Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Florida

In 2004, the Political Studies Review ranked political science programs around the world. Political science programs in Florida were included among the top 200 internationally. Degrees offered within these college programs include Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Political Science, as well as graduate degrees such as Master of Arts in Political Science or Master of Science in Political Science. For those who aspire to higher ambitions, schools in Florida also offer Ph.D. programs in Political Science.

When searching for a college or university in Florida that offers a political science degree, you should look for one that is accredited by organizations including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or another accreditation organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. A political science degree can be helpful in almost any career in Florida, as it offers a solid background in liberal arts and sciences. Skills including analysis of problems, independent thinking, research, writing and evaluation are all stressed in political science programs. Such skills are invaluable to almost any career you can imagine.

Florida Political Science

Political Science Careers in Florida

From law to journalism to academia to business to the federal government to state and county government, careers in political science flourish in Florida. Communications corporations such as Mediacom in Gulf Breeze employ political science graduates in positions including government relations and public affairs. Consulting companies like Booz Allen in Miami hire candidates for political science careers assisting the government in the analysis of individuals and groups both domestic and foreign. Military facilities such as MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa employ political science majors. County and local governments provide opportunities for political science graduates. Law firms may hire political science graduates to assist in legal preparations, political action and research.

If you are interested in an academic career in political science at one of the many post-secondary institutions across Florida, you might consider joining the Florida Political Science Association (FPSA). In addition to publishing the semi-monthly online journal The Political Scientist, this association promotes education, research and service in political science throughout the state, and provides networking opportunities, seminars, continuing education, conferences and more. Check out the FPSA website for more information.

How to Become a Politician in Florida

Residency requirements for most local offices in Florida are not as strict as they are for state or national offices. In order to run for lower-level elected public offices in Florida, you only need to be a registered voter and a resident of Florida at the time the term of office begins. This relaxed residency requirement holds true for those running for county constitutional offices, judicial offices, city or county commission, school boards, public defender, and state attorney. If you wish to run for state representative or state senator, the residency requirement increases to being a state resident for at least two years before the election. Cabinet members and candidates for lieutenant governor and governor must be residents of Florida for a minimum of seven years preceding election.

You may run for political office in Florida without a party affiliation. Those running for local offices must file their intent to run with their county board of elections, while state office seekers must file with the Florida Division of Elections. In addition to filing an intent to run, all candidates for office must also file Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository forms.

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