Undergraduate Spotlight- Ryan Schultheis

Author: Alicia LeRoy

Ryan Schultheis is a Political Science undergrad interning at Durham Immigration Law and working as a research assistant for Michael Coppedge's "Varieties of Democracy" project.


1. What initially attracted you to declare a Political Science major?
-"Although I applied to Notre Dame as an intended Political Science major, the department’s diverse courses offerings and unique opportunities sold me when I arrived."

2. What do you enjoy about studying Political Science?
-"I enjoy the ability to foster a broad education while having the resources to cultivate my particular interest in immigration policy."

3. What Political Science classes have you taken that have been of particular interest to you?
-"I can honestly say that I have enjoyed all of my Political Science courses at Notre Dame. My first Political Science course was “US Foreign Policy” with Professor Lindley. The course not only provided a solid foundation in international relations theory but also challenged me to be an effective writer and confident speaker. Another interesting and valuable course was “Quantitative Political Analysis” with Professor Coppedge. After taking this course, I am confident that I have the tools and methodological understanding necessary to do research for my senior thesis and beyond."

4. Which do you hope to take in the future? And Why?
-"As I will be studying abroad in Santiago, Chile next fall, I hope to take various courses on Latin American politics when I return. I also hope to take courses in political economy and public policy to complement my second major in International Economics. In the end, I hope that my final course selections as a Political Science major complement a senior thesis project on the economics of immigration policy."

5. Where do you hope to go with this major?
-"A major in Political Science has given me a wide array of postgraduate opportunities. I am particularly interested in immigration law, having interned through the Political Science department with a local immigration attorney. I am most likely to pursue more schooling after leaving Notre Dame. Whether law school, a master’s program in public policy, or a PhD program in Political Science, I am not entirely certain. Regardless of my path, I will be well-equipped as a speaker, writer, critical thinker, and citizen thanks to my Political Science major."

Ryan is also a research assistant for Professor Coppedge’s “Varieties of Democracy” project (https://v-dem.net/DemoComp/) and Vice President of the Community Alliance to Serve Hispanics.