Political Science - FAQ's

What skills do I need to succeed?

An interest in and the capacity for critical and independent thought about complex social phenomena is the best marker for success among those who would study political science.


What I will learn?

Political Science majors will:

  • be able to apply the skills of quantitative and qualitative data analysis to real-world social science data to evaluate research hypotheses as used in policy analysis and problem-solving
  • be familiar with major authors, works, and theories of the canon of political science in American political institutions and processes, international relations, comparative political systems, political theory (both normative and positive), and public law
  • conduct instrument design and data collection in connection with a well-formulated research question
  • demonstrate a competency in effectively using library, archival, and electronic resources for research purposes
  • be able to present, discuss, and defend their own research at a high level of professional discourse.


What opportunities are there for internships or other hands-on learning experiences?

The political science program provides students with opportunities for independent studies, field experiences and internships for credit through registration for PS368, Internship and Field Experiences. Interns work for offices of national, state, or local government. The department will assist qualifying majors in arranging for credit internships in appropriate areas of interest.

What are some possible entry-level careers with a degree in this field?

For CMU political science graduates the historic data indicates that about one third of them enter law school or, another third enter public service, and the final third seek careers in the private sector, most often in public policy oriented roles. The civil service positions are typically listed as budget analyst, policy analyst, caseworker, program analyst. At the federal level, typical entry level positions would be at the GS-9 level, but military and intelligence agencies have hired our students off that scale.


Want more information? Check out the Major Resources provided by the Career Development Center.


What are some CMU graduates with this degree doing?

See Student Success Stories