What is 'Political Science? (POLS)'
Political science is a social science concerned with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. It is often described as the study of politics defined as "who gets what, when and how". Political science has several subfields, including: political theory, public policy, national politics, international relations, and comparative politics.
Political science is methodologically diverse. Approaches to the discipline include classical political philosophy, interpretivism, structuralism, and behavioralism, realism, pluralism, and institutionalism. Political science, as one of the social sciences, uses methods and techniques that relate to the kinds of inquiries sought: primary sources such as historical documents and official records, secondary sources such as scholarly journal articles, survey research, statistical analysis, case studies and model building.
"As a discipline" political science "lives on the fault line between the 'two cultures' in the academy, the sciences and the humanities."
Is It For You?
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.
Jobs and Salary Expectations
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.
Administration, Corporate, Government, Non-Profit, etc.
Archivist, Online Political Data
Budget Examiner or Analyst
Banking Analyst or Executive
CIA Analyst or Agent
City Housing Administrator
Congressional Office/Committee Staffer
Coordinator of Federal or State Aid
Corporate Public Affairs Advisor
Corporate Information Analyst
Corporate Adviser for Govt'l. Relations
Corporation Legislative Issues Manager
Editor, Online Political Journal
Federal Government Analyst
Foreign Service Officer
High School Government Teacher
International Agency Officer
International Research Specialist
Issues Analyst, Corporate Social Policy Div.
Juvenile Justice Specialist
Labor Relations Specialist
Legislative Analyst / Coordinator
Plans and Review Officer, USIA
Public Affairs Research Analyst
Public Opinion Analyst
Urban Policy Planner
Web Content Editor
- POLS 1010 Introduction to Urban Studies
- POLS 1050 State and Local Government
- POLS 2050 American National Government
- POLS 2060 The Constitution
- POLS 2070 Contemporary Social and Political Issues
- POLS 2900 Special Topics: State and Local Government, Politics of Poverty
Credit Classes and Registration
Sources for this information include the American Political Science Association and Wikipedia.org.