What Undergraduate Degrees Best Prepare for a Career in Politics?

Best Degrees for Political CareersWhether you are interested in taking a front seat in policy making, managing successful political campaigns, or running for an elected governmental position, it is important that you are aware of the undergraduate degrees that lead to a career in politics. Although more than 500,000 individuals in the United States currently hold a full-time or part-time elective office, politics is extremely competitive at all levels of government, from a small town to the White House. In a field where incumbency nearly always wins, around 90% of all politicians are reelected every two or four years. Therefore, in order to defy the odds and break into politics, the following are some of the best undergraduate majors that you should choose from.

Political Science

Since earning a degree in political science from Columbia University helped President Barack Obama in his path to the Oval Office, this is one of the most popular undergraduate degrees that lead to a career in politics. When you pursue a degree in political science, you will build a strong knowledge base in the development of government bodies, formulation of public policies, and mechanics of our nation’s various political systems. In the 21st century, bachelor’s degree programs in political science are also expanding to cover a wide array of social issues that contribute to policy decisions, including warfare, poverty, weaponry, and global inequality.

Public Administration

Choosing a bachelor’s degree in public administration can be a wise decision for undergraduate students who are interested in working as community service managers, political scientists, or elected officials at the local and state levels. At the undergraduate level, public administration programs offer students a broad overview on public policy, financial budgeting, government decision making, and community analysis. Public administration is a great major for undergraduate students seeking to specifically develop the skills needed to work with diverse neighborhoods and organizations to meet the needs of their communities.

International Relations

Due to the fact that political problems often transcend borders, pursuing a degree in international relations is an excellent choice for undergraduate students who want to pursue a life in politics, government, business, and/or journalism at international organizations. After providing a well-rounded foundation in history, political science, economics, and law, a bachelor’s degree in international relations will focus on how nations interact in today’s increasingly interconnected world. Students often study complex international issues, including warfare, foreign trade, diplomacy, cultural diversity, poverty, terrorism, and intelligence.


Although not one of the most obvious choices, students pursuing a career in politics can strongly benefit from earning a bachelor’s degree in communications, because today’s political world is more critical than ever before about communicating clear messages. In order to learn about how the medic impacts political decisions, students majoring in communications will take advantageous coursework in journalism, public speaking, marketing, public relations, and rhetoric. Along with placing you on the track towards becoming a politician, a degree in communications can open political opportunities as a news analyst, public relations specialist, campaign manager, or even marketing manager.

Related Resource: Average Student Loan Debt

To be successful in today’s high-energy political field, you will need to be a very skilled communicator, have a firm understanding of government processes, possess experience volunteering in local campaigns, and have the right education. According to Democratic Gain, if you want to be successful in landing your first political job, make sure you consider earning one of these undergraduate degrees that lead to a career in politics to stand ahead of the competition.