Department of Political Science

With the recent heinous event that happened in Atlanta, Georgia, we posted the American Political Science Association's Racial and Ethnic Politics Section's statement on our News and Research Page. If you are at all affected by this crime, please reach out to the Center for Students and Health Counseling (SHAC) for extra support during this difficult time.   

About Our Department 

Political Science programs are about power, conflict, political challenges and social change in today’s democratic and globally connected environment. Students graduating with a degree from the Department of Political Science obtain careers in law, politics, public policy, foreign aid, sustainable global development and poverty reduction, international justice, communications, and education. The career possibilities are endless with a degree in Political Science because our program allows students to customize their degree program around hands-on concentration options, multi-disciplinary opportunities, and rigorous curricula — all within Oregon’s largest and politically active city.


Black Lives Matter

The Department of Political Science at Portland State University stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Our affirmation that Black Lives Matter reflects our commitment to being responsive “to historical patterns of exclusion and disadvantage that continue to impose barriers.” The existence of structural racism in the United States is not a partisan issue. There is no question whether BIPOC are discriminated against in our country; the question is what we as faculty and staff members in the Department of Political Science should do about it. For too long, we have been complacent and complicit in the devaluing of the intellectual and cultural contributions of Black, Indigenous, other people of color, and women, and have ignored the racism and sexism that pervade the academy.

Professor Melody Valdini

Dr. Melody Valdini receives the 2020 Victoria Schuck Award!

Melody Valdini, Ph.D and Department Chair of Political Science is the recipient of the 2020 Victoria Schuck Award for the best book published on women and politics. This award is granted annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA).