College Factual  by our College Data Analytics Team
       Unbiased Factual Guarantee

2023 Political Science Degree Guide

Political Science Degrees On The Rise

#13 Most Popular Major
47.5k Degrees Awarded
1.7% Increase in Graduates

Political Science was the 13th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 47,549 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 1.7% increase in poly sci degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 46,740.

Our 2023 Best Political Science Schools ranking analyzes 599 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for political science students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of poly sci programs later in this article.

2023 Best Colleges for Political Science
2023 Overall Best Political Science Colleges >

Best Political Science Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Political Science
Bachelor's Degrees in Political Science
Master's Degrees in Political Science
Doctorate Degrees in Political Science

Political Science Degree Requirements

One of the most important skills you will need for a career in political science is talking to others to convey information effectively. Required skills include understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents and using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Getting Accepted Into a Political Science Program

political science degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic political science program qualifications, to serve in some poly sci careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Political Science Degrees

There are many different poly sci degree levels. You can get anything from a in political science to the highest poly sci degree, a . The time it takes to complete a poly sci degree varies depending on the program.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to poly sci, with approximately 39.6% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for poly sci workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 36.6%
Doctoral Degree 33.8%
Master’s Degree 19.7%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate 1.6%

About 52.2% of workers in careers related to poly sci obtain at least master's degrees. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in political science have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which poly sci career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Poly Sci Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
1k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Growth Projected for Poly Sci Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your poly sci degree? Political Science careers are expected to grow 8.0% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to political science.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Political Science Professors 23,400 10.4%
Political Scientists 7,500 2.7%

Poly Sci Degree Salary Potential

As you might expect, salaries for poly sci graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

High Paying Careers for Poly Sci Majors

Salaries for political science graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers poly sci grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Political Scientists $115,300
Political Science Professors $99,480

Getting Your Political Science Degree

With over 2,288 different poly sci degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased poly sci school rankings to help you with this.

One of 3 majors within the Political Science & Government area of study, Political Science has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Other Political Science & Government 1,010
American Government & Politics (United States) 365
Political Economy 358

View All Poly Sci Related Majors >


Popular Reports

College Rankings
Best by Location
Degree Guides by Major
Graduate Programs

Compare Your School Options