The experience WCU Political Science students gain researching and applying their knowledge to real-world social and political problems on a local, national and global scale prepares them for many professions. Some graduates go on to law school. Others pursue jobs in policy or politics including careers as campaign workers, policy and public opinion analysts, policy planners, strategic planning consultants or lobbyists. A degree in Political Science also provides an excellent skill set for journalists or political correspondents, intelligence agents, researchers, foreign service workers and human rights officers.
Students examine questions such as why countries go to war and what leads the Supreme Court to its decisions in courses that examine American politics, international relations, comparative politics and political theory. Students complete an engaged experience with the Model United Nations, study abroad, or an internship. Each semester, faculty and students take part in formal debates on various political issues, and the department offers a series of guest speakers, movies and social events. Campus organizations include the Political Science Club, College Democrats and College Republicans, and students may participate at WCU with a Local Government Training Program and Public Policy Institute. In addition, students are encouraged to conduct and present research, and may be mentored by a WCU alumnus.
Political science students may go on to work for law firms, marketing research and consulting firms, politicians or political groups, lobbying firms, news organizations, schools or federal, state and local governments. Previous WCU graduates have worked in government positions at the local and state levels, and in Washington D.C. Many have assisted with political campaigns or worked in business. Some who pursued graduate studies now work as educators and professors for universities and community colleges. In recent years, WCU Political Science graduates have been admitted to law programs at Harvard, Cornell, Georgetown, Duke, Elon, NC Central and the Universities of Tennessee and Florida, among others. They also have been admitted to top-ranked master’s degree in public affairs programs and graduate schools.