Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Rhode Island

Political science students are interested in more than merely government and politics. Global problems concerning areas including as economic, environmental, community, health and conflict are all topics of interest to those in the quest of a political science degree in Rhode Island. The career possibilities for graduates in political science are myriad, as well-informed, educated graduates have a varied palette of positions from which to choose.

Colleges and universities in Rhode Island offer political science degrees at undergraduate and graduate levels. Although political science is a diverse field, graduates will find that it helps to connect a variety of disciplines having to do with international relations, economic conditions, cultural institutions and political theories. Undergraduate degree holders will be prepared to enter the work force if desired, or to go on to pursue graduate studies. Career paths for political science graduates in Rhode Island include journalism; law; financial affairs; federal, local and state government; teaching; human resources management; and research.

Rhode Island Political Science

Political Science Careers in Rhode Island

Per information provided by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, many careers that are possible for political science graduates are among those expected to experience the most growth in the state through 2018. These include market research analysts (for which job opportunities in Rhode Island are expected to grow by 27 percent from 2008 to 2018), management analysts (26%), technical writers (23%), and postsecondary teachers (23%). Because the political science degree is interdisciplinary, it applies to many career choices.

Political science graduate degree holders are employed as postsecondary teachers at colleges and universities throughout Rhode Island and online. Government jobs to which a political science degree pertains are many and include titles such as interviewer, director, strategy analyst and management analyst. Examples of government agencies in Rhode Island that hire such workers include the Federal Aviation Administration in Warwick, Navy Field Office in Newport, the U.S. Coast Guard in Warwick, and the Rhode Island State Government Department of Administration in Providence. Policy and compliance analysts are employed in government and private industries such as Hasbro, Inc. in Pawtucket, Raytheon in Portsmouth and Citizens Financial Group in Riverside.

How to Become a Politician in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Secretary of State's office published How to Run for Office in 2010. This brochure describes for the average citizen the process of becoming a politician in Rhode Island, from declaring one's candidacy to campaign finance laws and requirements.

Any Rhode Islander who is 18 years of age or older may run for office in Rhode Island (except for Congressional offices of Senator and Representative, for which the minimum age is 30 and 25, respectively). A Declaration of Candidacy may be filed if you are a registered voter in the political party in which you wish to run for office. Independent candidates may also file as long as they are qualified to vote in their home district. The local board of canvassers in your town will have the necessary forms to file, as well as a listing of available offices for the next election, at the local and state levels. You may not seek more than one elected office at a time, although you may run for elected office and a party office simultaneously.

You must receive an endorsement by your party before your name will appear on an election ballot. This requires the signatures of three offices of your ward, town or city committee. If you are not endorsed but wish to run for office, you may request nomination papers, which will determine how many signatures you need to obtain in order to have your name placed on the ballot. Your local board of canvassers determines the number of signatures necessary for local offices. For other offices, signatures needed are as follows:

  • Democratic State Committee - 50
  • Senate and Representative District Committee - 50
  • Representative in General Assembly - 50
  • Senator in General Assembly - 100
  • General Treasurer - 500
  • Attorney General - 500
  • Secretary of State - 500
  • Lieutenant Governor - 500
  • Governor - 1000
  • Representative in Congress - 500

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