*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 4, 2022).
In most cases, a Bachelor of Science in Politics degree requires 120 credits. As a full-time student, you can complete 30 credits per year, meaning you would earn your degree over the course of four years. If you are a motivated student, there are a few options available to help you earn your degree sooner.
Some schools have accelerated Politics Bachelors programs that put students on the fast track to earning their degree. This can reduce the four-year time frame by up to 30%. If an accelerated program is too much to handle, you may be able to benefit from year-round learning. Year-round learning is continuous schooling all year long, with no summer break. This type of education allows you to finish your degree earlier and get started in your career faster. If you took AP courses in high school, you may be able to count them toward your college credits, which can in turn, reduce your time and the costs of schooling.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
When you know that you want to major in Politics, you should find out if the colleges and universities you’re most interested in carry this major. You should check the academic catalogs of each university to verify which ones do carry a Politics major and verify with your state’s department of education that the colleges you’re considering offer the appropriate Politics education program you need for your field.
If a university you’re considering doesn’t carry a Politics major, then it’s time to cross that school off your list. Keep checking the other schools. For those that do have an Politics major, begin looking over their programs so you get a better idea which university interests you the most.
Before you declare a major in Politics, you should have an idea of what kind of timeframe you’re looking at. If you are trying to achieve an associate degree, you will only need to finish about 60 credit hours over 2 years. However, if you are going for you bachelor's (B.S. or B.A.) degree in Politics, you will need to complete 120 credit hours over four years. And, if you want to attain a master’s degree as well, you will have to finish your bachelors first and then spend around 2 years completing 60 more credit hours. Some of the coursework you will find in typical Politics degrees are:
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 Politics, 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.
Schools can provide valuable assistance for Politics graduates that seek employment after graduation. The programs can be formal, such as job banks and employment centers that present graduating students and graduate credentials to prospective employers and host interviews.
Depending on the college, they may have resources that can enhance employment and career opportunities for their Politics graduates. Most schools have an extended community of alumni, donors, and corporate and business support. Alumni groups offer opportunities for networking as well as for sharing information and experiences. The corporate and business community support may include opportunities for internships or other hands-on learning experiences.