Political Scientists

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics > Political Scientists > Preparation
Political Scientists

Political Scientists - Preparation

To work as a political scientist, you typically need to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent;
  • have a bachelor's degree; and
  • have at least a master's degree in political science.

Education after high school

Almost all political scientists have a master's degree or higher in political science. However, research assistants usually need only a bachelor's degree. As a student you study different areas of political science such as government, political theory, and economics. You also study math and statistics.

To teach political science at a university, you need a doctoral (PhD) degree. Most colleges and universities offer degrees in political science.

Work experience

Working as a research assistant for a political scientist is good experience for this field.

On-the-job training

Some students complete an internship while in school. Look for a school that can provide you with experience working for a state legislature or the U.S. Congress.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be international relations officers. While this is not the same as being a political scientist, many of the skills transfer between jobs. You need at least a bachelor's degree to enter this military occupation. The length of training depends on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.