The Department of Politics aims to teach, energize, support, and inspire students.
The facts, theories, and skills we ask students to learn are designed to help them succeed personally, professionally, and as community members and citizens of the world. The subject matter is politics, and so our goal is that every graduating Politics Major is knowledgeable about politics and political study, as well as skilled in information gathering, analysis, research, critical thinking, conceptual comprehension, and written and verbal communication.
SUNY Potsdam students pursue the study of politics to prepare for careers in law, government, foreign service, public policy, social action, teaching, business or some combination of these fields.
Still, others are drawn to politics because they realize how significantly politics shape our lives, from interpersonal to international relations. Whether students desire a particular type of employment for which a degree in political science uniquely prepares them, or hope to gain a deeper understanding of how individuals and groups can live together under conditions of greater equality, peace and justice, their course of study in the Politics program will lead them to engage in highly systematic, sophisticated and creative forms of analysis and problem-solving.
“I didn’t know where I wanted to go, or what to do with my life. It seemed like the politics professors genuinely cared. So I enrolled into some international relations courses and then got exposed to the idea of going to Croatia, to do a summer study abroad. I was grateful for those unique experiences.” –Rachel Rudd '19
Born to a German mother and Croatian father, SUNY Potsdam Instructor Michael Popovic witnessed the atrocities of war during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. This personal connection to genocide and violence piqued his interest in the field of international studies, a major he helped to establish in 2015.
Sean Koloski '17
SUNY Potsdam alumnus Sean Koloski ’17 hopes to be a politician someday and based on his success at SUNY Potsdam, his aspirations seem to be well within reach. During his senior year, he maintained a very busy schedule balancing his role as president of the Student Government Association (SGA) with all of his undergraduate coursework.
Philip Paige '15
Like many alumni before him, SUNY Potsdam was a launch pad to success for Philip Paige, a 2015 SUNY Potsdam graduate from The School of Arts and Sciences.