A government is the system and processes that control countries, states and communities. The study of government — whether at the local, national or international level — examines important political events, institutions and behaviors.

Why Choose Government?

The Big Picture

Studying government prepares you to play a more effective role as a citizen of a democracy and of the world. It helps you better understand other people and their ideas.

The Hands-On Opportunities

Government majors use New York City as a political classroom. Some of our courses like Power in the City and Wall Street include weekly field trips to view significant buildings and public works in the city.

Internships are another great way to learn by doing. Our students get to work with elected officials around the city, and intern for places like:

  • New York City Council
  • State Assembly
  • State Senate
  • MTA
  • NYC Planning Department
  • Parks Department
  • Housing Department
  • Law offices
  • District Attorney’s offices
  • Nonprofit organizations that advocate for better housing, child care, women's rights and the environment

Beyond New York City, you can earn college credits while interning in Washington, D.C. or Albany, NY with one of our partnership programs. Our students have also traveled internationally with programs to the Czech Republic, London and the Galapagos Islands.

A great way to get your feet wet is on a department-sponsored field trip to Washington, D.C., Albany or Philadelphia. On these trips, you’ll meet elected officials and go on walking tours of historical and political sites.

Model UN

The Government Department also runs a Model United Nations program. Model UN is available as a class in the spring or as an extracurricular activity in the fall. As part of the program, our students simulate the work of the UN at international conferences in New York City and Washington, D.C.

As part of this participatory, hands-on experience you will:

  • Gain expertise on a particular country by representing its views throughout the conference
  • Meet thousands of other students from around the world in a collaborative setting
  • Negotiate resolutions that address:
    • Regional conflicts
    • Peacekeeping
    • Human rights
    • The concerns of women and children
    • Economic and social development
    • The environment

What Will You Learn?

Government majors experience four areas of government and politics:

  • American government
  • International relations
  • Comparative politics
  • Political theory

Within these broad areas, you will have the opportunity to learn more about:

  • The Presidency
  • Congress
  • The Judiciary
  • Government and politics in different regions of the world
  • International organizations
  • Constitutional law
  • Local governments
  • Research methods

Before graduating, you will complete a substantive research project in your senior capstone seminar.

See the Degree Requirements

Government is also offered as a minor.

What Will You Do?

A major in government will prepare you for a career in federal, state and local government, nonprofit work, the private sector, international organizations, law or education. There are many fields that need employees who are knowledgeable about policy and law.

Manhattan College was the portal through which I came to know New York City, came to know where we are as a country, and what we can be as a world.

Chris Gorman ’05, Marketing & external relations for The Metropolitan Museum of Art