The Department encourages students to get involved in research, whether they are considering careers in the private sector, government, or the academy. Our degree programs are designed to provide students with the skills they need to conduct meaningful research. All Political Science majors write research papers in their capstone seminars, where they have the chance to work closely with faculty members on their projects.
In addition, many students choose to work with faculty members on research projects of various kinds. Finally, the B.S. and B.Phil. degrees offer students the chance to undertake significant original research under the close guidance of a faculty mentor.
An ideal trajectory for students interested in research would begin with the Office of Undergraduate Research’s First Experiences in Research program for second-term Freshmen. In their second year, students might work on faculty research projects (perhaps continuing with their First Experiences mentors) and developing their substantive knowledge and research skills through coursework. For more information about research at Pitt, please see the Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarhship, and Creative Activity. Also, in their second and third years, students might consult with faculty members about developing their own research projects, which could be support through a departmental Rathburn International Research Award or Carroll Memorial Award.
For the opportunity to work as an undergraduate research assistant, please see more undergraduate opportunities.
For students completing the B.S. or B.Phil. degree, summer research during the third year is vitally important. Students interested in completing these degrees should identify faculty advisors and begin their work by the fall of the third year. For more information, see degree requirements.