Imagine a career path that isn’t just about studying politics, but about shaping the world. The Law, Justice, and Politics career path goes beyond textbooks and lectures. Whether you’re drawn to the courtroom as a civil rights attorney, advocating for those whose voices need to be heard, or donning the badge of change as an FBI agent protecting national security, your choices matter. Picture yourself in a courtroom, fighting for justice, or in the chambers of legislation, shaping policies that transform communities. As a legislative analyst, your insights could lead to laws that make a tangible difference. In the realm of environmental advocacy, your voice could help safeguard our planet’s future.

But it’s not just about careers; it’s about impact. Whether you’re safeguarding civil liberties, advocating for the environment, or standing up against discrimination, your path in law, justice, and politics is a powerful force for change.

Andrew Phaff

Iowa State taught me to think critically and comprehensively by drawing on every available resource and frame of reference possible. That is a skill that once learned can be applied to any facet of life.

Andrew Phaff, ’17 political science, ’17 history

Alumni profile

  • Andrew Phaff

    Andrew Phaff  is an Associate Attorney with Nathan Dumm & Mayer P.C., located in Denver, Colorado.  Read more about Andrew as he shares his experience in the political science department and how his experience helped his career.


All political science majors take 1010 Exploring Political Science, two additional 1000 level courses, two 2000 level gateway courses, and six upper-level courses (3000 or higher) at least three of which are 4000 or higher. Majors also take a research methods class (2610, 2620, or 4010) and do a capstone experience (internship, study abroad, senior thesis, or graduate level political science course).

Gateway course

POLS 2350 Introduction to Ethics and Politics

Upper-level course options for this career path

  • POLS 3190      Law and Politics
  • POLS 3200     American Judicial Process
  • POLS 3330      Democracy and Diversity in America
  • POLS 3340      Politics and Society
  • POLS 3390      Liberty and Law in America
  • POLS 3530      Immigration Policy
  • POLS 3540      War and the Politics of Humanitarianism
  • POLS 4020      Legal Analysis
  • POLS 4200      Constitutional Law
  • POLS 4210      Constitutional Freedoms
  • POLS 4220      International Law
  • POLS 4300      Foundations of Western Political Thought
  • POLS 4310      Modern Political Thought
  • POLS 4350      Contemporary Political Philosophy
  • POLS 4530      International Organizations
  • POLS 4800      Ethics and Public Policy

Frequently asked questions

Yes, but you can only double count one class.

No, they are not a graduation requirement.

Yes, if you have taken the required classes you can still get a completion letter if you are graduating Fall 2023 or later.

Yes. You can also consider taking one additional class to get a minor.

  • Take the gateway ourse for that path
  • Take at least three additional courses from the list of upper-level courses for that Path with a grade of C- or higher in each course.
  • Fill out an application showing that you have taken the necessary courses —Career Path Completion Form
  • Receive a letter of completion for the path from the Department of Political Science and list your emphasis area on your resume. We are exploring creating digital badges for LinkedIn and similar platforms.

Yes, with approval from your advisor.

One of the political science advisors: Jason ChrystalTerry Kruse, or Zack Bonner.