Political scientists conduct research on a wide range of subjects such as international relations, government institutions and political life, local politics, and government structure and operations. International Relations programs incorporate these concepts and apply them on a global scale, focusing more exclusively on foreign policy and cross cultural issues. Both degrees are interdisciplinary and incorporate economics, philosophy, civics and government into their curriculum.
With a degree in political science or international relations, students can enter careers in education, federal/local government, intergovernmental organizations, international business/finance, journalism, management and administration, and non-governmental organizations.
Students pursuing a graduate program in political science or international relations may earn Masters of Arts (MA) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. Degree titles vary by institution and academic program. Graduate students generally choose among a variety of degree concentrations in the field, such as U.S. government or domestic policy, international development, international relations/affairs, comparative politics or regional concentrations, political philosophy and theory, and political science.
There is no professional or programmatic accrediting organization for academic programs in political science/international relations. However, U.S. institutions with graduate-level degrees in political science and international relations should be regionally accredited. Prospective students should search for recognized accredited programs in the Department of Education or CHEA database.
Students should become familiar with academic trends and current developments. Read current literature and consider the existing research of professors to match your academic and career goals with the right institutions for you. EducationUSA centers provide advising services and a diverse collection of materials to assist students searching for schools and financial aid programs. If you are interested in pursuing higher education in the United States and would like further guidance, please contact your nearest EducationUSA Advising Center.