Political Science & Government
Types of Degrees Political Science & Government Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many political science and government graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Political Science & Government Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, political science majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Political Science Majors
Political Science majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Skills for Political Science Majors
When studying political science, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Political Science Majors
Political Science majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
What Can You Do With a Political Science & Government Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with political science:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Investment Fund Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Political Science Professors||10.4%||$83,370|
|Regulatory Affairs Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Political Science & Government?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of political science majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||136|
|Hispanic or Latino||190|
Political Science appeals to people across the globe. About 17.0% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
How Much Do Political Science & Government Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
The median early-career salary of political science and government students with a master’s degree is $51,750 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $43,000 (25th percentile) and $64,425 (75th percentile).
We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to political science so take that into consideration.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $115,300 to $116,020 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to political science. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Political Science & Government
Some careers associated with political science require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for political science careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||0.9%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||1.1%|
|Some College Courses||0.1%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||2.2%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||0.4%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||3.0%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||1.1%|
Online Political Science & Government Programs
In 2018-2019, 1,312 schools offered a political science program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||34||2|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||8||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||127||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Political Science & Government Worth It?
The median salary for a political science grad is $115,590 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 190% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,513,800 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Political Science & Government
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to political science.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|General Social Sciences||19,694|
|International Relations & National Security||15,207|
|Geography & Cartography||8,673|
|Other Social Sciences||2,729|
|Sociology & Anthropology||543|
|Demography & Population Studies||77|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By UKWiki at English Wikipedia under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.