Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Political science

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Civil rights, political theory and methodology, human security, U.S. government, international relations, politics and government, public policy and administration, comparative politics
Program description

The Department of Political Science offers a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science as well as elective courses in political science for program majors and non-majors. The political science curriculum has two central objectives. It offers the student a broad liberal arts education along with a comprehensive understanding of the nature and the functioning of the political process and government. It also provides a sound foundation for graduate study in political science, public administration and nonprofit management, or for careers that require knowledge of governance and the political process, such as law.

Career opportunities

An undergraduate degree in political science is good preparation for graduate or professional study in areas such as political science, public administration, foreign policy, law, business, and more. Maintain a high grade point average to ensure admission into a graduate or law program and/or a position within the government. Expect keen competition for federal positions. Many government jobs have strict guidelines and want to carefully match candidates' knowledge, skills, and abilities to the job description. Develop strong leadership skills; run for office in clubs and organizations in school or community. Consider military experience and training as an entryway into government jobs and public service. The Peace Corps is also a good way to enter a career in government.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Arbitrator, mediator and conciliator
  • Community and social service specialist
  • Compliance officer
  • Equal opportunity representative
  • Fundraiser
  • Insurance adjuster, examiner and investigator
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Legislator
  • Municipal clerk
  • Paralegal and legal assistant
  • Risk management specialist
  • Staff and legislative assistant
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Department of Political Science
Building/room location:
Founders Hall, 827 West Franklin Street, Room 301
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
Email:
poliadvisor@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Begin foreign language sequence (202 level is required for graduation).
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond, including its museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with a clubs or organizations.
  • Research local and state government representatives and follow them on social media.
  • Research social and political issues of interest.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs(OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Attend VCU’s annual Intercultural Festival.
  • Join a living-learning program such as VCU Globe.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers and job titles in your field of study.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with academic or career advisor.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Join a politically affiliated student club.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break, and other leadership and service events.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Commit to language work with seriousness, and seek out opportunities to use it beyond the classroom.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café!
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Create a draft of your resume and go to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and career events throughout the year to explore your interests.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See an advisor at least once, each semester.
  • Finish general education and language requirements while starting to take more upper level electives and major courses.
  • Considering graduate school?Discuss research project ideas with Political Science faculty.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create and complete a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Attend a program through the Wellness Resource Center.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend presentations and conferences pertinent to intercultural dialogue, history and issues.
  • Take on a leadership role in a cultural organization.
  • Enroll in an interdisciplinary Course Thread to better understand how historical context contributes to past and present experiences.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or international fellowship program through National Scholarship Office.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take elective coursework to develop skill sets for post-BA pursuits (spreadsheets, economics, statistics and methodological skill-sets).
  • Develop tangible skills in internships that you can demonstrate to employers.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Based on career goals, talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Continue taking major courses and upper level requirements.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Consider jobs in the nonprofit sector.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Get involved and volunteer with local/state elections.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Take relevant/elective coursework (E.g., politics of race class and gender, women in global politics, global ethics/world religions, intercultural communication).
  • Consider becoming a diversity ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Present at the Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or club or go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Political science

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Civil rights, political theory and methodology, human security, U.S. government, international relations, politics and government, public policy and administration, comparative politics
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Begin foreign language sequence (202 level is required for graduation).
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond, including its museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with a clubs or organizations.
  • Research local and state government representatives and follow them on social media.
  • Research social and political issues of interest.
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers and job titles in your field of study.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with academic or career advisor.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Join a politically affiliated student club.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break, and other leadership and service events.
  • Commit to language work with seriousness, and seek out opportunities to use it beyond the classroom.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
Year 3
  • See an advisor at least once, each semester.
  • Finish general education and language requirements while starting to take more upper level electives and major courses.
  • Considering graduate school?Discuss research project ideas with Political Science faculty.
  • Attend presentations and conferences pertinent to intercultural dialogue, history and issues.
  • Take on a leadership role in a cultural organization.
  • Enroll in an interdisciplinary Course Thread to better understand how historical context contributes to past and present experiences.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or international fellowship program through National Scholarship Office
  • Take elective coursework to develop skill sets for post-BA pursuits (spreadsheets, economics, statistics and methodological skill-sets).
  • Develop tangible skills in internships that you can demonstrate to employers.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
  • Based on career goals, talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Continue taking major courses and upper level requirements.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or club or go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services