About Us

What We Do

The political science department at Colorado State University uses a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to teach our undergraduate and graduate students to think critically so they are equipped to solve complex problems in the United States and around the world. Our research, teaching, and outreach support the CSU Land-Grant Mission.

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Message From the Chair

Welcome to the CSU Department of Political Science. With democracy under siege around the world, the need to understand politics and political differences is greater than ever. For this reason, we have an unwavering commitment to enhancing civic engagement, whether that’s through our research, classroom discussions, or internships with our many partners. Our students develop strong critical thinking and analytical skills and learn to effectively communicate complex ideas. Our faculty and students conduct research aimed at identifying solutions to societal problems, including environmental issues such as climate change. I invite you to browse our website to learn more about our academic programs, faculty research and accomplishments, and our community.

What We are Known For

Environmental Focus

We offer a distinctive undergraduate concentration in environmental politics, preparing students to tackle the complex problems of climate change, pollution, and related issues in a variety of exciting careers in governments and nonprofits worldwide. Environmental politics and policy is the emphasis of the Ph.D. program and more than half of our faculty specialize in the environment.

Award-Winning Teachers

From outstanding teaching to leadership in their fields, the political science department is full of passionate people making a difference in the discipline and in the lives of the students they teach.

Alumni Association Best Teacher Awards
  • 2019 – Allison White
  • 2018 – John Straayer
  • 2018 – Susan Opp
  • 2014 – Courtenay Daum
  • 2006 – Dimitris Stevis
CLA Excellence in Teaching Awards

Internships

Internships are one of the best ways to gain real-world experience and make professional connections while in college. The political science department is well known for the Legislative Internship Program, giving more than 1,000 undergraduates an opportunity to work with state legislators and representatives in the state capitol in Denver over the course of 40 years.

Straayer Center

Furthering our long-standing commitment to students’ professional development, in 2017 the political science department, alongside the College of Liberal Arts, created the Straayer Center for Public Service Leadership. The Center supports students who are interested in leadership roles in public service. The Straayer Center offers students opportunities to gain real-world government experience through the CSU in D.C. program and the local government capstone.

Research

Our faculty and graduate students conduct innovative, collaborative research that advances knowledge about government and politics. Our faculty are thought leaders on important issues such as conspiracy theories and misinformation in politics, climate change, energy policy, environmental justice, social justice, trans rights, and more. Faculty frequently make media appearances and engage in public events to communicate these important findings to the broader community.

Through capstones, honors thesis projects, and research assistantship opportunities, undergraduate students can gain valuable experience conducting scholarly research.

Political Science by the Numbers

Faculty

Undergraduate Majors

Undergraduate Minors

M.A. Students

Ph.D. Students