What Can I Do With a Government Major?

The combination of a liberal arts education with a political science degree can result in a well educated generalist able to be attractive to a wide range of employers and positioned to take advantage of rapidly evolving and constantly changing career environments.

Some graduates choose to enter the job market right after graduation in such fields as business and banking, public administration, public policy, political campaign management, non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, aid organizations, public relations, media studies, journalism and communications, and teaching. Some intend to take a breather from school and accumulate practical experience before entering a post-graduate education program or law school at a later date. Frequently, internships become avenues of employment.

For majors in political science, it is worth remembering that at all levels — local, state and federal — government remains one of the country’s main employers.

Some graduates decide to continue their education in law schools and graduate programs. Augustana has an excellent reputation with law and graduate schools, and a successful admission record to match. 

Augustana College, for its size, ranks among the top schools in the country in the number of students who have been awarded the prestigious Truman Scholarship, designed for those who intend to pursue a career in governmental and non-governmental public service. 

The law schools Augustana graduates have attended include Harvard, Duke, Michigan, New York University, the University of Virginia, Washington University in St. Louis, as well as regionally prominent law schools such as the Universities of South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Creighton University. Dr. Schotten serves as the advisor for pre-law students, devoting significant time to helping students determine what law schools are best for them.

 

Getting You There

Interested in law school?  See Dr. Schotten's helpful Tips on Applying to Law School.  

Seeking letters of recommendation from faculty members?  Use this Letter of Recommendation Request Form.

To assist students in forming their post-graduation plans, the department’s faculty members use their own experience and contacts, in addition to resources such as the American Political Science Association’s “Careers and the Study of Political Science” and the excellent “Careers in International Affairs,” published by the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

 

Our Graduates

The following small sample of alumni provides an indication of the careers pursued and positions achieved by our graduates. It is a mere snapshot in time, as well-educated, capable and successful professionals sometimes change jobs and even careers. In fact, it is often their liberal arts education that gives them that flexibility and versatility.

Tricia Halling ’02
London, U.K.
Attorney, Latham & Watkins LLP

Dr. Jarret M. Brachman ’00
West Point, N.Y.
Former Director of Research Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Wendy Underwood ’98
St. Paul, Minn.
Coordinator of Federal Relations of the State of Minnesota

Per Pharo ’94
Oslo, Norway
Deputy Director of the Government of Norway's International Climate and Forestry Initiative

Dr. Nadya Nedelsky ’93
St. Paul, Minn.
Assistant Professor of International Studies, Macalester College

Loren Cass ’91
Auburn, Mass.
Assistant Professor of Political Science, College of Holy Cross

Douglas B. Loon ’86
Eden Prairie, Minn.
Vice President, Regional Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Nancy Erickson ’84
Washington , D.C.
Secretary of the U.S. Senate

Thomas J. Erickson ’84
Washington, D.C.
Chairperson, Commodity Futures Training Commission

Bill Hughes ’81
Washington, D.C.
Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)

Jim Johnson ’80
White Bear Lake, Minn.
Assistant General Council, Xcel Energy

Wade Fauth ’80
Grand Rapids, Minn.
Senior Program Officer, Blandin Foundation

Matthew C. Moen ’80
Vermillion, S.D.
Dean, USD School of Liberal Arts

Scott Van Hove ’79
Washington, D.C.
Vice President of Global Operations for Business Software Alliance

David L. Lillehaug ’76
Minneapolis, Minn.
Associate Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court
Former U.S. Attorney General for the State of Minnesota

Leo Lex '88
Unit Chief
State, Local and Tribal Cost Unit
Congressional Budget Office