"My experience at WIU, whether it was inside or outside the classroom, truly helped me prepare for my current career path.
" - Bridget Early
The political science major at Western emphasizes a well-rounded education that helps students understand and prepare for careers related to domestic and international politics.
Students may choose options in the Political Science major in:
- American Government
- International Relations/Comparative Politics
- Public Policy/Public Administration
Western political science graduates work all over the world in a variety of careers. Our alumni include prominent attorneys, top staffers in the executive and legislative branches of government, officials at international organizations, lobbyists in Springfield and Washington, city managers, campaign consultants, and elected officials, among others.
Other careers possible with a Political Science major/minor include;
- Activist, Advocate/Organizer
- Administration, Corporate, Government, Non-Profit, etc.
- Campaign Operative
- Career Counselor
- CIA Analyst or Agent
- Congressional Office/Committee Staffer
- Coordinator of Federal or State Aid
- Communications Director
- Congressional Staffer
- Corporate Public Affairs Advisor
- Corporate Adviser for Govt'l. Relations
- Elected Official (Legislator, Governor, Representative)
- Federal Government Analyst
- Foreign Service Officer
- Foundation President
- Government Affairs Manager
- Human Right Case Worker
- Information Manager
- Intelligence Analyst or Officer
- International Agency Officer
- International Research Specialist
- Issues Analyst, Corporate Social Policy Div.
- Juvenile Justice Specialist
- Labor Relations Specialist
- Legislative Analyst / Coordinator
- Legislator (same as Elected Official)
- Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Administrator
- Policy Analyst
- Political Commentator
- Public Affairs Research Analyst
- Public Opinion Analyst
- State Legislator
Why Choose Political Science at WIU?
Specializations are not required, however, and many students opt for the general political science major.
Western’s political science faculty are committed to helping students succeed both inside and outside the classroom. The department sponsors internship programs locally, as well as providing financial support for those working in Washington, Springfield, and elsewhere through the Dan Webb internship award program.
WIU political science students participate in simulations, such as Model UN and Model Illinois Government, each year. Before each presidential election, the department helps organize one of the largest mock election simulations held at any university in the United States.
Political science majors are also active in student government, as well as departmental clubs that sponsor debates and campus visits by politicians and other public figures.
Meet Some of Our Grads
- Bridget Early, Class of 2007
- Anthony L. Holland, Class of 2010
After a very exciting journey at WIU, I traveled to Washington D.C. to pursue an internship with former Representative Phil Hare (IL-17). Given my interest in union politics, it was especially fascinating working for a Congressman who served on the House Committee on Education and Labor. Since leaving the Hill, my professional focus has been on educating working men and women on relevant legislative issues so they in turn can advocate for themselves. While working for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, I traveled to several primary states and served as the State Director for UFCW's member election education and mobilization efforts. Currently, I am the Southern Regional Field Coordinator for the National Association of Letter Carriers. Through this position, I work with members in ten states to drive legislative and political activism. My experience at WIU, whether it was inside or outside the classroom, truly helped me prepare for my current career path.
Major: Political Science
I started school at the local community college, Black Hawk College, where I earned my Associate of Arts in General Studies with an emphasis on political science and psychology. After participating in Model Illinois Government I decided to pursue a degree in Political Science and transferred to Western Illinois University in Macomb. After a year of studies on the main campus and a summer internship with the U.S. Congressional candidate Bobby Schilling, I finished off my degree with a semester at the Q.C. Campus of WIU. During the Spring, Summer, and Fall I was a campaign volunteer and later a paid staffer. I was responsible for getting the mass mailings sent off, making phone calls, leading groups of walkers, tracking contact information, and helping other interns with issues. I knew that I wanted to be in the middle of campaigns and wanted to be in charge so I helped in the last couple months of the election with voter identification and voter contact while trying to absorb as much knowledge as I could about what it takes to run a successful campaign. Between tens of thousands of phone calls and doors knocked, Rich Morthland and Bobby Schilling both won their respective elections. I applied for a full time position working with Representative Morthland in his district office, and was informed the day before commencement that I had gotten the job as the Chief Legislative Aide for State Representative Morthland. It is a huge honor to be able to currently work for and with a member of the Illinois General Assembly and to have worked closely with a newly elected U.S. Congressman.
At A Glance
- Degree Available: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts
- Minor Available? Yes
- Graduate Degree Available? Yes
- Campus: Macomb
- Study Opportunities: GradTrac, Honors, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate