Do you find questions of power, conflict, rights, law, or justice interesting? Do you like examining and debating issues like welfare, war and peace, affirmative action, campaign finance reform, foreign relations, human rights, the environment, or nationalism? Do you want to learn how other countries struggle to face political challenges in ways that often differ dramatically from the United States? Politics may be right for you!

The location of Loras in Iowa, the home of the first national presidential caucus, contributes to what is perhaps the most distinctive aspect of the politics program.  The Loras College Politics program provides a wide variety of courses aimed at providing students with a rich experience and an exposure to all elements and aspects of politics and political science.

It should be noted that in our modern interconnected world it is essential to be knowledgeable on global affairs.  The Politics Program places an emphasis on the importance of global politics.  The politics program at Loras includes coursework and co-curricular opportunities for all three prime areas of political science: American Government, Political Philosophy, and Global Politics.  The curriculum is flexible enough to let students emphasize one of these three areas, but requires students to be knowledgeable in all.

  • You will learn how to look at problems in different ways, how to untangle cause and effect relationships, and how to develop creative solutions.
  • You will learn about the underlying dynamics of human conflict and cooperation.
  • You will learn how to gauge the influence of current events in the local, national, and global arenas.
  • You will learn how to effectively communicate with others in both written and oral forms, a critically important ability in today's information-based society.



In addition to helping you build the general skills necessary in today's job market, a politics major is excellent preparation for a full range of specific careers. These include careers in areas such as:
  • law
  • government service
  • elected office
  • nonprofit organizations
  • international affairs
  • business


  • policy analysis
  • campaigns and elections
  • public relations
  • community organizing
  • private foundations
  • research services
  • journalism


An area for particularly active and competitive state and congressional races, Dubuque itself offers Politics majors unparalleled access to political campaigns and candidates. Large numbers of majors work, often times through academic internships, in political campaigns, at both the state and federal level, or in local government lobbying efforts and organizations.

In addition to the myriad of professional experiences available locally, Loras is affiliated with the HillWashington Center, and regularly sends students to study and intern in Washington, D.C. This experience is invaluable and creates a program that combines a theoretically rigorous curriculum rooted in the liberal arts with professional experience.  For those with interests beyond U.S. politics, the Washington Center has numerous internship opportunities with organizations and institutions that have a global focus. 

Locally, Politics majors are frequently placed in internships with the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, the East Central Intergovernmental Association or Dubuque City Government.

The politics program houses the Loras College Moot Court program—an intercollegiate competition in which Loras is traditionally very successful.  Loras is also the home to the annual Upper Midwest Regional Moot Court Tournament—one of six tournaments serving as qualifiers to the national championships.


Major requirements and course descriptions


Christopher B. Budzisz
Associate Professor of Politics
Hoffmann Hall 540
Budzisz joined the Loras College Politics program in 2000, with teaching emphasis on constitutional law, American government and institutions, political philosophy, as well as elections and political behavior.  As a 2007 Fulbright Scholar, Budzisz taught in the International Relations Faculty at Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.  He also served as a visiting lecturer at Odessa National Economic University in Odessa, Ukraine.  His research interests center around constitutional law, political thought, and public policy.  He has been published in PS: Political Science and Politics, and in the edited volume Engaging the Public: How Government and the Media Can Reinvigorate American Democracy.  Beyond his teaching and research interests, Budzisz is director and coach of the Loras College Moot Court program.  He is also a past winner of the Mike and Linda Budde Excellence in Teaching Award. 
Starting in April of 2014 Professor Budzisz will serve as the spokesperson for the Loras College Poll (a bi-partisan public opinion survey focused on politics and society) launched spring 2014.

Click here to view Budsisz’s full Curriculum Vitae

David C. Cochran
Professor of Politics and Director of the
Archbishop Kucera Center
Hoffmann Hall 541

Cochran has taught in the Politics program since 1996, offering a range of courses primarily in the areas of political thought and American politics. He also teaches general education courses such as “War and Pacifism” and “The Irish in America.” He is a winner of the college’s Budde Teaching Excellence Award. Cochran’s primary research interests are in religion and politics, multiculturalism and democracy, and the morality of war. He frequently publishes, lectures, and leads workshops on these and other topics. In addition to a wide array of articles and book chapters, he is the author of a book on race and political theory and the co-author of two books on Catholicism and American politics. His latest project is a book on war and morality. Since 2006 he has directed the college’s Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Intellectual and Spiritual Life.
Click here to view Cochran’s full Curriculum Vitae

Benjamin J. Darr
Assistant Professor of Politics
Hoffmann Hall 536
Darr began teaching at Loras College in the fall of 2012, and offers courses in both comparative politics and world politics.  He is particularly interested in environmental politics, the politics of the global economy, nationalism, and China studies.  Darr received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 2011 and his dissertation examined the state-led sources of Chinese nationalism and national identity.  He has co-authored articles in the Journal of Contemporary China and in Communist and Post-Communist Studies
Click here to view Darr’s full Curriculum Vitae
 2013 Moot Court Registration 

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