Careers in Political Science

Political science is the traditional major for students who are interested in attending law school. While there is no undergraduate discipline that concretely prepares students for the case study method employed in law schools, Saint Louis University’s political science major provides the background to the political science system in which the United States' judicial system operates.

It is also the best preparation for the large percentage of law students who are intent on a political career. The government plays a central role in the United States' economy: fully one-third of the labor force is involved in some form of public service. Political science provides one of the best training, at the undergraduate level, for employment in this vast sector.

Through a rigorous research methods course and senior seminars, SLU’s Department of Political Science also offers excellent preparation for students who would like to continue their political science studies in graduate school. The honor's thesis is specifically designed for students motivated to pursue doctoral degrees.

Careers in Government

The following resources can assist you in your search for positions within the public sector.

  • USAajobs.gov is the official site of the federal government. You can search for openings by agency, salary and other factors. You can find jobs at NASA, the Peace Corps and the departments of justice, labor, agriculture and more.
  • CIA.gov is the official site of the Central Intelligence Agency. Political science students are good candidates for many of the analytic positions. There are also scholarships and internships available.
  • GoGovernment.org is a website created by the Partnership for Public Service to help people looking for government jobs.
  • PolicyJobs.net lists research-oriented policy jobs; you must register to access some of the postings but not for most of the entry-level positions. This is not necessarily working directly for the government but is closely related to government issues.
  • The Pathways program offers federal internships and employment opportunities to students and graduates.

Careers in NGOs, IGOs and Nonprofits

There are many non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations and nonprofits that provide unique career opportunities. The key is finding the right organization to match your individual interests.

Here are some helpful links to find the organization that's right for you:

  • Idealist.org posts job-openings at nonprofit organizations throughout the country. Registration is free, and they will send you a daily email with new job postings that match your interests.
  • Jobhero.com/nonprofit-career-guide is another useful resource guide on the topic.
  • Wango.org, the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, includes a worldwide NGO directory. You can find NGOs that are interesting to you and link their websites to search for job openings.
  • FoundationCenter.org, the Foundation Center, has information about philanthropic foundations.
  • LearnHowtoBecome.org offers resources for people interested in volunteer work and careers in nonprofit organizations.
  • FPA posts job openings with a wide variety of international relations and foreign policy organizations.
  • UnivJobs.com hosts a search engine for administrative and research-oriented job openings at universities throughout the United States.

Graduate School

Many students choose to continue their education after receiving their undergraduate degree. Some popular choices consist of law school or master's degrees in political science, public policy, public administration or urban planning. In order to apply to graduate school, whether law or otherwise, it is necessary to take an entry exam.

Careers in St. Louis

Whether you're from St. Louis or not, the city is a great place to live and work for recent graduates thanks to its low cost of living. All political science majors are encouraged to upload their resume to Saint Louis University's career placement website, Handshake.