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Department of Political Science

  • two students at the State House with faculty


The Department of Political Science at USC is one of the largest departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, with more than 800 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate students. The program offers a home for a wide range of scholars in the field, united by a common interest in advancing the critical understanding of politics.

Specializing in the field

Photo of Francis Lieber

A Home for Political Science

Political science has deep roots at the University of South Carolina, even predating the program’s founding in 1937. Francis Lieber, the first scholar in the United States to assume the title Professor of Political Science, was a member of the South Carolina College faculty from 1835-1856. Located on the historic Horseshoe, Lieber College commemorates its namesake for his work to establish the field of political science.

Students can choose from a variety of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. We encourage undergraduates to develop their interests and aspirations through a wide variety of course offerings and beyond the classroom experiences. Graduate students are able to gain the knowledge and skills needed to successfully pursue their interests in professional careers related to international studies, in public administration and policy or in our Ph.D. program.

Leading by experience

The department’s faculty members, whose research and expertise span the primary fields and subfields of the discipline, have secured national and international recognition for their research, teaching commitment to public service and their ability to win external funding. Many have served in leadership positions in professional organizations and as editors and board members for top journals. The department boasts one of the best public law programs in the country and one of the best public administration programs in the Southeast.

Connect with a mentor 

Our department is the home of leading scholars who are recognized for innovative research in political science. Many faculty members are open to working with students. 


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