Political Science

The Department of Political Science aims to provide students with an understanding of the important political questions that surround issues of power. We help students in the major become familiar with a range of theoretical perspectives and epistemological methods, develop the ability to analyze data critically and deconstruct texts, to conduct independent academic research, and to write clearly about significant political trends and events.

Political Science offers courses in four subfields: American Politics, Comparative World Politics, International Relations, and Political Philosophy and Theory.

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Meet Our Faculty

The Political Science faculty are internationally respected experts and dedicated teachers. Leaders in their fields of study, they are widely recognized for important research, publications and books. Scroll below to meet our team of scholars. Meet the entire department >

Political Science News

Politics of Epidemics Course Inspires Innovation

Wed, 08 Jul 2020

Price-Ricky-IMG_5968As a final project for the “Politics of Epidemics” Maymester course taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Ricky Price, students were challenged to confront the political problems of…

Herons Named Scholar-Athletes

Tue, 07 Jul 2020

WS Rowing-1047Full SizeSix members of the William Smith College rowing team were recently named Scholar-Athletes by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association. It’s the most Herons honored by the CRCA since six were…

Heizmann ’00 Runs for New York State Assembly

Wed, 17 Jun 2020

Heizmann2Ann Marie Heizmann ’00 has thrown her hat in the ring to represent the 131st District of the New York State Assembly, which includes Geneva. She is one of four…

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Sample Courses

Class Complete Course List

American Presidency
Examine presidential powers from both historical and contemporary perspectives by learning how to asses presidential power not only in terms of whether the presidency has the necessary resources to pursue presidential objectives, but also in terms of the potential danger that presidential power poses to broader democratic commitments.

Day on the Hill

Day on the Hill

Tours of the Secret Service, State Department, Heritage Foundation, Washington Post. Lunch at Bullfeathers with HWS alums. Panels with members from House and Senate offices, the United Nations Foundation, Daimler AG, RAINN.

Each January, the Day on the Hill program takes students inside governmental organizations, non-profits, NGOs and other Washington, D.C. institutions for three days of experiential insight into politics, policy and more. Learn More >>