Polygence blog / Education and College Admissions

What Can I Do With a Political Science Degree?

5 minute read

Political science is the study of government, politics, and political behavior, and opens a multitude of career possibilities. In this post, we will explore the diverse paths that unfold with a political science degree, ranging from public policy and international relations to law, advocacy, and beyond. As an overview, here is a list of all the possible career opportunities one can pursue with a political science degree: 

  • Political Research Analyst

  • Policy Advisor

  • Government Affairs Specialist

  • Political Campaign Strategist

  • Legislative Assistant

  • Public Relations Specialist

  • Diplomat/Foreign Service Officer

  • Nonprofit Program Manager

  • Intelligence Analyst

  • Political Consultant

  • Attorney/Lawyer

  • Journalist/Political Reporter

  • Public Opinion Researcher

  • International Development Specialist

  • Academic/Political Science Professor

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Political Science Jobs

Public Policy Analysts 

Political science graduates in public policy contribute to evidence-based decision-making, conducting research and offering recommendations that shape the trajectory of public governance. Their work influences United States policies that impact communities, regions, and nations. Public policy analysts play a crucial role in evaluating and formulating policies that address societal challenges. They work for government agencies, think tanks, and research institutions, using their political theory skills to navigate complex issues such as healthcare, education, and social welfare.

International Relations Specialists

International relations specialists go beyond American politics to navigate the complexities of diplomatic relations, trade agreements, and global governance. They may work for government agencies, international organizations, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Diplomats and foreign affairs analysts engage in negotiations, represent their countries in international politics, and contribute to the development of foreign policy. Through their work, political science graduates in international affairs foster cooperation and understanding in an interconnected world.

Law and Legal Analysts

Many law schools value the analytical and critical thinking skills honed in political science programs. Political science graduates often pursue law degrees and become attorneys, judges, or legal analysts. In this political science career, lawyers contribute to the administration of justice, provide legal counsel, and advocate for the rights of individuals and communities. Their understanding of political structures and legal systems positions them as key players in upholding the principles of justice.

Campaign Management and Political Consulting

Political strategists, campaign managers, and consultants play pivotal roles in shaping political narratives, conducting polling, and devising communication strategies to influence public opinion. Political science degree holders are perfect for the job, as they study insights into voter behavior and political dynamics to influence elections and public discourse.

Advocacy and Nonprofit Work

Political science graduates in advocacy roles engage with policymakers, organize grassroots movements, and influence public opinion to bring about social change. Advocates and activists work on behalf of marginalized communities, addressing issues such as human rights, environmental justice, and equality. 

Political Journalism and Media Analysis

This work, whether through traditional media outlets or digital platforms, provides insights into the political landscape, holding those in power accountable and fostering an informed citizenry. Political science graduates in journalism bridge the gap between the complexities of political processes and the understanding of the general public.

Political Research and Polling

Political science graduates with a penchant for data analysis often find themselves in roles related to political research and polling. Market research analysts and pollsters conduct surveys, analyze data, and interpret public sentiment to provide insights into political trends.

Their work helps political campaigns, policymakers, and organizations understand the preferences and concerns of the public. Political science graduates in research roles contribute to evidence-based decision-making, guiding political strategies and informing policy priorities.

How Can a High School Student Prepare to Pursue a Political Science Degree?

High school students aspiring to enroll in a political science undergraduate program can lay a strong foundation by engaging in a multifaceted approach. Enrolling in courses that delve into the social sciences, government, and economics provides essential academic groundwork, while honing writing and communication skills through English and public speaking courses is paramount. 

Participating in extracurricular activities such as Model UN or other mock trial programs offers hands-on experience in this field. These mock trial programs could include programs from the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), which hosts competitions for both college and high school students. Another opportunity is the National High School Mock Trial Championship, where teams from different states and countries compete in rounds, presenting cases before real judges and attorneys. For those seeking an international perspective, the Empire Mock Trial hosts global competitions, allowing students to compete against teams worldwide. 

Additionally, political science students can understand their career options by volunteering for political campaigns, exploring internships with government offices or non-profits, and participating in student government. 

How can conducting research projects help? 

Envision diving into political science through the avenue of a personal research project. This endeavor transcends traditional classroom learning, offering you the opportunity to explore topics that genuinely captivate your curiosity. Beyond the confines of textbooks, this experience cultivates critical thinking skills as you grapple with real-world political issues, refining your ability to craft well-reasoned arguments. The personalized research journey extends beyond academic enrichment, allowing you to actively engage with current events, policies, and societal challenges and formulate your own opinion on these optics. This is the type of work we are empowering students with at Polygence! 

Polygence Scholars Are Also Passionate About

Political Science Research Projects Completed by Polygence Students

Political Science Research Mentors at Polygence 

  • Mentor Hala E is currently a JD candidate with expertise in civil rights, technology, and law. Her undergraduate thesis was on the viability of social media companies being held liable for human rights abuses advertised and perpetrated through their platforms. 

  • Mentor Marisa T has over a decade of experience teaching and has conducted research in critical race theory. Her interests lie in the intersection of education, social justice, politics, and music! 

  • Mentor Sushmeena P received her B.S. degree in Psychology and Politics. With her, students can conduct research intersecting cognitive psychology and politics. Her senior thesis project was on System Justification Theory and the caste system in India.