Few subjects combine real life drama, intellectual challenge, and practical consequences with the force of politics. Granted, it's fascinating. But what careers does it prepare one for?

The most obvious answer is law. Political science has long been recognized as the natural undergraduate major for students considering law school, for it offers courses in Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties that are duplicated in greater depth in law school, as well as relevant courses in public policy, American and urban government, and political thought.

Political science can also prepare students to become political scientists. Political scientists are usually college professors, but many also work for governments, non-profits, and businesses. A graduate degree, ordinarily a Ph.D., is required. Students who wish to be policy analysts or public administrators normally complete a master's degree.

Most important, political science prepares students for a very wide range of careers. Years ago, students would graduate and spend their entire working life doing essentially the same thing for the same employer. But today fast changing and competitive markets demand that successful people be adaptable, so that they can seek out and take advantage of opportunities. This, in turn, requires that they possess a high level of analytical and communicative skills and a broad knowledge of the world -- and these are precisely what political science offers.

The City University of New York