Welcome from the Chair

A warm welcome to all new and returning students. I hope you have all enjoyed a relaxing and productive summer and are ready for another academic year.

As you are likely to have already noticed, the Department has a totally revamped website. We would like you to use this site to keep up with announcements and events about classes, advising, internships, and exciting events featuring visiting speakers, workshops, and conferences.

The Department welcomes the addition of Professor Morris Levy to its faculty. Professor Levy joins USC as an Assistant Professor of Political Science after recently completing his doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley. Levy adds to the department’s strengths in American politics with his expertise in public opinion, political economy, racial and ethnic politics, immigration, and voting. His current research on the effects of immigration in the U.S. on local support for spending on public goods addresses one of the most important issues in contemporary American politics. Professor Levy also studies cross-national variations in ethnic diversity and their implications for public opinion, the development of social capital, and other sociopolitical outcomes. Professor Levy will be teaching classes on these subjects at the undergraduate and graduate levels and will also contribute significantly to training in methodology by offering classes on statistical and research methods. Look for his Fall semester class on Political Participation and American Diversity and his Spring semester class on Theory and Practice of American Democracy!

The Department is also pleased to announce the addition of Professor Robert Shrum as the inaugural holder of the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics. For the past four decades, Mr. Shrum has been on the front lines of the democratic process in the United States as an advisor to candidates for the presidency, Congress, and state and local political offices. He is perhaps best known for serving as a consultant on the campaigns of Democratic presidential candidates, including George McGovern, Al Gore, and John Kerry. Mr. Shrum will bring his unique vantage point on American politics and his wealth of political expertise to his classes on elections, campaigns, and public policy. Shrum has written articles for New York Magazine, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and Time, and has made frequent appearances as a political analyst on national television news programs.

Our department will benefit greatly from Shrum’s political experience. He will be leading a new visiting speaker series entitled Political Conversations that will feature discussions among faculty and students with political newsmakers, advisors, and politicians. Professor Shrum’s classes in election campaign and the national policy making process will further solidify the Department’s strengths in successfully integrating theoretical and academic research with the practical engagement of politics at all levels of government and society.


About the Department

The mission of the Department of Political Science (POSC) is to generate new knowledge about politics and government through scholarly research, and to disseminate those findings in peer-reviewed publications, at scholarly meetings, and through traditional and new media. An equally important goal of POSC is to transmit our knowledge and practical experience of politics to our graduate and undergraduate students so they can develop the comprehensive research, writing, and analytical skills needed to pursue successful careers in academics, business, law, and the professions.

We have a highly talented and esteemed department by national standards that serves almost 500 undergraduate majors and more than 70 doctoral students. Our faculty members regularly win national and university research and teaching awards, and publish in the most prestigious journals and university presses.  Our undergraduate majors have been awarded top international and national prizes including Marshall, Truman, and Fulbright Fellowships. Those who apply to graduate school have been accepted by the best doctoral programs in the country and those seeking legal training regularly gain entry to the most competitive law schools.

Please visit our website often to stay informed about upcoming departmental conferences, workshops, and events, and to learn more about the latest research activities and accomplishments of our faculty, students, and alumni.



Dennis Chong

Professor, POSC Department Chair

  • Department of Political Science