Alt text: A concrete sign for the ND State Capitol is in forefront with the expansive lawn and capitol building in the background.
  • Program Type
    Major, Minor
  • Degrees Offered
  • School
    School of Arts & Sciences

Explore the classic texts that have helped shape our political life throughout history. Understand the traditions that inform today’s political landscape.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll gain an understanding of American government and the basis of our political tradition. Delve into political philosophy and the deeper questions: What is justice? What are rights, and where do they come from? What is the ultimate source of authority? 

Gain real-world experience.

Mary’s location in North Dakota’s capital city gives our students the opportunity to observe and practice politics in real time. You can complete an internship at the North Dakota State Capitol, join the Pre-Law Club and Marauders on Politics (MOPs), and connect with elected local, state, and federal officials.

Learn and serve.

Seminars, presentations, and field trips are integrated into classroom learning, giving our students the opportunity to interact with the community and volunteer their time to events throughout the region.

Understand politics in its original, positive meaning.

Consistent with Mary’s commitment to servant leadership, the program explores politics from the perspective of its original meaning and objective — the discernment of the path to human flourishing.

Earn your bachelor’s in 2.6 years.

Our students can participate in Mary’s Year-Round Campus, which helps students plan their schedules to graduate earlier and with less debt than their peers.

Course Requirements

Please visit our catalog for a list of all courses and credits.

Assistant Professor and Chair of Politics Michael Hickman gives an overview of Mary’s politics program.

Careers & Outcomes

Employment Trends

A degree in politics prepares students for a wide range of job opportunities and career paths. Many politics alumni go on to law school or pursue other avenues of graduate study. Annual law school acceptance and job placement rates are regularly at 100% for graduates in the program, who currently work in U.S. senate and house offices; the North Dakota Governor’s and Attorney General’s office; in the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce; in local nonprofit organizations; and more.

Career Paths

  • Lawyer
  • Nonprofit director
  • Political campaign manager
  • Lobbyist
  • Community organizer
  • Public policy analyst

It’s not just political classes you have to take with the major. For me, it was law and accounting and sociology … You’re going to be a more well-rounded student.

Daniel Digiallonardo, ‘20

Featured Faculty

Michael F. Hickman, PhD

Chair of Politics

At the University of Mary I teach classes in politics, law, and occasionally philosophy. Before coming to the University of Mary, I practiced law for five years in South Carolina and Washington, DC. My scholarly interests currently focus on the nature of the political community and exploring how resources from Husserl's phenomenology can be brought to bear on this question. My greatest passions are traveling and languages. I am fluent in French and learning Italian. I am married with eight children.

Mark M. Springer, PhD

Associate Professor of Politics

I started at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND in Fall 2006. I have taught over 35 different courses in politics/political science, history, and criminal justice. Over the course of my career, I have served in various functions such as chair of the Institutional Review Board, graduate coordinator, department chair, faculty representative to faculty senate, faculty president, and chaired numerous committees.

In the community, I serve as chair of the Apple Creek Township board. I have also served as president for Apple Creek School Board.

My teaching philosophy fits a system where students and faculty are part of a learning community.  Ethics and integrity are values that I stress inside and outside of the classroom; I believe we develop as people if we are open to discussion, but also reflective of the values that are important to building a community.  

I try to demonstrate to students that a classroom code of conduct is reflective of society at large; the development of a strong community begins with a commitment to professional standards and is a product of the core values of respect for others in society.  I feel these values are important for students to understand in order to become effective leaders.

The bottom line is that I love to teach. Each individual has an interesting background and history that makes that student unique to the class.

I like seeing students make connections between politics and their life in a meaningful way so that they can see that it is not all about power but can be a shared experience that is positive in life.

Take Your Next Step in Politics