Political science faculty engage our students in critical thinking about governments, civic processes and political behavior here and around the globe.

We prepare students to excel, whether they are interested in law school, graduate school, the private sector, or a future in public or nonprofit service.

Recent graduates have received full scholarships to attend graduate programs at Yale University, Washington University, Emory University, and the University of Illinois. 

Two recent alumni were ranked No. 1 in their law school classes at University of Illinois Law School. Since 2009, two of our alums have held the prestigious Dunn Fellowship in Washington, D.C.

Students gain direct and practical experience through numerous internship programs at all levels of government, or through Illinois Wesleyan's community project-oriented Action Research Center (ARC). Over the last five years, two political science majors (and ARC alums) have secured $30,000 of  Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship . They used their monies to fund masters programs in Geneva, Switzerland, and Cape Town, South Africa. 

Students regularly study abroad in countries such as Tanzania and Belgium. Several travel courses offer the direct study of politics in different parts of the United States and, most recently, in South Africa and France. Because of these experiences, our graduates frequently pursue advanced degrees overseas. Two members of the class of 2009, for example, attended the London School of Economics and Cambridge University.



Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Teach-In
Monday, January 19 1-4pm
Hansen Student Center

Come out to Hansen on January 19th for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Teach in! There will be three sessions held, each with table discussion and dialogue for the whole group. 

THE 1PM PANEL commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It features a keynote address by Vernon Burton, Creativity Professor of Humanities at Clemson University and Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Illinois. Professor Burton will speak on “The Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Historical Context.” (Click link to see full text of talk)

THE 2PM PANEL features a lecture on “Defending Voting Rights after Shelby County” by Ed Yohnka, Director of Communications and Public Policy at the Illinois American Civil Liberties Union. In the landmark case Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the Supreme Court held that Congress needed better evidence of racial discrimination to require seven Southern states (along with Arizona and Alaska) to submit redistricting plans to the federal Justice Department for preclearance. Mr. Yohnka will discuss the case and its impact on the current debate over voting rights law. See a picture from the 2pm event hereFrom left to right, Community member Willie Brown, Speaker Ed Yohnka, and Professor Vernon Burton

THE 3PM PANEL will feature a debate between the College Republicans and the College Democrats 
on the issue of voter identification laws. The question for debate is “Should Illinois Adopt a Voter ID Law?” The debate is sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha (PSA), the political science honorary society. The debate will be moderated by Professor Greg Shaw. See a story about the debate here


Perspectives on Civil Rights and Race: A Lecture Series Sponsored by the Political Science Department

January 20, 4pm
Beckman Auditorium, Ames Library
"From Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettysburg Address to the March on Washington" 
Vernon Burton, Professor of History, Sociology, and Computer Science, Clemson University

February 13, 4pm
Beckman Auditorium, Ames Library
"The Voting Rights Act and the Problem of Race in American Politics"
Dianne Pinderhughes, Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

March 3, 4pm
State Farm Hall 102
"Racial Categories/Racial Politics"
Victoria Hattam, Professor of Political Science, New School for Social Research

March 19, 4pm
State Farm Hall 102
"White Attitudes toward Racial Preferences in College Admissions: Studies in Persuasion"
James Glaser, Professor of Political Science, Tufts University