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Political Science

political science

Political scientists study the origin, development and operation of political systems and public policy. They study all phases of government from the state and local levels to international relations. Many political scientists specialize in a general area such as political theory, U.S. political institutions and processes or international relations. A strong curiosity about government and its dynamics, a high perception of complex political systems, and above-average intelligence are necessary characteristics of people in this field. Depending on the topic, a political scientist could conduct a public opinion survey, analyze election results, analyze public documents or interview public officials. Good research, communication and quantitative skills are also desirable qualities.


MCC’s Liberal Arts Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree is designed to meet the requirements of colleges and universities to which students may wish to transfer for completion of baccalaureate (BA or BS) degrees. In many instances, transfer colleges accept this degree as equivalent to their own general education requirements.

Because the requirements for an AA transfer degree change periodically, students should check with their academic advisor or the MCC Admissions Office to confirm that they have the most current information. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements for the degree they hope to obtain and for planning their schedule accordingly.

Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa

MCC participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable MCC students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the state universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at MCC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask the MCC Admissions Office for more information!

Political Science Job Outlook

Of the Political Scientists surveyed recently, about half worked for the federal government; others worked for think tanks, nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, political lobbying groups, and labor organizations. Related occupations include anthropologists, archaeologists, economists, market research analysts, educators, sociologists, survey researchers, and urban and regional planners.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the 2017 median pay for Political Scientists with a master’s degree was $115,110 per year.

NOTE: Political Scientists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in political science, public administration, or a related field. Job seekers with a bachelor’s degree in political science usually qualify for entry-level positions in many related fields. Some qualify for entry-level positions as research assistants for research organizations, political campaigns, nonprofit organizations, or government agencies; many go into fields outside of politics and policymaking, such as business or law.

Follow this link to find additional up-to-date information on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook website: