Why Major in Political Science?
Earning a Political Science degree at Northwest prepares students for multiple employment opportunities in public service and private sectors including federal, state and local government, law, criminal justice system, municipal planning, city management, urban affairs, education, non-profit administration, campaigns and elections, public policy analysis and internal development and relations.
The major has three areas of emphasis: the criminal justice emphasis provides an understanding of legislatures, police prosecutors, public offenders and courts and corrections; the public administration emphasis focuses on the decision making process and job opportunities in public organizations and local, state, federal and international agencies; and the global affairs emphasis studies the global trends and events, and enhances intercultural understanding.
The non-comprehensive major allows students to combine their interests in other fields through their minor with a degree that will allow for additional specialization while working in the public or private sector.
Minor in Political Science
A minor in political sciences teaches students the fundamentals of American government and politics, comparative politics and international relations, public administration and law and courts. Students also learn about early and modern western political thought. After taking the required courses, students can customize their minor from a list of approved electives. For a list of required courses, visit the academic catalog. This minor requires the completion of 24 credit hours.
Career Ready. Day One.
Northwest ensures students are career ready, day one through internships, field experiences and networking opportunities. Read Hannah's story »
100% of students who graduated with a degree in political science obtained employment or continued their education within six months after graduation. A degree in political science does not limit graduates to employment in government and legal fields. Below is a list of career opportunities for graduates:
Federal, State and Local Government including positions such as:
- Business Management
- City Manager
- Diplomatic Services
- Police Officer
- Federal Agent
- Insurance Salesman
- Legal Research Assistant
- Military positions
- Non-profit Organizations
- Policy Analyst
- Private Attorney
- Campaign Manager
- International Organization Administrator
For a list of past job placements by year, view the placement reports »
Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their own academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available, Faculty-led and traditional study abroad.
Each year, faculty-led study abroad is an option available to students who prefer to study abroad for two to four weeks with teaching by Northwest faculty members. In prior years, students have traveled to England, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt.
The traditional program can be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.
In the Mock Trial Team, students compete in trial simulations at invitational and American Mock Trial Association sanctioned regional and national tournaments and Bearcat Invitational hosted annually at Northwest.
The Political Science Club promotes the growth and development of students interested in pursuing a career in political science or public administration. A mentoring program for incoming students in political science, pre-law and public administration is available to participating students. The club also sponsors speakers and forums.
As part of the Pre-Law Society, student take trips to law schools and admission fairs, speakers and panels, LSAT preparation and practice tests, peer discussion and social events.
Criminal Justice Club provides a forum for sharing information and engaging in projects of interest related to criminal justice careers. The club sponsors speakers from the criminal justice field.
As an intern, I had the opportunity to work on the Claire McCaskill, Barack Obama and Jay Nixon campaigns. I had the opportunity to manage and recruit volunteers and use programs such as vote builder which are important in campaigns.
Jamar Mullins, '17
I assisted in the selection of jury members for a jury trial, sat in the prosecutor’s first deposition and went to several hearings. The prosecutor and her assistant taught me some of the terminology they use in the office, such as abbreviations for things and the range of punishment for each case. I would start from the beginning, from opening a case to closing a case, preparing the docket for court, how each county functions differently and sending all the case information to other attorneys. This experience showed me how to use my knowledge as a political science major.
Ashlee Willim, '15
The Northwest Difference
Founded in 1905, Northwest is a traditional campus with more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in the middle of everywhere, Maryville is two hours from Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri and 2 ½ hours from Des Moines, Iowa.
The Bearcat Advantage provides out-of-state students the opportunity to earn in-state tuition rates that can save more than $6,000. With the average undergraduate financial aid award of $5,467 for in-state students and $8,286 for out-of-state students, Northwest offers a quality education at an affordable price.
At Northwest, the American Dream Grant covers 100% of the tuition and fees for Pell-eligible students.
Students organizations, internships and profession-based learning experiences ensure students are Career Ready, Day One.Learn more
Graduation Rate: 89th percentile of Northwest's national peer group.