Welcome to the Department of Political Science

Student Guide

Political Science is a dynamic department at UofL with 400+ majors and 20 full-time faculty. Our students have won more national awards (including Fulbright and Truman) than any other department in the University. Our faculty have received dozens of teaching and research awards from U of L and professional associations. The recently-revamped POLS curriculum gives all majors internship opportunities so you can build your resume while earning your degree. Our majors go on to have successful careers in local, state, and national government, international affairs, nongovernmental organizations, political advocacy, business, academia, and the media.

Apply to be a POLS major today!

The B.A. in Political Science prepares students for a wide range of careers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. The major incorporates the all five traditional fields in Political Science with more class choices than any other track.

The B.A. with a concentration in Applied Politics prepares students for hands-on careers in public service, campaigns, and government relations. Students learn about political institutions, political behavior, and political identities. Along the way, students get the tools to put that knowledge to work in internships and other applied settings.

The B.A. with a concentration in Global Politics and International Affairs prepares students for careers with an international component, whether in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. Students can explore interests in foreign policy, international law, security, and particular regions of the world, among other topics.

The B.S. with a concentration in Law and Public Policy prepares students for a wide range of careers in public policy, politics, law, public service, as well as the private sector. Students take classes that emphasize topics in law, jurisprudence, and public policy.

If you are pursuing another major, but still have an interest in political science, we offer a political science minor that gives you an opportunity to experience key subfields of the discipline.

Learn more about our undergraduate degree options

The MA program in Political Science is an in-person program that prepares students for careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, as well as for pursuing careers in academia.

Masters - Students take courses covering the range of subfields in political science, including American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Public Policy. They also learn to conduct political science research and take electives tailored to their interests.

Accelerated Masters - The accelerated BA/MA program allows students to get a head start on the MA degree while completing their BA or BS in Political Science. Political science majors with 60-80 credit hours who are accepted to the program can double-count up to 12 credits hours for both their undergraduate and graduate degree. This option allows students to finish the MA degree in two or three semesters after finishing their BA/BS in Political Science.

Joint JD/MA degree program - Students in the JD/MA program must complete 81 hours in the JD curriculum at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law (instead of the normal 90 hours) and either 21 hours in the MA curriculum (instead of the normal 30 hours) for the Thesis Option or 27 hours in the MA curriculum (instead of the normal 36 hours) for the Non-thesis Option.

Learn more about our graduate degree options

A degree in political science provides strong preparation for a wide range of careers. Our UofL graduates go on to challenging jobs in government, campaigns, the nonprofit sector, law, public policy, academics, and business, both in the U.S. and abroad. The first stop for students who want to explore their career options with a bachelor's degree in political science is the Career Development Center. The UofL Career Development Center supports students from their freshman year to their senior year and beyond with career assessments, advising, job and internship postings, resume and interview help, special events and more.

Unemployment rates of 25- to 29-year-old bachelor’s degree holders, by selected fields of study: 2017
• Average for all fields of study: 3.1%
• Average for Political Science and Government study: 2.7%
The salary for POLS BA/BS degree holders is also about the same as the median salary overall.

Check out the study here!

Other resources:

U.S. News & World Report's "Best Jobs Overview"


Bureau of Labor Statistics Date on Political Science Jobs


American Political Science Association Career Information and Advice