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Get the Job You Want

  • An undergraduate degree in political science is good preparation for graduate study in political science, public administration, foreign policy, business, and more. It is also an ideal preparation for law school.
  • Maintain a high grade point average to ensure maximum appeal among graduate schools or employers.
  • Seek the classes and experiences that will best prepare you for your ideal job.
  • Consider doing one or more carefully selected internships before you graduate. Employers prefer potential employees with working experience. Often, internships lead to job offers.
  • Develop strong leadership skills and run for office in clubs and organizations in school or community. Volunteer to organize or lead an event or project. Get involved in the community and network with local leaders.
  • Join related social and/or professional organizations.
  • Build a strong personal network through formal and informal contacts. Attend UAB and departmental events to gain networking opportunities.

The Department of Political Science and Public Administration takes your future career seriously. We strongly encourage you to think about jobs as early in your course of study as possible. We offer regularly scheduled classes, events, programs, and internships designed to help our majors identify their preferences and career aspirations and develop strategies that will maximize the chances of getting good jobs in national and international settings.

Our Politics and Policy Speaker series, as well as other speakers and events, regularly feature alumni who include leaders of local nonprofit organizations, former congressional staffers, and faculty members representing the pre-law society and the Master of Public Administration program.

What Can I Do with This Major?

What do you do with a degree in political science? While there is no set career path for a political science major, the most popular careers include jobs in federal, state, or local government; business; international organizations; and non-profits.

Start your search here at UAB. Political science faculty can provide some insights into these issues, or feel free to set up an appointment with the Department Chair. 

UAB’s Career Center also offers a wealth of information and assistance relevant to starting your career, including job and internship listings, job fairs, resume builders, and many more resources for UAB students. We recommend that you take advantage of all they have to offer.

There are plenty of other websites that can help you with your career search. Start with one of these:

Careers in Political Science

Below you'll find some of the many careers you can pursue with a degree in political science.

  • State and Local Government
    • Municipal clerk
    • Tax assessor
    • Regional planner
    • Economic developer
    • Legislative clerk
    • Human relations professional
    • Law enforcement supervisor
    • Social services provider
    • Budget official
    • City or county manager
    • Mediator
  • Federal Government
    • Foreign service officer
    • Intelligence officer
    • Program administrator
    • Immigration or customs officer
    • Law enforcement officer
    • Legislative clerk
    • Judicial clerk
    • Legislative or executive liaison
    • Research analyst
    • Aid specialist
  • Politics
    • Elected or appointed official
    • Campaign manager
    • Lobbyist
    • Political advisor
    • Staff administrator
    • Special interest advocacy
    • Political commentator
    • Pollster
  • International Affairs
    • Policy administrator
    • Budget specialist
    • Research analyst
    • International civil servant (United Nations, World Health Organization, Organization of American States, etc)
    • Development analyst
    • Poverty-reduction specialist
    • Resource development specialist
    • Educator
    • Human rights advocate
  • Business and Nonprofit Organizations
    • Non-profit executive
    • Fund-raising specialist
    • Human resources specialist
    • Public relations executive
    • Sales professional
    • Manager
    • Market research analyst
    • Contractor
    • Journalist
    • Consultant

Careers - MPA

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a broad-based, interdisciplinary degree designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge, and competencies to pursue successful careers as public managers in government or the nonprofit sector. Below are just some of the potential career paths you can follow with an MPA degree.

Our Graduates

The following list provides a small sample of positions our graduates have held. If you are about to graduate or are an alum and would like to be included on this list, please send us an e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) letting us know what you're up to; be sure to include your full name, graduation year, and job title/employer.

  • Government
    • Patrick Bryant, City Manager of Avondale Springs, GA
    • Ollie Davison, Deputy Director, Office of Congresswoman Terri Sewell
    • Walter Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    • Merika Coleman, JD, Alabama House of Representative 57th District (Jefferson County), and Attorney
    • Andrew Russell, Director of Planning, Retail Strategies, Inc.
    • Rachel Hicks, Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of Multilateral and Nuclear Affairs, U.S. Dept. of State
  • Health
    • Kenneth Rose, Policy Director, Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control
    • Leslie J. Morgan, MPA-MPH/JD, Attorney, Bradley Arant
    • Karen Parsons, Director of Development, UAB School of Nursing
    • Claudia Hardy, Program Director, Office of Community Outreach and Engagement, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Nonprofit
    • Sara Newell, Sr. Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Central Alabama
    • Haley Colson Lewis, JD, Attorney, Greater Alabama Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP)
    • Meghan Ann Hellenga, Deputy Director, Birmingham Museum of Art
    • Charles Scribner, Executive Director, Black Warrior Riverkeeper
    • Danya Segrest, Corporate Development and Special Events Director, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB
  • Education
    • Brian Atkinson, Program Manager, UAB Transportation Dept
    • Clifford Kennon, Residency and Fellowship Education Manager, UAB Family & Community Medicine
    • Emily Craig, Director of Development, UAB School of Nursing and MPA Adjunct Faculty at UAB
    • Ellyn Grady, Former Senior VP of Major Gifts, United Way of Central Alabama and MPA Adjunct Faculty at UAB
  • Private Industry
    • Susan Matlock, Former President and Chief Executive, Innovation Depot
    • Joseph Meadow IV, Co-Founder, TJC Mortgage

Career Resources

There are many resources available to help you start or advance your career.

 The University's Career Center is a great place to get started. The center provides information on employment opportunities, assists with job skill development including interviewing and resume writing, sponsors jobs fairs, and much more! Be sure to check out the information and advice tailored specifically for you.

Three of the most prominent groups in professional public service careers and education have joined forces to create a job board and career information website.

You can research your job prospects and potential salary through the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook (revised every two years, it describes working conditions, training and education needed, and expected earnings and job prospects).

Here are some other places to look for public service careers:

For information on local nonprofit career opportunities, see the Alabama Association of Nonprofits job board and the United Way of Central Alabama’s career board.

Funding your Studies

How do you plan to pay for college? It's something everyone has to think about, no matter your background or situation. Guidance on financing your education, as well as detailed tuition and fees information, is available on the UAB Students Paying for College page. Information about costs and financial support can also be found on the UAB Graduate School website.

The United States Department of Education has a Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program for students with certain federal loans looking to enter or continue their career in public service. For more information about the PSLF Program, visit StudentAid.gov or ED.gov.

For MPA students, the Department of Political Science and Public Administration has a limited number of graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) awarded on a competitive basis. These assistantships are only offered to current or incoming MPA students, and are not offered as part of admission. Calls for applications are sent out when positions are available.

The MPA Alumni Society also offers a few scholarships for current MPA students who have completed at least a semester in the program. Calls for scholarship applications usually go out in the beginning of spring semesters.