Political Economy & Government

The Major in Political Economy & 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 in Political Economy & Government 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

  • ECON 201 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 202 Principles of Microeconomics
  • POLT 201 Introduction to Political Thought
  • POLT 301 American Government
  • POLT 304 Constitutional Law
  • STAT 230 Applied Statistics

One Elective out of

  • ECON 301 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON 302 Intermediate Microeconomics

One Elective out of

  • POLT 302 Catholic Political Thought
  • THEO 315 Catholic Social Teaching

One Elective out of

  • POLT 305 Public Policy
  • POLT 311 Entrepreneurship and Civil Society
  • POLT 314 U.S. Foreign Policy

One additional elective in Economics

Other courses in the same areas of politics and economics may be substituted with the approval of the program director.

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: Thomas Student Union 2007B
Phone: (239) 280-1609

Gabriel Martinez, Ph.D.

Chair of the Economics Department, Associate Professor of Economics, Director of Online Education
Education: B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, University of South Carolina; M.A., Economics, University of Notre Dame; Ph.D., Economics, University of Notre Dame
Office: Prince 102
Phone: (239) 280-1611
Curriculum Vitae: Download

James Patterson, Ph.D.

Chair of the Politics Department, Associate Professor of Politics
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.

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.

Ambassador Michael Novak Chair 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