Political Science

Public Affairs Internship

The Public Affairs Internship, run by the Political Science department, is an academic course in which students relate an internship experience to their study of political science. Political Science majors intern at law firms, the public defender′s office, the offices of members of Congress, non-profit organizations, the FBI, the Memphis City Council, the Mayor′s office, and many other organizations.

Postgraduate & Career

The Rhodes Department of Political Science can help open doors to careers and higher educational opportunities.

Students majoring in political science have pursued diverse careers such as law, foreign service, teaching at all levels, public administration, Congressional aides and committee staff members, White House aides, election campaign management, non-profit organizations, criminal justice, sales, public relations, business management, and journalism. The department provides academic and placement counseling for graduate and law schools.

Pi Sigma Alpha National Honor Society

Pi Sima Alpha is the national honor society for college students that stimulates scholarships, and intelligent interest in political science and government in the United States. Rhodes′s chapter—TAU DELTA—of Pi Sigma Alpha attains this goal by hosting various on-campus events and speakers. The national Pi Sigma Alpha organization, more broadly, sponsors programs and events of value to the profession and teaching of political science.

Awards in Political Science

The Political Science department offers five awards each year to outstanding students in Political Science. The First-Year Seidman Award is for an outstanding freshman in Political Science. The Senior Seidman Award is for an outstanding senior in Political Science. The Abe Fortas Award is for an excellent legal student. The Mike Cody Award is for excellence in the study of Political Science. The Charlie Cook Award (formerly the Burgess Award) is for excellence in Political Science studies.

Political Science as part of a College Education

The Political Science faculty at Rhodes covers a wide range of political views. Each member of the department finds politics intriguing and believes that a careful and critical examination of political life is essential to a complete liberal and civic education.

In Political Science courses you will explore the moral problems (e.g., obligation, justice, equality, liberty) and the practical complications (e.g., how government can protect individual rights and provide for common interests) that politics, and all citizens in a democracy, must wrestle with and resolve.

Travel with Mock Trial

When traveling with the Rhodes Mock Trial, students are asked only to cover their meals. Everything else, transportation, tournament fees, and hotel costs are covered by the program. Rhodes Mock Trial routinely sends its teams to the most competitive tournaments, held across the country. These places include:

New York, New York for the Downtown Invitational hosted by NYU

Irvine, California for the Beach Party Invitational hosted by UC Irvine 

Joining the Mock Trial Team

Anyone interested in joining Rhodes Mock Trial must successfully complete Political Science 262: Trial Procedures.

Trial Procedures is a four credit course taught by Professor Anna Smith that focuses on studying and practicing the basic procedures of trial law. The course topics include Opening Statements, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Closing Arguments, Objection Arguments, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and preparing witnesses. The course concludes in October with in-class trial practice rounds which function as formal try-outs.

Introduction to Mock Trial

What is Mock Trial?

Mock Trial is an academic activity designed to challenge those who are interested in law, debate, or other forms of forensics.

Students are divided into teams and given a court case, which they must try as both the prosecution and the defense. Places on the team include both witness and attorney roles.

Mock Trial at Rhodes

Rhodes College Mock Trial teams won the National Championship on 4 occasions and hold the record for consecutive national tournament appearances


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