What is Political Science?
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What is Political Science?

Political Science prepares students for active citizenship, for careers in public affairs, and for advanced study in the social sciences and professions by training them to become good observers of political behavior in their own country and around the world. It is an exciting field because of its complexity, its diversity, and above all, its relevance to the modern world. Political scientists attempt to describe and explain the wide range of political systems using a variety of powerful analytical techniques.

Political Science cannot be studied in isolation from other disciplines. Many different and constantly changing influences—historical, geographical, economic, sociological, psychological, philosophical, and cultural—determine the form and continually affect the functioning of political systems.

An education in political science exposes students to the issues over which people struggle and disagree not only in the United States, but also in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Students learn about the latest research findings on public opinion, executives and bureaucracies, parties and elections, the legislative and judicial systems, international organizations, and other aspects of the governmental process. Students acquire better understanding of the way public affairs are conducted and a more practical knowledge of how citizens, elected representatives, judges, and administrators approach the decisions they are called upon to make.

-Department of Political Science, University of Michigan



Careers in Political Science

A bachelor's degree in political science can lead to exciting careers in federal, state and local governments; law; business; international organizations; nonprofit associations and organizations; campaign management and polling; journalism; precollegiate education; electoral politics; research and university and college teaching.

Political science majors gain analytical skills, administrative competence and communication abilities that are valued in a wide spectrum of potential career areas.

Examples of Careers for Political Scientists

The following are small sample of careers for political scientists.  For more on the career potential for those with degrees in political science, check out the career booklets and pamphlets available from APSA. 

Activist, Advocate/Organizer
Administration, Corporate, Government, Non-Profit, etc. 
Archivist, Online Political Data
Budget Examiner or Analyst
Banking Analyst or Executive
Campaign Operative
Career Counselor
CIA Analyst or Agent
City Planner
City Housing Administrator
Congressional Office/Committee Staffer
Coordinator of Federal or State Aid
Communications Director
Corporate Analyst
Corporate Public Affairs Advisor
Corporate Economist
Corporate Manager
Corporate Information Analyst
Corporate Adviser for Govt'l. Relations
Corporate Executive
Corporation Legislative Issues Manager
Customs Officer
Editor, Online Political Journal
Federal Government Analyst
Financial Consultant
Foreign Service Officer
Foundation President
Free-lance writer
High School Government Teacher
Immigration Officer
Information Manager
Intelligence Officer
International Agency Officer
International Research Specialist
Issues Analyst, Corporate Social Policy Div.
Juvenile Justice Specialist
Labor Relations Specialist
Legislative Analyst / Coordinator
Management Analyst
Plans and Review Officer, USIA
Policy Analyst
Political Commentator
Public Affairs Research Analyst
Public Opinion Analyst
Research Analyst
State Legislator
Survey Analyst
Systems Analyst
University Administrator
University Professor
Urban Policy Planner
Web Content Editor

-American Political Science Association