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Political Science

The Political Science major provides students with an understanding of the past and of contemporary political, constitutional, economic, social, cultural, and international issues. This major increases awareness in political consciousness, assesses significant trends and patterns in politics, explores contemporary political institutions and constitutional issues, and provides a better foundation upon which to solve contemporary problems.

The Political Science Program

Majors experience government through multi-media resources, small group discussions, lectures, projects, internships, and other methods. Career opportunities are available in academia, government, public service, public administration, law, business, communications, journalism, historical organizations, libraries, museums, archives, research, writing, publications, preservation, restoration, and related areas.

Penn students who want to attend law school can apply to our 3+3 program with Drake University’s School of Law. Requirements for first-year students at Penn include: high school GPA of 3.2; minimum ACT score of 20 (SAT score of 950); cumulative GPA at Penn of 3.3 with 87 credit hours completed; complete the Penn Leadership Core requirements; complete the requirements for an acceptable program of study/major; submit an essay during the fourth semester at Penn discussing the reasons for and the value of a legal education in the student’s career goals. For additional details, contact Dr. Michael D. Collins or the Academic Dean, Dr. Noel C. Stahle.


You will be qualified for the following positions as a graduate of the Political Science program:

  • Campaign Staff member
  • Corporate Adviser for Governmental Relations
  • Environmental Policy Analyst
  • Immigration Officer
  • Intelligence Agency Officer
  • Lobbyist
  • Political Commentator
  • State Legislator


Michael Collins, Ph.D

Social and Behavioral Sciences Division Chair, Professor of Sociology 641-673-1393

Brooke Sherrard, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of History 641-673-1350 Email


The Student Government Association is a student run council with seven officers representing students on campus. SGA is behind the budget decisions of other clubs, keeping up with group service projects, services on the judicial board, and promotes opportunities for student involvement.


Penn Hall

As one of the oldest buildings on the university campus, Penn Hall has undergone several transformations over the years; both structurally and functionality. Classrooms are located on all four stories, along with administrative offices located on the second level. All classrooms are easily accessible and are equipped with the tools and technology needed for students to be successful.

  • Administrative Offices
  • Chemistry Lab
  • Classrooms
  • Computer Lab
  • IS Help Desk
  • Service Center & Mail Room


The following is a list of courses you will take as a Political Science student:

Political Science Courses

  • PLSC 100 International Relations
  • PLSC 125 United States National Government
  • PLSC 230 Congress and the Presidency
  • PLSC Electives