Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in South Carolina

Students in South Carolina who seek an undergraduate or graduate political science degree may choose from the many colleges and universities within the state and online that offer these programs. Coursework may differ from one school to another, but will mainly revolve around topics such as political methodology, international affairs, public administration, public policy, American politics, comparative politics, political theory and public law.

Undergraduate political science degrees are useful for entering into many political science careers in South Carolina, including those with local, state and federal government; communications; and business. If you want to teach political science at the college level or enter into the law field, a graduate degree is usually necessary.

South Carolina Political Science

Political Science Careers in South Carolina

According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce Labor Market Information, government jobs in public administration/government support are most common in the Richland area of the state. These jobs include agencies such as civil service commissions, personnel offices of government, and election boards. The average annual wage for workers in this industry as of 2009 was $46,228.

Other political science careers in South Carolina that are possible are in administration of public health programs, including mental health, environmental health, and coroner's offices. These jobs are also most plentiful in the Richland/Columbia area, and include federal government agencies such as the U.S. Health and Human Services Department and the US Public Health Services Department; as well as other mental and probate health facilities.

Jobs in international affairs, which are most popular in the Charleston area, paid workers an average annual salary of $61,152 in 2009. Entities in this area employing political science graduates include the US Customs Service in Mount Pleasant and the US Immigration and Naturalization Service in Charleston. Legal prosecution and counsel jobs, mainly in the Richland area, paid workers an average of $64,792 annually in 2009. The Juvenile Justice Department and Legal Services Division, both in Charleston, employ workers in this area. Political science degree holders who work national security jobs in South Carolina find the majority of positions in the Charleston and Richland areas. The average annual wage for such positions in 2009 was $60,372. These jobs are commonly with the US Air Force in Charleston, the National Guard in Mount Pleasant, and the Adjutant General's Office in Charleston.

How to Become a Politician in South Carolina

Would you like to become a politician in South Carolina? The best place to start is to run for office within your local area. Most local jurisdictions in South Carolina require the following to run for offices (such as Mayor, Sheriff, and City Council positions):

  • Complete a Statement of Intention of Candidacy Form
  • Pay a filing fee (usually $25)
  • Show proof of filing a Statement of Economics Interests form online at the SC State Ethics Commission website

Candidates for state and federal office must also follow the above steps to run for office, and must file the above documents with the state executive committee of their political party. If you are running for State Senate, State House of Representatives, a countywide office, and a less-than-countywide office, your papers must be filed with the executive committee of your political party within your county.

During general election years, candidates may file from March 16 to March 30. If you are running as a Republican or Democrat, you must also pay a filing fee to that party, which is equal to one percent of the yearly wage of the elected office you seek multiplied by the number of years in that office's term, or $100 (whichever fee is larger). The fee will go towards funding the party's primary election.

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