Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Wisconsin

Respected national surveys of political science departments consistently rank Wisconsin's colleges and universities among the top political science departments in the nation. Students studying for a political science degree in Wisconsin will benefit from dedicated faculty, top-notch innovative research facilities, exceptional internship placements, diversity in course selection, and openness to many and differing ideologies and political theories.

Courses that a student in a Wisconsin political science undergraduate degree program can expect to take include political theory, political methodology, American government, comparative politics, and international relations. Beyond that, many Wisconsin colleges and universities offer sub disciplines of study within the political science major. Some of these topics include administrative procedure, political parties and voting behavior, mass movement and revolutions, community organization and urban politics, executive politics and legislative behavior, international politics and organization, courts and justice administration, policy studies, political philosophy, and interest groups. Internship opportunities are available in the state legislature and Washington, D.C., as well as within private industry, nonprofit groups, and political campaigns. Examples of groups in Wisconsin that have hosted student interns in the past include the Sierra Club, Progressives United, the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters and within the offices of state representatives.

Wisconsin Political Science

Political Science Careers in Wisconsin

Included among the largest employers in the state of Wisconsin are many companies who employ candidates engaged in political science careers. Some of these include Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee, Quad Graphics in Pewaukee, Kraft Foods in Madison, JTPackard in Verona, Alliant Energy in Madison, Fiserv Inc. in Brookfield, Marshall & Isley Corporation in Milwaukee, and Briggs & Stratton Corporation in Wauwatosa.

Within Wisconsin, salaries for political science careers vary from one area to another and among the state's 72 counties. For example, according to Wisconsin's WORKnet, lawyers working in St. Croix County (including the towns of New Richmond and Hudson) and Pierce County (with the major town of Ellsworth) make the highest salaries in the state, averaging $125,950 annually. The average state salary for Wisconsin lawyers is $100,330. Likewise, the average state salary for public relations specialists in Wisconsin is $46,050, but public relations specialists working in Pierce County and Douglas County (including the towns of Summit and Superior) make an average yearly salary of $55,660 and $55,070 respectively. Broadcast news analysts (another political science career in Wisconsin) tend to make higher salaries in Pierce County and St. Croix County ($77,170) than the state average salary of $74,060.

How to Become a Politician in Wisconsin

Before learning how to get into Wisconsin politics, you should know about changes taking place for voters at the state's polls. Recent legislation signed by Wisconsin's governor requires Wisconsin voters to hold 28 days residency, supply ID at the polls, and shortens the early voting period from four weeks to two weeks.

Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board publishes rules and methods for candidates to get on the ballot for local, state, and federal elections. Wisconsin Candidate Eligibility qualifications vary from one office to another. If you wish to run for your local school board, for example, you must be a U.S. citizen, age 18 years or older, have resided in your district for 10 days before the election, and be a resident of your district at the time the term of office begins. If you wish to run for the office of State Representative, you must have been a Wisconsin resident for at least one year, must be a U.S. citizen, age 18 years or older, have resided in your district for 10 days before the election, and be a resident of your district at the time the term of office begins.

General Resources


Career Specialties