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Political Science

Meet Kristen Thompson. Like most high school students, she had stereotypical views of college life. That all changed dramatically in her first few weeks on campus. She got to know professors easily and realized that world politics was what she wanted to study. Now, she’s thriving and setting herself up for a bright future.

“I was surprised by the openness I found in my professors,” Kristen says. “Right off the bat, they were willing to spend so much time with me. I quickly realized that you definitely don’t feel like a number here.”

As a sophomore, Kristen helped establish the College’s chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy. Then she heard David Batstone – an expert on the contemporary slave trade – speak on campus. That experience led her to a summer internship with Not For Sale, an advocacy group. Afterward, she organized a campus workshop on human trafficking, and then began working with faculty advisors on a research project entitled the “Modern Slave Trade in South Carolina.”

Kristen also opted to spend a semester at sea. “Our ship transited the Red Sea,” she recalls. “On board, I took a course on international terrorism, and when I got back to Charleston, I ended up doing an independent study on that topic. Ultimately, I wrote three papers comparing and contrasting different ideas, including religion and terrorism.” To put that subject matter into context, she read several novels for a special topics course – “From Utopia to Dystopia.”

Kristen applied for a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study politics in South Africa after graduation. She now feels that majoring in political science was pivotal because it inspired her in ways she could never have anticipated. “It can open doors to places you never dreamed of going. I learned that this major can be the key to a whole new world.”

Political Science - Kristen Thompson

Contact Information

Gibbs Knotts
department chair
Department of Political Science

Analytical skills and strong communication abilities give political science graduates a competitive edge in a broad spectrum of careers.

Our majors have become research analysts, legislative staffers, nonprofit directors and investment advisors. Many enter law school or graduate school.

❱❱ Students engage in independent study opportunities, internships, community-based research, service opportunities, SC Student Legislature, a for-credit mock trial team and delegations to Washington, D.C. for the Model African Union and Model Organization of the American States.

❱❱ Faculty-led study abroad opportunities are offered in destinations including Spain, Cuba, South Africa and Southeast Asia.