We learn about politics by studying the world and reflecting on what we have observed. In the Department of Politics at Saint Anselm College, our students study political life in the context of the Benedictine liberal arts education that is at the heart of Saint Anselm – a context that includes history, art and literature, the natural and social sciences, and philosophy and theology. Students also enjoy all the advantages offered by our partners at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, including campaign and media events, the NHIOP’s resident polling program, and policy forums.
Our graduates emerge with empirical training in the social science of politics as well as concern for enduring questions of liberty, power, and justice. In the process, we seek to develop students' critical thinking, research, and organizational skills as well as their ability to contribute thoughtfully to public life.
Each of the faculty members in our Department are engaged teachers and scholars whose published work addresses current issues in American elections, political violence, international law, gender and politics, political development, philosophy and politics, and religion and statecraft.
The Department offers three major courses of study (in Politics, International Relations, and Environmental Studies), and five minors (in Politics, International Relations, Campaign Management, Public Policy, and Political Theory). Each major includes foundational courses appropriate to the field of study, and flexibility to allow students to emphasize study in their own areas of interest. On any given day visitors to our classrooms may hear lectures, witness the work of our service learning projects, take part in classroom simulations, observe seminar discussions, engage in one of our living-learning residential communities, or learn about student research projects – all designed with a view to the development of our students’ preparation for lives of thoughtful political engagement and public service.
The Department encourages students to seek out internship and study abroad opportunities. Students have had the opportunity to intern with political campaigns and non-profits, media outlets, and with members of Congress and congressional committees, and to study in Europe, South America, and Australia.
Each of the three majors also includes a research capstone. In recent years our seniors have presented their research at major academic conferences around the United States, or published their work in peer-reviewed journals. And their projects have reflected a diversity of interests – from the prospects for reunification on the Korean peninsula, to Machiavelli’s conception of citizenship, to renewable energy policy in New England towns.
We are proud of our students’ accomplishments. Recent graduates have found careers in news media, law, non-profits and public advocacy, business, academics, government, and the ministry.
New Hampshire Primary Debates
Hear what Saint Anselm students, faculty, and staff say about presidential primary debates on campus, the practical sides of politics, and how a liberal arts education brings it all together.
Internships, Careers, and Graduate School
Beyond the classroom, there are many opportunities for learning through guest lectures, research projects with faculty, participation in political events and elections, field trips, and internships in local law firms, state governments, and in Washington, D.C. Study abroad is strongly encouraged, programs are offered in academic institutions around the world. We have graduates in exciting career-track jobs across the country, and around the world, and network our current, and graduating students with them frequently.
The Department of Politics encourages its majors to take internships. An internship can serve as a valuable test for you in making well-informed choices about your future goals. Students have interned across the state with campaigns and multiple agencies, in the Governor's Office in Concord, with federal agencies in Boston and Washington, D.C. and abroad. If you are interested in an internship, please contact Prof. Chris Galdieri.
Saint Anselm politics graduates are extremely well networked across the United States and around the world. From the Foreign Service, to international law firms, campaign headquarters, and legislative office buildings, Saint Anselm graduates find placements to suit their interests and skills.
In recent years, Saint Anselm graduates have been accepted at some of the best graduate schools in the United States and have been awarded scholarships, teaching assistantships, and research positions. The Office of Academic Advisement is available to assist your pursuit of graduate studies.
Washington, D.C. Internships
Washington, D.C. Internships
Saint Anselm College politics majors frequently pursue internships in Washington, D.C. Among the many programs in Washington, several students have partnered with The Washington Center.
Sam Inman, Class of 2011
Interning at KSCW, Inc., a lobbying firm in Washington D.C. through The Washington Center was definitely a positive experience. Washington D.C. is a fabulous place to spend any amount of time, and the career and internship opportunities are first rate.
Saint Anselm College's close relationship with The Washington Center makes the internship experience a hassle-free one, and the transition between a semester here at St. A's and at The Washington Center is a smooth one. In my time in Washington D.C., I learned more about the city, enjoyed a rewarding internship with endless social opportunities, all while continuing to receive credit through Saint Anselm.
Jessica Saxon, Class of 2011
My summer in D.C. at The Washington Center was one of my favorite college experiences. I interned for the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) , which is a non-profit lobbying organization for volunteer firefighters. My time at the NVFC was spent working with volunteer firefighters and talking to members of Congress about possible bills they could consider to help aid volunteer firefighters. Not only was my time at my internship exciting, but my time in the city was very memorable. You live on your own and get a sense of what life is like in the real world.
Washington, D.C. is an amazing place to live! There is so much to do in the city; you will never find yourself bored.
Students within the Politics Department can participate in several clubs and activities related to course studies and research. The college offers additional opportunities for engagement. And if you don't see a club or activity that meets your interest, start one.
College Democrats / College Republicans
Join with your peers to help to create a greater awareness and interest in the political issues of the nation, city, and state. Both clubs promote a better understanding of the American political system, and the Democratic and Republican parties respectively. The clubs are open to all interested students.
International Relations Club
The basic purpose of the club is to foster a greater interest and awareness in international affairs and issues and to broaden students geographic horizons, i.e. to get students to "think in international terms." To do this, the club sponsors events for the Saint Anselm College community including speakers, films, presentations, seminars, and other activities that are important to the global community.
Kevin B. Harrington Student Ambassador Program
A unique opportunity for Saint Anselm students of any major to work closely with the NHIOP develop essential leadership and citizenship skills. As part of a selective group, ambassadors play an important role in supporting the institute by promoting civic engagement on campus and assisting in the promotion and execution of events.
Participants of the Saint Anselm Mock Trial Team compete regionally in the American Mock Trial Association annually. The team is made up of twenty-five students of diverse majors and is coached by a Manchester attorney. The team learns basic courtroom decorum as well as objections, exceptions to objections, and evidence procedures. The team competed for the first time in 2010, winning a criminal case.
Model United Nations
The Model United Nations introduces students to the work of the United Nations, build skills in diplomacy, and highlights opportunities found within the international system. The organization attempts to broaden the horizon of people and introduce the students to the different cultures and people present within the United Nations.
NEW Leadership New England
National Education for Women (NEW) Leadership New England is a leadership training program designed to educate and empower young women to give them the skills to be part of the next generation of women leaders. NEW Leadership New England hosts an annual five-day residential program for undergraduate women each summer.
Pizza and Politics
Join your peers and enjoy free pizza and conversation about current political news in an informal setting. Topics for discussion are driven by student interest, and special guests are sometimes invited to join the conversation. Guests have included national journalists, scholars, former governors, and past presidential candidates.