Political Science students are inducted into the timeless debates of politics while also becoming conversant with the actual functioning of the political systems of the United States and countries around the world. The program focuses on all aspects of political life, ranging from how nations deal with each other in crisis situations to how the daily decisions made by legislators affect ordinary people in their everyday lives.

Both American and non-American political systems are studied, with the aim of preparing students to be citizens in an increasingly global society.

Ripon is unique in the emphasis on experiential learning, particularly in allowing students to be involved in panel discussions to debate current events and to engage with many political speakers on campus throughout the school year. The Center for Politics and the People, International Relations Club and several student-led political organizations host an exceptional number of engaging speakers and panelists each year. Courses emphasize hands-on learning such as a congressional and presidential simulation, international crisis simulation, and role-playing exercises.

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Madeline Adler '25

Madeline Adler ’25 earns scholarship, named Ripon’s Greek President of the Year

Madeline Adler ’25 of Tomah, Wisconsin, has received an undergraduate scholarship from Order of Omega. She was recognized for her involvement in Greek life, academic […]

Dorothy Skye and Jenny Higgins

Women’s health in Wisconsin to be discussed March 21 at Ripon College

“The State of Women’s Health in Wisconsin,” a panel discussion, will be presented March 21 at Ripon College. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. […]

Dan Egan

Effects of phosphorus to be discussed Feb. 15 for Center for Politics and the People

New York Times best-selling author and environmental journalist Daniel Egan will discuss “The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance” Feb. 15 at […]


Henrik Schatzinger

Schatzinger, Henrik

Professor of Political Science, Chair of Political Science Department and Director for the Center for Politics and the People

Sirovina, Jackie

Adjunct Instructor of Political Science

Sorenson, Steven

Adjunct Instructor of Political Science and Pre-Law Advisor

Yuan Wang

Wang, Yuan

Assistant Professor of Political Science


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers.

Advising at Ripon


Requirements for a Major in Political Science
Total Credits 33 credits
Core Courses POL 220 American Politics and Government, 235 Data Analysis and Visualization for Political Science; one of the following: POL 280 Introduction to International Relations or 335 Congress and the Presidency
Elective Courses five elective courses (up to two of the electives may be pre-approved courses in other departments or in off-campus programs such as the Washington Semester program; POL 501. Students considering a career in International Relations should take POL 280.
111 Global Political Culture, 112 Global Political Economy, 114 Introduction to Global Issues, 200 Departmental Studies, 212 Introduction to Law, 216 Constitutional Law, 220 American Politics and Government, 222 Media, Politics, and Personal Power, 223 Interest Groups and Money in American Politics, 231 American Political Thought Staff, 235 Data Analysis and Visualization for Political Science, 236 Survey and Experimental Design, 240 Political Psychology, 246 Morality and Public Policy, 250 Comparative Politics: The U.S. and the Rest of the World, 254 Politics of China, 268 Diversity and American Politics, 272 Development and Change in Latin America, 276 Politics of Contemporary Europe, 280 Introduction to International Relations, 283 American Foreign Policy, 300 Departmental Studies, 311 Leader Psychology and International Relations, 315 International Security, 320 Topics in American Politics, 324 Campaigns and Elections, 335 Congress and the Presidency, 341 American Public Policy: Process, Promise, and Performance, 362 The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Moral and Political Dimensions, 370 Topics in Comparative Politics, 380 Topics in International Politics, 415 21st Century Security Studies, 501 Senior Seminar, or 550 National Security Capstone
Requirements for a Minor in Political Science
Total Credits 16 credits
Core Courses POL 220 American Politics and Government, 280 Introduction to International Relations; 12 additional credits.

Students interested in teaching political science need to complete the secondary education major and the social studies education licensure requirements which include: a history major or minor including 8 credits of World History, 8 credits of American History, and at least 8 credits at the 300 level or above and HIS 295; The following courses to ENV 120, PSC 110, POL 220, POL 335, ECO 211 or 212, ANT 110 or SOC 110, and EDU 323.

Elective Courses 8 credits of World History, 8 credits of American History, and at least 8 credits at the 300 level or above and HIS 295; The following courses to ENV 120 Environmental Studies, PSC 110 General Psychology, POL 220 American Politics and Government, POL 335 Congress and the Presidency, ECO 211 Principles of Economics or 212 Principles of Economics, ANT 110 The Human Experience: How To Think Anthropologically or SOC 110 Introduction to Sociological Imagination, and EDU 323.


Career Tracks

Graduates enter graduate school programs in international affairs, law, national security, public administration, political science, business and communication.

Others obtain employment in government, international relations, business and legal fields, such as youth market coordinator, director of marketing, ecommerce strategist, pricing analyst, campaign staff member, grants and development coordinator, national director, attorney, political researcher, development associate for major and planned giving, legislative analyst, chief of staff, policy advisor, U.S. sales manager, television producer and branch operations assistant.

Unique Opportunities

  • Connections to legislative staff, administration, lobbyists and judges, which are helpful for internships
  • An unusual number of students who present their own research at regional and national conferences
  • A newly established fellowship program by the Center for Politics and the People awards scholarships to some students who accept unpaid internships in local, state and national government agencies, in political offices and campaigns, and in nonprofit organizations dealing with public policy issues
  • Through the Department of Educational Studies, certification in political science is available in early adolescence/adolescence (grades 6-12).
  • We strongly stress research and writing throughout our curriculum, and we are unique in the emphasis we give to integrating the study of methodology (how information about politics is gathered and analyzed) with the study of specific areas of politics.