*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Political Scientists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
Generally speaking, most bachelor's degrees in Foreign Service take approximately four years for full-time students to complete. Traditional programs usually consist of 120 credit hours of coursework, or approximately 40 college courses. It is important to note that some institutions offer accelerated degree programs, often designed to help students earn a bachelor's and master's Foreign Service degree simultaneously and in less time. Some high schools also offer college credit for certain courses, which can shorten the graduation timeframe.
It is important to realize, however, that students enrolled part-time are unlikely to graduate within four years. Those taking only a few classes per semester typically graduate within five to eight years.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
It is important to align your career goals with the school and program that you select. If you wish to enter a field like Foreign Service, then you should select a school that offers coursework in Foreign Service. Further, you can look for schools that provide hands-on experiences like internships and projects with real-world companies.
The two most prominent types of bachelor levels in Foreign Service are: Bachelor of Arts degree (BA degree) and a Bachelor of Science degree (BS degree). A BA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about Foreign Service. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Bachelor of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Bachelor's degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Bachelor of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service below:
These days fewer and fewer students graduate in four years. In fact, the government now sets the bar at a six-year term from starting a degree to graduation. Accredited programs in Foreign Service, on the other hand, are more likely to graduate in 4-5 years. That is because those programs are more competitive, and studies have shown that students in highly competitive programs have more success with graduating in four years (or less.) Keep it mind there are also other determining factors that play a role in how long it takes to graduate like full time vs part time, funding for college, working at the same time (can potentially decrease how many credit hours you can take) etc. A good goal to shoot for is to graduate within 4 to 6 years.
Accreditation is an important part of selecting a school for Foreign Service education. Much depends on accreditation and the type of accreditation. There are two main types of accreditation; regional and national. Regional accreditation agencies work with research-based schools, private schools, public schools, and some for-profit schools. National accreditation works primarily with for-profit and career-related education.
There are two types of regional accreditation; they are Foreign Service program accreditation and institutional accreditation. Institutional accreditation uses a group of states as the base to compare the school with other colleges and universities; the group of states comprises the region assigned by the Department of Education.
Programmatic Accreditation looks at specific programs or parts of a college or university. This type of accreditation has the same type of respect and acceptance as regional accreditation for institutions. Regional employers and other educational institutions regard regional accreditation as proof of high-quality education.
National accreditation has a Faith-based branch and a career- related education branch. Faith-based institutions have a different set of standards that recognize the role of faith in instruction. The for-profit branch of national accreditation covers the special purpose and non-traditional schools such as vocational schools. The career-related education requires standards that place appropriate weight on general knowledge and education. Some regionally accredited schools do not accept credits from career-related schools.
Did you know that your salary is not always just based on what level of degree you received, but it also could be based on what school you attended? Many employers actually have their own rankings and rating systems of schools. That is to say, if you received your degree from a college that was accredited by a low rated agency, your salary may actually be decreased by a certain percentage where a high-ranked, well-known, accredited school, can raise that mark significantly.
We recommend that students make a specific inquiry about job placement assistance programs at any school they consider for a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree program. Advanced institutions incorporate career planning into the two or four-year course of study for a bachelor's or master's degree in Foreign Service. The school may host job fairs, business community awareness communications, and host interviews for employers from across the region.
The school of Foreign Service, college, or university is a broad community of alumni, business sponsors, and corporate partners. Both new and established schools often have extensive local, regional, and national networks. The overall resources of the Foreign Service school and the larger schools can potentially assist in producing high levels of job opportunities and hires for recent graduates.
Some schools pair students with advisers, career counselors, and job coaches at various stages of their academic careers. Observers can see the results in annual satisfaction surveys, and the numbers of students that get interviews and offers of employment.