Political Science

Tap into Your Potential and Prepare to Shape the Future Political Landscape

Three students sitting around table in classroom

Program Overview

Are you fascinated by how political decisions shape our world? College of Western Idaho (CWI) invites you to explore this realm in our Political Science program. This journey is not just about understanding politics; it is about equipping you to engage with and influence the political landscape. As you dive into areas like American government, international relations, and political philosophy, you will gain a comprehensive foundation perfect for transferring to a four-year university.

This program is ideal if you see yourself making a difference in law, government, diplomacy, or education. You will learn to think critically about global challenges, analyze political behavior, and understand the intricacies of governance. Whether you aim to be a change-maker in the public sector or apply your political knowledge in the business world, the Political Science program is your launchpad as you prepare to transfer to a four-year institution to obtain a bachelor's degree.

Degree or Certificate Type

Associate of Arts

Fully Online

Time to Complete

2 years

Student standing by state flag in the capital building

Learning Opportunities

  • Direct Experience Through Internships: Step into the real world of politics with internships, building your network and practical skills.
  • Interdisciplinary Insights: Embrace a holistic view of political science, drawing on knowledge from economics, history, philosophy, and sociology.
  • In-Depth Understanding of Political Systems: Learn how American institutions operate and how they can be influenced, an invaluable skill for future entrepreneurs or policymakers.
  • Global Perspective: Develop a nuanced understanding of global politics, preparing you for international careers or further studies.
  • Tailored for Aspiring Law and Government Professionals: If you are considering a career in law or public service, this program offers the foundational knowledge you need.

Area of Study

Degrees & Certificates

Political Science – Associate of Arts Degree




Available Fully Online

Degree Requirements
Politician smiling at crowd

Career Opportunities

  • Managers, All Other

    All managers not listed separately.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Compliance Officers

    Examine, evaluate, and investigate eligibility for or conformity with laws and regulations governing contract compliance of licenses and permits, and perform other compliance and enforcement inspection and analysis activities not classified elsewhere. Excludes “Financial Examiners" (13-2061), “Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents” (13-2081), “Occupational Health and Safety Specialists” (19-5011), “Occupational Health and Safety Technicians” (19-5012), “Transportation Security Screeners” (33-9093), “Agricultural Inspectors” (45-2011), “Construction and Building Inspectors” (47-4011), and “Transportation Inspectors” (53-6051).


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Public Relations Specialists

    Promote or create an intended public image for individuals, groups, or organizations. May write or select material for release to various communications media. May specialize in using social media.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health

    Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or public health. Using knowledge of various scientific disciplines, may collect, synthesize, study, report, and recommend action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, soil, water, and other sources. Excludes “Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists” (19-1023), “Conservation Scientists” (19-1031), “Forest and Conservation Technicians” (19-4071), “Occupational Health and Safety Specialists” (19-5011), “Fish and Game Wardens” (33-3031), and “Forest and Conservation Workers” (45-4011).


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Legislators

    Develop, introduce, or enact laws and statutes at the local, tribal, state, or federal level. Includes only workers in elected positions.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Labor Relations Specialists

    Resolve disputes between workers and managers, negotiate collective bargaining agreements, or coordinate grievance procedures to handle employee complaints. Excludes equal employment opportunity (EEO) officers, who are included in “Compliance Officers” (13-1041).


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

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*Data sourced from Lightcast™ (2023), a global leader in labor market analytics, and limited to the state of Idaho. Contact CWI Institutional Research for questions regarding this data.


Step 1

Step 2

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Academic CalendarNew Student Checklist


Congratulations to Robert Harbaugh, College of Western Idaho’s Faculty of Distinction for May 2019.

Read more about Faculty of Distinction—May 2019

The Political Science program is proud to welcome guest speaker, Dr. Leif Hoffmann, to campus April 8.

Read more about Guest Speaker—Dr. Leif Hoffmann

Associate Professor of Political Science, Robert Harbaugh, named President-Elect of the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association.

Read more about Harbaugh Named PNWPSA President-Elect

Political Science is proud to welcome guest speaker, Dr. James Hanley, to campus Nov. 7.

Read more about Guest Speaker—Dr. James Hanley

The Political Science Program is proud to welcome guest speaker, Dr. Ross Burkhart, to campus March 19, 2018.

Read more about Political Science Welcomes Dr. Ross Burkhart

The CWI Political Science program welcomes guest lecturer, Dr. Isaac Castellano, Wednesday, April 26.  

Read more about Political Science Guest Speaker Dr. Isaac Castellano

The forum will feature three guest speakers and is open to the public. It will run from 6-7 p.m. at the Nampa Campus Academic Building.

Read more about CWI to Host Election Forum on Nov. 2

CWI sophomore, Andrew Castro, is spending the fall semester working as an intern for United States Senator Jim Risch.

Read more about CWI Student Makes the Most of Long Distance Opportunity

CWI collaborated with Boise State University to bring together elected officials to discuss their careers as public servants.

Read more about CWI Political Science Department Co-Hosts Valuable Event

On Thursday (Oct. 15), CWI welcomed Dr. James Hanley from Adrian College in Michigan to campus for an insightful presentation on The Imperial Presidency.

Read more about CWI Event Provides Political Insight

The CWI School of Social Science and Public Affairs will host its final political candidate forum of the Spring semester May 8.

Read more about CWI Spring Candidate Forums Conclude May 8
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