Undergraduate Program

A major in political science prepares students for a wide variety of vocations—indeed, the faculty’s goal is to prime students for a lifetime of learning and accomplishment, rather than to teach the skills needed for a particular entry-level job. Political Science majors write well, articulate ideas clearly, research thoroughly, and understand the workings of government, other countries, and international affairs.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH POLITICAL SCIENCE?

Just six months after graduation, majors in political science had an average salary of more than $47,500. Here's a breakdown of what they were doing:

  • 41% were employed full time
  • 32% were in graduate or professional school
  • 26% were in the military, a service program, or other plan
  • Only 1% were still looking for work

Graduates with a degree in political science go on to many varied careers. Click on the images below to see what some Notre Dame political science graduates are doing.

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Political Science combines up-to-date scholarship, personal attention, excellent teaching, and many opportunities to learn outside the classroom.

The major is broad and deep, giving students a foundation for their study of politics and opportunities to enhance their education.  Political Science offers over 50 different courses each semester with extensive offerings in American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Political Theory.  Students choose from a large number of courses and also may take an ample number of classes in their area of interest.

An understanding of Political Science equips students with a strong base of knowledge and with the tools of political analysis.  At the same time, Political Science connects with other disciplines and gives coherence and direction to undergraduate study.

Classes with Renowned Faculty

Under the direction of Notre Dame’s leading political scientists, students learn valuable analytical skills that are crucial to the development of their academic and professional careers. Over 40 teaching and research faculty guide undergraduate students in the classroom and in individual research projects.

Prepared for Graduate School

After graduation, many Political Science majors go on to advanced study of some sort, using their education not as job training but as a foundation that will help them discover and develop their interests. Many go directly to law school, to master’s programs in public policy or foreign affairs, or to Ph.D. programs in political science. Others complete a year or two of volunteer service or work in the private or public sector. They allow their experiences to inform their decisions to pursue graduate school.

Pursuing Success in a Variety of Careers

Not limited by the beltway in their search for employment, Political Science majors enjoy success in a variety of careers. They become respected journalists as well as ambassadors, corporate Web editors as well as assistants to members of Congress. Many become journalists, teachers, military officers, or volunteers with the Peace Corps. Graduates of Notre Dame's Political Science program run for public office, write fiction, clerk for Supreme Court justices, work on Wall Street, and serve the Catholic Church.

More Resources

The Career Center provides undergraduates with career development services, self-assessments, workshops,  career fairs, and mock interviews, and many other services. The American Political Science Association provides booklets/videos on topics relevant to undergraduates for a nominal fee. They are:

  • Careers and the Study of Political Science: A Guide for Undergraduates
  • Video/CD: Career Encounters: Political Science
  • Political Science: An Ideal Liberal Arts Major
  • Earning a Ph.D. in Political Science
  • Studying in Washington: A Guide to Academic Internships in the Nation's Capital

 

Arts and Letters students from every major succeed in business, graduate or professional school, or full-time service. Learn more about the career outcomes of all of our graduates, including Political Science majors.

 

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