Have you ever thought about how you could make a real difference in your community? Have you ever considered managing a campaign or even running for elected office? Appalachian State University’s Bachelor of Science in Political Science - American Politics degree prepares you to work effectively and to productively engage in politics.
In the American Politics concentration, you will have the opportunity to learn from faculty who specialize in electoral behavior, political institutions, public administration and judicial behavior. Students are encouraged to participate in local, state and national politics, and many pursue an internship in Washington, D.C., or North Carolina’s capital of Raleigh.
Employment: Most students start jobs right after graduation. Recent employers include:
- United States Congress
- N.C. State Legislature
- Lobbying firms
- Marketing firms
- Federal agencies
- Non-Profit organizations
Graduate school: Some students continue their education at Appalachian State University or other institutions such as: Louisiana State University, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, Pennsylvania State University, University of Minnesota and UNC-Chapel Hill.
A minor is required. Popular minors include:
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.
Appalachian 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 Appalachian’s Accelerated Master’s Program.
- The Department of Government and Justice Studies includes more than 30 tenure-track faculty with Ph.D.s 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.
- Campaign Manager
- Peace Corps/Vista Worker
- University Professor
- Community Relations Director
- Congressional Aid
- Environmental Policy Analyst
- Legislative Analyst
- Marketing Director
- Media Analyst
- Newspaper/Magazine Journalist
- Research Analyst
- Special Interest Group Director
View more career possibilities
Department of Government and Justice Studies
Dr. Cathy Marcum
Dr. Heather Ondercin
Political Science Curriculum Coordinator