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Careers in Political Science & Graduate School

Careers in Political Science

Job Boards

Career Services Center

UCSD's Career Services Center also has expert career counselors. The Center also has some informative web pages for our majors, including: 

Be sure to visit the alumni page on our website which highlights accomplished graduates in both our undergraduate and graduate programs.

The School of Global Policy and Strategy at UCSD has an excellent page, titled "Industry Resources", that is curated with job boards, career blogs, and other helpful sites, all categorized into different industry sectors. 

American Political Science Association

The American Political Science Association's Careers and the Study of Political Science handbook is an excellent resource for Political Science majors. It may be purchased directly from the APSA website or borrowed from the Department (SSB 301) for up to one week. The APSA website also provides excellent information about careers for students who graduate with a degree in political science. 

APSA also has some very informative web pages for our majors regarding internships and careers, including: 

There are many options available to Political Science students after earning a bachelor's degree

O*NET (US Department of Labor)

O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of various occupations and is used by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)

The U.S. Department of Labor provides the OOH to help people explore pertinent information relating to hundreds of occupations. Explore duties, reponsisibilities, training, pay ranges, education, and other important factors to consider when it come to deciding on an occuptaion. You can search occupations in alphabetical order as well. 

LAUNCH Program via UCSD Extension

Website: https://extension.ucsd.edu/student-resources/Career-Resources/LAUNCH

The LAUNCH program covers the cost* of one certificate program for full-time UC San Diego students who want to ensure their first step into the workplace puts them on the right path to career success.

* Please note that the application for LAUNCH and the certificate program differs. To be considered for the LAUNCH program, students must submit a LAUNCH application.

To apply, must be:

 A current Junior or Senior at UC San Diego
  1. Interested in entering the workforce after graduation
  2. Able to complete the certificate program a quarter after you graduate from UC San Diego

Next steps:

 Apply within dates listed in the website
  1. Application will be reviewed and students will be selected for interviews (via Zoom)
  2. Qualified students will be notified and offered a conditional acceptance with instructions on how to finalize their LAUNCH status

*LAUNCH students are responsible for $95 certificate application fee, textbooks, and any lab/materials fees

Questions? Email launch@ucsd.edu for more information.

Obtaining Letters of Recommendation

Many graduate school programs, internships, and even career opportunities ask that students provide letters of recommendation as part of the application process.

HERE is a great website on how to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation.

As part of your request to obtain a letter of recommendation from a Political Science professor, instructor, supervisor, or graduate TA, and in accordance with FERPA guidelines, please send those from whom you are requesting a letter a link to the Instructional Support for Faculty page and the quoted statement below:

“I consent to the release of personal and educational information about me in the letter of recommendation that I have requested from you. This authorization allows you to release all information about me, within the University’s possession, to [fill in details (e.g., any other educational institution, any centralized application processing services (list by name if possible), both, etc.]. This authorization shall remain valid unless and until it is rescinded in writing.”

Career Development Appointments via Handshake

The alumni office has partnered with the Career Center to provide students with additional career development support. With an additional 75 staff members available to help; students can sign up on Handshake for resume, LinkedIn, interview tips and alumni connections. These individual can help students strategically leverage the alumni network including Tritons Connect, LinkedIn and Handshake.

 How to sign up for career development appointments via Handshake

1) Create a new appointment on Handshake

  1. Select your degree level
  2. Select one of the following: Resume Review, Personal Introduction/Networking,

2) Scroll through the list of names to make an appointment

  1. Undergraduate students - Amanda Corona, Kelly Jensen or Roxanne Farkas
  2.    Graduate students - Giulia Hoffman

List of companies hiring students on Handshake: https://learn.joinhandshake.com/students/hiring-on-handshake-500/

Graduate School

UCSD's Career Services Center has expert graduate school counselors and informative web pages pertaining to graduate school exploration and preparation.

Law School Interest

The primary office for pre-law advising and resources is the Career Services Center. Visit the UCSD Career Services Pre-Law page for information about the legal profession and applying to law school, including contact information for the Department's Pre-Law Board, which includes attorneys currently enrolled in the doctoral program in political science. 

Other sites that may be of help when considering law school include:

Additional Resources

Graduate students and faculty in our Department are a fantastic resources for learning more about graduate school in general, and especially programs focused on the various subfield of Political Science. 

Here are some of their suggestions for books and websites that may be of assistance:

BestColleges.com recently added resources that students can check out here: