Why Major or Minor in Political Science?


Political science is an ideal liberal arts major, offering a versatile set of skills that are valued by employers and which can facilitate flexible career paths in a rapidly changing world.  Our major or minor can be a launching pad for successful careers in business, campaign management, government service, intelligence, international affairs, journalism, law, national security, nonprofit organizations, policy analysis, polling, radio and television, and teaching at the primary, secondary, and college levels.

The major in Political Science requires only 9 standard courses (27 hours), less than most other majors, and only one of these courses (POLS 2312) is required.  The flexibility of our major allows each student to craft a program that is most suited to his or her interests and career plans.  Some students choose to take courses across all six fields of study in Political Science (please see What is Political Science?).  Other students concentrate their classes in certain fields.  For example:

*A student who is  interested in going to law school might choose to concentrate his or her classes in three fields: Law and Politics, American Political Behavior and Institutions, and Political Thought and Theory.

*A student pursuing a career in the U.S. Foreign Service, the Servicio Exterior Mexicano, or other organizations involved in international affairs might choose to concentrate most classes in the fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics.

*A student who wishes to work for a governmental agency at the federal, state, or local level in the United States might choose to concentrate most classes in the fields of Public Administration and American Political Behavior and Institutions.

*A student who plans to work for a governmental agency at the federal, state, or local level in México might choose to concentrate most classes in the fields of Public Administration, Comparative Politics, and International Relations.

Both of our minors afford similar flexibility. There is only one required course in the Political Science Minor, and only two in the Comparative and International Politics minor.  Each minor requires 6 standard courses (18 hours), the minimum allowed at UTEP.  We are currently working to revive a third minor in Public Administration.

Students majoring in other subjects who are interested in politics in the United States, along the border, or throughout the world will find our minors to be intellectually stimulating and worthwhile for many careers.  Our minors can be particularly relevant for students majoring in Anthropology, Chicano Studies, Communications, Criminal Justice, Economics and Finance, History, Latin American and Border Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Spanish, and Teacher Education.

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