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Enhance Your Education

Distinctive Programs in Political Science

There are ample opportunities to enhance your studies in political science through independent research, off-campus study, and internships. These programs are integral to a Knox education, teaching you how to apply your skills in real world situations.

Student Research and Creative Projects
Knox is a leader in promoting top-notch undergraduate research. In fact, more than 90% of all Knox students complete an independent research or creative project by the time they graduate. Many students' projects are supported by an unusually rich array of Knox College funding programs that together provide students more than $200,000 each year in support of their work. These sources include: Richter Memorial Scholars Program, Ford Foundation Research Fellows Program, Ronald E. McNair Fellows Program and departmentally supported independent studies. Other research opportunities in political science include: Midwest Political Science Association; Midwest History and Theory Workshop; and National Conference on Undergraduate Research. In addition, special fellowships awarded to Knox through national competitions and through the research grants of Knox faculty make Knox a leader in promoting undergraduate research.

As undergraduates, students have participated in the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference, Model United Nations, Model Arab League, Model Illinois Government and the Center for the Study of the Presidency. Examples of recent student research project include:

  • "Participation in American Politics: Attitudes and Behaviors of Chinese Americans in Chicago's Chinatown," Kenji Mori '07, political science major.
  • "Portrait Photography and Lighting," Kenji Mori '07, political science major.
  • "The Separation of Powers and National Security Emergencies: An Analysis of the Judiciary's Proper Role," Joel Christensen '06, philosophy and political science major.
  • "Exploration of American Public high School Education," Matthew Gigliotti '05, political science major.

College Honors
Outstanding students may elect to undertake College Honors in their senior year, carrying out an advanced research project presented and defended to a faculty committee that includes a distinguished outside examiner. Examples of recent Honors projects include:

  • "Inferring Public Opinion in 140 Characters or Less: Methodological and Theoretical Improvements on the Use of Twitter to Measure Public Attitudes." Anna Novikova '13.
  • "To Never Allow Others to Define Me," Helen Avery Schnoes '11.
  • "The Shifting Face of Iraq: The New Politics of the Shi'a Majority," Daniel Long Hoffman '09.
  • "Wartime Necessity, the Constitution and the Supreme Court: A Study of the Japanese-American Internment," Jeremy Zhu'en Lin '07.

Off-campus Study
Knox offers you plenty of opportunities to begin exploring the world while still a student. Almost 50% of Knox students participate in off-campus study and consider their studies abroad to be the highlight of their college experiences. The College's program for off-campus studies allows students to broaden their understanding through such opportunities as study in Russia, the Washington Semester, or at the Newberry Library.

As a student of political science at Knox, you'll have the opportunity to expand your education -- to get that valuable experience you hear so much about -- by completing an internship. Internships provide an opportunity to explore and test career options, to gain experiences and skills needed to succeed as a professional, to build a resume, to network and make critical connections, and to experience a work environment. More and more employers are looking for college graduates with career-related experience. Knox's Center for Career and Pre-Professional Development specializes in helping you find an internship that best matches your goals and interests.

The political science department has an active and popular internship program that affords students experience in political, legal, and public service internships in Galesburg, Springfield, and abroad. Internships provide both experience and help in exploring career possibilities. Positions are generally available during the school year for academic credit, while some non-credit, paid internships are available in the summer. Recent internships in political science have included: Illinois General Assembly, Legislative Research Unit;; Project Vote Smart; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Senate; NATO, Brussels; International Red Cross; Illinois Democratic Party; Illinois Republican Party; Illinois Board of Higher Education; AIPAC; Illinois State's Attorney Office; and Knox County Court-Appointed Special Advocate's Office. Recent internships by political science students include:

  • Statistical Analyst Intern, GQR Digital, Washington, D.C. Anna Novikova '13, political science major, computer science minor.
  • Intern, U.S. Congressman Schilling, Galesburg, Illinois. Karl Bair '12, political science major.
  • Intern, Consulate General of Denmark, Chicago, Illinois. Julius Parod '12, political science major.
  • Intern, Community Newspapers, Inc. and Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Cruz, California. John A. Williams '12, political science major.
  • Intern, Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association, Galesburg, Illinois. Alex Uzanowicz '12, political science major. 
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