Ellen Seljan

Professor of Political Science

Ellen Seljan teaches courses in American politics, public policy, research methods, and data science. Her research is in the field of state and local politics, spanning the policy domains of fiscal institutions and election administration. Previous work on fiscal institutions includes analysis of tax and expenditure limits, supermajority requirements to raise taxes, and assessment districting. Her research on election administration has examined campaign finance enforcement and the effect of automatic voter registration laws.

Academic Credentials

PhD in Political Science, University of California, San Diego (2010), BA, Drew University (2004)


Fall 2023:

POLS 201: Research Methods in Political Science

MWF 9:10AM - 10:10AM

Introduction to the methodological principles and issues in political science research, using readings within and beyond political science. Identifying variables and mechanisms, developing and testing theories, collecting and measuring data, and assessing a study’s ability to achieve causal inference. Introduction to different approaches to research, including experiments, case studies, and regression analysis. Strongly recommended for sophomores or juniors who have declared a POLS major, as this course is a prerequisite for thesis and some senior capstone courses.
Prerequisites: POLS 102 or POLS 103.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.


POLS-400: Senior Thesis

Choosing a definitive topic and narrowing it; developing a research design, doing the research, submitting drafts, revising drafts, polishing final copy. Presenting thesis to political science faculty and seniors for critique, rewrite of thesis. Final form due at end of semester. Normally taken for 2 credits in both fall and spring semesters of senior year for a total of 4 credits. A deferred grade will be issued for the first semester of the yearlong series. When the full sequence is completed, the given grade applies to both semesters.

Prerequisites: POLS-102, POLS-103, & POLS-201
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required

Location: J.R. Howard Hall