Get Your Voice Out There: The Path to a Career in Political Science

If you have ideas that need to be shared, or if you come from a community that doesn’t have much of a voice, a career in political science might be the right choice for you.

It’s no secret that Black professionals involved in law and politics are substantially underrepresented in their field. Statistics collected in 2021 reveal that although people of color represent 47% of full-time civil service employees, they account for only 33% of senior-level positions—and that number shrinks further within the United States federal Senior Executive Service. In the 117th Congress, 59 members are Black (out of a total of 535 members). Although members of the Black community have come a long way in recent decades, the journey toward equal representation is by no means over. And with this underrepresentation of Black politicians comes an underrepresentation of ideas and experiences in public discourse.

If you have ideas that need to be shared, or if you come from a community that doesn’t have much of a voice, a career in political science might be the right choice for you.

Careers in Political Science

A political science degree is an incredibly versatile one, and prepares graduates for careers in fields such as law, communication, politics and international affairs, to name just a few. Here are some of the potential career paths that are open to political science majors:

  • Lawyer
  • Lobbyist
  • Intelligence agent
  • Campaign manager
  • Diplomat or foreign service officer
  • Political analyst
  • Politician 
  • Professor
  • Civil servant
  • Journalist

Want to learn more about this possible career path and college major? Have questions about which UNCF colleges and universities offer degrees in political science? Looking for help with financing this degree?

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How to Prepare for Success

For those considering a political science major, it helps to be an excellent communicator—both in speaking and in writing—and to be interested not only in the politics of today, but also in the governments and policies of decades past. Taking classes in government and in history will equip you with crucial skills and knowledge, and English classes will teach you how to communicate your ideas clearly and effectively. 

In addition to your coursework, extracurricular activities can be extremely helpful in preparing you for a political science career. Consider joining the debate team, getting involved in student government or organizations like Model U.N., or volunteering for a political campaign that you care about. This way, you don’t have to wait to get a degree before making your voice heard.

UNCF Schools to Consider

As broad a field as political science can be, it’s important to choose a college that allows you to focus on your specific areas of interest. The following UNCF-members schools offer degree programs in political science:

Professional Organizations

As you prepare for a future in political science, it may also be helpful to explore these professional organizations:

Scholarships Available

There’s no better way to start on your path toward a successful career in political science than with a solid financial foundation. Fortunately, many scholarships are available through UNCF, including some specifically for political science majors. Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities and announcements. 

Search for specific scholarships and view those that are currently accepting applications here! Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study political science.

As you explore your options, be sure to use our guide to applying for scholarships and grants. You can also receive guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in political science. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!