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Political Science at SIUE


Career Outlook
Students who major in political science typically have careers in government, law, business, and teaching. Employment projections for such occupations are encouraging.  Openings for lawyers are expected to increase, as is demand for law clerks and legal assistants.  The U.S. Department of Education predicts that demand for secondary teachers will rise in the next several years, especially if economic recovery takes place. Likewise, economic recovery and international competition should improve career opportunities in business.   
Governments are likely neither to grow nor shrink, and significant numbers of openings will occur every year. When preparing for a career, students should plan their studies to maximize their options regardless of their major.  They should also remember that in college they are preparing for a career, not just a first job.  Recent studies suggest that liberal arts skills are more important for career advancement than is a specific major.
Students with degrees in liberal arts disciplines have more to offer prospective employers than students realize.  Among their strengths should be the ability to write and speak effectively; the ability to understand and solve problems, especially through quantitative and statistical analysis; and the breadth of perspective that promotes understanding of issues and coping with changing conditions. One attraction of the major in political science is the extent to which the curriculum provides an opportunity for the student to develop these abilities.

Educational Preparation
The best preparation for a political science major is a thorough, well rounded academic program in high school.  Remember that this is a time to prepare not only for college, but also for a career.  Both will demand the ability to read critically, to write clearly and persuasively, and to reason analytically - particularly in quantitative terms.  Thus students should take as many years of English as possible, should aim for a solid grounding in mathematics, and should take world history, U.S. history, and U.S. government.  Students also should take advantage of any opportunities to become familiar with computers.  Once admitted to the University, a student may declare a major in political science after completing English 101 and 102, as well as making up for any high school deficiencies.

Typical Program of Study
A major in political science requires 33 hours, including POLS 111 and 112 and at least one course in four of the following subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, Public Administration, or Public Law.

A minor in political science requires 18 hours and must include POLS 111 and 112 and at least one course in three of the six sub-fields.

For more information regarding the program of study in political science, please visit:

For more information regarding University degree requirements, please visit:

A wide range of specialization is represented in the faculty of the Political Science Department, which takes special pride in the quality of its instruction.  Modest class sizes provide for extensive contact with talented and dedicated teachers.  Students also benefit from the research and public service projects in which faculty members are engaged.  These activities help faculty members bring the most up-to-date information and experience to their students.

To Learn More ......

            Department of Political Science
            Box 1453
            Edwardsville, IL  62026-1453
            Phone:  (618) 650-3572


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Published by:  D. DeGarmo of the Department of Political Science, V. Parmley of the  Department of Political Science, and Jack D. Sumpter Technical and Web Consultant
Last Updated:  June 6 , 2006
This site is maintained by Dr. Denise DeGarmo.
Email: Denise DeGarmo

Copyright © 2003  
Dr. Denise DeGarmo, Valerie Parmley, & Jack D. Sumpter
Department of Political Science
Southern Illinois University
Edwardsville, IL 62026