How to Become a Political Scientist in the United States

Monday, June 26, 2023

Choosing a major is a really difficult task, but when you make up your mind, everything becomes easier. Political science is a good option if you enjoy talking about governmental issues and goals. If you want to study this profession, here we show you how to become a political scientist in the country

Political scientists are in charge of researching and analyzing political and governmental issues. They evaluate the way politics influences social development and focus on the field at the local, statal, national, and international levels. Britannica defines this field as “the systematic study of governance by the application of empirical and generally scientific methods of analysis” and that it “examines the state and its organs and institutions.”

Fields and Subfields 

Political science is often divided into different fields and subfields that differ from each other. 

  1. Domestic politics focuses on administrative decisions related to issues within the state. It is subdivided into public opinion, elections, national government, state and regional government, and more. 
  2. Comparative politics focuses on the contrastive study of other countries and citizens, analyzing the similarities and differences between their politics. 
  3. International relations is one of the most popular subdivisions of political science and is based on the political relationships and interactions between countries, considering the causes of war, international political economy, and more. 
  4. Public administration is another subfield of political science and it is based on the study of the position and role of bureaucracy. 
  5. Public law studies constitutions, legal systems, civil rights, and criminal justice, among others. 

How to Become a Political Scientist? 

The first step to becoming a political scientist is to have your Secondary Education Diploma. In order to be a professional, you have to get a degree, so a high school diploma is a requirement. 

Once you have graduated from high school, you should earn an undergraduate degree. You can get a Bachelor’s in political science or a related degree such as a Bachelor's in international relations, public policy, history, or economics, among others. Choose the field that best suits your interests and find a university that offers you all the knowledge you need to become a professional. 

Although an undergraduate degree is enough to work in the field of political science, some people decide to go for more and pursue a postgraduate degree. A master’s degree or a doctorate will open up a great number of opportunities in the field. These graduate degrees might include a combination of several areas that will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the future. 

While you are getting your undergraduate or even your postgraduate degree, you should apply for an internship. This will allow you to gain experience in the field of political science, which will help you collect all the important and necessary pieces of knowledge that will be useful in your future career. You can enroll in an internship where you will work as a campaign assistant, in legislative offices, or more. 

Once you have completed your higher education programs and your unpaid internships, you should get work experience in a well-paid job to build your experience and create an excellent resume that will later help you get successful jobs. 

If you want to learn more about political science, you should read the following articles: 

Why study Political Science?

What can you do with a degree in Political Science?

What is Political Science all about?

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