The study of political science at Keene State College provides an opportunity to develop skills and background in political institutions, thought and action. We offer a varied and rigorous curriculum, plenty of research opportunities, and local and national internship experiences. Political science prepares the student for law school (with one-on-one pre-law advising), graduate study in politics and related fields, work in government or advocacy organizations, or just a life of active citizenship.
Our location in Keene provides proximity to high-level political activity and work. New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary and perennial swing-state status makes Keene State College a regular stop for candidates and office holders. Student volunteers and interns for these campaigns and political parties comprise an essential part of the staffing that make these events happen. But the political science program has just as much to offer to students who are interested in politics on an academic level as well. In recent years we have had students present research at the College’s Academic Excellence Conference and regional and national conferences of political scientists.
Keene State offers four political science options:
- A bachelor of arts in political science for majors
- A minor in political science
- A minor in international studies
- A minor in social science research methods
With courses covering the fields of American, comparative, and international politics as well as public policy and political philosophy, political science at Keene State College not only attracts students who want to major in the field, but also many who study it as a minor or as a field of emphasis within another major. Others take elective courses in political science simply because they’re interested in the topics and ideas that our varied curriculum offers. Because it pairs well with other majors and minors, political science provides excellent opportunities to study in related fields like philosophy, history, criminal justice, economics, and sociology.
Political Science Minor Options
Campaigns and Elections (Minors)
If you’re interested in working on political campaigns, either as a volunteer or as a paid consultant, there’s no better place to be than New Hampshire, which hosts the first-in-the-nation presidential primary every four years. Students have the opportunity to meet and listen to a wide range of candidates who come to campus, and many sign on to work on state-wide and national campaigns. The campaigns and elections minor complements a number of majors in the social sciences and humanities, and prepares graduates to step into the political arena.
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Career and Other Opportunities
A political science degree from Keene State is a good foundation for direct entry into professional occupations or graduate study in the following areas of work:
- international affairs
- campaigns and elections
Our majors are Washington DC lobbyists, political reporters for national outlets, campaign managers, assistants to members of Congress, state representatives, city planners, and students in nationally ranked graduate and law programs. Others are whitewater rafting guides, ground transportation dispatchers, aspiring Nashville musicians, and accounts managers. The skills learned in a political science major find use in any organization where critical thinking and effective communication are valued.
The political science major and minor provide an understanding of politics and government as practiced in the United States and throughout the world, a knowledge of global political relationships, opportunities to develop skills that are useful both in the course of participating firsthand in politics and in the rigorous analysis and communication of complex information, and familiarity with methods used in the study of political science. The study of political science can also give you access to a job with earning potential. According to a 2014 study conducted at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the median income of someone with an undergraduate degree in political science is $59,000. The middle 50% of political science degree holders make between $39,000 and $90,000 per year, and a graduate degree in political science boosts earnings by 62%.