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Department of Political Science

Challenge yourself with a degree in political science

Welcome to the Political Science Department website! Here you will find information on the wide variety of courses and degrees we offer that will both challenge you and let you explore different topics in Political Science. Our diverse faculty conduct groundbreaking research in multiple fields and are national experts who are eager to work with all students. You will also find information on various career opportunities that will open to you upon graduation with a degree in Political Science. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

Nancy E. Marion, Ph.D., J.D.
Chair, Political Science 

Pi Sigma Alpha: The National Political Science Honor Society

Congratulations to our students who were inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha!

  • Nimra Asif
  • Joshua Bellis
  • Kalia Benner
  • Annabella King
  • Jade Papic
  • Rachel Randolph

For more information, visit the Pi Sigma Alpha website.

The Center for Intelligence and Security Studies

A resource to prepare the security professionals of tomorrow by bringing together students, faculty, and security practitioners for training, research, and education in the areas of national security, cybersecurity, community security and law enforcement, as well as intelligence analysis and operations.

Learn more

Why Study Political Science?

We believe that a degree in Political Science is one of the best tools for a student seeking a comprehensive liberal arts education.  Critical thinking, argumentative writing, analysis, persuasion, and social research are some of the foundational skills our students will have after completing a Political Science major. Additionally, our students are well prepared to compete in a competitive, global market requiring ethical and practical problem solving skills.

Whether you want to pursue a BA in Political Science, a master’s in Political Science or a doctorate, you can hone practical political skills and knowledge at The University of Akron. Explore our seven Political Science degrees now.

B.A. in Political Science

  • This degree is the study of human behavior as it relates to governments, public policy and campaigns and elections.
  • Contact:  Dr. Nancy Marion, 

B.A. in Political Science - National Security Track

  • This degree prepares students for national security occupations, such as the FBI, the intelligence community, or other national security careers.
  • Contact: Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler,

B.A. in Political Science/Juris Doctorate (3+3)

  • In collaboration with the School of Law, this joint degree allows fourth-year undergraduate students to take courses in the Law School and receive both degrees in 6 years. 
  • Contact: Dr. Philip Marcin, 

B.A. in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics (PPE)

  • This unique, interdisciplinary degree provides students with a broad social science background that introduces them to concepts and ideas of the individual areas and how they interrelate with one another.
  • Contact: Dr. Jim McHugh,

M.A. in Political Science - Security Studies

  • This advanced degree program is designed for individuals in careers in national security, intelligence, diplomacy, or other security related areas.
  • Contact: Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler, 

Master of Applied Politics (MAP)

  • In collaboration with the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, the MAP is one of only a handful of graduate programs in the United States focusing on practical politics and experiential learning.  The degree is designed for students interested in election campaigns, managing organizations, and other political activities.    
  • Contact: Dr. David Cohen, 

Juris Doctor/Master of Applied Politics

Our faculty in the news media

Will Putin Be Held Accountable for His Crimes?

Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler, director of the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies and professor of political science at UA, joined Ray Horner to discuss the war crimes being committed by Russia in the Ukraine. 

Exclusive Spectrum News/Siena College poll takes pulse of Ohio voters

Dr. Cherie Strachan, director of the Bliss Institute at The University of Akron, said it’s unsurprising that, according to a poll from Spectrum News/Sienna College, 45% of Ohio voters feel the state is on the right track, while 35% think it’s headed in the wrong direction. Strachan is also professor of political science in the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences.

Asset or liability? Biden's recent momentum hasn't led to invites on midterm travel blitz

Dr. David B. Cohen, professor of political science, commented on how some Democratic candidates ahead of the midterm elections are being cautious with their association with President Joe Biden as campaigning heats up with less than 70 days until Election Day.

Why the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a direct threat to U.S. national security

Karl Kaltenthaler, director of the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies and professor of political science, wrote in this column about national security, “If doubt about U.S. support develops, alliances could collapse, and the U.S. would find itself weaker and more isolated in the world.”

Most Democrats Want Someone Other than Biden to Run in 2024: Poll

In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Dr. David B. Cohen, professor of political science, said that polling numbers are “pretty terrible” for President Biden. “There is no way to sugar-coat it,” said Cohen, who is also director of UA's Applied Politics program and a fellow with the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.

Trump tempts Democrats to risk nationalizing more races this fall

Dr. David B. Cohen, professor of political science, said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) may approach his campaign for the U.S. Senate as a Washington outsider, despite his status as a sitting member and involvement with the semiconductors bill. Cohen is also director of the Applied Politics program and a fellow in UA’s Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.

Will Trump's endorsements be a boost to candidates come fall?

Regarding former President Donald Trump, “There's a level of enthusiasm for him still within the party, even with being impeached twice, even with him losing the election,” said Dr. David B. Cohen, a political science professor, director of the Applied Politics program, and a fellow at the University’s Bliss Institute in this NPR interview.

More News

Schedule of Classes

Fall 2022

Join a Student Organization

Pre-Law Society
Contacts: Dr. Phil Marcin; Dr. Jim McHugh

College Democrats
Contact: Dr. David Cohen

College Republicans
Contact: Dr. Matt Akers

Pi Sigma Alpha
Contact: Dr. Nancy Marion

Speaker's Bureau

Our faculty experts are available to come to your high school or community organization to discuss current events and other relevant topics.

Professor Kimberly Hufgard
Fingerprinting, Human Trafficking, Store Security, Careers in the Criminal Justice Field 

Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler
National Security, Intelligence, Counterterrorism, Related Careers in Security and Intelligency

Dr. David Cohen
Campaigns, Congress, Presidency, White House, Careers in Politics

Dr. Ron Gelleny
Human Rights, Comparative Politics, Related Careers

Dr. James McHugh
Comparative Constitutions, Polarization of American Society

Dr. Phil Marcin
Supreme Court, Organization of the Courts, Supreme Court Decisions, Careers in the Legal Field

Contact Us

Department of Political Science
The University of Akron
Olin Hall 201 (see campus map)
Akron, OH  44325-1904

Office: 330-972-7406
Fax: 330-972-8841


Department Chair:
Dr. Nancy Marion

Undergraduate Advisor:
Dr. Phil Marcin

Graduate Advisors:

Security Studies
Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler 

Master of Applied Politics
Dr. David Cohen 

Dr. Phil Marcin


Dr. James McHugh 

Olin Hall houses the Department of Political Science, the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies and the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.