NSU's government majors graduate with comprehensive knowledge of the American political system, the philosophy behind political activity, and the way politics work in a global environment.

    About The Program

    In this program, formerly known as political science, you’ll learn to write and argue concisely and effectively - valuable skills in virtually any career. Most graduates end up in law, government, politics, and business.

    The government program combines in-class knowledge with practical experience. Professors stress strong reading and writing skills and the ability to discuss ideas.

    At Northern, government study takes place in a student-centered environment, where the course of study is tailored to your individual needs. Small class size allows for a more dynamic learning experience, in which faculty members get to know each student. We place you in the courses and internships that are designed to promote success.

    Government majors often earn a graduate degree or attend law school. Learn more at NSU Graduate Studies and NSU Preprofessional Programs.



    The majority of government graduates with a bachelor's degree work for private, for-profit businesses in sales, marketing, media, upper-level management and administration. Many are self-employed or work in federal, state or local government organizations, including legislative and judicial bodies, departments of labor and justice, and local government. Others work as elementary or secondary school teachers.

    Potential job titles include community organizer and activist, government executive, legislator, post-secondary teacher, public interest advocate, and public interest lawyer, writer, editor or public relations specialist.

    For more information on careers in your major or help choosing a major, contact Career Services.


    NSU government students have interned at the White House and in the U.S. Senate and South Dakota Legislature. Government majors are encouraged to pursue such internships.

    NSU College of Arts and Sciences Internships

    Sample Plans of Study
    Program Success/Outcomes

    “In my time at Northern, I feel like I’ve honestly done as much as I physically can to get involved and make my campus experience as exciting as possible. I’ll be completely honest and say that there was a time during my freshman year that I was unsure if I was going to stick with it and continue my education here, but upon becoming an RA and getting more involved in clubs/organizations such as Speech and Debate, CAB and eventually SGA, I found my stride and have been quite unstoppable ever since. It’s been exciting to watch myself grow as a young leader on campus, starting out as just a regular member of the clubs I’m in, then eventually moving into a leadership position as a co-president of CAB and now the soon-to-be president of NSU’s Student Government Association. It’s hard to believe that I have the opportunity to be the student body president of the Wolf pack and I can hardly wait to give it my all and make a difference on campus, giving the students a voice. Northern makes it possible for so many students to grow into leadership positions and lead the Wolf pack in so many diverse ways. If my story means something to someone, I hope it gives them a great example of making the most out of your college education and having fun/doing what you want every step of the way in pursuit of your own goals and aspirations!” - Harrison Bruns #beNORTHERN #unleashYOURpotential

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    Contact Information

    For more information about this degree, call 605-626-2267. Or, contact NSU Admissions at 605-626-2544 or admissions@northern.edu.

    Ph.D Claremont Graduate School
    B.A. University of Arizona

    Kenneth C. Blanchard, Jr. is a professor of government at Northern State University. He received his Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California, in 1989. He began teaching at Northern that same year.

    Dr. Blanchard has taught at California State University, San Bernardino. He has also taught summer courses in American government at Boise State University.  


    Research Interests/Expertise
    His research field includes classical and modern political philosophy and especially biopolitics: the study of the biological foundations of political and moral behavior. Dr. Blanchard is the editor of and contributor to Darwinian Conservatism: A Disputed Question…
    B.A. St. John's University
    M.A. University of Wyoming
    Ph.D Loyola University Chicago
    Professor Schaff specializes in the study of American political thought and institutions. He has published on the presidency and political thought of Abraham Lincoln, politics and literature, and politics and popular culture. He has been a department Chair, faculty athletic representitive, and Chair of the NSU Promotion and Tenure committee. In 2005 he received the Outstanding Faculty Award from NSU.
    Courses Taught
    POLS 100 American Government
    POLS 250 Introduction to International Relations
    POLS 432 The Presidency
    POLS 361 American Political Thought I
    POLS 362 American Political Thought II
    PHIL 270 Philosophy of Religion