Political Science

Political Science

Turn Passion for Politics into a Career

Kirkwood’s Political Science interest area focuses on government, law and political behavior. It also deals with power structures, institutions, and diversity. 

Political Science encompasses a curriculum rich in understanding the basics of introductory theories, American government, international relations, comparative politics, and United States foreign policy.

This discipline also stresses the centrality of power, process, and activism in shaping outcomes as well as contemporary concerns such as rights, equality, activism, and terrorism.

As a Liberal Arts student, you will take core courses while choosing fascinating and intriguing electives in political science. Kirkwood has special transfer agreements with all three state universities and many other four-year institutions. 

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Each year, many students successfully transfer their Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees from Kirkwood to four-year institutions in Iowa and across the country. If you are planning to transfer to a four-year program, you will work very closely with advisors in our Advising and Transfer Center. They will make sure you have everything completed for a seamless transfer.

Our advisors help take the guesswork and confusion out of the process, making sure you meet Kirkwood’s graduation requirements, as well as the admission requirements and transferability of courses to your transfer school. By meeting with our advisors early and often, you’ll be better prepared for the next steps in continuing your education after Kirkwood.

Kirkwood is the affordable option! We have more than $3 million in scholarships available every year.

A career in political science is typically found in government and its various functions. However, other popular careers for students with a background in political science include:

  • Campaigns and public life
  • Law
  • Government relations
  • Organization advocacy and lobbying
  • Public administration and policy

Kirkwood can help you explore your career options by providing real-world experiences in and out of the classroom to help you find the best path.

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The Political Science interest area at Kirkwood is part of the Liberal Arts program. You have the advantage of working closely with the Advising and Transfer Center and political science faculty when deciding on which classes are right for you. Our political science faculty are experienced professionals and recognized experts in their field, who are ready to help you find the right path during your journey into a rewarding career.

With many options to choose from, the advising process will also help you navigate the way to a career that specifically matches your interests.

Sample classes include:

POL-110 Introduction to Political Science
Studies selected concepts, processes, behaviors, institutions, and ideologies central to the study of politics. Introduces related topics such as political culture, terrorism, and doctrines, including authoritarianism, conservatism, liberalism, and totalitarianism, among others.

Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


POL-111 American National Government
Studies American policy based on a close examination of the processes of decision making. Emphasis is placed on voting behavior and citizen interaction within the system.

Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


POL-121 International Relations
Analyzes governments in the more developed countries (MDCs) and in the less developed countries (LDCs) and the interaction of these governments in their political, economic, and security dimensions. Also analyzes the sources of policy and their theoretical foundations. Problems are examined through current world concerns.

Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


POL-125 Comparative Government and Politics
Studies the systems of government of several countries taking into consideration citizen participation and policy-making processes. Includes basic theories, methods, and concepts of comparative study. Examines similarities and differences of political structures including political parties and executive and legislative institutions.

Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


POL-150 Introduction to U. S. Foreign Policy
Studies institutions and processes which structure and shape United States foreign policymaking. Surveys historical, military, diplomatic, and economic interactions with countries and international governmental and non-governmental organizations. Examines issues such as terrorism, trade, human rights, espionage, intelligence, and homeland security.

Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


POL-924 Honors Project
Allows a qualified honors student to pursue a special concentration of study under the guidance of an honors faculty member. Requires completion of an Honors Project Learning Contract. 

Credits: 1, Hours: (1/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A; Requires permission of instructor, dean.


POL-928 Independent Study
Provides readings, papers and basic research or other projects under the individual guidance of faculty.

Credits: 1-3, Hours: (1-3/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A; Requires permission of instructor, dean.

Dr. Steve Owen
Title: Adjunct Professor, Political Science
Phone: 319-398-5822
Email: steve.owen@kirkwood.edu
Office: 3064 Cedar Hall
Education: B.S.; Aberystwyth University, M.A.; University of Essex, Ph.D.; University of Kansas
Bio: In addition to Kirkwood Community College, Steve has taught in three other states. He offers five separate political science classes, including Introduction to Political Science, American National Government, International Relations, Comparative Government and Politics, and Introduction to U.S. Foreign Policy. He really enjoys Kirkwood in part because of its great mix of students with diverse interests.

Kirkwood College Democrats
Eliot Blake, advisor
3017 Cedar Hall
319-398-5899, Ext. 5762

This is Kirkwood's official Democratic club on campus. For more information, visit our Facebook page.


The Democracy Commitment
David McMahon, campus coordinator

This is a national organization working to advance democracy in community colleges across the United States by striving to engage students in civic learning and democratic engagement.


View All Clubs & Organizations

Photo of Clair Booth

“I came to Kirkwood because I completed three classes through dual enrollment in high school. I figured going to Kirkwood would be a good transition out of high school. I want to go to a 4-year eventually, but it’s intimidating, Kirkwood is helping me get ready for that.”

Clair Booth,
Keystone, Iowa


Social Sciences
2092 Cedar Hall