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Political Science

Political scientists investigate the ways in which political power is organized, distributed and used at the local, state, national and international level. They study a range of subjects including international relations, public opinion and how political decisions are made.

Representative Job Titles and Area of Specialization
  • Administrative Officer
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Elected Public Official
  • Economic Development
  • Criminal Justice
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Congressional Staff Member *
  • Community Development
  • Claims Adjuster
  • City Planner *
  • Bank Officer
  • Advertising
  • International Relations
  • Social Security Representative
  • Public Relations
  • Public Information Officer *
  • Public Administration
  • Professor/Instructor/Teacher *
  • Probation Officer
  • Political Scientist *
  • Personnel Analyst
  • Market Research
  • Management Trainee
  • Lobbyist
  • Lawyer *
  • Journalist

* See Training section

Nature of the Work

Most political scientists are involved in teaching, research, and consulting in colleges and universities.

Some political scientists are primarily researchers or consultants for businesses, courts, government, trade associations and citizens' groups. They may work at lobbyists, journalists or as advisors to candidates for political office.

Places of Employment
  • City, county and state government
  • Consulting firms
  • Federal government:
    • Central Intelligence Agency
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of State
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Immigration and Naturalization Service
    • Office of Personnel Management
    • Social Security Administration
  • Insurance companies
  • International organizations
  • Museums
  • Political organizations
  • Professional associations
  • Public interest groups
  • Public utilities
  • Research institutes
  • Retailers
  • Universities and colleges


A bachelor's degree qualifies you for many of the careers listed above depending on the type of courses you completed and experience you gained as an undergrad.

Typically, you would need specific education and/or experience beyond the bachelor's degree for job titles designated by an asterisk.

A master's degree qualifies you for some administrative and research positions in government and industry.

If you want to teach and conduct research at a university, you will need a Ph.D.

For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951) 827-3631.

Supplemental Material

The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.


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