Political Economy & Government

The major in Political Economy and Government prepares students to participate in public debates affecting the nation. The economics courses promote understanding of the costs and benefits of market forces and of government action. The politics courses reveal the basic principles and the intricacies of policy making. Together, they prepare students to be informed, intelligent participants in American public life.

The major in Political Economy and Government prepares students to understand and participate in public debates that affect our life as a nation.  The economics courses prepare students to understand the costs and the benefits of market forces and of government action.  The politics courses reveal the basic principles and the intricacies of policy making.  Together, they prepare students to be informed, intelligent participants in our democracy.

The major is designed for students who wish to understand the political principles and economic tools and concepts involved in domestic policy making.  They will apply advanced economic analysis to concrete policy proposals.  They will understand the process of creating policies.

Explore the Political Economy & Government Program

In addition to the core curriculum, political economy & government majors take the following course
MATH 151 Calculus I
ECON 201 Principles of Macroeconomics
ECON 202 Principles of Microeconomics
ECON 230 Statistics for the Social Sciences
ECON 302 Intermediate Microeconomics
POLT 201 Introduction to Political Thought
POLT 301 American Government
POLT 304 Constitutional Law

Elective Options
ECON 315 Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Life
POLT 302 Catholic Political Thought
POLT 305 Public Policy
POLT 314 U.S. Foreign Policy

Those who have graduated from Ave Maria with a Politics major have gone on to work in Washington D.C. for members of Congress, have worked in a variety of policy organizations that study, advocate, and lobby for specific public policies, others have gone on to graduate school to continue studying politics with the goal of one day teaching in secondary or higher education, or to law school. There are a number of careers that are available for politics majors from political consulting, working on campaigns, political advocacy,  journalism, and public service on the local, state, national and international level.

Below are links that outline the wealth of career opportunities for Political Science graduates:

The University is affiliated through Career Services with numerous political organizations in Florida and D.C (see below). Internship and mentoring programs are available for students interested in a political career.
– U.S Dept of State – Washington, D.C & International
– FL House of Representatives – Tallahassee, FL
– David Rivera, Representative – Tallahassee, FL
– American Life League – Washington, D.C


John Colman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Politics
Education: B.A., Political Science, Carleton University; M.A., Political Science, Carleton University; Ph.D., Political Science, Boston College
Office: Canizaro Library 161B
Phone: (239) 280-1609

Gabriel Martinez, Ph.D.

Chair of Economics, Associate Professor of Business & Economics
Education: B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, University of South Carolina; M.A., Economics, University of Notre Dame; Ph.D., Economics, University of Notre Dame
Office: Henkels 2056
Phone: (239) 280-1611
Fax: (239) 280-1637
Curriculum Vitae: Download

James Patterson, Ph.D.

Chair of the Communications Department, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Education: B.A., Political Science, University of Houston; M.A., Politics, University of Virginia; Ph.D., Politics, University of Virginia
Office: Henkels 2055
Phone: (239) 304-7365

Frank Shepard, D.P.S.

Chair of the Business Department, Associate Professor of Finance
Education: B.S., Accounting, Bentley College; M.B.A, Finance, Columbia University Graduate School of Business; D.P.S., Finance & International Economics, Pace University
Office: Henkels 2020
Phone: (239) 304-7345

Seana Sugrue, D.C.L.

Chair of the Politics Department, Professor of Politics
Education: B.B.A., Business Administration, Bishop’s University; LL.B., Law, University of Ottawa; LL.M., Law, McGill University; D.C.L., Civil Law, McGill University
Office: Henkels 3054
Phone: (239) 280-1625
Fax: (239) 280-1637