Message from the Department Chair

To all prospective students:

On behalf of my colleagues in the Department of Political Science, we are delighted that you are interested in the Political Science major at Lehigh University. The department is located on the third floor of Maginnes Hall (Room 307) and it is our steadfast hope that your questions about the program can be addressed by an arranged visit to campus, perusing our website, or sending me an email directly at

Political Science is a dynamic field and the department offers an array of courses in American politics, political theory, comparative politics, and public policy to challenge students to think critically and analytically about the world around them. The Department of Political Science is an academic unit in the College of Arts and Sciences. Political scientists frequently collaborate with colleagues from other programs in the College. Together, we can fulfill our pledge to provide a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students and a rigorous and engaging master’s experience for graduate students.

Our faculty are committed to a high-level of interaction with all students, producing high quality research and scholarship, and serving the needs of students and the greater community. We hope that you choose Political Science as a major and look forward to many meaningful and substantive interactions in the near future.

The Political Science program originally started at Lehigh in 1924 as part of the Department of History and Government. In 1962, a separate Department of Government was established and Professor Rocco Tresolini became the first chair of the department. The Tresolini Lecture in Law series commenced in 1978 to honor his excellence in the classroom and in the field of constitutional law. The department name switched from Government to Political Science in 1996. With literally thousands of graduates over several decades, the faculty and staff in the department are hopeful that students interested in politics and public affairs will commit to the program. Many of our graduates continue their education in graduate and professional schools as well as secure gainful employment in the public, private, nonprofit, or legal sectors.

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Political Science at Lehigh University.

With appreciation and best wishes,

Brian L. Fife
Professor and Chair