Students studying political science and public administration have a wide variety of background, interests, and career goals. A political science major provides students with the opportunity to obtain a broad education in liberal arts and politics as well as training for specific career paths. Students with career goals in law, administrative or executive positions in state, local or federal government, teaching political science at the secondary school and college levels, foreign service, international agencies or private business overseas, the mass media, television, radio, newspaper, internet and polling organizations, would be well served by a political science major or minor.
Additionally, a political science education provides students with a variety of skills they may use in all aspects of their lives. Coursework in political science teaches students to think critically, write well and speak with confidence. Students are exposed to a variety of methods of examining information, from textual analysis to the use of statistical software to analyze data. Finally, students studying political science develop a better understanding of the functioning of government in order to better prepare them for democratic citizenship.
A major in political science or public administration will prepare you for a variety of careers, whether you choose to become a political analyst or apply your skills and knowledge in other work environments. The following list contains a sample of job titles of CMU graduates who majored in political science. This list represents some, but certainly not all, of the careers you may consider.
- City or County Administrator
- Parole or Probation Officer
- Economic Development Administrator
- Speech Writer/Press Secretary
The Department of Political Science and Public Administration offers B.A. and B.S. degrees in political science. Students may choose the general major or a concentration in International Relations/Comparative Politics or Public Administration. The Political Science minor and Public Administration minor are also offered at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, the Department offers a Master of Arts degree in Political Science, a Master of Public Administration degree, and courses contributing to several other graduate programs.
Notes from Successful Alumni
A recent survey of Political Science & Public Administration alumni indicated that 69% of respondents were employed, out of which 72.7% were employed full-time. Of the 31% of respondents who indicated that they were unemployed, half were enrolled in a graduate program. 37% of respondents had jobs unrelated to PSC, with the remaining 63% indicating they had jobs either somewhat or entirely related to PSC. Of the students enrolled in a post-graduate program (about 19% of the total) , 54.5% indicated that they are currently pursuing a Law degree.
“I was completely satisfied with the courses that were offered. At the time I was unsure of how well prepared I was, but after starting law school I realized that I was far ahead of my classmates in a number of areas.”
“I am the Government Affairs Associate for a Midwestern University School of Medicine, Physician Group. It is perfect because my educational background is both Health Administration and political Science.”
“I am a legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate—focused primarily on the federal budget, education, transportation, energy, and the environment. It is a temporary position for the summer until I return to law school in the fall.”