Why Study Political Science?
"Politics is not confined to government-it affects almost all aspects of human existence."
Niccolo Machiavelli, 1469-1527
Government affects our personal and professional lives on a daily basis. This is particularly true in Alaska where a third of all jobs are with state, local and the federal government. So studying government (or political science) equips you to:
- Understand and interpret current affairs in a rapidly changing world.
- Deal with government in your future profession or business.
- Seek a variety of jobs in government.
- Work for various public and private interest groups that lobby government.
- Seek election to public office.
Political Science at UAS
Studying government at UAS in Juneau has several advantages:
- Being located in the state capital the degree is able to combine classroom learning with practical experience in politics and government.
- All students get hands-on experience by interning with the state legislature, or a state, federal or local government agency.
- This practical experience has been very useful to students in securing jobs. Over 60 legislative interns have gotten jobs in the legislature, state government, departments or agencies, or the U.S. Congress; two have been elected to the Alaska Legislature.
- It is recommended that one of the two secondary concentration be in economics. This insures that graduates will acquire a broad grounding in the interplay of politics and economics.
- The excellent student teacher ratio at UAS means that students receive individual attention from faculty who are readily accessible.
- The faculty are well-connected to other universities in Alaska, throughout the nation and in various parts of the world to advise students interested in graduate work, study abroad, and pursuing other educational opportunities as well as internships and job opportunities.
Diverse Study Opportunities
Political Science students can take advantage of many classroom and practical study opportunities, including:
- The Legislative Internship Program: Interns spend the spring semester working in the Alaska legislature, earn 12 hours of upper division credit and a $5,000 stipend. This program has been operating for 18 years and has graduated 180 students.
- Internships with state, local and federal government departments such as the governor's office, the state ombudsman's office, and the U.S. Forest Service; and with interest groups such as the Alaska Municipal League; some have worked in the office of a lobbyist.
- Practical class assignments involving writing a constitution for a newly independent country, observing activities at the state legislature and Juneau Assembly, and interviewing politicians, lobbyists, journalists and members of the public as part of survey research work.
- Opportunities to study on the national student exchange in the U.S. and Canada, and abroad in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
- Working as research or teaching assistants for faculty.
Many options present themselves when you have a degree in government. These include:
- A foundation for teaching civics and social studies at the K-12 level.
- Political journalism in TV, radio and newspapers.
- Research in the private and public sectors.
- Work in the government relations departments of major corporations.
- Careers in association management and non-profit organizations, especially those that lobby, such as chambers of commerce, environmental groups, and Alaska Native organizations.
- Working as a staffer in a state legislature and the U.S. Congress.
- A variety of opportunities with federal, state and local government departments and agencies such as: the foreign service, state administrative positions, and city management.
- A foundation for graduate work for careers in politics, public administration, international relations and law.
Graduates of the UAS program in Government have secured jobs with a wide range of public and private organization including: the Alaska State Legislature and various Alaska state agencies; the U.S. Congress; many city governments; the U.S. Forest Service, the Postal Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Federal Highway Administration; school teaching and administration; Catholic Social Services; several Native corporations and organizations; Safeway; Alaska Airlines; Marriott Hotels; several law firms; and AML Shipping Lines.
Please see the Bachelor of Social Sciences Requirements page to learn more about electing either a primary or secondary concentration in Government.