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Attending University as a Political Science Major

written by: Mihir Shah•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 6/22/2011

The Political Science major is one of the most popular at the university and college level. It takes a mixture of analytical and writing skills to succeed; however, the ability to speak is also very important. Read on to learn more!

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    Introduction to Political Science in College

    Political Science at the university and college level, along with biology and engineering, is one of the most popular majors. Political Science majors are classified as Pre-Law, and generally aspire to become different types of practicing lawyers. From the perspective of a high school student, the field can be intimidating, and is undoubtedly competitive; however, a mastery in writing, reading comprehension, and delivery skills are all that is needed to succeed as a Political Science major.

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    Writing for Political Science Majors

    Unlike most majors, the Political Science major features writing-intensive classes, essentially a mix of literature--of the government and politics--and writing. On a side note, programs are not restricted to traditional on campus settings. Instead, a number of schools offer the online political science degree to undergraduates as well. In either case, political science, also known as poli-sci, requires a strong writing foundation and discipline. Few classes offer a multiple choice option when it comes to exams. On the contrary, there will be a number of quote identifications and essays based off of presented passages. In other words, the ability to express thoughts and ideas clearly and thoughtfully is essential for political science majors. The truth is that careers branching from this major require strong writing skills, so it's better to use the undergraduate platform as fieldwork.

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    Reading Comprehension Skills for Political Science Majors

    Along with writing, reading comprehension skills are absolutely essential. In fact, poli-sci students should expect at least fifty pages of text per night and a slew of powerpoint lecture notes to understand and analyze. In majors such as biology, pure memorization is often adequate for a passing grade. However, political science majors must be able to read and synthesize dense texts, extracting the main points from them. There is an extensive amount of reading for political science majors. As such, students will be expected to stay on top of their reading from the beginning of class.

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    Delivery and Presentation Skills for Political Science Majors

    All skills aside, the ability to deliver one's thoughts orally and artfully is imperative. Whether it's a simple discussion session debate or a consultation in a professional setting, a Political Science student must be able to speak eloquently and clearly. In classes such as American Government and Politics, students will be asked to make presentations, survey the student body of the university, etc. All poli-sci classes will gear the student toward feeling more comfortable in the spotlight--in front of a crowd of observers.

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    Ultimately, to be a political science major at a university, there has to be a strong level of comfort with public speaking, writing long research papers, and a passion for politics. If those prerequisites are met, there are numerous programs that offer intriguing opportunities to perform fieldwork in other countries, helping the individual immediately get his feet wet in the Political Science university mindset.

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