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Department of Political Science

Why Study Political Science?

Student-centered focus: optimal class sizes for better one-on-one instruction, award winning professors, and flexible programs that match student interests from the law to global politics and security.

We help students develop skills in synthetic "big picture" thinking: the ability to influence decision making in complex environments, and the analytic skills to use information in sophisticated ways.

Students thrive while they are here: students participate in research projects, internships, clubs, Model UN, and are eligible for scholarships.  It's no surprise that Political Science's retention rate is one of the highest on campus (and K-State has the highest retention rate across all state universities!). 

Students thrive when they leave K-State: after graduation, 98% of students are either employed or have gone on to post-graduate education.  They do well long-term, as well: across the lifespan of your degree, Political Science majors have 13th highest expected lifetime earnings by ANY college major.



Currently in Political Science


Spring 2023 Course Schedule and Spring 2023 Course Flyers - NOW LIVE!


Department Launches Political Science Undergraduate Student Council


The Political Science department announces the forming and member selection of the first Undergraduate Student Council!

The council will serve as a bridge between students and faculty, helping to better identify student interests, representing the department at various recruiting functions and building a better sense of community overall within the program.

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Nate Birkhead becomes Political Science's Department Head


Nathaniel Birkhead, associate professor of political science, has been named department head of political science in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Birkhead joined Kansas State University in 2012 after earning his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Colorado and a doctorate in political science from Indiana University.

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Nate Birkhead becomes K-State's 2022-2023 Coffman Chair of Distinguished Teaching Scholars


As Kansas State University's 2022-2023 Coffman Chair for Distinguished Teaching Scholars, Nate Birkhead will assess experiential learning at the university, including identifying and assessing where its use is most successful and developing recommendations for ensuring its most effective use.

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Political Science Faculty Members Receive Interdisciplinary Research Grant from Chapman Center


The Chapman Center for Rural Studies, a center of excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences, announces Ethan Bernick, Brianne Heidbreder and Chardie Baird as recipients of the 2022 Interdisciplinary Research Grant. Bernick, Heidbreder and Baird will use this grant on their interdisciplinary project, "Gendered Pathways: In Pursuit of Local Elected Office." The project focuses on the reasons why American political institutions are male-dominated and positions of county clerks, especially in rural communities, are female-dominated. There is very little known about how and why this happens, and the team’s exploration will tackle this question by using insights from sociological and political science research.

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Political Science Department Congratulates Scholarship Winners & GTAs for 2022-2023


For the 2022-2023 academic year, the Political Science department awarded more than $25,000 in scholarship funds to its undergraduate and graduate winners. The department also awarded stipends for graduate assistantships to seven students across three graduate programs.

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Katie Sleichter becomes Kansas State University's 37th Truman Scholar


Katie Sleichter, junior in political science, Clay Center, is Kansas State University’s 37th Truman scholar.

Sleichter is receiving a 2022 Harry S. Truman scholarship for her academic excellence, leadership and commitment to a career in public service.

The Truman scholarship is a highly competitive national award that provides up to $30,000 for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government. According to the Truman Foundation, 58 scholarships were awarded this year from a candidate pool of 705 students nominated by 275 colleges and universities.

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Brianne Heidbreder, receives 2022 Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award


Brianne Heidbreder, associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies, is one of four recipents at K-State to receive the 2022 Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. Along with the title, she will receive an honorarium for $3,000 honorarium from Commerce Bank and the W.T. Kemper Foundation.

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Angela Y.S. Park, receives national award by American Political Science Association


Angela Y.S. Park, assistant professor of political science, has been awarded the prestigious 2020 Leonard D. White Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public administration. The award is presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, a major professional society for individuals engaged in the study of politics and government.

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John Fliter, appointed to Kansas Advisory Committee to US Commission on Civil Rights


John Fliter, associate professor in the political science department, has been appointed a member of the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Along with 11 other members, the committee's task is to advise the Commission on Civil Rights on matters in the state of Kansas.

Fliter will bring his expertise on prisoners' rights, criminal justice, free speech, religious freedom and fair labor standards to this role. His appointment to the commission is a recognition of his research and teaching contributions in these areas.

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2022 - 2010



Jared Wiesner

 Jared Wiesner

Throughout my legal education and career, the development of critical thinking skills that I underwent in the political science department at K-State has proven indispensable.  Although I learned a great deal about the structure of political systems and our place in the world in Manhattan, it has been the intangible lessons I learned that prove beneficial to this day:  work hard to understand opposing views; put in the effort to have a comprehensive understanding of a problem you face; resist immediate shortcuts during analysis to achieve a better long-term result.

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Fall 2019
Summer 2018
Summer 2017
Winter 2016-2017
Summer 2016
Fall 2015 Second Installment
Fall 2015
Spring 2015
Winter 2014-2015
Fall 2013 Second Installment
Fall 2013