Student Opportunities

Democratic National Convention

Political science beyond the classroom

The study of politics can’t be confined within classroom walls. To fully grasp this discipline, you need to get out in the real world – in congressional offices, on the campaign trail, in political party headquarters. You’ll have opportunities to take it all in firsthand through internships. We can make arrangements for you to spend a summer or semester working in the Washington, Columbia or local offices of your congressional representatives. You could also intern with businesses, television stations, and political, professional and nonprofit organizations.

Washington Semester Program

Lander students are able to spend a semester living in Washington, D.C., through the prestigious Washington Semester Program coordinated by the Honors College of the University of South Carolina. Students are placed within federal government offices or in nongovernmental offices (think tanks, media organizations, etc.) to benefit their educational experience in the nation's capital. 

Seven political science students have already taken part in this exciting program. Contact Dr. Lucas McMillan for more information.

State Capital Building VisitSociology beyond the classroom

Textbooks and lectures can provide some insight into how people relate to one another, but some things must be learned outside the traditional settings of classrooms and labs.

During your senior year, you will intern with an agency, gaining valuable experience and academic credit at the same time. Students serve as interns in a wide variety of settings, including senior citizen centers, prisons, mental health clinics, law enforcement offices, and drug and alcohol abuse commissions. Students find that their internship experiences are extremely useful in expanding their employment opportunities.

Honor societies

Each year, Lander’s top political science and sociology majors are inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, and Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society.

Get involved

In addition to Lander's broad array of organizations, the Department of Political and Social Sciences offers students majoring in sociology or political science a variety of enriching cocurricular experiences.

Clubs

  • American Democracy Project
    Co-Chairs: Dr. Lucas McMillan and Dr. Chad Kinsella
    The ADP coordinates all civic engagement activities at Lander. Although not an official club with student membership, students are regularly involved in bringing speakers to campus, contributing to debates, assisting with community service projects, and helping to run voter registration campaigns.
  • Political Science Association
    Adviser: Dr. Chad Kinsella
    PSA sponsors many types of events, including voter registration drives, clothing drives, watching a DVD with former Secretaries of State, hosting a movie night, volunteering with the Peace Studies Conference and participating in Lander Homecoming activities such as the Family Feud and Soapbox Derby.
  • Sociology Club
    Adviser: Professor Linda Carson
    The Sociology Club has sponsored several films, a quiz bowl game and Homecoming activities, and is involved in many volunteer service activities throughout the year. Since Fall 2009, the club has organized Spooktacular, a Halloween carnival for children, in cooperation with Self Regional Hospital.
  • South Carolina Student Legislature
    Adviser: Dr. Chad Kinsella
    Lander began a chapter of the South Carolina Student Legislature (SCSL) in fall 2012. SCSL is a program over forty years old and involves students from many other colleges and universities across South Carolina. SCSL meets twice a year for its mock legislative sessions.
  • Honor Societies
    • Alpha Kappa Delta – International Sociology Honor Society
      Adviser: Dr. Dan Harrison
    • Pi Sigma Alpha – National Political Science Honor Society
      Adviser: Dr. Kim Richburg

Department awards

Awards are granted annually to outstanding university students from all disciplines during a ceremony each spring.

  • Alan Jones Award
    Named in honor of a former international visiting professor, this award is given annually by the political science faculty to the junior or senior majoring in political science who has demonstrated the most outstanding promise entering the program.
  • Criminal Justice Management Discipline Award
    Given annually by the political and social science faculty to the most outstanding graduating senior majoring in criminal justice management.
  • Display of Outstanding Sociological Imagination Award
    Given annually by the sociology faculty to one or more sociology majors who amply demonstrated potential for success in graduate school.
  • Political Science Discipline Award
    Given annually by the political science faculty to the graduating senior majoring in political science with the highest cumulative grade point average.
  • Sociology Discipline Award
    Given annually by the sociology faculty to the graduating senior majoring in sociology with the highest cumulative grade point average.

Life after Lander

In today’s competitive marketplace, many employers are looking for well-rounded college graduates with a liberal arts education. Lander’s political and social sciences curricula are designed to give you this kind of foundation. Our graduates have:

  • Served their communities as administrators and counselors with the S.C. Department of Youth Services, Department of Social Services, and the Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
  • Pursued careers in local government, criminal justice, law enforcement and the military.
  • Entered the business world in a variety of industries and job functions.
  • Furthered their studies through law school, master's programs in public administration and social work, and other graduate programs.
  • More information on career opportunities.

Study abroad opportunities

For detailed information on Lander's study abroad opportunities, visit the following pages: