WelcomeEvan Head

From the Office of the Department Head…

Hello and welcome back to our Political Science students, faculty and staff!  While the Fall 2015 semester has begun, the forecast still indicates summer temperatures in Chicago!  That is good news.

More good news: in spite of the politics of budget delays and budget cuts, our university student enrollment numbers continue to grow.  Political Science undergraduate and graduate students have more than forty courses to choose from this Fall as they pursue degrees for the major or minor.  The study of Political Science is exciting and relevant to the lives of our students, and our courses this semester are especially interesting because they are informed by major events that we read about in the media every day. In domestic politics, the 2016 presidential campaign is heating up as the primary elections draw close.

In addition to course work, our students make time for student organizations, internships, study abroad, student employment and much more.  Our alumni choose careers that include employment with government agencies; working for interest groups and research organizations; joining the corporate world in marketing, public relations, journalism, and other specialties; and taking positions on the staffs of elected and appointed political officials.  Many of our students go on to law school and have successful careers practicing law.

As faculty, it is our goal to enhance the student experience inside and outside the classroom.  All of us are active scholars who publish books and articles in our specialties, and we also love to teach and spend time with our students.  We make opportunities for our graduate and undergraduate students to engage side-by-side in faculty research, using a variety of methods and new technologies.

Wishing you a successful semester,

Professor Evan C. McKenzie



Faculty Focus: Yue Zhang

Professor Yue Zhang has been appointed a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in 2015-2016.  With this prestigious fellowship, she is spending the academic year at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.  The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actionable ideas for the policy community.  During her tenure at the Wilson Center, Professor Zhang will continue working on her book project about informal housing and urban governance in China, India, and Brazil.  Professor Zhang’s primary research and teaching interest is comparative urban politics and policy, with a focus on urban governance, urbanization in developing countries, historic preservation, and globalization.  The experience at the Wilson Center will facilitate the fulfillment of her long-term research goals, thus enhance her teaching and research at UIC.  Professor Zhang expects to bring to her students more enriched visions about urbanization and global cities upon the completion of her fellowship in Washington.


Special Reports

Rahm Emanuel's Rubber Stamp City Council: Chicago City Council Report #7, June 8, 2011-November 15, 2014 - Release Date: December 8, 2014

The Cook County Board in the Preckwinkle Era: Cook County Board of Commissioners Report, December 16, 2012 - April 16, 2014


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  • Student of the Week: Michael Patrick Halpin

    by Stephanie Whitaker | Nov 13, 2015

    MPH Student of the Week
    Michael Patrick Halpin
    – Expected Graduation Spring 2016

    “This is Chicago. This is America” Quoting former Mayor Richard J. Daley, Michael Halpin is a lifelong Chicago south-sider. He’s a transfer student from Harold Washington College and is proud of the fact that he attended an institution named after another crucial mayor in Chicago history. Majoring in Political Science and History with a concentration in 20th Century Political and Social history, Mike is as political as they come. Since 2009, he has worked with the Mikva Challenge, a non-profit here in Chicago that focuses on the civic engagement of young people. As a student of the organization, he has worked on policy initiatives that have focused on improving the lives of Chicago’s young people in the areas of health, safety and employment. As an employee with Mikva, Mike has aided in the successful facilitation of a summer internship program that placed 60 public high school graduates in the offices of elected officials (Aldermanic and Congressional) from 2013-15.  He also worked in the call center during President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and in 2011 interned with State Senator Heather Steans IL-7.  In addition, he provided operations assistance to the organization. “Mikva’s model of Action Civics and youth development has helped formed the person I am today. I have grown to be a socially conscious and civically dedicated citizen because of their work,” Michael says. 

    UIC has been a rewarding experience for Mike, giving him lots of opportunities.  He is currently the social media coordinator for the Political Science Student Union (PSSU) and a member of the Model UN Team. He enjoys walking around campus laughing with friends and enjoys conversations with his peers and faculty members on national, state, and Chicago politics, always with a coffee cup in hand. According to Mike, “This institution represents the best Chicago has to offer.”

    Applying to law school for the Fall of 2017, Mike is dedicated to Chicago’s future and wants to continue the progressive fight on a community level to make this city a vibrant, affordable, transparent and a safe place for the next generation of residents.  

    Click here to see previous students of the week.