What Kind of Accreditation Should My Degree Program Have?
Accreditation is a status of the university that certifies the authority and high level of educational quality.
Such status is given to a university by special accrediting agencies authorized by the Departure of Education.
Accreditation is an aspect of the level of education and activity of the university, at which your future employer will look.
There are national and regional accrediting agencies recognized by the Departure of Education.
A lot of employers consider the obtained stamp of approval from the regional agencies as the indicator of merit and credibility of a university.
Below you can see the list of regional agencies from which your university should have the approval.
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- The Higher Learning Commission
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
The Departure of Education distinguishes institutional and program accreditation.
In order to get the acceptance from your future employer, you would better enter the degree course with program accreditation, as it seems that program degree is highly qualified.
For example, the program accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA) is compulsory if you want to change your political science program to a law degree.
Thus, ABA provides accreditation for law universities and colleges.
The institutional accreditation is given to the educational institution, in general, and means that the university is stick to the requirements and standards of the Departure of Education.
What Kinds of Political Science Degrees Are There?
Associate Degree in Political Science
This degree can be a good beginning for your future study and career.
However, while studying as an associate you will learn only the introducing material and basics of political science.
But at this very stage, we will decide if this area of study fits you or not.
During the obtaining of an associate degree, you will get knowledge of history, government, state and political systems of many countries.
There is also an opportunity to start working as a paralegal or an assistant after this two-year studying.
Look at the courses you are going to take underneath:
- American Government and Politics
- State and Local Government
- International Politics
- Civil Liberties
- Comparative Politics
- Religion and Politics
Bachelor of Political Science Degree
To become a politician or to work in law-related areas, you should complete the degree of a bachelor in political science, as it is a standard educational level in political science.
The study for a bachelor requires 120 credits to obtain and 3-4 years to study the course.
During the study, you will learn such topics as global political dynamics, race relations, civil rights movements, and many others.
After getting the bachelors degree you can be a candidate to the positions in public service, political journalism, and some others.
However, in order to get a job in public relations, policy research, higher education or legal sphere you need to study further and get a master’s degree.
During the course, you will learn such disciplines, as:
- International Conflict and Negation
- American Foreign Policy
- Politics and Mass Media
- Global Governance
- Political Parties and Interest Groups
Difference Between a BS and a BA in Political Science
While the BA or Bachelor of Arts program is orientated on arts and humanities and focuses on theories, the BS or Bachelor of Science program covers the mathematical and scientific aspects of political systems and political history.
For example, BS includes the role of statistical methods in politics.
Master of Political Science
After the bachelor’s degree, you may decide to continue studying and get an advanced degree of master of political science.
During getting a master’s degree you will do researchers on topics which are within your range of interests.
You will get a chance to choose whether you want to study and work on theories in politics, campaign strategies, and geopolitics.
After completing the degree course you can work in public policy developing and government administration among others.
Master’s degree program typically takes one or two years to finish.
Your master’s degree will be a starting point for getting a Ph.D. in political science and becoming a scientist.
While completing the master’s degree you will take courses written below
- Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Lobbying
- Law and Ethics
- Campaign Management
- Contemporary Political Thought
- Strategic Management in Public Service
Ph.D. Degree in Political Science
The first of the scholar’s degree is a Ph.D. in political science.
If you have a desire to be a scientist, do researches and make your contribution to political science, then you must probably decide to get a Ph.D. degree.
After completing this degree program you will be able to teach at the college and university level, you also can write your own books on actual topics and be a member of a scholarship society.
The Ph.D. course usually takes 4-7 years to complete, in the end, you need to write a dissertation and defend it.
The most interesting courses you will learn during the Ph.D. degree program are:
- International Law
- Conflict Resolution
- Women and Politics
- The American Founding
- Modern Political Thought
- Contemporary Political Thought
- Urban Public Policy
Doctor of Jurisprudence
The doctor of jurisprudence (JD) is the common way to enter the legal working sphere.
Such a degree requires 90 credits to get and three years to practice.
Doctor of the Jurisprudence degree program is accredited by the American Bar of Association, mentioned about.
Such courses are considered to be really expensive, however, you can get a scholarship if you have profound knowledge in this area.
After getting the degree you will have an opportunity to get a job in fields like policy advocacy, public administration, and organizational leadership.
Within the JD program you will listen to the next courses and law areas:
- Civil Procedure
- Criminal Law
- Foundations of Law
- Constitutional Law
What Kind of Licensing or Certification Do You Need?
What is the Difference Between Licensing and Certification?
A non-governmental body or professional organization usually award certification in different fields to the graduates with or without a degree.
On the contrary, licenses are awarded by governmental licensing agencies only.
Also, by having obtained a license in this or that field, you will be a legally authorized employee.
To compare, the companies do not necessarily require certification due to the fact that asking for a certificate is not legal actually.
At the same time, if you want to have a license, be ready to meet the requirements like getting a degree or passing a state exam.
These are the main differences according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Do You Need to Be a Licensed Political Scientist?
The most common practice is obtaining a license to work as a Teacher of Political Science or Teacher of Philosophy.
In fact, there is no specialized license or a certificate for the graduates of the Political Science degree courses.
To be precise, you’ll rather have to obtain a license or a certificate for a specific position that you are going to take like a lawyer or a high school teacher or a judicial administrator.
Instead, there are lots of online certificate programs aimed at political science workers.
During one or two years of studies, they will teach you to distinguish political systems, be proficient in the sphere of mass media, government, public policy, etc.
The certificates will increase your chances of getting a well-paid job in one of the numerous fields that require a political science degree.
Popular Degree Programs
What Can You Do With This Degree?
A wide range of opportunities will open in front of you after you get a degree in political science.
Among common jobs you can pretend to apply are below mentioned, to name but a few:
- Speechwriter/Press Secretary
- Government Affairs Director
- State Legislator
- Campaign Director
- Political scientist
- High School Teacher
- Legislative Assistant
- Policy Analyst
- Foreign Service Officer
- City Administrator
- Public Relations Manager
- Overseas Diplomat
- Judicial Administrator
- Federal and State Agency Specialist
- Consumer Advocate
- Corporate Legislative Issues Manager
- Political Consultant
- Urban Policy Planner
- Human Rights Advocate
- Communication Officer for Politician
How Much Can You Make With This Degree?
Your earn salary depends on your knowledge, skills, experience, and desire to work in a professional direction, as well as the level of degree that you have got.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the following average salaries for the named below jobs:
- Political scientist—$114,290
- Administrative Assistant—$37,230
- Urban Policy Planner—$70,020
- Paralegal —$49,500
- Lawyer – 139,880
- High School Teacher—$58,030
- Public Relations Manager—$58,020
- Judge and Hearing Officer—$109,940
- Human Rights Advocate—$31,810
What Professional Associations or Societies Should You Join?
In order to be recognized as a professional and get the authority in your professional community, you can join the professional associations or societies.
We will tell you about the most reputable of them in the next paragraphs.
Firstly, consider political parties.
In the USA there are two main political arrays: Republicans or Democrats.
Other notable parties in the U.S. include the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and smaller Constitutionalists, Communist Party, and the Reform Party.
Secondly, learn about the American Political Science Association which has been active since 1903.
This is the leading society in political science with more than 12 thousand members across the world.
You can decide to join its annual conferences and read its prestigious periodicals.
Thirdly, there are centers called Think Thanks in Washington D.C where you can find your colleges and like-minded people to communicate with.
To make a conclusion, what degree you decide to get is up to you.
We recommend you to stick to our article and start from the very beginning in order to grow to the desired height.
We guess that our article helps you to make the right decision and get a degree in political science.
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