Political Science

Have you ever thought about how candidates are chosen or how we end up with the choices we get, or the kinds of things that motivate people to vote? Have you ever wondered about the origins of civil and military conflicts in the Middle East? Have you ever considered the differences between authoritarian and democratic systems in Mexico, Central and South America?  Are you concerned about critical issues such as health, the environment, and civil rights? Do you want to study these subjects and pursue a career based on your interests? If so, you should major in political science. Political science uses both humanistic and scientific perspectives and skills to examine the United States, all countries and regions of the world, and international relations. Because of its breadth and diversity, political science is a very popular undergraduate major and provides you with a great foundation for many careers after graduation. It is also the most popular major represented in law school.

In the UNM Department of Political Science, we engage with and respond to issues facing our communities on local, national, and global scales. Our research areas include critical issues such as inequality, civil conflict, transitional justice, elections, and international politics, and other pressing topics. We are proud to be the only Hispanic-Serving Institution in the U.S. that is also classified as a Carnegie Research University with Very High Activity. As such, we are uniquely situated to study the politics of underrepresented and under-served groups.

We offer a B.A. degree, a Departmental Honors Thesis program, a shared-credit B.A/M.A. program, and a minor for students outside of the department.

Our undergraduate program combines rigorous coursework with real-world internship experience to prepare students for careers in law, business, government, journalism, international organizations, political campaigns, interest groups, education, and so much more. It also provides valuable preparation for participation in community organizations, electoral politics, movements on behalf of specific policies, or even seeking elected or appointed positions in governments. There are a wide variety of courses to choose from to tailor your degree to your interests and goals.

Political science majors acquire skills in writing, communications, and analysis that are critical to a liberal arts education. A liberal arts education prepares students to think independently, with tolerance for others and concern for current affairs. Today, students can reasonably expect to change jobs and even to have more than one career. An undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences is excellent preparation for flexibility in employment.

Departmental Honors Thesis

The departmental honors program in Political Science is designed to give highly motivated students an opportunity to expand and deepen their theoretical, research, and writing skills. The honors program is particularly appropriate for students who are considering graduate school in the social sciences, foreign affairs, or related fields. Whether or not you go on to graduate school, completing the honors program will give you the satisfaction of developing a high level of knowledge about at least one of the subfields in Political Science, and the accomplishment of completing a polished research paper and thesis of high quality. You will have opportunities to carry out sustained research on topics that interest you, in the process receiving intensive advising and feedback from faculty mentors and advisors.

Shared Credit B.A. / M.A.

The Shared-Credit Program is designed for undergraduate students to get a head start on their graduate studies by sharing course credits between the Bachelor's and Master's degrees, allowing you to work on your M.A. while you're finishing up your B.A. This is a great opportunity to further your studies and to see if graduate school is the right path for you, while building on departmental support networks you built as an undergraduate.

Undergraduate Program

Departmental Honors

UNM Catalog

Programs of Study


  • B.A. Political Science
  • Political Science
Shared Undergraduate/Graduate Credit Programs Available: 
  • B.A. and M.A. in Political Science

Contact Information

Undergraduate Academic Advisor(s): 
Advisor office locations vary. Please click on your advisor's name below to learn more.
Advising Email:
Department Location:
Social Sciences (Bldg 78), Suite 2059

Department/Program Website