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Five Things to Know About Studying Political Science at Siena

Posted By Colin O’Reilly | August 26, 2016

Whether your ballot for this November is with him or with her, you may find yourself more invested in this year's presidential election than most of your friends. If that's the case, you could be an ideal candidate (get it?) for Siena's excellent political science program, which has a lot to offer. To give you a few highlights, we asked Len Cutler, PhDpolitical science professor and pre-law advisor, for five of his favorite aspects of political science at Siena. Here they are.
Political Science at Siena1. Our location. As Dr. Cutler puts it, Siena truly does "capitalize on the Capitol." The fact that we're just a few miles away from New York State's government headquarters and countless other political agencies affords our students incredible hands-on experiences. From internships to job shadowing opportunities to career placements, this is the place to be in New York if you're looking to study political science. Not only is proximity key here, but the relationships we've established with local government officials, lobbyists and so on are invaluable when it comes to networking. 

2. The Washington Semester Program. Through a cooperative arrangement with American University, Siena offers its students the opportunity to spend a semester in Washington, D.C. Consisting of special seminars, a research tutorial and a regular course at American University, the program also features an internship component (one that will most definitely impress potential employers). Imagine yourself interning with a congressional committee, an executive branch agency, an interest group association or a think tank. How about a private company or media group? During this semester, D.C is yours to explore, and Siena is here to help. 

3. Travel courses. Our wide range of core courses and electives are exciting on their own, for sure, but political science students also have the chance to enroll in very interesting travel courses which could last anywhere from 2-3 weeks to a full semester. Saints have traveled to Nicaragua, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador and beyond, studying everything from Latin American politics to gender equality. And Dr. Cutler adds, "These courses aren't just about assigned readings and sitting in a classroom. You'll get involved in local economic enterprises and absorb new cultures during your time away."

4. Flexibility. Because 1) we're a small school, 2) our faculty is extremely dedicated to their fields and 3) we have a very active Center for the Study of Government and Politics, we're able to add special courses to our curriculum that respond to current events. For example, around the time of the New Hampshire primary, Dr. Jack Collens took a group of students to NH to see the ins and outs. They participated in campaign work, met with media experts and attended rallies and town hall meetings for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Bernie Sanders and more. It doesn't get any more real than being right there, in the action.

5. Connections. When you're looking for a great career, it doesn't hurt to have connections that can introduce you to the right people and look out for you when openings occur. For Siena students, connections are very easy to come by. Saints have worked/currently work across the board, for Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Kirsten Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer, Paul Tonko, to name a few. It all goes back, though, to our extensive internship program and experiential learning opportunities that help our students get their feet in the door, literally. 

Think Siena's political science program is where you belong? Send us your application, or chat with us to learn more.

Apply today

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