In general, a Political Science degree involves the study of government and politics. It’s an examination of the people, the institutions and the processes involved in the distribution and apportioning of power. It concerns both political theory, as well as political applications. You’ll learn more about current as well as historical political conflicts and disagreements, and you’ll find out about other types and methods of government. You’ll have a clearer understanding of various ideologies such as Communism and Liberalism, and you’ll have a better comprehension of concepts such as human rights, power, equality and freedom.
By understanding these basic concepts, you will get a better idea of how a particular political outcome came about. You’ll be able to understand why some groups of people vote for particular parties or personalities. You’ll begin to understand why government methods and institutions are different in other countries. You’ll also be able to see why sometimes conflict, war and violence occur, and why they do not. In current politics, you’ll also be able to identify and understand the mechanisms of government.
What Can You Do with a Political Science Degree?
For a lot of students studying political science, a degree in the subject serves as an excellent stepping stone in order to become a full-fledged lawyer. It provides an excellent background for studying the more advanced concepts in law school.
But even without a law degree, when you have a Political Science degree you can work in wide variety of jobs. That’s because a lot of the skills you develop in this discipline can be transferred to numerous occupations. As a graduate of Political Science, you know how to analyze different types of data, and to recognize patterns and their implications. You can fashion an argument with the proper proof and sources. You can approach any issue from a wide range of perspectives. You can comprehend and use academic journals, and also excel in written and oral communication.
For a holder of a political science degree, politics is a very natural field to enter. You can run for office, help or advise elected officials, or enter civil service. You can also enter the field of international relations or become involved in diplomatic relations especially if you can speak a foreign language. You can work as a researcher for a research group or think tank, or bring your skills to a lobbying group. You can work for a non-profit organization or write political articles for newspapers and magazines.
What Are the Best Schools to Get a Political Science Degree?
A lot of the best schools in the world offer a degree in Political Science, including the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics and Political Science. In the US, the top schools to obtain a Political Science degree are the following (with their corresponding world ranking in parenthesis):
1. (1) Harvard University
2. (4) Princeton University
3. (5) Yale University
4. (8) Stanford University
5. (10) University of California, Berkeley
6. (11) Columbia University
7. (14) Georgetown University, tied with the University of Chicago
8. (17) Johns Hopkins University
9. (18) Cornell University