What is Political Science?

Political science is the systematic study of governance through institutions, individuals, and ideas at all levels of society. Political science students at Howard University benefit from our premier location at the nexus of American politics and policymaking in Washington, DC. Our location allows us to provide numerous value-added opportunities for our students such as internships in various policy making institutions and related organizations, national and international public officials participating in university events, and study and interaction with a diverse and active student body from 45 states and 22 countries.

Liberally Educating Students to Understand and Analyze Politics

The Political Science Department at Howard University blends the highest goals of nationally and internationally recognized political science scholarship with the special mission of its founding faculty.

From the beginning the faculty and students shared a commitment to educate and reform education in the discipline in order to deepen national understanding of political and social institutions and to restructure scholarly perspective on equity, justice and other social values that inspired higher education initiatives among African Americans.

Founded in 1928 the Department was uniquely inspired by the distinguished scholar and Nobel laureate, Ralph Bunche, the first African American to earn a doctorate in Political Science. It has benefited from the foundation provided by other influential faculty leaders including Emmett Dorsey, Vincent Brown and Bernard Fall.

Learn More About Influential Faculty Member Bernard B. Fall

The Political Science Department serves in the College of Arts and Sciences to fulfill the goals of liberally educating students to understand and analyze politics and to function in political life. It seeks to promote scholarship and research across a broad range of topics and concerns that affect politics and society.

The essential mission of the Department's undergraduate program is to provide students a comprehensive education through an interactive program of instruction that includes formal courses and seminars, research opportunities, academic and career counseling, internships, on-line instructional support and community service.

The undergraduate program is highlighted by various course combinations or concentrations through which the students may move freely. These informal concentrations include American Government, Black Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Public Policy and Theory as well as the Honors sequence.

The Pre-Law Program offers a more formally organized concentration that fully prepares students for law school. Whatever the post graduation orientation of students, Political Science at Howard can promote a refined and extended awareness of the political world that prepares the student for leadership and the analysis of leadership nationally and internationally.

Kamala Harris

49th Vice President of the United States; Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, 1986

Howard Commencement Address; May 13, 2017

History has proven that each generation of Howard graduates will forge the way forward for our country and our world; and now graduates, it is your turn.

The Department of Political Science works closely with two affiliated research centers.

Dr. Ralph J. Bunche served as a professor and founding head of the Political Science Department at Howard University from 1928 to 1941.