings and gain hands-on experience.”

ty Mills ’22

Staff Assistant
US House of Representatives

hannalore witt taylor ’17

Corporate Counsel
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions


Deputy Cadre Coordinator (Environmental Planning & Historic Preservation Cadre – Readiness Branch)

Antonia Douglas ’18

Associate Attorney
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP

Curtis Ellis ’04

Dean, College of Arts & Cultural Studies and Professor, Political Science
Oral Roberts University

Buzzworthy The latest from RMC Political Science

News Story categories: Political Science Faculty International Studies

Summer Research on Election Reform Takes Student and Professor to Paraguay

A change to Paraguay’s electoral system made for a near-perfect experiment for Eleanor Swager ’25 and Dr. Brian Turner.

Eleanor Swager ‘25 stands in the Recoleta in Asuncion, Paraguay
News Story categories: Political Science Accounting Alumni

RMC Announces Inaugural Winners of the 10 Under 10 Awards

The 10 Under 10 Awards were established by Randolph-Macon’s Young Alumni Board to recognize young alumni who have achieved remarkable success…

RMC 10 under 10 award winners standing together for a group photo
News Story categories: Political Science

Website Compiles Hard-to-Find Details About Changes to the State Constitution

Website Compiles Hard-to-Find Details About Changes to the State Constitution By Maeve Toman ’26 Interested citizens can now access a…

Rich Meagher stands with representatives of the Virginia Law Foundation holding a check for $14,569 made out to Randolph-Macon College

Get Ready Discover Political Science at RMC.