University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Welcome to the Department

Do you find politics, law, and governance exciting? Do you want to try to improve the world or your own community? Our department houses undergraduate majors in both Political Science and Legal Studies as well as vibrant graduate programs. One of the largest departments on campus, our community includes more than 1,000 undergraduate majors, nearly 70 graduate students, and over 40 faculty.

Political science is the systematic study of governments, politics, policy, institutions and political behavior. Legal studies is the interdisciplinary study of the complex relationship between law and society. Our majors examine challenges from local to global levels. Our undergraduate community includes the highest percentage of "first generation" students in the College. And we offer the largest number of undergraduate scholarships in the College. Our clubs and organizations—Mock Trial, Debate Team, International Relations/Model UN, to name a few—sustain a strong sense of community among students. Undergraduate research opportunities provide hands-on experience.

The graduate program in Political Science is strong in all the major subfields yet what sets us apart is a cross-subdisciplinary approach to political science and diverse methodological approaches. Several graduate students have won national fellowships and awards for research and teaching.

Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized. Many faculty engage directly in public affairs with frequent mentions in major, influential media outlets. The department maintains active connections on campus and beyond to centers focused on public policy, critical theory, Latin American and Caribbean affairs, law and society, computational social science, public health and much more.

 

Featured Profile

khanna
Technology policy consultant

You may have recently heard the name Derek Khanna in the news. He has been making headlines for publishing a policy memo outlining “three myths about copyright law” and detailed solutions on reforming copyright law on behalf of the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) – a memo which, despite receiving numerous positive reviews as being “brilliant,” received so much push-back from Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) lobbyists that the RSC eventually retracted it. Read more...Read more

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