The public policy and political action career path is a journey that empowers you to shape the very foundations of our society. Imagine standing at the intersection of policy and government, working at the local, state, or federal level, crafting legislation that impacts millions. As a policy analyst, you’ll dissect complex issues, forging solutions that bridge divides and pave the way for progress. Or, serve as a campaign manager, orchestrating campaigns that resonate with the masses, or a civic engagement director, mobilizing communities to champion the causes they hold dear. Your path may lead you to the realm of investigative journalism, where your words uncover truths that spark action and hold power to account.

Find a career where your voice and your choices matter—where you’re not just part of the political landscape, but help drive it forward.

Sophie Shoultz

Political science gives you great tools for understanding and interrogating the social processes that underpin politics and policies, and is a degree that can be applied flexibly to many future career paths, international travel and language learning as well!

Sophie Shoultz, ’23 political science (public policy)

Alumni Profiles

  • Sophie Schultz

    Sophie shares how her degree in political science and experience studying abroad helped prepare her for a career in international relations.

  • Natalia Rios Martinez

    Natalia shares how her degree in political science and support from her professors helped her obtain her current position as a staff assistant to Congressman Jeff Jackson in the U.S. House of Representatives.


All political science majors take 1010 Exploring Political Science, two additional 1000 level courses, two 2000 level gateway courses, and six upper-level courses (3000 or higher) at least three of which are 4000 or higher. Majors also take a research methods class (2610, 2620, or 4010) and do a capstone experience (internship, study abroad, senior thesis, or graduate level political science course).

Gateway course

  • POLS 2710     Public Organizations and Leadership

Upper-level course options for this pathway

  • POLS 3060      Public Opinion and Voting Behavior
  • POLS 3100      State and Local Government
  • POLS 3180      Campaigns and Elections
  • POLS 3340      Politics and Society
  • POLS 3350      Science, Technology, and Public Policy\
  • POLS 3370X    Health Politics and Policy
  • POLS 3440      Public Policy
  • POLS 3530      Immigration Policy
  • POLS 3540      War and the Politics of Humanitarianism\
  • POLS 3600      American Institutions: Congress
  • POLS 3610      American Institutions: The Presidency
  • POLS 3630      American Institutions: Media
  • POLS 3640      Political Parties and Interest Groups
  • POLS 3850      Women in Politics
  • POLS 3870      First Ladies in U.S. History
  • POLS 4070      Proseminar in Public Policy
  • POLS 4080      Policy Implementation
  • POLS 4100      State Government and Politics
  • POLS 4170      Campaign Rhetoric
  • POLS 4190      The Judiciary
  • POLS 4250      Mass Political Behavior
  • POLS 4430      Energy Policy
  • POLS 4600      American Political Institutions
  • POLS 4710      Organizational Theory in the Public Sector
  • POLS 4750      Management in the Public Sector
  • POLS 4770      Government, Business, and Society
  • POLS 4800      Ethics and Public Policy

Frequently asked questions

Yes, but you can only double count one class.

No, they are not a graduation requirement.

Yes, if you have taken the required classes you can still get a completion letter if you are graduating Fall 2023 or later.

Yes. You can also consider taking one additional class to get a minor.

  • Take the gateway ourse for that path
  • Take at least three additional courses from the list of upper-level courses for that Path with a grade of C- or higher in each course.
  • Fill out an application showing that you have taken the necessary courses —Career Path Completion Form
  • Receive a letter of completion for the path from the Department of Political Science and list your emphasis area on your resume. We are exploring creating digital badges for LinkedIn and similar platforms.

Yes, with approval from your advisor.

One of the political science advisors: Jason ChrystalTerry Kruse, or Zack Bonner.