Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Oklahoma

Political scientist Hans J. Morgenthau defined political science as a discipline that "deals with the nature, the accumulation, the distribution, the exercise, and the control of power on all levels of social interaction, with special emphasis upon the power of the state." Oklahoma political science students will find that the study of political history is just as crucial to understanding today's politics as is the study of current civic events and international affairs. Social movements, political life, and the functioning of governments around the world are all topics learned in a traditional political science curriculum in Oklahoma.

For students who live on-campus, getting a political science degree in Oklahoma may have extra benefits. Because the political science student is studying politics, government, political power, society and political theory, these lessons may be applicable to student government within a college setting. Many political science students at Oklahoma colleges and universities choose to become involved in student legislature and other student organizations. This experience may be just as valuable to a political science student as an internship off-campus in the "real world." Additionally, many universities have research departments that utilize political science students, providing them with even more valuable experience.

Oklahoma Political Science

Political Science Careers in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Wage Network of the Oklahoma Labor Market Information lists current salaries for the many political science careers in Oklahoma. The unique aspect of a political science degree is that its liberal base makes it applicable to a wide variety of careers. Hence, not all careers that are possible with a political science degree in Oklahoma are included within this list. Based on 2008 salary data, lawyers in Oklahoma make about $94,006 annually. Legal assistants earn $41,670. Judges and magistrates can expect an average annual salary of $94,586. Public relations managers working in Oklahoma earn about $64,126 per year. Logisticians earn $69,500 annually. Management analysts make about $70,122 per year. Broadcast news analysts earn about $64,445 annually. Public relations specialists in Oklahoma earn $46,805 per year. Urban and regional planners make about $61,039 per year. Political scientists earn an average annual salary of $70,996.

Employers of political science majors in Oklahoma can be found all across the state, in a broad range of industries. Private corporations such as Devon Energy Corporation in Oklahoma City and ICF International in Oklahoma City both employ political science degree holders. Governmental agencies like the Office of the Secretary of the Interior in Oklahoma City and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Okmulgee also employ political science graduates.

How to Become a Politician in Oklahoma

Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to pass a law setting term limits for members of the state House and Senate. No one person may serve more than a total of 12 years between the House and the Senate in his or her lifetime. Oklahoma has 77 counties, with three districts in each county. Every district elects its own County Commissioner. Running for this elected public office is often the first step in an Oklahoman's political career.

Requirements to run for County Commissioner include having maintained residency and voter registration for six months or more in the district of the county in which you intend to run. No specified formal background is necessary to run for County Commissioner, although having a political science degree could help immensely. Running for local government is a great way for Oklahomans to begin making a difference that they can see. For more information, contact the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma by mail at 429 N.E. 50th, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, or by telephone at (405)524-3200.

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