You will have access to a number of real-life learning experiences during your time at Elon! These are just a few examples of experiences designed to complement your classroom work:
Research: The department has a strong culture of support for undergraduate research. Eight political science majors have been awarded Elon’s prestigious Lumen scholar awards. All majors complete a capstone senior seminar in which they conduct an extensive research project under the guidance of departmental faculty.
Elon University Poll: Through the department's Center for Public Opinion Polling, students participate in frequent statewide polls regarding current public issues. Polls are conducted in a polling laboratory with state-of-the-art computer and data gathering technology. Results of the Elon University Poll are distributed to the public through television and print media throughout the state.
Internships: The vast majority of majors intern in one or more of a variety of settings: government agencies at the local, state and national levels; nonprofit organizations; law and lobby firms; associations and think tanks; and international organizations in Washington, D.C., and abroad.
Service Learning: As part of the department's Center for Public Service and several of its courses, especially in Public Administration, students have the opportunites to work in service-oriented nonprofits, governmental agencies at the state and local levels, and task forces that implement and evaluate public policies. Every election cycle, the campaign management course provides extensive hands-on experience working with local and statewide campaigns.
National Democratic and Republican Conventions: Since 1992, Elon students have studied national politics through seminar and fieldwork at the sites of the national party conventions during presidential campaigns. They have worked for party offices, candidate organizations, media organizations and interest groups.
Local Government Simulation: This is a course that studies how local governments function. Students then apply that understanding through a role-play simulation in which they assume the roles of city council members, planning commissioners, business leaders, citizens groups and the media.
Washington Center Seminar: Every January, students may participate in an intensive focus on the American presidency and the national media in Washington, D.C., through presentations by well-known political and news figures, site visits and group projects.
Honor Society: The Sigma Upsilon Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, was founded at Elon in 1992. Membership is open to juniors and seniors who have completed at least 10 hours in POL or PST with at least one 300-level course and an average grade of B or higher in those courses, as well as an overall GPA placing them in the top third of their class. Membership is by invitation only and invitations go out to eligible students each spring semester.