Students who major in political science or international relations may continue their studies in a wide variety of graduate programs. We typically distinguish between two kinds of programs: academic and professional. Academic M.A. and Ph.D. programs train you for a career of research and teaching in scholarly, often university, settings. Professional degrees equip students for specific professions: a J.D. trains you for practicing law, a Masters in Public Administration prepares you to work in civil service management, or a Masters in Public Policy gives you skills in policy development, advocacy, and implementation.
If you are interested in graduate study, the first question to answer is “Why?” Why do you want to go to graduate school? What do you hope graduate school will enable you to do? Once you have answered this, even tentatively, you can begin to research specific degree programs and schools.
Graduate school requires a substantial investment of time and energy. It’s a decision you want to plan for with care and thought. We encourage you to meet with your academic advisor or current professors to discuss your graduate school interests and to explore programs that might best fit your needs and interests.