We hope that you’ll participate in our mission of enhancing the student experience, our dedication to faculty excellence, and our drive to cultivate the next generation of social change-makers by making a gift during #UMassGives to the Department of Political Science and the Legal Studies Program!
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.