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College of Arts & Sciences

Political Science Careers & Internships

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Jackson Lavelle '14, now attending Georgetown University Law Center, was a judicial intern with the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Individualized Career Coaching for Arts & Sciences Students

College of Arts & Sciences students can take advantage of individualized career coaching, with many resources to help them prepare for successful lives. Students with liberal arts degrees are highly sought after because they are educated to think critically and become problem solvers for 21st century issues.

Careers in Political Science

From national law firms to city governments, congressional campaigns to the non-profit world, Political Science alums from Ohio University are shaking things up. Think a major in political science doesn’t offer “real world” career opportunities? Guess again! Ohio University graduates attend world-class master's, Ph.D. and law school programs and work in top jobs in their fields across the country (and the world).

Read about successful Political Science alumni.

What Can Students Do With a Degree in Political Science?

A degree in Political Science prepares students for responsibilities in a democratic society and an interdependent world. The program at Ohio University provides students with invaluable tools—from conceptual frameworks and critical thinking to communication skills and practical knowledge of political institutions—applicable across a range of career choices. Whether headed into American public service, global affairs, teaching, or graduate school, students leave the program with an appreciation for the diverse perspectives and complex problems in today's politics.

Working in Politics

Each year, Ohio University Political Science students move on to promising jobs in a variety of areas. About one quarter of the graduates accept jobs with local, state, or federal government agencies. Many stay in Ohio (some in Athens!), and many move to Washington and beyond. Political Science alumni have worked as legislative aides and financial analysts in the Ohio Senate; they have occupied executive positions in the Governor's Office and other departments within state government; and others have served in the U.S Foreign Service, the U.S. Senate, and the White House. The Ohio University program offers students not only the practical knowledge for navigating these governmental venues, but also the communications and analytical skills to engage in the democratic processes they sustain.

Another quarter of Political Science students work in non-profit organizations. Recent placements include the following: Habitat for Humanity, the American Cancer Society, Rural Action, Business Forward in DC, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Athens County, and YMCA in DC. Many students seek out internships with social services organizations and advocacy groups to prepare themselves for the job market in this growing sector.

Global Outlook

A growing number of Political Science students have global ambitions. Having taken advantage of coursework in international affairs, they are increasingly looking to career opportunities abroad, or in globally minded industries here in the United States. Ohio University students have worked as trade representatives, in the Peace Corps, and in places as diverse as Canada, China, Norway, South Africa, Indonesia, and Britain. To prepare for these careers, students can benefit not only from the experience of the department's many globally oriented faculty, but also from numerous study abroad opportunities and enrollment in certificate programs in Global Studies (Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe) and War & Peace Studies.

What Graduates Say

"My M.A. degree in Political Science has opened doors for my career in state government…. Within a week of finishing my degree, I had a challenging position with the Ohio Legislature and have been given the opportunity to advance based in part on my credentials from OHIO."
—Erin Jones, Local Government Liaison, Ohio Department of Development

"Since graduating,… I have made advocacy a way of life. I now represent the interests of a major manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy before the Administration and Congress. I practice daily the critical thinking and cross-cultural communication skills taught to me by OHIO's faculty of lifelong professors, recognized topical experts and former public administrators."
—Marybeth Kelliher, Senior Manager, International Trade, American Chemistry Council

"The M.A. program in Political Science at Ohio University is an ideal stepping stone on the road to earning a Ph.D. The coursework exposes students to a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge. Moreover, the faculty members are keenly interested in sharpening students' analytical skills and are well-positioned to place students in either policy positions or Ph.D. programs."
—Gregg Bucken-Knapp, Director, Oslo Year Program, University of Oslo

"The M.A. program helped me to recognize that a career in public interest environmental law was for me. The program gave me a solid preparation for law school.… The material I read and wrote about and the discussions I had with my professors and fellow students were often better than those I have at Harvard. I haven't experienced anything like the support, guidance, and individual attention I received from the faculty since I left OHIO."
—Jeff Baran, Law Student Harvard University

"The Political Science program at Ohio University not only provided me with the education I needed to excel, but also the strong network of alumni has been an endless source of opportunity and support as well as the key to obtaining many of my career goals."
—Scott Williams, Director of Government Relations, Ohio Farm Bureau

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