What can you do with a major in political science or legal studies? The simplest answer is anything you want. Political science and legal studies are two of many liberal arts disciplines that provide you with the critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and writing skills necessary to succeed in a wide variety of career paths.
Students who have chosen to focus their undergraduate careers on the study of politics, governance, and international relations naturally seek to pursue careers in law, politics, domestic and international non-governmental agencies, and academia, whereas students who focus on public administration tend to find jobs in the public affairs arena.
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.
Life After UMass Seminar
Each Spring we offer a 1 credit Life After UMass course. This course helps you perfect your resume and cover letter and think through the skills that make you a competitive candidate for many jobs. Be sure to check Spire for POLISCI 391A!
Be sure to read your weekly email to learn about department events. Every semester we plan at least two speed networking events, 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 securing and testing out careers. Internships can 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.
UMass Undergraduate Advising Office
The UMass Undergraduate Advising office maintains a career resources website organized by major to assist students with thinking about the different career possibilities available to them, complete with links to a number of different organizations and job exploration sites.
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. During busy times of the year, they event have an advisor stationed out in the SBS Advising Center right in Thompson Hall. 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. You can consult with faculty members regarding graduate programs in Political Science and Public Policy. . Our faculty have personal experience – through their own graduate school experience, or as professors – with the graduate Political Science programs at dozens of universities across the country. Check out the faculty directory to determine which professors might be the most helpful to you in your search for a program that’s a good match, and in the application process.
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 paths you are contemplating, UMass Political Science & Legal Studies alumni are often one of your best resources. Alums can share with you the paths they took from UMass to the careers they are currently in. Political Science alumni frequently visit campus to speak with current students and faculty – check out the Calendar of Events for upcoming visits.