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What can I do with a degree in political science?

A degree in political science—whether it be our general political science program, or through either of our concentrations in pre-law or international relations—offers many possible rewarding careers for you!

Law and Legal-related Careers

If you want to go to law school and become a lawyer, our political science and pre-law programs offer you the best preparation for law school.  Many political science graduates continue their formal education after receiving an undergraduate degree. Successful completion of undergraduate work in political science provides a basis for the study of law. Indeed, typically a majority of our majors are at least seriously considering going to law school.

Many of our students have gained admittance to outstanding schools of law nationwide such as Harvard, Virginia, Georgetown, Houston, Howard, Minnesota, and Baylor. Our students also regularly gain admission to all the excellent law schools within Louisiana: LSU, Loyola New Orleans, Southern University, and Tulane.

With a law degree, students go on to private practice, big city law firms, small town law offices, corporate counsel, prosecuting attorneys, public defenders, or administrative enforcement for government agencies, as well as other non-legal jobs such as running not-for-profit organizations or becoming business managers. Most law students study U.S. law, but some law students study international law as well.

Government Employment and Public Administration

If you want to go into politics or government, then political science is your major. Undergraduate studies in any area of political science can give you a  career in public administration. Knowledge of the political process, strong writing skills, and familiarity with research methods are all necessary for working in government bureaucracy.

Many of our majors work in volunteer or paid internship positions for public officials and political campaigns. Upon graduations, these students frequently go on to run for public office themselves, or they become permanent paid support staff in the offices of local and regional officials, such as mayors, state representatives and senators, and federal representatives and senators. Federal, state, and local governments in the U.S. employ more than 11 million people. A large portion of those positions require undergraduate degrees in areas like political science. Some government employment opportunities require advanced degrees in public administration, law, or other areas.

Numerous graduates of UL Lafayette's Department of Political Science have developed public service careers. They include: a former governor, U.S Senator, a U.S. Congressman, judges, state legislators, a program analyst for the federal government, a public defender, university professors, an Assistant Attorney General, an administrative assistant for the state legislature, a regional program supervisor for the Louisiana Office of Public Health, a performance auditor for the Louisiana Office of Legislative Auditor, a community organizer, a political campaign consultant, and several officers in the U.S. military.

A bachelor's degree in political science is also the best springboard to graduate programs in public administration, public policy, diplomacy, international studies, and international affairs, which provide specialized training for positions in a variety of government jobs. UL-Lafayette political science graduates have also completed or are pursuing graduate degrees in political science, public administration, and social work at various nationally recognized universities such as Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Missouri, LSU, Southern, and New Orleans.

Non-governmental Organizations and Non-profits

IIf you are thinking about a career in public service outside of government, our political science degree offers great preparation for work in non-profits, public and private foundations, or other non-governmental organizations such as charities, aid organizations, or educational or religious institutions. These organizations operate at the local, state, national, and international policy level, working on virtually all issue areas all over the globe. The missions of these organizations range from local school improvement, neighborhood housing, state health and environmental policy, to issues of global food security and human rights.

Academic Research and Teaching

With our bachelor's degree in political science, you can go on to a career in teaching and research. You can go on to teach high school civics if you take a secondary education minor. To teach at the community college level, you can go on to get a Master's degree in political science.  Or, to teach at the college or university level, you can go on to earn a Ph.D. in political science, specializing in topics like American politics, public law, political behavior, comparative politics, political theory, or international relations.

Business and Finance

Do you want to go into the private business sector? Because of our intensive writing requirements in all our upper-level political science courses, all our undergraduate programs in political science provides excellent preparation for careers or graduate programs in business. The business minor, which requires courses in accounting, economics, finance, and marketing, is a common minor taken by our pre-law majors in preparation for a career in business law.

Our graduates hold a variety of positions which include: chief executive officers of companies, a human resources manager for a large chemical company, a director of corporate risk management for a Fortune 500 company, purchasing and contracts officers, real estate developers, publisher's representatives, lobbyists, translators, convention managers, real estate and insurance brokers, salespeople, and white-collar workers in the gas and oil industry. Also, in today's increasingly interconnect global economy, almost all businesses today are affected by global politics and economics.  All businesses are increasingly regulated by law as well. So whether you study general political science, pre-law, or international relations, you'll be prepared to succeed in today's business environment.

Journalism and Media

If you are interested in a career in journalism or media, our political science training can give you the substantive writing and research skills, plus the necessary analytical background that you'll need.

With a strong emphasis in writing, speaking, and analysis, plus with our many internship possibilities, our political science programs are excellent backgrounds for print or broadcast journalism, publishing, social media, communications, and public relations. Many people enter these positions with a bachelor's degree in political science or after completing a graduate program in journalism, communications, or media studies.