University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Political Science


Majoring in political science does not prepare a student for a specific profession, the way that majoring in nursing or accounting would.  It grounds the student in basic concepts of politics and governance, while providing the tools for critical thinking and writing that are necessary for a broad range of professional careers (APSA - Careers in Political Science). 

The political science major is a traditional pathway to law school, and UVM’s Political Science Department does an excellent job in preparing its students for the study of law.  We have a range of courses on the American legal system, a large concentration of faculty in the area and an active pre-law advising program.

But majoring in political science gives students many more options as well. Graduates of the UVM Political Science Department have gone on to graduate studies in political science, international affairs, and other fields.  Our majors have taken jobs in Federal, state and local governments, journalism, advocacy groups, non-governmental organizations, high school teaching, business, financial services and many other fields. 

Jobs in Business

Business Analyst; Environmental/Regulatory Affairs Manager/Analyst; Health Care/Benefits Administrator; Information Systems Management; Investment Banking; Advertising Executive; Corporate Planning Specialist, etc.

Jobs in Government

The federal government is so large and varied that it is impossible to do more than briefly mention types of opportunities available, i.e., Public Affairs Researcher; Political Action Committee Policy Analyst; Legislative Issues Management; Issues Analyst; National Security Advisor; Federal Legislative Assistant; Senator/Representative; Campaign Manager, etc. A political science graduate might find a job in nearly any agency or branch of the federal government and the majority of them are located outside of Washington, D.C., providing plenty of job openings throughout the United States and globally.

State and local governments function in almost every area that has an impact on the lives of citizens and have assumed ever increasing responsibility for equal employment compliance, consumer protection, highway safety, pollution and soil conservation, human services (education, welfare, manpower training) among many others. The need for professionally trained and educated individuals in these and other areas has grown tremendously to fill positions such as County Treasurer, Town/City/County Counselor, Town Clerk, City Planner, Labor Relations Specialist, Criminologist, Housing Administrator and State Commissioner of Education to name a few.

Jobs in Non-Governmental Organizations/Nonprofits

Beginning in the early 1960's there has been an explosion in the number and variety of voluntary associations taking an active role at every level of government. These groups hold thousands of potential jobs for political science graduates. The vast expansion of Possible positions might be: Federal/State Government Relationship Manager; Political Affairs Specialist; Field Officer; Regulatory Affairs Manager; Human Rights Campaign Staffer; Union Political Relationship Director; Political Action Committee Consultant, etc.

Jobs in Teaching

K-12 Schools: Curriculum Development/Supervision; Educational Researcher; School Administration; State Level School Administration; Government/Politics Teacher, etc.
MA/Ph.D: Professor, Researcher Analyst; Higher Education Administrator; University Provost/President, etc.

Jobs in Journalism

Writer/Reporter/Editor/Producer/News Caster; On Line Political Journalist; Press Officer; Public Affairs Research Analyst; Association Newletter Editor, etc.

Jobs in Legal Profession

Attorney; District Attorney; Judge; Law Enforcement; Public Interest/Consumer Advocate; Corporate Legal Counsel; Government Attorney; Law Professor, etc.

Continuing Your Study in Political Science....Graduate Study

There are many different programs that offer graduate work in political science and related fields, making it advisable to carefully research graduate programs through the web and campus visits. Political Science department faculty advisors are available for counseling.

Career Advising Service

Last modified December 02 2015 12:15 PM