Undergraduate Program

The Department of Political Science at Howard University is a microcosm of the world.

Our faculty and students come from practically all regions of the United States and the world. This national and demographic diversity gives rise to diverse research interests and political ideas that enrich the Department in unique ways.

The ideas and work of Ralph Bunche, a founder of the Department and the first Black person to receive a doctorate in Political Science and a Noble Peace Prize, provided the foundation for the Department. Bunche and his colleagues questioned the institutional legitimacy of the Political Science discipline and argued that it was unresponsive to the intellectual interests of Black Political Scientists and the socio-economic needs of the Black community.

The Department has continued in that tradition, providing a critical mass of African American and other under-represented students who enroll in graduate, law and other professional schools and provide service to the larger community.

Provide students an excellent undergraduate education through an interactive program of instruction that includes formal courses and simulations, research opportunities, academic and career counseling, internships, and community service.


Norman Sandridge, Ph.D.
Director of
Undergraduate Studies


Prepare for graduate school, professional school or a variety of careers.

The Department’s instructional focus includes various dimensions of Political Science, including elements of national, state and local government, unique political challenges and opportunities facing the African American community, political factors shaping domestic and international developments, and insights into comparative political systems.

The department offers political science majors a wide range of concentration options:

  • Pre-Law
  • Public Administration and Policy
  • International Relations and Comparative Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Black Politics
  • American Government


Graduates attend law school and graduate programs in political science and public policy.

Our undergraduates are well-prepared for careers in the public and private sector, including public administration and policy, public affairs, administration of justice, business, social work, and journalism. In addition, the Political Science major provides significant programmatic and academic flexibility for students who have not made a career choice and are primarily looking for an excellent liberal arts education.

The Political Science Department’s graduates have an impressive record of gaining admission to law and professional schools in all regions of the country. Representative graduates include:

  • Elijah Cummings, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Kamala Harris, member of the U.S. Senate
  • Shirley Franklin, former mayor of Atlanta
  • Kasim Reed, former mayor of Atlanta
  • Bill Johnson, former mayor of Rochester, NY
  • Elaine Jones, J.D., former Executive Director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Sharon Pratt Kelly, J.D., former mayor of Washington, D.C.
  • Alexander Williams, Federal District Court Judge
  • Paula McClain, Professor and Dean of the Graduate School, Duke University
  • James Christian, Attorney
  • William Lightfoot, Attorney and former member of the District of Columbia City Council
  • John Brittain, J.D., civil rights lawyer and law school dean
  • Alice Gresham Bullock, J.D., former Dean, Howard University School of Law.