Ask Brandon Chapman how he got into political science and he’ll tell you about his grandmother. “She was an activist. She marched with Martin Luther King Jr. She told me amazing stories, and still has one of the best political minds I’ve ever encountered. I didn’t care for politics, but she really sparked my interest.”
Brandon transferred to the College and the first class he took cemented his decision to study political science. “We studied how politics directly affects our lives. We discussed Brown vs. the Board of Education and that taught me how politics can shift the landscape. Before that decision, you had the separate-but-equal doctrine, and then politics – in this case the Supreme Court – stepped in and changed that. For me, it demonstrated the power that exists in this field and that galvanized my interest.”
Like his grandmother, Brandon aspires to be an activist. At the College, he’s getting a great start for that. “Two of my best classes have been Constitutional Law and a course on Southern Politics. Both really helped advance my understanding of what I see happening day in and day out, and both courses were challenging as well.”
One thing Brandon particularly likes about this department is the easy access to faculty. “The professors really make this major. I went to see one about an internship and I expected to chat for 15 minutes, but I ended up there for an hour and a half. We talked about my future and she told me about a summer institute and encouraged me to apply. Ultimately, that led to my participation in a five-week program at Duke University that introduces undergraduates to graduate-level study – with all expenses paid.”
Not only has Brandon’s coursework helped prepare him for law school or graduate school (he plans to pursue one or the other), but he has also benefitted from internship experiences and extracurricular engagement with the Black Student Union, the Debate Team and the Political Science Club. “I couldn’t have found better preparation for what I want to do anywhere.”
Analytical skills and strong communication abilities give political science graduates a competitive edge in a broad spectrum of careers. Our majors have become research analysts, legislative staffers, nonprofit directors and investment advisors. Many enter law school or graduate school.
❱❱ Students engage in independent study opportunities, internships, community-based research, service opportunities, SC Student Legislature, model united nations and delegations to Washington, D.C. for the Model African Union and Model Organization of the American States.
❱❱ Faculty-led study abroad opportunities are offered in destinations including Morocco, Belgium, Spain and China.