About Our Program
You possess a profound ability to create change. Our program will help you harness this potential and understand your role in local, national, and international governments. To do so, you’ll analyze power structures, dive deep into the issues you care about, compare political institutions in diverse regions of the world, and communicate compelling, original arguments as you examine and form your own opinions.
Under the mentorship of faculty and alumni with real-world experience and connections, you’ll also investigate the career fields that interest you—whether they’re in policy, advocacy, non-profit, or private sector work.
Learning Experiences to Prepare for Your CareerAs your study government, you won’t just learn about the issues, people, and institutions that spark your curiosity and affect your community—you’ll engage with them through opportunities on and off campus.
St. Lawrence University Fellows Program
Our faculty are known for the close relationships they build with every student, which often turn into faculty-mentored summer research projects. Apply for a fellowship to spend eight weeks in the North Country digging into a topic you’re passionate about with your mentor as your advisor.
Senior Year Experience (SYE) Honors Thesis
Once you’ve discovered a topic you’re passionate about, spend your senior year investigating it as you conduct research and work one-on-one with a faculty advisor. Along the way, you’ll hone your ability to evaluate sources, synthesize original ideas, and make a convincing case for your findings—like James Lehner ‘20, who argued in favor of expanding the field of swing states in the presidential election.
Apply what you’ve learned in class in the real world. Our active and enthusiastic alumni network is eager to help you explore internships at a number of organizations, including:
- The World Bank
- U.S. Embassy, London
- Massachusetts State Senate
- Rock the Vote
- The Aspen Institute
- The Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress
- Human Rights Campaign
- Brookings Institute, African Security Initiative
Live and Learn in the Heart of the County
As the seat of St. Lawrence County, Canton is a hub of political activity. You’ll have opportunities to experience the inner-workings of local politics, volunteer for congressional campaigns, or even intern in the district attorney’s or public defenders’ offices.
St. Lawrence Public Interest Corps (SLU PIC)
Future advocates and agents of change like you can apply to gain a better understanding of the local public interest and non-profit landscape through the Public Interest Corps. You’ll live on campus over the summer as you help to combat food insecurity, empower entrepreneurship, address public health issues, or preserve local history with organizations like:
- Cornell Cooperative Extension
- Planned Parenthood of North Country, New York
- Frederick Remington Art Museum
- St. Lawrence Land Trust
- St. Lawrence County Community Development Program
- St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
Take your academic passions abroad and enrich your understanding of different national governments and international relations. Choose from more than 30 semester-long programs offered in more than 20 international locations, including Kenya, London, Denmark, China, Spain, and Jordan.
Study in Our Nation's Capital
Spend a semester living, learning, and working in Washington D.C., where you’ll take on an internship and become a part of the city’s vibrant and fast-paced ecosystem. You’ll gain professional experience and have plenty of opportunities to connect with our helpful and enthusiastic alumni community.
Both the London Program and the Kenya Semester Program include month-long work-study placements, which can directly reflect your academic interests. You may end up working in the office of a member of parliament in the United Kingdom or for a healthcare non-profit empowering rural communities in East Africa.
In addition to semester- and year-long programs, you’ll also have the chance to participate in short-term travel study trips with faculty members. That could mean spending the afternoon in Ottawa with your Canadian studies class or enrolling in a summer trip to Croatia for an on-the-ground perspective on identity in the Balkans.
Connect with Community
Among the 150+ clubs and organizations at St. Lawrence, you’ll find many that involve government, advocacy, leadership, public affairs, and international relations, including:
- The Advocates
- Environmental Action Organization
- SLU Legal
- Andrew Goodman Foundation
- SLU Democrats
- Literacy for Nepal
- Model United Nations
- Model Organization of American States
- The Hill News
- SLU Adaptive
- PLEN: Preparing Women to Lead
- Planned Parenthood Generation Action
- Thelomathesian Society
St. Lawrence graduates are big thinkers, problem solvers, and fearless leaders at companies and organizations across the country and world. Our alumni network is the second-most influential source for recent graduate employment (only behind internships).
Laurentians do not seem to shy away from complex challenges, and those working in public policy or advocating for change to enhance the lives of others are part of a growing community of alumni.
Why St. Lawrence for Government
of recent St. Lawrence graduates majoring in a social science field are employed or continuing their education within a year
of students majoring in government complete at least one internship over the course of their academic career
miles to Ottawa, making St. Lawrence the closest liberal arts college to another country’s capital
Alumni Network in the Country
The Princeton Review, 2023
Our students say our alumni network is the second most influential source for employment (only behind internships)
As a St. Lawrence student, you’ll amplify your education with free access to reputable news sources like:
- The New York Times
- The Wall Street Journal
- Washington Post
- Access World News
More Program Information
Program Requirements & Courses
Explore government major requirements, as well as electives and combined study options.
Complementary and Related Programs
We offer four combined studies programs which allow you to pair your passion for government with another major area of study.
They have law degrees, they’ve monitored elections in Latin America, they’ve worked in counter-terrorism in the Department of Justice. Your faculty bring real-world experience to the classroom and professional connections to the places and organizations where you want to be.
“We have alumni in D.C., state and local governments, and non-profit and advocacy roles. I’m always amazed at how eagerly they connect with students.”
“Professor Zenel Garcia challenged my perspectives, expanded my knowledge, and engaged me every day. He inspired me to submit a research paper to a conference which I then presented at, and also to do a senior thesis.”
SLU Connect Trips
Spend part of your winter break connecting with alumni where they live and work, and get a sense of how government majors like you are making an impact across the country—from Burlington, Vermont, to Washington, D.C.
An Active Alumni Network
The Department of the Interior. The U.S. Senate. New York Amsterdam News. The World Wildlife Fund. Our alumni may have some impressive careers, but what really stands out is their enthusiasm for giving back to current students.
Law School Guidance
A liberal arts education is an excellent foundation for law school. Several government majors have pursued law as a career and were guided by their professors, our Pre-Law Advising Committee, and the Center for Career Excellence.
Our department’s expertise and courses cover all regions of the world. For example, you can study international relations of China on campus and then spend a semester in Shanghai to better understand your coursework in practice.
Get More Information
We’re excited to learn more about you, tell you more about our interdisciplinary academic programs, show you around our beautiful campus, and help you navigate your college search.