CAREERS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE ALUMNI
Why Study Political Science?
Our students study politics because they find it exciting—even if it is at times overwhelming. This is because our students are driven by a deep curiosity to understand the world and a desire to change it for the better. Take the current COVID-19 crisis, for example. Long after a vaccine will have marked the medical end of this crisis, political scientists will explore its broader implications. They will ask why some governments and healthcare systems responded more effectively than others; or why the economic fall-out affected some demographic groups or regions harder than others. They may also ask whether our interdependent global world order will remain sustainable in the future. This pandemic is neither the first nor the last crisis that political scientists will study. They have studied the causes and the political implications of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, the political consequences of decolonization during the 1960s, the end of the Cold War, the political consequences of 9/11, the economic and political consequences of the 2008 global financial crisis, and the political consequences of rising socio-economic inequality and regional disparities in many parts of the world.
Studying politics is not only exciting. It is also pedagogically invaluable. As a discipline, it teaches students how to unpack complex phenomena into researchable questions; how to find and evaluate information; and how to figure out what happened. It shows students how to use theories, statistical techniques, and case study methods to test hypotheses. And above all, it requires students to synthesize information, write clearly and reason cogently. In short, if we manage to train our students to make sense of COVID 19 or any other crisis, they will be able to make sense of pretty much everything that their future lives or employers will throw their way. In this way, a political science degree will prepare our graduates for a wide variety of career options.
The Political Science Department works closely with the Career Center, the Office for Undergraduate Advising, and the Internship Office to help our students gain professional experiences while in college, and to prepare them for their professional futures. Learn more about those resources and opportunities.
Some of the things we do to prepare our graduates for the future is to invite political science alumni to campus for career events. We also offer informational workshops about different career options, and we provide hands-on tutorials on applying to graduate or law schools. Our curriculum offers a wide array of courses for students interested in law school. It also offers a co-op style course in which students can study the research problems of nonprofit organizations, as well as a course that embeds students’ internships in an academic context. Political science is the ultimate liberal arts degree that has allowed many of our graduates to find employment in diverse professional careers.
Graduation and Graduate School
Villanova’s Graduate Programs in Political Science trains students as analytical social scientists and educates them about the broader underpinnings and implications of politics. It is ideal for those who want to deepen their interest in political science to pursue new career directions. We have assisted students in finding such careers and expanding their educational foundations to help them grow professionally for years to come.
In his doctoral studies, Joseph Lasky ’19 CLAS is continuing his focus on political science at Cornell University. Joseph hopes to pursue his doctoral research on ethnicity, nationalism and conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Another recent graduate, Kathleen Smith ’13 CLAS is a management consultant in Washington, D.C. She has worked in support of the United States Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and currently supports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her work includes qualitative analysis, human capital facilitation, and project management.