Gaining admission into a dream higher institution is one of the happiest days of a student’s life. The excitement is even more when it’s one’s dream course.
But then, political science students have this misconception that the course is challenging. Some even claim it’s the hardest among courses under social sciences.
However, the one thing that sets a political science degree apart is the opportunities available to graduates. You can work in several sectors. You can be a political analyst, city administrator, community service manager, overseas diplomats, and the list goes on.
So, even if the claim that political science is complex is valid, it’s justifiable. Its career opportunities are massive. Nevertheless, we can’t jump to a conclusion without digging deeper. So, here’s the question.
Is political science hard?
The answer is yes and no. Yes, it’s hard like every other discipline. No, because it’s not impossible to study.
The world has too many problems, and solving them happens to be the job political scientists do. Which isn’t such an easy task.
However, tons of reasons make political science a bit hard. One of them is the tons of information that students have to sift through. Despite being new, political science has too much information, making it complex.
Any student who wishes to study political science will find it enjoyable if they like studying conflicts and ideologies, including the institutions created to manage them.
Alright, that’s the answer to the question. But there’s more you need to know. So please keep reading!
What Is Political Science?
The first thing any wannabe political science student needs to know is the definition. Through it, you might appreciate and develop a strong interest in the course.
So, what is political science? It deals with the study of government, politics, including public policy around the world. It looks deeper into the practice and theory of government and politics at the local, state, federal, and international levels.
Political science graduates are called political analysts or political scientists. They are part analysts, researchers, and forecasters.
Political scientists seek to understand, explain and describe political phenomena. What this means is that they try to study and understand the processes of the government. For example, how bills turn into laws.
Furthermore, as a political scientist, you’ll be studying the government’s institutions such as the presidency, state, congress, and so on. You’ll also explore the behavior of those in government, including how the citizens react to government policies.
A Handy Tip: Political science is under social sciences. And like every other social science, it seeks to study human behavior both collectively and individually.
How Can You Study Political Science?
Several factors would determine if your dream to study political science would come true. These include the requirements the admitting school needs. If you’re able to meet the requirements, you’ll be granted admission.
However, each school has its requirements. Some schools demand a statement of purpose or essays from prospective students. Others require a certain GPA or test school from students who wish to study the course.
Generally, your evaluation will be on educational qualification, background, and relevant experience.
A Handy Tip: The admission requirement also varies, depending on whether the admission is online or on campus. Some online programs may request a more involved admission process, where prospects may have to link up with admission advisers.
Here’s a breakdown of the prerequisite to study political science.
The application process usually starts online. Interested students are asked to submit their applications online. You have to provide educational history, experience, and others.
Please note that all applications have a deadline. And once the deadline elapses, students would no longer be able to apply. The screening process starts afterward.
In some schools, the minimum GPA demand for college coursework and high school is 2.0. However, specific political science programs may also set their requirements regarding GPA.
But, if you don’t make the cut-off and still want to study political science, don’t panic. You can take advantage of provisional admission.
A Handy Tip: Please see your admission adviser know provisional admissions available to you.
The test score requested include SAT and ACT. In some schools, any of the two tests is compulsory. But, in some institutions, it’s optional. However, students need to check to know if their preferred institution requires a test score before sitting for the exam.
Some schools request application fees from students. It could be $40 or higher, depending on the school you’re applying to. It’s for checking students’ applications.
However, several schools don’t charge this. Some also allow students to apply for an application fee waiver. If yours gets approved, you won’t have to pay the application fee.
Letter of recommendation:
The recommendation letter is to authenticate your educational qualification, background, character, and experience.
Some schools may request 3 to 4 recommendation letters from students. But make sure you notify those that will be providing the letters weeks before the submission date.
Most institutions request a transcript. It’s used to assess the student’s educational performance. From the transcript, the school will determine if you qualify to study political science.
So, check if your school of interest requires the transcript. They may request one from college or high school.
How Long Political Science Takes
Most political science bachelor’s degree programs take four years and 120 credits. But several factors determine if you’re going to be spending less time or not.
Interestingly, most institutions allow students to transfer their college credit. And if this happens, you’ll be spending fewer years in school. However, schools only accept a transfer from accredited institutions.
Other factors that determine the length of your degree program include internship and thesis. You can only graduate from school after finishing your thesis.
Additionally, part-time students spend more time in school than full-time students.
Where Political Science Can Take You Career-wise
It’s normal for students to gauge career opportunities available to them before accepting to study a course. It gives extra motivation to work harder to gain admission and even perform better once admitted.
So, where can political science take you? Firstly, understand that political science offers a wide range of opportunities. You can work with the government, corporate organizations, NGOs and be self-employed.
These are the places you can work, or become after graduating.
- Political analyst
- Law enforcement
- Human relations
- Campaign management
- Legislative staff member
- Sales and marketing
- News correspondence
- Social service worker
- International affair specialist
Additionally, a political science degree allows you to pursue a graduate degree program in several highly sought-after courses. These include law, diplomacy, and business.
Skills Political Science Builds In Students
After studying political science, you’ll not only go home with a degree. In addition, you’ll have a range of soft skills. And these are in-demand job skills, which automatically increase your chances of landing a job.
Here’s the list of soft skills you’ll learn by studying political science.
- Strong communication skills (written and oral)
- Analytical and critical thinking skills: These are problem-solving skills.
- Practical and theoretical approaches to government and political functions
- Gather information from diverse sources and use it to persuade others during an argument.
How To Make Studying Political Science A Breeze
Most students find it hard to cope in their first year. But that shouldn’t be the case for any student that wants to graduate with a good grade.
If you’re a political science student, be ready to do a lot of research and reading. The course’s broadness is the reason many believe it’s hard.
Here’s what you need to do to make political science easy for you
Take orientation and tours seriously:
Orientations or tours aren’t graded, but you’ll benefit when you partake in them.
You’ll know your way around campus and settle in much faster. You could even pick your preferred reading spot and know a lot about the university environment via orientations and tours.
Be ready to work harder:
Most students feel high school and university are the same. Thus, since they spend 2 or 3 hours studying while in high school and did well, they can put in the same effort in the university.
But the truth is you have to work much harder. So, for example, if you spent 2 or 3 hours reading in your high school days, you need to increase it now that you’re in university.
Political science is broad. Thus, you’ll need more time to cover all the courses, prepare for tests and exams. So, don’t procrastinate. If you have to read a course or do an assignment, get it done. Do not postpone it to the next day.
Don’t skip classes:
University life is interesting. If you live alone, you can decide to sleep all day, and no one would scold you. But, please, desist from doing this. If you have classes, attend them and be there on time. Why? It will give you a chance to understand your professors, have an idea of how they want their questions answered and what to expect from them.
Make healthy lifestyle choices:
You need to stay healthy and keep fit. Your professors or program won’t pause when you get sick. So, make healthy food choices and exercise. Keep yourself fit and healthy, so you won’t miss a single lecture or abandon your books.
So, is political science hard? Well, the answer is yes and no. But it’s like every other course out there. It’s hard for students who don’t read or put in enough effort into their studies.
But if you study hard and use the tips mentioned in this post, you won’t find political science or any course difficult.