Political Science

Research – a systematic inquiry or investigation into a topic – is conducted across the curricula at the University at Albany.  Whether it is using ancient texts or more recent diaries to develop new understandings or analyzing data to find mathematical patterns, research is an important component of your university education. Research begins with a question. What answer will you uncover?

What is Political Science Research?

Research in political science is varied and may include the following topics:

  • Public Policy
  • Government
  • Civil Liberties
  • Regional Politics
  • Political Economics
  • Political Theory
  • Social Movements

How is research conducted in political science?

  • Case study comparisons
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Theorectically motivated analysis

How can I do research in Political Science at UAlbany?

Interested students should seek out professors who they have enjoyed working with in a class or who is doing research in an area they are interested in and ask if there is a possibility to do research work with them.  That research can be done either as an independent study, as an honors thesis or for a salary.   You should discuss with the professor your interests and what the research would entail along with the expected time commitment. You can find information about different professors and their research interests here: 


Undergraduate students have worked with professors on honors theses, have co-authored published papers with professors and have worked as funded researchers on grants funded by a diverse number of organizations such as the National Science Foundation or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

A Key Resource to Explore

The American Political Science Association  http://www.apsanet.org/ has a long list of different research opportunities and fellowships that are worth exploring and can be found here http://www.apsanet.org/content_3115.cfm

Profile of a student

Ian Anderson came to UAlbany as a transfer student from a local community college. He was motivated to get involved in research, and began working with Professors Victor Asal from Political Science and R. Karl Rethemeyer from Public administration collecting data on terrorist organizations.  Fully integrated into this research effort as a college student, Ian was a co-author on a paper that was published in an academic journal.  He then earned a Masters of Public Administration where he continued to collaborate on research about terrorist organizations and work on several grants. He currently works for the New York State Office of Counter Terrorism as an intelligence analyst performing research, writing intelligence products, and delivering briefings on a host of terrorism related issues, primarily to state and local stakeholders. About his experience doing research as an undergraduate, Ian says that “the research I did as an undergraduate provided me with the knowledge and skillset essential to my success. It was the beginning of a path that brought me to where I am today.”

If you like political science, there might be interesting research opportunities for you in:

Public Administration, Sociology, Psychology, History