Is Political Science Hard? (11 Things You Can Expect)

Political Science major is not an easy major to pursue. It requires reading, research, and critical thinking skills.

It also explores the world of politics around us and helps to create policies that maintain or improve our lives. So let’s classify it and outline what a political science major involves. Let’s begin!

Is Political Science Hard?

Politically speaking, the answer is yes and no. It’s less technical and complex than engineering and science. However, you will have to study the nature of power, society, and governments, which is more than just reading about them. Classes cover foreign policy, conflict resolution, political parties and leadership, international relations, economics, and more. Additionally, the field is highly competitive, and you also have a job or internship to consider.

With the right approach and a solid foundation, you can find yourself in a great position to succeed in this field. Let’s begin! 

1. Nature of Power and Government

A political science major will explore the roots of power and government while improving analytical, research, and other capabilities.

If you enjoy debating and staying abreast of current affairs, you may be attracted to the major. In addition, you’ll be able to grasp the factors that influence political systems if you have a degree in political science.

Students in this field will study foreign politics and political theory.

Overall, students should have a solid comprehension of political theories and research skills by the time they graduate.

2. Difficult Major but Worthwhile to Pursue

Political science is complex due to,

  • extensive writing, 
  • lengthy debates, and 
  • understanding of challenging texts.

Additionally, it includes complex concepts that students find hard to comprehend: 

  • Ambiguity
  • The study of groups
  • The study of power
  • Definition of terms
  • The study of values 

However, a political science degree is unquestionably worthwhile. This is especially true if you feel obliged to contribute to the well-being of humanity and your community in particular.

For most political scientists, making a clear, substantial, and insightful contribution to policymaking is a big reward! Many students go on to complete their PhD. and get paid, on average, $120,430 annually, with top earners earning over $172,000 yearly. 

Additionally, the profession is growing at 6% annually, with 600 new openings each year for Political Scientists

A political science major may result in employment in a broad range of industries because the skills you can acquire are generally transferable, including

  • Economists earning $120,830 on average annually
  • Sociologists earn $96,260 on average annually

3. Qualifications in Political Science

There are various courses available, including,

  • Associate Degree in Political Science (2 years)
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (4 years)
  • Master’s Degree in Political Science (1-2 years)
  • Ph.D. in Political Science (2 years)

Additionally, there are certificate programs that offer students a variety of benefits—generally lasting one to two years.

Students in the program usually discover that they are in great demand for jobs that are getting increasingly competitive, such as reporters, politicians, financiers, writers, and paralegals.

4. Competitive Selection

You will need a high school diploma to get accepted to a Political Science course. 

In addition, universities and colleges could also request the following documents for acceptance:

  • Application
  • Proof of Graduation
  • Transcript
  • Coursework

Many graduates compete for a limited number of places. However, in the years ahead, political scientists can expect severe competition for employment. As you can see, political science is a very competitive discipline. 

5. Soft Science Classes

Several universities will offer students degree-related classes in politics. These will usually be humanities and social science classes like sociology, economic history, cultural legacy, and modern languages.

Among the seven branches that students will also pursue are:

  • Political Behavior
  • Comparative Politics
  • American Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Methodology
  • Political Theory

Political Science does not have upper-level mathematics or science prerequisites. As such, it represents a soft science field that some students find easy to understand compared to IT or Engineering.

6. Ambiguity of Material

Ambiguity of Material

Political science classes can be a little challenging for high school graduates. 

Additionally, these subjects require you to provide an in-depth evaluation backed by relevant data and require you to read textbooks with complex terms.

Making assumptions and coming to a conclusion are challenging problems when learning political science. 

Due to the ambiguity of the material, you might not be satisfied with your conclusions in the end.

It is not as tricky as STEM majors, but it is still somewhat challenging.

7. Balanced Student Life

Students majoring in political science typically begin their classes daily with a 2-hour lecture on a subject, with various guest speakers conducting these lectures.

In the afternoon, they participate in political seminars that allow for a lively discussion of current events.

At the end of classes and seminars, students still have time for other activities, such as attending the careers service to find graduate programs.

As you can see, students manage their time. Usually, they celebrate their small victories by having to dine out with their peers and friends!

8. Internships

Political science majors engage in practical, hands-on learning in several settings, including:

  • Local
  • State
  • Federal Organizations
  • Legal Offices
  • Governmental Advocacy Groups
  • National Political Parties

Internships allow students to gain experience and confidence by working with the federal government. 

In addition, they likely benefit from the connections they build with their bosses, coworkers, and teachers.

At the same time, others have been capable of increasing their research and writing abilities along with their expertise in both government and legislation.

9. Typical Work 

During their shadow work, pol-sci students had the opportunity to advocate the organization’s mission by attending weekly law seminars and organizing programs to outreach to academic institutions.

Others work as Campaign Managers, where their tasks include

  • managing volunteers, 
  • developing the platform and approach, 
  • door-to-door campaigning, 
  • handling finance, 
  • engaging in social media, and 
  • arranging the election-day event.

These students gain collaboration, management, reasoning, and decision-making skills during these times.

10. Pathway to Law Courses

Political Science links to the judicial process. Therefore, it continues to be one of the most well-liked pre-law courses among university students who want to pursue a law career.

However, you must earn a second law degree. 

Aside from the one year in law school, you must devote an additional 4-5 years of studying it!

11. Tuition And Related Fees

Public in-state universities’ costs for a bachelor’s degree in political science can range from $10,600 to $38,000.

For in-state pupils, a master’s program costs roughly $9,000, but it can reach as much as $42,000 at private universities.

Meanwhile, the fee of a Ph.D. degree would swing from $11,500 for in-state students and $25,000 for out-of-state learners.

To learn more, you can also see our posts on Social Science, Law, Criminology, Economics and Criminal Justice.


Overall, the Political Science major is a challenging and rigorous program. It can be an exciting academic journey for those seeking to understand politics and leaders.

To be successful in the political science industry, one needs to have the ability to think critically and engage in applied analysis of current events.

While it’s true that political science may not be for everyone, if you find yourself loving politics, economics, legislation, and history, this major can prepare you for a rewarding career path.