As a field, political science examines how societies are governed and to what ends, teaching students how to analyze and better understand the causes and effects of political behavior.
There are very good reasons to consider a major or minor in political science, regardless of your long-term career plans. Political science students are trained to think independently, communicate effectively, understand complex social structures, and function effectively in a multicultural world. Since a political science major gives you basic skills that are adaptable to an ever-changing job market, it is no surprise that it is listed as one of the most economically valuable majors in the social sciences.
These skills are broadly applicable to a wide variety of career choices. In fact, a study by WealthInsight finds that political science is one of the top 10 undergraduate majors for millionaires around the world, and this group includes a number of successful investment bankers, lawyers, lobbyists, and consultants. Other common careers for political science graduates include:
|Researcher for Gov't Agency or Think Tank
CIA Analyst or Agent
The American Political Science Association has an even more extensive list of possible careers for people who receive a bachelor's in political science, and students in other fields may also find that adding a political science degree. Communications and political science is good preparation for a press secretary, and a major in one of the sciences will be more successful breaking into scientific policy-making by double-majoring in political science. Political science, therefore, is one of the most flexible degrees you can receive.
Moreover, an education in political science uniquely prepares students for knowledgeable and effective citizenship at all levels of the political system. In fact, this may be one of the greatest benefits in specializing in political science at Oklahoma State University. The department is actively engaged with our community, and political science students at OSU are offered unique opportunities to network and gain valuable experience by participating in campaign work, conducting research alongside scholars who are actively engaged in their field, and interning with various local, state, national, and even international organizations and agencies.
Students further refine their expertise by focusing on one of the major subfields within the political science major:
- American Politics: The study of current and classical work on the American government, including such topics as the Congress, the presidency, courts, elections, public opinion, political parties, and interest groups.
- Comparative Politics: The study and comparison of domestic politics in countries around the world. Our department offers classes in the politics of Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and Central Asia.
- International Relations: The study of relations between countries, including such topics as foreign policy, conflict, trade, and foreign aid.
- Political Theory: The study of classical and contemporary writing on politics, authority, liberty, citizenship, justice, rights, law, and civic ethics.
The Department of Political Science also allows students to take a number of classes in public law and policy/emergency management, and the department's FEMA (Fire and Emergency Management Administration) is one of the oldest and largest in the country.
Political science students at OSU actively engage in real-world politics and political issues. During the 2014 election, OSU students and faculty helped host several of the top debates for state office, including the official governor's debate (pictured above).
Current OSU students who would like to declare a political science major or minor should contact Vincent Burke to set up an advising appointment. For future students interested in joining us, click here to apply for undergraduate admission at Oklahoma State.
- Carnevale, Anthony P., Jeff Strohl, and Michelle Melton. 2014. What's It Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors. Retrieved from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce at https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/whatsitworth-complete.pdf
- Jacobs, Peter. 1 November 2013. The 10 Most Popular College Majors For Millionaires. Retrieved from Business Insider at http://www.businessinsider.com/the-10-most-popular-majors-for-millionaires-2013-10
- The Ten Most Popular Majors Among Millionaires. 17 December 2013. Retrieved from The Academe Blog at http://academeblog.org/2013/12/17/the-ten-most-popular-majors-among-millionaires/
- Bringing Students Back to Politics. 2014. Retrieved from the Oklahoma State Arts & Sciences Magazine at http://cas.okstate.edu/images/epubs/2014/index.html#18