What can you do with a major in Political Science or Legal Studies? The simplest answer is anything you want. Both majors provide you with the critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and writing skills necessary to succeed in a wide variety of career paths.
Informational interviews are critical to exploring career options as a political science major. Browse our alumni network and speak to an alum about his or her career trajectory.
Be sure to read your weekly email (or check our website) to learn about department events. Every semester we invite several alums back to campus for lectures and lunches with students, organize workshops to help you explore new research and professional skills, and more!
Internships are one of the most effective routes to exploring careers and gaining experience. Internships will give you firsthand experience in a particular field or type of organization, which can help you make a more informed decision about whether to enter that field on a more permanent basis. Internships can also provide contacts with potential future employers.
SBS Career & Professional Development
SBS maintains a career and professional development website to assist students in thinking about the different career possibilities available to them, complete with links to a number of different organizations and job exploration sites. They are also available by appointment in order to consult on your career search process.
Career Services Office
The best source for career advice at UMass – the nuts and bolts tips on resume and cover letter preparation, interviewing skills, job searches and job fairs, is the Career Services Office, located in 511 Goodell. The career advisors there have walk-in hours several days a week, and are also available by appointment. The Career Services website is full of online assistance as well, from career exploration to sample resumes. Don’t wait until you’re a senior to peruse their website and sit down with a Career Counselor – it’s time well spent, earlier in your college career.
Importantly, Career Services maintains CareerConnect, an online database of internship and job listings.
Graduate and Professional School
For those students contemplating graduate or law school, the Department offers a number of advising resources. Faculty members should be your primary source of information and advice regarding graduate programs in Political Science or Legal Studies. Our faculty have personal experience – through their own graduate school experience, or as professors – with the graduate programs at dozens of universities across the country.
If you’re contemplating a career in law, you should check out the wealth of information available on the Pre-Law Advising website, and meet with the Pre-Law Advisor (a former lawyer who is also a faculty member in the Political Science Department), Diane Curtis.
Regardless of which career path you are contemplating, UMass Political Science & Legal Studies alumni are often one of your best resources. Alums can share with you the story about the path they took from UMass to their current careers. Political Science alumni frequently visit campus to speak with students and faculty – check out the Calendar of Events for upcoming visits.