The study of politics is the study of power in society—who has it, who doesn't, how it is distributed, and why. We ask the big questions: What is a just society? How do we hold those in power accountable? Why do some democracies thrive, while others fail?

Why study Politics at Sewanee?

Sewanee teaches its students to be citizens who ask hard questions, assess the accuracy of political information, and make comparisons between various political systems and ideologies. Politics faculty are active scholars and committed mentors. Students may work with faculty on research or develop their own projects. Faculty members consult with students to identify summer internships, the best study abroad or community engagement opportunities, and other activities that prepare students for success after graduation.

Our curriculum tackles key issues that are relevant and varied. Check out our seven concentrations options:


Politics majors critically engage with competing values and interests that guide and orient politics. Students learn about concepts, theories, and principles that deal with the nature, purpose, and characteristics of government and political change, which they apply in the analysis of politics. The major encompasses the theoretical and empirical study of government institutions, identity and diversity, leadership, conflict resolution between and within states, political ideas and ideologies, political culture and discourse, political economy, and the politics of gender, race, and class. While introductory courses help to ground students in fundamental theories and concepts used in the study of politics, seminars and many 300-level courses provide students opportunities to develop their research and analytical skills while also introducing students to how to write within the discipline.


Sewanee graduates secure positions in a variety of fields. Some you would expect, others are a bit of a surprise. Sewanee prepares you for your profession and your passion. Below is a sampling of recent graduates' first jobs.

  • Massachusetts Promise Scholar, Freedom House, Dorchester, Massachusetts.
  • Legislative intern, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C.
  • Legal assistant, Morgan and Morgan, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Investment banking analyst, the Lenox Group, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Intern, Human Rights Program, the Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Advisor, United Nations (Permanent Mission of Hungary), New York, New York.

Sewanee graduates enjoy extraordinary acceptance rates to top graduate and pre-professional programs–about 95 percent to law school and over 85 percent to medical school. Below is a sampling of where Sewanee grads continue their education.

  • J.D. the University of North Carolina School of Law.
  • J.D. the University of Michigan Law School.
  • Ph.D. in political science, Emory University.
  • MSc. in international political economy (IPE), London School of Economics
  • MSc. in political science, Copenhagen University
  • J.D. the University of Texas at Austin School of Law 

Featured Alum

Livia Eva Karoui, Class of 2020

After graduation, Livia started a Princeton in Africa fellowship working remotely with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, Botswana as a Programme Coordinator. In her role, she has been able to work with colleagues to provide psychosocial support to adolescents living with HIV through Whatsapp. She has also had the exciting opportunity to design and implement a new low-tech tutoring programme that uses text messages and calls to provide quality and free-of-charge academic tutoring to Botswana-Baylor pediatric patients who are facing academic difficulties, while taking account of Covid-19 related precautions such as restriction on movement and social distancing. So far, the intervention has proven successful in connecting university students and Baylor patients and in supporting learning and building confidence among participants. After PiAf, she hopes to go to graduate school and continue researching the role of mobile technology in development interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A Sampling of Courses


Programs of Study & Related Programs

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Politics

Requirements for the Major & Minor in International & Global Studies | Website

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Women's & Gender Studies | Website


Meet Some Professors


Amy Patterson 
Professor and Chair of Department of Politics

Shining A Light

Informed by her own personal history, Associate Professor of Politics Mila Dragojevic travels the world to examine the conditions that lead to refugee crises, violence against civilians, and genocide.

At 16, Mila Dragojevic was an ace student in languages in her native Croatia. She had studied French, German, and English and had the idea that she would be a philologist. She applied to a student exchange program and was deciding whether to go to Switzerland, the United Kingdom, or the United States.

That’s when the Balkan state she called home began falling apart, with neighbor turning against neighbor in a conflict that resulted from the breakup of Yugoslavia and the geopolitical aims of Slobodan Milošević, who incited Serbs in Croatia in an attempt to expand Serbian territory. Dragojevic and her family found themselves refugees. Though living in Croatia and having both Serb and Croat roots, the family identified as Serbs. They crossed the border to Serbia. But Dragojevic—already accepted in the student exchange program—was not there long, heading shortly thereafter to the Tidewater region of Virginia, where she was welcomed by a host family with whom she is still close.

“When the barricades go up, people have to decide which side they stand on,” says Dragojevic, who studies refugees, violence against civilians, and genocide as an associate professor of politics at Sewanee.

News & Events

Connecting the Dots