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Political Science Degree

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A degree in political science prepares an individual with the skills and knowledge necessary to examine, analyze and evaluate political systems, both real and theoretical, and how they will operate in a given environment. Students of political science will study various forms of government in depth, how such governments work, where their weaknesses lie, and how theory and practice deviate. Political science is a social science, and incorporates philosophy, economics, history and sociology into its models for political behavior and policy making. Degrees are available from the associate level on, though a career as political scientists will typically require at least a master's degree.

A curriculum in political science may include:

  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Analysis
  • International Relations
  • American Politics
  • Politics and Media

A career as a political scientist generally requires a minimum of a master's degree. A majority of jobs in political science are provided by the federal and state governments through various agencies. These positions are typically responsible for policy making and research. Positions with think tanks and other institutions are also available, also for the purposes of research and policy. Many individuals pursuing master or doctoral degrees will do so in a related field, such as public policy or public administration.

Careers opportunities in political science are expected to have limited growth due to the high barrier of entry, and limitations in employment due to the major employer of such scientists being the government. Some growth is anticipated as interest in public policy and politics increases, resulting in the need for more educated and knowledgeable individuals in the field. The average salary for a political scientist is near $120,000 per year, with teaching positions having an average of $47,000 per year.

Individuals with an associate or bachelor's degree may pursue varying careers outside of politics and public policy due to the cross-disciplinary nature of the major. Many will pursue graduate degrees in a separate field, while others will seek employment with firms that value the skills learned through such a degree, such as critical thinking, analysis, writing, and others.

Individuals interested in political science may also be interested in sociology, public policy, or public administration

Top Colleges that Offer Political Science by Number of Graduates

Listed below are the most popular schools in the U.S. that have political science programs. Schools can be filtered by clicking the drop-down menu below and selecting a state.

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C = Certificate or Award | A = Associate Degree | B = Bachelor's Degree | M = Master's Degree | D = Doctor Degree (Ph.D.,M.D.,...)

Showing 1-20 of 1,149 Schools
University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

About The University of California – Los Angeles, located in Los Angeles, California was founded in 1882 as the southern campus of the California State Normal School, originally located in what is now the Downtown Central...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $12,692
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (310) 825-4321

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

The University of Texas at Austin is a flagship institution within the University of Texas System. This pubic research university is located in Austin, Texas, about one mile from the State...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $9,790
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (512) 471-3434

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)
  • Urban Studies and Affairs (B,M,D)

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University is the largest research university in the US, with four campuses; the Tempe Campus being the original and the largest campus. It is located approximately eight miles from downtown Phoenix, in the heart of Tempe,...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $9,724
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (480) 965-9011

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Political Science and Government (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)
  • Urban Studies and Affairs (B,M,D)

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University is the main institution of the State University System of Florida. It is classified as a doctoral research university, conferring more than 2,000 professional and graduate degrees annually. The FSU establishment sprawls over 1,500 acres in land area, with...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $6,402
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (850) 644-2525

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, CA

University of California - Irvine (UCI) is an institution of higher learning and research, and one of the fastest-growing campuses in the University of California system.  It is situated in the heart of Orange County, in Southern California. Consistently ranked among...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $13,122
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (949) 824-5011

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Political Science and Government (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)
  • Urban Studies and Affairs (B,M,D)

University of Washington - Seattle Campus

Seattle, WA

Known as the largest college in the northwestern region of the United States, the University of Washington is comprised of three campuses, the largest being UW in Seattle. It was founded in 1861 and now belongs among the top universities in the world. UW is also recognized as a...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $12,383
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (206) 543-2100

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

The University of California, Berkeley has a reputation of excellence, boasting many renowned graduates and faculty members.  In fact, 20 UC Berkeley faculty members have received Nobel awards.  According to a National Research Council analysis, UC Berkeley has at...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $12,874
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (510) 642-6000

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)
  • Urban Studies and Affairs (B,M,D)

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

The University of Central Florida is located in Orlando. It is a metropolitan research university of the State University System of Florida. History The University of Central Florida was...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $6,247
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (407) 823-2000

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M)
  • Sociology (B,M)

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

Originally established in Detroit in 1817, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is Michigan state's oldest public university. It serves as the main campus for the University of Michigan, with regional campuses located in Dearborn and Flint. There are over 9,000 faculty members in...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $12,994
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (734) 764-1817

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)

Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

Ohio State University is the largest single campus university in the US. It is located in Columbus, Ohio and is a public research university. History Ohio State University was established as a...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $10,037
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (614) 292-6446

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida is located in Gainsville, Florida and is one of the three largest single campus universities in the US.  It is one of three research flagship universities within the State University System of Florida and is the most prestigious school of...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $6,143
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (352) 392-3261

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)

University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD

UM's pride lies not only in being Maryland state's flagship university but also in having over a hundred of its academic programs consistently ranking among the best in the country. The University of Maryland boasts of several schools and colleges including those of the...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $8,908
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (301) 405-1000

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)
  • Urban Studies and Affairs (B,M,D)

Rutgers University - New Brunswick

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University is the state university of New Jersey.  It is considered one of the top research universities in the nation with a history of scientific innovation. Based on its faculty's productivity, such as number of books published, grants awarded and cited...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $13,073
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (732) 932-1766

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)
  • Urban Studies and Affairs (B,M,D)

University of California - Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA

University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a public research university located roughly 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The palm-lined, 1,000 plus acre campus is situated along the Pacific Ocean, with views of the ocean and Santa Ynez...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $13,671
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (805) 893-8000

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is the main campus of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System. Its founding in 1848 was the result of a Wisconsin constitutional provision, mandating the institution of a state university within the state...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $10,378
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (608) 262-1234

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)
  • Rural Sociology (B,M,D)

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

Champaign, IL

The University of Illinois at Urbana is the largest and oldest campus in the University of Illinois system and is a public research facility. History The University of Illinois at Urbana was...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $14,522
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (217) 333-1000

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)

New York University

New York, NY

New York University's main campus is located in Greenwich Village. It is a private, non-sectarian, research university and the largest non-profit institution of higher learning in the US. Study abroad facilities are located in a wide variety of countries around the globe....

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $43,204
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (212) 998-1212

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)
  • Urban Studies and Affairs (B,M,D)

University of California - Davis

Davis, CA

University of California - Davis (UCD), located in the northern city of Davis, California, offers the largest variety of degree programs among the University of California campuses.  UC Davis's programs are nationally ranked, thanks in part to the universities...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $13,877
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (530) 752-1011

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Political Science and Government (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

The University of Connecticut (UConn) is the top-ranking public research university in New England, and is considered one of the best universities in the nation. UConn offers undergraduate degrees in more than 100 majors, graduate degrees in 86 areas of research and...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $11,242
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (860) 486-2000

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Political Science and Government (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)
  • Urban Studies and Affairs (B,M,D)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill or "Carolina") is just one of 16 public universities in North Carolina.  It is located in the charming college town of Chapel Hill.  One of the most highly regarded institutions of higher education...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $7,693
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (919) 962-2211

Programs Offered

  • Political Science (B,M,D)
  • Sociology (B,M,D)

Source: IPEDS Survey 2008-2011: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.