Careers

Study Political Science. Do Anything.

What can I do with a Political Science major?

Our graduates are able to work in a wide variety of fields due largely to the skills they learn here. Skills that include performing research, analyzing data, problem solving, articulating complex thoughts and theories, and writing clearly and concisely.

Many of our graduates go on to graduate or professional school right away or after working in the field. We have recent graduates working in the State Department, in Congress as legislative assistants, serving in the Peace Corps, clerking for judges, producing Broadway shows, teaching high school, working on Wall Street, and in just about every profession you can think of.

Skills you'll learn

  • Ability to articulate complex thoughts and theories
  • Effective oral communication
  • Strong writing
  • Team Work
  • Critical thinking and analytical reasoning
  • Ability to apply knowledge to real-world settings
  • Ethical judgment and decision making
  • Ability to analyze and solve problems with people from different backgrounds

Katlin Sullivan '10

Product Policy Manager, Facebook

"A lot of the job involves critical thinking. It’s taking what seems like an overwhelming issue, breaking it down, and addressing each part.”

Sullivan majored in political science and minored in philosophy, politics and economics. After graduating, she completed two years of service with Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Katlin Sullivan '10

Product Policy Manager, Facebook

"A lot of the job involves critical thinking. It’s taking what seems like an overwhelming issue, breaking it down, and addressing each part.”

Sullivan majored in political science and minored in philosophy, politics and economics. After graduating, she completed two years of service with Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Patrick Vassel '07

Associate Director of 'Hamilton'

"It’s the way you reason, the way you argue, the way you research. Those things have been tremendously useful in all of my directing, but certainly on Hamilton.”

He majored in political science, intending to work in Washington, D.C., and completed a minor in the Hesburgh Program in Public Service. To round out his education, he also took courses in peace studies and film, television, and theatre.

Mallory Brown '06

Principal at Egon Zehnder

"At Notre Dame, you very quickly learned how to make an argument and see the holes in the argument,”

A political science major and a German minor in the College of Arts and Letters, Brown has spent her entire career with Egon Zehnder, a global management consulting and executive search firm.

Bill Dirksen ’82

Vice President of Ford Motor Company

“The liberal education I received at Notre Dame really taught me how to learn, how to analyze, and, at the most fundamental level, how to problem-solve.

And that’s what most businesses are looking for—people who know how to solve problems.”

Dirksen, who majored in economics and government major in the College of Arts and Letters, is now vice president of labor affairs at Ford Motor Company. He is responsible for global labor relations, negotiating with unions that represent about three-fourths of Ford’s 200,000 employees.

Katie Fallon ’98

SVP at Hilton Worldwide, Former White House Director

“It's very easy to lose track of how to form arguments in a way that can really change minds. At Notre Dame, this ability is really drilled into you from day one."

Prior to her present position at Hilton Worldwide, Fallon was the director of legislative affairs at the White House for President Barack Obama, working to improve the relationship between Congress and the Office of the President.

98% of recent Notre Dame Political Science majors found full-time employment, enrolled in graduate school, entered service programs, served in the military or launched independent projects within six months of graduation.

51.5% find full-time jobs

  • Advance staff, U.S. presidential campaign
  • Account development representative, Clarabridge
  • Associate, PwC
  • Associate consultant, Bain & Company
  • Associate director, Community Consulting Services
  • Business management associate, General Mills
  • Campaign manager, Virginia House of Delegates
  • Canvassing director, Fund for the Public Interest
  • Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Data analyst, PepsiCo
  • Digital marketing analyst, Acquity Group
  • Director of development, CatholicVote.org
  • Director of research and public policy, Upper Room
  • Economic valuation services associate, KPMG
  • Federal analyst, Deloitte
  • Fellow, Illinois Office of the Governor
  • Field representative, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Fund development coordinator, Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Global risk associate, Bank of America
  • Government affairs assistant, G2G Consulting
  • Implementation specialist, Evention
  • Intern, NATO
  • Legislative issues staff, Illinois House of Representatives
  • Legislative fellow, U.S. Senate
  • Logistics analyst, Air Liquide
  • Major gifts intern, Human Rights Campaign
  • Media relations associate, American Enterprise Institute
  • Mortgage loan originator, Fifth Third Bank
  • Page, NBC Universal
  • Paralegal, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Project manager, Epic
  • Quality assurance engineer, Taxware
  • Reporter, National Journal
  • Research assistant, ABIS Group
  • Vice president of business development, Rent Like A Champion

Our alumni leave Notre Dame with an expansive worldview and a variety of real-world skills.

Employers love that our students are passionate, curious, and socially engaged. Once on the job, they find that our Political Science graduates are critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and collaborators.

They are the embodiment of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters’ motto: our students study everything so that they can do anything.

27.5% go to graduate or professional school

  • Bioethics: Wake Forest University
  • Community and regional planning: University of Texas at Austin
  • Finance: Case Western Reserve University
  • International relations: University of Chicago
  • International security: George Washington University
  • Law: Boston College, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, Fordham University, Northwestern University, Saint Louis University, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, Yale University
  • Medicine: University of Connecticut, University of Toledo
  • Political science: Princeton University, Stanford University
  • Social science: Oxford University
  • Urban planning: Georgetown University

Going on to graduate or professional school after earning a degree in Political Science is a fantastic opportunity to branch out into a new area or dive in-depth into a subject focused on as an undergraduate. 

A senior thesis is a great way to prepare for grad school — it demonstrates the ability to do serious research and independent work.

12.5% enter service programs

  • Alliance for Catholic Education, Oakland, California
  • AmeriCorps, Chicago
  • AVSI, Uganda
  • Heart’s Home, Romania
  • Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Portland, Oregon
  • Passionist Lay Missioners, Jamaica
  • Peace Corps, Malawi
  • Segway Project, Nepal
  • Social Entrepreneur Corps, Guatemala
  • Teach for America, Phoenix, Arizona

Postgraduate service can be a life-changing experience and provide students with transferable skills for the next step in their careers.

Every year, approximately 20 percent of the graduating senior class in Arts and Letters make a one- to two-year commitment to serve in areas such as public and private education, family and children services, after-school programs, developing countries, and non-governmental organizations.

5% join the miliary

1.5% launch independent projects

Further Reading

Source: Outcomes data comes from Notre Dame Center for Career Development's first destination reports2012–2016. 

Printable version