Monday, July 16, 2012

Consider Political Science at Carolina

Today, Hollie Mann from the Political Science department is here to tell us more about studying political science at Carolina.  Welcome Dr. Mann!

Hollie Mann
This is an exciting time to be a Political Science major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We are the third largest major at UNC and it’s no wonder! With a presidential election just around the corner, the recent Supreme Court ruling on health care, a North Carolina gubernatorial election that could radically reshape public education, social services, and the tax structure for years to come, more and more students are choosing to enter the field of Political Science.

There are many reasons to choose Political Science as a major. As a field of study, Political Science helps us to understand how and why we choose certain subjects to deliberate about collectively. Perhaps more importantly, it gives us a clear picture of how policy is formulated, executed, and evaluated using certain moral, economic, and pragmatic standards. In the increasingly complex political and media environments in which we live, becoming a sharp consumer of political information is absolutely critical for making informed decisions.

Some of our students go on to careers in politics, running campaigns and advising candidates, or even becoming candidates themselves and eventually holding office. Those who prefer a more behind-the-scenes career in politics often become analysts for research institutes and think-tanks. Some go into the non-profit sector, working on issues of social justice and political equality, while others choose to continue their studies by entering graduate school. Business, finance, and law are common fields for our majors, demonstrating that a Political Science degree is useful for a range of future vocations and professions. Professionally, whether it’s finance, marketing, or the academy, employers want to hire interesting and well-informed workers, people who are able to speak knowledgeably about political and social issues, and who see themselves as active citizens shaping the complex world in which we live.

The field of Political Science is divided into four subfields—American, Comparative, International Relations, and Theory—and here at UNC students have an opportunity to craft their majors in such a way that they can focus on any one of these, if they desire, while still receiving a rich and a well-rounded education in the field as a whole.

For more information on the major, including affiliated centers and workshops, please visit the UNC Political Science homepage, and consider contacting our department advisor, Dr. Hollie Mann. And stay tuned for more information on our Fall Undergraduate Speaker Series on the 2012 elections!