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Political Science Option

General Studies Associates of Arts Degree


US Congress meets in assembly

Review the academic map for recommended course selections and sequencing for a Political Science focus. (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)


Why study political science? In political science classes, you learn about how governments work and how to use, reform, and challenge the system to address problems in your life and your community. It doesn’t matter who you are – what the government does affects you.  Students of political science understand the rights and responsibilities of citizens and denizens; knowledge of political science can help you understand how local, state and federal governments can change your community, career and family.

Political Science teaches us crucial academic and professional skills – how to think critically, how to reason, how to analyze data, how to communicate – and helps us to engage actively with our communities. 

Program Advising

Academic advising helps students reach their educational and career goals. Meet with your academic advisor regularly to discuss your academic plans and make sure you are on track to graduate and/or transfer. The program advising guide outlines the degree requirements and is meant to supplement the advising process. 

Transfer Opportunities

As you create your academic plan for transferring into Political Science programs, keep in mind transfer institution requirements for the following courses, which can differ greatly among institutions:

  • Math Requirements – Political Science can be a highly quantitative field. You will likely need a Statistics course like MATH 117.
  • Science Requirements
  • Specific Political Science courses and subfields
  • Language Requirements – Particularly important if you will be studying a Comparative Politics or International Relations subfield.

For institutions other than UMBC, be sure to review the institution’s transfer requirements and admissions requirements for the Political Science program. For more articulation agreements, please see all our General Studies articulations.

Political Science includes a variety of subfields, which are basically areas of specialization. While at Montgomery College, you will be able to explore a variety of these subfields. When you transfer to pursue a B.A. in Political Science, you’ll start specializing. For example, students in the University of Maryland Government Program have the option of choosing an International Relations concentration within the Government Program.

 Most 4-year programs will include the following subfields: American Government, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory. Some four-year institutions also have subfields in Public Law, Public Policy, and Public Administration and in Quantitative Methods.

International Relations vs. International Studies: Should I follow the General Studies A.A. Political Science Discipline Option or pursue an A.A. in International Studies?

International Relations is a subfield of Political Science. While some universities offer a designated B.A. in International Relations, most four-year institutions include International Relations within the four-year Political Science/Government B.A. Students interested in studying International Relations at the four-year level may successfully follow either the International Studies A.A. or General Studies A.A. Political Science Discipline Option curriculum.

International Studies programs are interdisciplinary, often bringing together disciplines like Sociology, History, Economics, Anthropology, Geography, Political Science, and World Languages. There are International Studies B.A. programs, such as the Global Studies Program at UMBC. A student wishing to transfer into a Global or International Studies B.A. Program may choose either the International Studies A.A. or the General Studies Political Science Discipline Option A.A.

We encourage students to explore specific four-year institution requirements and discuss these with an International Studies or General Studies advisor when choosing Programs.

Career Options

For some positions listed, a bachelor's degree or higher may be required. Use the Career and Program Explorer to see a full report for this career field. See links below chart for further guidance and/or connect with a Program Advisor to discuss career goals.

A political science major can prepare you for a variety of careers including elected office, lawyers, political consultants, staffers for congressional committees and offices, civil servants, diplomats (including foreign service and the State Department), workers in non-governmental organizations and charities, liaison between government and corporate entities, country specialists for businesses, lobbyists, teachers, media consultants, think tank analysts, pollsters, and pundits.

General Studies degree provide opportunities for students to develop and hone their critical thinking, analytical, team-building and problem-solving skills. Students with General Studies degree will be able to successfully apply these skills in a wide range of careers.

  • MC Student Employment Services: Speak with the Student Employment Specialist for help with resume writing, interviewing, setting up a College Central Network (CCN)new window account and other job search topics.
  • Career Coach: Explore Career Coach to learn more about this career and/or discover related majors and in-demand careers based on your current interests! Take a Career Assessment and then browse careers and job opportunities in the area.

Related Programs and Courses

General Studies Degree

Students who major in general studies explore personal, professional, and academic areas of interest within a flexible framework supporting transfer.

Workforce Development and Continuing Education

MC offers a wide variety of noncredit classes. These courses are designed to help you upgrade your skills, pursue career training, or learn something new.