Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in North Carolina

Many two- and four-years institutions in North Carolina offer political science degrees. Even more schools offer online studies for interested students. Some schools link political science departments with other topics and majors, like criminal justice, government, social science, and social work, as these programs are usually linked in the "real world". Concentrations are also available for political science majors in North Carolina, including international relations, administration of justice, comparative politics and American government.

Some political science departments at North Carolina schools offer pre-law concentrations, for those who plan to get into the legal profession in some capacity after graduation. More accurately, these are pre-professional legal studies, and prepare students for law school after undergraduate studies are completed. In addition to classes required of all political science majors, such as American government and American politics, specialized courses are taken. These courses may include titles such as constitutional law, administrative law, research and writing in political science, legal systems, criminal law and procedure, and diversity in justice. Graduates of an undergraduate pre-law political science program will be ready to enter law school.

North Carolina Political Science

Political Science Careers in North Carolina

According to the North Carolina Career Resource Network, some careers in the state that may be entered into with a political science degree are among the fastest growing occupations in North Carolina. Post-secondary teachers, for example, are anticipated to experience an annual growth rate of 3.42 percent from 2004 through 2014 in the state. The professional and business services industry is projected to grow by 2.8 percent annually during that same period, and professional, scientific and technical services by 2.43 percent.

One of North Carolina's key industries, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, is the aerospace, aviation and defense industry. Political science careers are found throughout this thriving industry. There are five active duty military bases in North Carolina, housing military personnel totaling over 100,000. Not only do these bases employ workers with political science degrees, they also help to train workers to enter political science careers once their service to their country is completed. Companies that work with the U.S. government, such as Lockheed Martin in Raleigh, Boeing in New Bern, and Northrop Grumman Synoptics in Charlotte regularly employ people with political science credentials in various positions.

How to Become a Politician in North Carolina

Elected public offices are available throughout North Carolina's 13 districts and 100 counties, as well as in state and federal government. Requirements to get on the general election ballot, for any elected office in North Carolina, are as follows:

  • You must be a registered voter in North Carolina of the political party in which you intend to file to run for office. Any political party changes must be done at least 90 days before the date you file your Notice of Candidacy.
  • You must file along with your Notice of Candidacy a certificate signed by the local director of your Board of Elections where you vote.
  • You may not file to run for more than one office simultaneously.
  • The Notice of Candidacy must be filed with the North Carolina State Board of Elections, along with a payment equal to one percent of the annual salary of the office you are trying to obtain.

If you wish to serve in the House of North Carolina's General Assembly, you must be at least 21 and a resident of your district for at least a year before the election. If you run for state senate, you must be 25 and a district resident for at least two years. Running for Governor or Lieutenant Governor requires an age of at least 30, U.S. citizenship for at least five years, and North Carolina residency for at least 2 years.

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