Political Science, B.A.

Program Overview

Are you interested in political questions of social justice, personal liberty, and equality? Are you an avid follower of political and international news? If you want to study such critical issues as human rights, race and ethnicity, gender and politics, elections, globalization, war and peace, and protest politics, consider a political science major.

Majoring in political science at PLNU will help you develop and master critical thinking and problem-solving skills, analytical techniques, and experiential application of complex concepts — all essential for graduate school, a variety of careers, and active civic engagement. Introductory classes in American government and international relations will provide you with the foundational knowledge to gain these necessary skills, while upper division classes will have you applying this knowledge to such topics as human rights, gender politics, global governance, urban politics, social movements, political theory, race and ethnicity, and international law.

You’ll have the chance to gain firsthand experience in how government works and policy is facilitated by spending an international semester abroad or a semester in Washington, D.C. Networking opportunities with the Institute of Politics and Public Service will connect you with like-minded groups and individuals. Finally, the experiential learning continues with a public affairs internship that will help hone your professional skills through practical application.

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Lidiya Kravchuk (14)

Political Science, B.A.

Lidiya Kravchuk shares her experience as a student in the Department of History and Political Science.

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Lidiya Kravchuk (14)

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

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Lindsey Lupo Teaching In Class

Spotlight

Lindsey Lupo, Ph.D.

When Lindsey Lupo began her doctoral program in political science, she had no intention of teaching. In fact, a concerned professor pulled her aside one day and advised her to at least pretend she wanted to teach at one of the finest research institutions if she wanted to be taken seriously.

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Career Opportunities

Political science not only encompasses understanding government systems and laws, it’s learning how these same systems impact organizations, individuals, activism, and change. 

Political science has long been the foundation of future politicians and lawyers, but the career possibilities are endless. The versatile set of skills you’ll develop by pursuing a degree in political science from PLNU will equip you for fields as varied as public service, journalism, nonprofit work, law, diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, business, teaching, and more.

At PLNU, our political science program zeroes in growing three particular skill sets:

  • Critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and analytical techniques
  • Experiential application of complex concepts
  • Knowing how to apply knowledge to current and relevant topics such as human rights, gender politics, social movements, political theory, race and ethnicity, and international law

What do jobs in political science look like post-graduation?

Employment in careers related to a degree in political science are projected to remain steady, yet competitive. For lawyers (one of the most common careers PLNU alumni pursue with this degree), employment is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Competition for jobs over the next ten years is expected to be strong because more students graduate from law school each year than there are jobs available.”

What are PLNU alumni doing with their degrees in political science?

Many graduates of the political science program have gone on to work in industries such as the business, financial, and real-estate sectors; news, journalism, and media; nonprofit and humanitarian organizations; and lawmaking and political advising.

Some of the positions PLNU graduates currently hold:

Lawyers

2020 Median annual salary: $126,930
Lawyers represent and guide individuals, government agencies, and companies both in private and public affairs. Lawyers must complete an undergraduate degree, a law degree, and must also typically pass a state’s written bar examination. 

Necessary attributes and skills: 

  • Conduct research and analysis of legal problems
  • Thorough understanding of laws, regulations, and rulings
  • Strong writing skills for cases, contracts, wills, etc.
  • Articulate speaker and communicator

General and Operations Managers

2020 Median annual salary: $123,880
General and operations managers are responsible for managing activities that are part of the production of services in wide-ranging fields from social media to election campaigns. Operations managers' responsibilities include human resource management, asset management, and cost management. Their indirect responsibilities can include interacting with the managers in other functional areas within the organization whose roles have an impact on operations. 

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Managing the operations process
  • Embracing design, planning, and control
  • Emphasizes performance improvement and operations strategy
  • Open communication with staff and constituents
  • Innovative thinking for improvement of programs and strategies

Public Relations (PR) and Fundraising Managers

2020 Median annual salary: $118,430
PR and fundraising managers direct and coordinate campaigns, resource funding, and the image of an organization or individual. These managers typically deal with a significant amount of travel to give speeches, attend meetings, and take part in community outreach and engagement for the goals of the organization.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Audience identification and knowledge
  • Ability to help client(s) communicate effectively with desired audience
  • Clear communication to assist and inform an organization’s executives and spokespeople
  • Experience and creativity with advertising and promotion programs
  • Supervision and delegation of the activities of staff

Management Consultants and Business Analysts

2020 Median annual salary: $87,660
Management consultants and business analysts recommend ways to improve an organization’s or product’s efficiency. They work one-on-one with an organization offering advice and guidance to encourage growth and long-term solutions when it comes to methods, equipment, revenue, expenditure, and employment reports. 

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Interviewing skills and communication of ideas
  • Ingenuity to develop solutions or alternative practices
  • Creativity and consistency with presentations or written reports

How will you apply your political science degree to change the inner workings of a business, product, government system, or community?

The opportunities are limitless with a Political Science, B.A. from PLNU. Whether you’re intrigued by international relations, small-scale interactions between organizations and individuals, or making a difference in public relations, take your first steps with PLNU’s Department of History & Political Science.

Apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors here for additional support and answers to any questions you may have.

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