Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in West Virginia

West Virginia students who wish to improve the government and human rights in their local area, state or the nation may consider seeking a political science degree. Not just for politicians, a political science degree is helpful to a multitude of careers, from journalism to law to teaching to business. Schools throughout West Virginia and online offer undergraduate political science degrees that can help any West Virginian in his or her quest for a political career. Most West Virginia schools require students to complete general education courses first before delving deeply into their political science major. Basic courses in math and English are among the courses which must usually be taken. Once the first year of coursework is completed, however, students will enjoy many political science courses in subjects like state and local politics, the American Congress, methodology and research in political science, law and society, civil liberties and politics of the third world.

Students who complete their undergraduate studies and hunger for more political science education may pursue graduate degrees. In West Virginia, graduate degrees in political science that are offered include a Master of Arts in Political Science, a Master of Science in Political Science, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Political Science. Graduate studies may be beneficial to many West Virginia political science careers in education, the military, intelligence and law.

West Virginia Political Science

Political Science Careers in West Virginia

The Workforce West Virginia Research, Information and Analysis Department lists many careers in West Virginia that are possible with a political science degree as being in high demand through 2014. These include lawyers, public relations specialists, legal assistants, police officers, and corrections department employees. In addition, Workforce West Virginia notes that employees with superb reading comprehension, critical thinking, active listening and speaking skills will be necessary throughout the state through 2016. These are all skills taught in political science degree programs and vital to political science careers.

Universities and colleges in West Virginia hire graduates with master's degrees or higher in political science. Employers who hire graduates with undergraduate political science degrees are not limited to government entities. Some potential West Virginia employers include the Office of Personnel Management in Morgantown, Key Energy Services in Jane Lew, USIS in Morgantown, American Systems Corporation in Hinton and Booz Allen Hamilton in Clarksburg.

How to Become a Politician in West Virginia

West Virginia is a state that encourages all citizens to run for elected public office. In fact, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's office has published a brochure for the public on that topic, entitled Running for Office in West Virginia. Steps to becoming a politician in West Virginia include:

• Filing a Precandidacy Statement no earlier than four years preceding election. This declares your intention to run for office and obligates you to report all money solicited and spent on your campaign.

• Filing a Certificate of Announcement in January preceding the next primary election day. This certificate is to be filed with:

  • The Secretary of State's office if you seek a state delegate or state senate office, or if you are running for office in more than one county
  • Your County Clerk if you seek a county office
  • Your Municipal Recorder if you seek a municipal office

• Include the proper filing fees with your Certificate of Announcement:

  • County office fees range from $10 to $554 – check with your local county election board
  • House of Delegates fees are $100 (as of 2010)
  • State Senate fees are $200 (as of 2010)
  • Supreme Court Justice fees are $1210 (2010)
  • U.S. House of Representative fees are $1740 (2010)

• If you are a minor party candidate (that is, a member of a political party other than Republican, Democratic or Mountain), you may run for office if you gather enough signatures (at least 25) on a nominating petition to put your name on the general election ballot. Petitions must be filed by August before the general election.

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