Matt Haarms

Major: Political Science  Minors: History, Classical Studies

Matt Haarms came to Purdue to play basketball and discovered a passion for political science. He arrived on campus with an interest in the social sciences but didn’t know what degree to pursue. In an exploratory studies course he researched different majors and political science quickly rose to the top of his list. “I locked in on political science and I’ve never looked back.”

Matt likes that political science includes multiple sub-fields, which has allowed him to gain a broad education from the variety of courses offered. A course in Constitutional Law confirmed his interest in possibly going to law school. “At first, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. A huge case law book was dropped in front of me and I’m like, what is this?” But he describes it as “an amazing experience” to learn how to read judge’s opinions, write case briefs, and understand how the law is interpreted.

He’s enjoyed the challenge of higher-level courses as he’s grown in his knowledge of political science. In an International Environmental Studies course he realized that, as a European, he brings a different perspective to discussions than his mostly American classmates. “The U.S. is very influential globally. It’s used to throwing its weight around but people abroad are kind of tired of it. It’s very personal for some American students. I think I can look at U.S. influence more objectively.”

He’s currently taking a Senior Seminar in Political Theory. “I’m loving theory,” he says. He’s struck that Plato’s teachings in The Republic are as relevant today as they were in Ancient Greece.


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