Political Science

You are here

Liberal Arts students sitting at desks with computers.
Close up of group of Liberal Arts students listening to lecture.
Liberal Arts student studying at table.
Three Liberal Arts students reading papers.
Because we are located so close to the State Capital, students have a great opportunity to interact with their government. Rob Harbaugh, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Political Science deals with the theory and practice of politics and the analysis of political behavior. Students who select this field of study will work in the four major areas of political science (American government, international relations, comparative politics, and political philosophy) and will obtain the comprehensive foundation of knowledge that is necessary for successful transfer to a four-year university program.


The Political Science program seeks to encourage student’s understanding of the process and function of politics in society through critical investigation of political theories and ideas, through an understanding of political practices in a democratic society, and through their role as informed and engaged citizens.

Why This Program

Completion of the program is designed to result in an Associate of Arts degree and meets the general-education requirements of all Idaho public universities. Course selection should be coordinated to meet requirements for your intended transfer institution, if known. Students who earn a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science often pursue careers in the following fields: law, government, business, international and national organizations, diplomacy, and education.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Articulate the major theories of various subfields of political science, identify their strengths and weaknesses and apply those theories to real world examples
  • Critically evaluate political claims based on careful scrutiny of the underlying assumptions, arguments and evidence
  • Access and organize political information from a variety of sources
  • Articulate the complex interrelationships between political, economic, social, cultural and historical forces
  • Identify and understand when, where and how political forces shape political actors behavior
  • Formulate, propose and advocate possibilities for positive change in democratic society as engaged and informed citizens

Additional Opportunities

Internships are an important aspect of the Political Science major and CWI’s location provides a wide variety of opportunities in state government and the Idaho legislature.

Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

Robert Harbaugh, College of Western Idaho Faculty of Distinction for May 2019

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

Dr. Leif Hoffmann

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

Rob Harbaugh

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

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

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

Join CWI's Political Science Program March 19 as they welcome guest speaker, Dr. Ross Burkhart.

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

Dr. Isaac Castellano, Political Science Guest Speaker

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