The most common careers associated with a political science major include work in government at the local, state, national or international levels; the law; politics; teaching at the college or high school level; journalism; work in the military or intelligence-related fields; business, public relations or other administrative positions such as high school principals, hospital or hotel management, or work with interest groups or non-profit organizations.
Our graduates include former congressmen, members of the state legislature and city councils, the head of the St. Lawrence Seaway project, dozens of lawyers, university professors, officials in the United Nations, former ambassadors, a vice-president for Columbia Records, actors, business executives, a U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, a deputy director of the U.S. Treasury Department, and, most recently, an individual who will be heading up the program in Afghanistan to improve their legal and judicial systems.
Recent Political Science alumni have pursued advanced degrees at institutions that include USC, UCLA, UCSD, Brown University, University of Missouri, Oregon State University, Tufts University, Kings College (London), University College London, Josef Korbel School, and University of Denver.
See what our alumni are up to
Benjamin A. Davis ’81
Florida A&M University
"My advice to future alumni is to] not take for granted the information you are being taught by the political science department. Do not be afraid to use in the work place what you were taught. You will impress Also you will use that knowledge for years to come, especially if you go into journalism or politics. Oh, and save your books. They will come in handy later. Read more.
Jose Garzon ’77
Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation
US Agency for International Development (WA)
"What Whittier taught me was the virtue of personal care, attention to young students and professionals trying to break into the profession, and the virtue of personal integrity. I also learned to look at a problem through multiple perspectives and think differently from the conventional wisdom. I often find myself saying, or writing, that "conventional wisdom is always wrong." Read more.
Brandon Valeriano ’99
Senior Lecturer in Global Security
University of Glasgow
“War has always fascinated me. But now all my work is focused on peace, and stopping the process or escalation to conflict. This is a theme that runs throughout my research, from trying to stop rivalries before they fester, to looking at the consequences of rapid military spending projects, to my most current research regarding cyber conflict and the dangers of escalation in that realm.” Read more.
Erin Clancy ’07
U.S. Department of State
"I draw on my Whittier education every day. The Foreign Service is an interdisciplinary career—perfect for Whittier College students who have been steeped in the liberal arts... As a Whittier graduate, I think about issues in a broader context and look for how the singular issues affect the macro issues in the country or how they impact U.S. foreign policy and strategy." Read more.
Martin (Marty) Simonoff '72
Retired Police Officer
Mayor, City of Brea
"Without the education I received at Whittier College I doubt that the early successes I was able to experience would have occurred." Read more.