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    Hamline University
    Jul 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

Political Science Department

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The Hamline University political science department aims to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the subject matter, methods, and assumptions of political science. Our overriding goal is to help students understand the dynamic and changing political world in which they live and its ramifications for their lives. In the process, students also acquire improved analytic, speaking, writing, and problem solving skills necessary for succeeding in a challenging sociopolitical and work environment.

Interdisciplinary Concentration

Political science majors may also choose to complete an interdisciplinary concentration in public policy. The public policy concentration educates students about public policy and helps them to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to create innovative, socially responsible solutions to the most critical issues facing society. The program forms an arc, beginning with an introduction to ethical public policy, building skills with methodology coursework, and culminating with a capstone experience in which students engage directly with a public policy issue in a semester-long applied project or internship. Students will acquire an extensive set of skills in policy evaluation and analysis, equipping them to become agents of change to improve the quality of life for people and their communities, at home and abroad. The public policy concentration is open to students majoring in criminology and criminal justice, economics, environmental studies, legal studies, political science, or public health sciences. 

Opportunities for Nonmajors

Nonmajors are welcome in all political science courses and are encouraged to use all of the department’s resources, including political internships, independent studies, survey research databases, and the particular expertise of each faculty member. Nonmajors may also apply to the Model United Nations program.

Honors and Special Programs

The political science department participates in all of the honors and special programs available to Hamline students. Especially of interest are the departmental honors thesis program, independent studies in political topics, collaborative research projects, teaching apprenticeships, internships in the public sector, senior seminars, and a wide variety of off campus programs including the Washington semester, J-term study abroad, Model United Nations, and semester programs offered through HECUA. Political science students may also participate in Hamline’s 3-3 (early law school admission) program, if they qualify. Additionally, a small number of excellent students are selected each year to work as department assistants.

Postgraduate Opportunities

Political science graduates typically follow careers in political advocacy, campaigning, public management, policy analysis, city planning, international affairs, law, politics, or business. Hamline political science graduates include people who have become career diplomats, accomplished scholars, professors, high-ranking public employees, policy analysts, attorneys, elected officials, important political leaders, and professionals in a wide variety of other occupations. Similar opportunities are available today and in the future to able, well-trained political science graduates. The department periodically offers career panels, information sessions, and other resources to support students with career preparation.


The political science faculty have wide-ranging experiences, achievements, and recognition within the political science profession. The faculty have studied and traveled widely in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Top professional recognition has come through books and articles published, teaching awards, research grants, and offices held in professional associations on a regional and national basis.

Alina Oxendine, professor, chair. BA, MA, Emory University; PhD, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Professor Oxendine’s interdisciplinary research has been published in numerous collections, books, and academic journals. Her survey research on economic inequality has been supported by APSA’s Centennial Center for Public Affairs and was recognized with an International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) Dissertation Award. Teaching Interests: American government and politics, political psychology, gender politics, and research methods. Research interests: American public opinion, economic inequality, and public policy.

Binnur Ozkececi-Taner, professor. BA, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey; MA, University of Notre Dame; PhD, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. Professor Ozkececi-Taner is the author of a book on Turkish foreign policy and several academic articles on international politics. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Global Security Studies and has presented her research at national and international conferences. Teaching interests: theories of international relations, political conflict, politics and security in the Middle East, regional and international security. Research interests: foreign policy analysis, Turkish foreign policy, international security, and politics of the Middle East.

David Schultz, professor, Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies. BA, MA, Suny Binghamton Center; MA, Rutgers University; PhD, University of Minnesota; JD, University of Minnesota; LLM, University of London. Professor Schultz is a Fulbright scholar and has published numerous academic books and scholarly articles. He has represented the United States for the State Department in several speaking assignments in Europe. Teaching interests: public policy and administration, constitutional law, campaigns and elections, and government ethics. Research interests: American politics, election law, and media and politics.

Zhenqing Zhang, associate professor. BA, MA, Foreign Affairs College, Beijing, China; PhD, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Professor Zhang has written a book on intellectual property rights in China and holds a graduate certificate from Johns Hopkins University – Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. Teaching interests: politics in the Asia Pacific, international political economy, international development, and democratization. Research interests: U.S-China trade relationship, international intellectual property rights (IPR) regime, and East Asia democratization. 


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