How Do I Become a Political Science Professor?


Any teaching job is very responsible, and a political science Professor is no exception either. If you love teaching and have a bachelor’s degree in political science, you can pursue a political science professor career. It comes with plenty of responsibilities and a high salary, so if this sounds like something you’re interested in, this article will provide you with all the steps required to become a political science professor.

What Is a Political Science Professor?


As the name suggests, a political science professor is someone who teaches courses in the field of political science in colleges or universities. They can also conduct research in political economy, electoral reform, gender studies, conflict resolution, etc.

As a Professor, you must evaluate and choose course materials, create assignments, deliver lectures, and plan the overall class discussions. As with any other professor, a political science professor also evaluates students on exams, projects, or assignments. Some common topics that political science professors teach include:

  • International relations
  • American politics
  • Comparative politics
  • Policy issues

How Do I Become a Political Science Professor?

Whether you were set on this career a long time ago or just getting interested in it, a political science professor requires some steps to take early in high school. Usually, you need to graduate or earn relevant qualifications, and then you can go for a college degree program in political science or other related fields.

If you are already set on education, the next step is experience. It’s important to know that experience is always helpful when applying for a job position as a Political Science Professor. If you don’t have job experience, the least experience you should have is a role in an internship.

Education Requirements


The field of political sciences is stricter when it comes to education. Some institutions will only consider applicants with a Ph.D. in political science, while other institutions, such as community colleges, will hire applicants with a Master’s degree.

Most certainly, political sciences are the way to go; however, a degree in English, sociology, history, or psychology can benefit your goals. It’s always important to seek opportunities in internships in government to get an in-depth idea of how the political field works.

BSc and MSc in political science and international affairs

A Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science provides the basis for your political career. In contrast, a Master’s Degree in Political Science and international affairs offers theoretical and rigorous training in international affairs and political science developments.

According to Zippia, 43.9% of Political Science Professors have a bachelor’s degree, while 39.8% of Political Science Professors have master’s degrees.

With your master’s degree, you should be able to focus on specific political science topics such as international affairs, public administration, or political science. However, with a Bachelor’s degree, you can focus on a broader topic such as political science.

Ph.D. in political science

If you want to become a political science professor at a university level, then a Ph.D. in Political Sciences is the degree you must pursue.  You don’t necessarily need to have a master’s degree to pursue a Ph.D. program in political science. However, you will need to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Usually, a Ph.D. program requires students to do original research, complete coursework, and a dissertation in political science. This degree is designed to help you develop analytical skills to conduct research in different areas such as international organizations, government, NGOs, or businesses.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills


Every political science professor must be equipped with the right skills; so that students understand the complex information they are being taught. Political science professors are required to have hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills refer to job-related abilities, and knowledge professors need to do their job effectively. Soft skills, however, are personal qualities that you need to function better in the workplace.

Planning, designing, and delivering lectures

Political science professors must perform an instructor’s duties, including planning and delivering lectures, designing and grading tests, communicating with students, and completing specific research to stay relevant in their field. Additionally, they may also need to participate in meetings, organize events, or recruit for the school.

Strong communication skills

In their day-to-day work, political science professors need excellent soft skills such as communication skills. They should be able to convey information in an effective manner by providing good instructions, being attentive to what other students are saying, and communicating effectively in writing. Lastly, an excellent political science professor must give precise feedback so that students understand the world of government and diplomacy.

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Public speaking

What’s a Professor without his public speaking skills? All professors must excel in their written and verbal communication skills and be able to communicate their ideas to a whole audience, whether in a classroom or conference. Their communication skills should be persuasive for the audience’s needs and effectively convey information.

Leadership skills

Because a political science field includes many career options, you can start or join a business in different areas as a business-minded graduate. Getting to work in an educational institution allows you to gain some work experience, which is key to successfully leading a good class.

Research publications

Aside from the professional duties, a professor must have excellent research skills, including reading large volumes of research, analyzing the information, and applying it to their research. They should be able to publish research because that shows that they are staying relevant with their field. They can then present that in articles, books, or conferences.

Political Science Professors: Salary & Job Outlook

It’s already evident that political science professors have one of the highest-paying jobs in the political market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teaching jobs are expected to increase by 9% from 2020-to 2030.

There are some types of political science professors:

  • Government teacher
  • Professor
  • Public administration teacher
  • Political theory professor

Again, according to BLS, political science teachers who work in universities or colleges have an annual wage of $103,660, which is a lot of money. However, for junior college professors, the yearly salary is $82,930, which is still good money. Additionally, BLS reported that in 2020, the median salary for political science professors was $85,760.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a political science professor is a great way to include politics and teaching in your career if you can’t decide between them. However, this position comes with plenty of opportunities and responsibilities, so there’s a lot to take in before starting this career. If this seems like something you would want to pursue, then a political science professor is your career. A political science professor can acquire a wide range of valuable skills academically and in everyday life.

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