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Why Choose Political Science?
Jonas Kiessling, Political Science Major
Students of political science study governments: how they evolve, why they exist, the forms and social functions they assume, why they change, and who controls them.
To understand governments, you will also study politics: how people behave in their relationship to government, what they do to influence government, and how government attempts to influence people's behavior and beliefs about what it does. You must also learn to appreciate how cultural, historical, and economic forces affect the evolution of governments and mass political behavior.
Political science is one of the largest programs in the College of Liberal Arts. After completing core courses, you choose your direction by selecting advanced courses in a variety of areas, including American politics, public law, political theory, international relations, and comparative politics.
Students graduating with the B.A. in political science will be able to:
- Apply analytical tools to analyze problems relevant to politics, geography, the public sector, or the nonprofit sector.
- Develop/enhance critical thinking skills to analyze and evaluate local, national, or global political, legal, or social issues.
- Communicate effectively in writing.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the value of diversity and multicultural competence in today's global environment.
Political science majors go on to a wide variety of careers, including the law, campaign management and lobbying, in government agencies, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations, non-profits, and the private sector.
- Administration and Policy Development
- Advisor to Chairman, State Energy Agency
- Archivist, Online Political Data
- Assistant Chief of Police
- Assistant Budget Examiner
- Assistant Deputy Secretary to Governor
- Assistant District Attorney
- Bank Vice-President, International Division
- Campaign Manager
- Career Counselor
- Chief of Staff, Committee, US House of Reps.
- Chief, State General Govt. Services Office
- CIA Employee
- City Project Coordinator
- City Housing Administrator
- City’s Coordinator of Federal and State Aid
- Commissioner, State Dept. of Human Resources
- Communications Director
- Corporate International Analyst
- Corporate Public Affairs Advisor
- Corporate Economist
- Corporate Mgr. Of Environmental/Reg. Affairs
- Corporate Information Manager
- Corporate Senior Adviser for Governmental Relations
- Corporate Vice President/Account Executive
- Corporation’s Legislative Issues Manager
- County Treasurer
- County Council member
- Country Desk Specialist, Peace Corps
- Deputy Secretary of Administration, State
- Department of Welfare
- Director, County Econ. Development Office
- Director, Cost Containment, Insurance Co.
- Director, Corporate Public Affairs
- Director, Development, Food Bank
- Director, Intelligence Operations
- Director, Division of Policy Studies
- Editor, Online Political Journal
- Executive Director, Special Interest Group
- Executive Director, Presidential Library
- Federal Commission Senior Policy Analyst
- Financial Consultant
- Foundation President
- Free-lance writer
- HUD, Senior Legislative Specialist
- High School Government Teacher
- Information Manager, Corp. Planning Dept
- International Agency Officer
- International Research Specialist
- Issues Analyst, Corporate Social Policy Div.
- Juvenile Justice Specialist, State Justice Dept.
- Labor Relations Specialist
- Legislative Coordinator, Mayor’s Office
- Legislative Director, Education Assn.
- Management Analyst
- Manager of Political Programs
- Manager, Political Risk Division, Bank
- Market Researcher
- Minister for Development
- Plans and Review Officer, USIA
- Political Commentator
- Press Officer, U.S. Embassy
- Principal Secretary to Prime Minister
- Private Foundation Program Director
- Public Affairs Research Analyst
- Research Director, Advertising Firm
- Research Supervisor
- Senior Editor
- Senior Criminologist
- Senior Advisor, Department of Treasury
- Senior Public Opinion Analyst
- State Chief Purchasing Officer
- State Dept., Director, Policy and Coordination
- State Legislator
- State Personnel Officer
- Supervisor, State Department of Education
- Survey Analyst
- Systems Analyst
- Television Network Director of Surveys
- U.S. Army, Strategic Planning Specialist
- U.S. Consulate, Principal Officer
- U.S. Embassy (overseas)
- University Administration
- University Dean
- University President
- University Professor
- University Registrar
- Veterans Adm. Adjudication Unit Chief
- Vice President, Consulting Firm
- Vice President, Market Research
- Web Designer or Director
- Vice President, Government Affairs, Engr. Firm
View the political science program profile for sample occupations, average salary, and employment projections.
General Job Search Engines
Academic Jobs in Political Science
Non Profit Organizations
We encourage our students to gain experience and practical knowledge outside of the classroom by participating in internships. Internships for political science majors may be arranged with area state legislators, congressional district offices, Dayton-area metropolitan governments, and governmental and policy advocacy agencies and organizations in Washington, DC. These internships complement classroom work and give you a chance to apply knowledge and develop valuable interpersonal and career-related skills.
Jacquelyn Weaver volunteered with the Peace Corps because she wanted to relate to people and help them without being motivated by money.
Military duty during Vietnam and a long law career highlight the journey of Wright State alumnus Garrett Gall '73.
Academics and Curriculum
The Bachelor of Arts program in political science focuses on three areas of instruction:
- American Government and Politics
American government, including legislative, judicial, and executive institutions, state and city government, political parties, interest groups, public opinion, the media, and elections, etc. Internships are recommended.
- International Relations and Comparative Politics
The international relations and comparative politics of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as American foreign policy, national security policy; terrorism, the politics of intelligence, diplomacy and conflict resolution, human rights, etc. Model UN and study abroad is recommended.
- Public Law and Political Theory
Public law, including courses on the Supreme Court, constitutional law, policing and criminal justice, civil liberties, and environmental law and international law, law and society, etc. We offer political theory courses on the history of political thought, and political ideologies, as well as political psychology, politics and ethics, bioethics and law, sex and the law. Pre-law internships are recommended.
View political science major program information and degree requirements in the Academic Catalog.
Political Science Major Checksheet (PDF)
You will have two advisors available to help you throughout your academic experience:
- an academic advisor within university academic advising (120 Millett, 937-775-2601)
- a faculty advisor (325 Millett, 937-775-2942)
When you have been accepted into the undergraduate program as a political science major or minor, you will receive a welcome letter informing you of your advisor and the contact information.
Whether you are a transfer student from another college or university, changing majors at Wright State, or adding a minor, you should meet your political science advisor as soon as possible to learn your degree requirements and to acquaint yourself with the broad range of educational opportunities available to political science students.
We stress the importance of practical, applied experiences for our students, enabling you to put your classroom knowledge to use and to develop leadership and interpersonal skills so important to fulfillment and success in your future. For example, the political science program sponsors state legislative internships, a National Model United Nations team and places student interns in area congressional district offices, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, and in Dayton-area city government positions. Washington, D.C., internships also may be arranged. Model United Nations teams have won national championships in team and individual participant categories for nearly four decades.