Explore a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science
Political science covers history, current events, law, and politics. Students with an interest in politics, foreign affairs, and public policy may be interested in a political science degree. Political science students may find careers in government agencies, journalism, public relations, domestic and international businesses, or as political analysts.
The introductory course work for a political science major may include political theory, American politics, international politics, and statistics course work. Advanced course work may cover international relations, comparative politics, American foreign policy, the American legal process, criminal justice, and policy making. Political science degrees may be supplemented with course work in communications, economics, psychology, and sociology.
- Criminal Justice. Criminal justice may provide an overview of the American criminal justice system, discretionary decision making, an overview of issues in criminal justice, and the statistical methods used in criminal justice. Students will learn the elements of crime and the history and functions of the criminal justice system.
- Comparative Politics. Comparative politics covers the governments and societies of different countries. Students analyze the similarities and differences between political systems through systematic comparison.
- American Foreign Policy.American foreign policy covers the history of American policy, current questions and controversies in American foreign policy, and the future of U.S. policy. Students evaluate policy and its consequences to the United States and other countries.
Students may be assigned extensive reading assignments related to lecture topics discussed in class. Students may also be required to turn in argumentative writing assignments relating to topics discussed in class.
Building a Career
Political scientists require a master's or a doctorate degree in political science or a related field, but begin their education with a bachelor's degree in political science. A bachelor's degree in political science may lead to entry-level positions as research assistants or policy analysts in research organizations, political campaigns, or government agencies. They may also work as postsecondary teachers, provided they have a graduate degree in the field.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for social scientists to increase by 18% between 2010 and 2020. About 53% of political scientists work for the federal government, while others work for nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, labor organizations, and think tanks.