Political Science majors are prepared for many careers in the private and public sector – including business, law, government at all levels, journalism, political campaigns, interest groups and more. Appalachian State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree has a strong liberal arts focus, including a foreign language requirement.
Students who choose this degree receive an interdisciplinary approach to political science with a flexible program of study, which is great for tailoring your education to fit graduate school plans. This approach takes advantage of the broad range of faculty expertise in the Department of Government and Justice Studies. Students also are encouraged to participate in national, state and local politics, and many pursue an internship in Washington, D.C., or North Carolina’s capital, Raleigh. The department also offers a Master of Arts in Political Science.
Employment: Most students start jobs right after graduation. Recent employers include:
- The White House
- The United States Senate
- The Brady Campaign
- The Office of the Vice President of the United States
- Friends Committee on National Legislation
- The Nexus Fund
Graduate school: Some students continue their education at Appalachian State University or other institutions such as: George Washington University, Pennsylvania State University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
A minor is required. Popular minors include:
- Foreign Language
Engagement Outside the Classroom
- Appalachian State University College Republicans — The leading voice for conservatives on campus. All new members are welcome at meetings held Wednesday nights.
- Appalachian State University College Democrats — The group for liberal students on campus. New members are welcome at meetings held Tuesday nights.
- App State YAL — Division of the North Carolina Libertarian Party. The group is a chapter of the national campus activist organization known as the Young Americans for Liberty.
App State is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Internships and participation in national, state and local politics are encouraged so students gain practical and real world political experience. Students can earn up to 9 credit hours completing an internship.
- Students with a 3.4 GPA or higher have the opportunity to participate in App State's Accelerated Master’s Program.
- The Department of Government and Justice Studies includes more than 30 tenure-track faculty with PhDs in Political Science, Public Administration and Criminal Justice. This gives students the opportunity to study under professors with an array of expertise.
- The department offers a variety of study-away courses that allow students to earn course credits while engaging in real world politics. Recent study-away destinations include Raleigh, N.C., Washington, D.C., the Iowa caucuses, Cuba and Jordan.
- Scholarships are available through the department.
Boone and Hickory*
*The Hickory Campus location is pending accreditation from SACSCOC for this program. Accreditation is expected in summer 2023.
- University Professor
- Campaign Manager
- City Manager
- Congressional Aide
- FBI/CIA Agent
- Law Enforcement Officer
- Legislative Analyst Lobbyist
- Media Analyst
- Public Administrator/Manager
- Research Analyst
- Interest Group Director
Dr. Cathy Marcum
Dr. Heather Ondercin
Political Science Curriculum Coordinator