Political Science and Government

Main Content





  • Public Policy
  • Research
  • Regional Planning
  • City or Town Management
  • Intelligence
  • Foreign Service
  • Law Enforcement
  • Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Services
  • Program Administration

Federal, state, and local government

Complete an internship in government or related area. Serve in model United Nations. Become involved in student government. Participate in cross-cultural groups and organizations. Write for campus publications focused on national and international affairs. Develop skills in computers, statistics, and data analysis.

Acquire foreign language competency and travel experience for international positions. Supplement curriculum with business courses. Earn a graduate degree in political science or public administration for advancement. Volunteer with the staff of a government official. Participate in local or national campaigns.


Law firms


Federal, state, and local government

Private practice

Special interest groups


Develop excellent research, writing, analysis, and communication skills. Plan to attend law school and earn a law degree. Obtain specialized certification for paralegal positions.


  • Elected or Appointed Leadership
  • Campaign Management
  • Staff Administration
  • Special Interest Advocacy

Legislative, executive, or judicial officials

National, state, or local government

Political action committees

Special interest groups

Political parties

Campaigns (national, state, or local)

Volunteer for national or local campaigns. Gain experience through internships in government. Obtain leadership roles in campus organizations. Seek leadership roles on the regional or national level. Become involved in campus political organizations, student government, campus publications, or community service projects. Take courses in statistics, computer science, environmental protection, or public policy. Develop a network of personal contacts. Be prepared to begin a political career as a volunteer before moving to full-time or paid positions.


  • Administration
  • Management
  • Public Relations
  • Fund Raising

Nonprofit organizations


Professional associations

Special interest groups

Gain experience through volunteering or completing an internship. Supplement curriculum with courses in business, psychology, sociology, or social work. Obtain leadership roles in campus organizations. Develop strong written and oral communication skills. Demonstrate knowledge and experience in a specialty area (e.g., public health, environment, urban issues).


  • Sales
  • Human Resources
  • Management
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations

Product and service organizations

Retail stores




Financial companies

Insurance companies

Print and electronic media

Other business corporations

Develop strong analytical, verbal, writing, and computer skills. Acquire a business minor or add business as a double major. Gain experience in an area of interest through internships or other employment. Obtain leadership roles in campus organizations. Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills.


  • Editing

Newspapers (national, local, or trade)

Wire services


Internet sites

Large corporations

Political parties

Political action committees

Obtain summer or part-time work experience with a newspaper or magazine.

Complete an internship in journalism. Choose writing intensive coursework.

Become proficient in desktop publishing and photography. Develop excellent verbal and written communication skills. Join the college newspaper, yearbook, or other publication staff. Become a student member of professional associations. Create a portfolio of published writing samples. Obtain experience in and knowledge of a specialty area of interest.


  • News Programming
  • Production

Television stations (network, cable, or public)

Radio stations (regional or national)

Independent syndications

Complete an internship in radio or television. Experience in government or political affairs is usually required for specialized reporting positions. Volunteer with public or campus media. Develop strong reporting, writing, and debating skills. Cultivate an attractive and appealing appearance. Volunteer to announce local or campus sporting events. Become involved in drama (i.e., direct, act, or work with technical crew).

Strategies for placement in Political Science and Government

  • An undergraduate degree in political science is good preparation for graduate or professional study in areas such as psychology, law, or business.
  • Research the pre-requisites of the area of interest and tailor program of study to meet curricular and skill needs.
    Excellent verbal and written communication skills are imperative for most careers related to politics or government.
  • Become familiar with the government application process for opportunities in federal, state, or local government.
  • For careers in politics, be prepared to volunteer extensively before being hired or elected as an employee or official. Begin by working with the campaign or official of choice while in college.
  • Many elected public officials begin careers in other fields (law, medicine, business) before campaigning for office.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section

504/ADA /ADEA Employer.


Riley Guide Jobs in Public Service
Federal Jobs.Net
American Society for Public Administration
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration - Calling Students to Public Service Careers
A Call to Serve