The Government & Politics major combines philosophical and scientific concerns in its overall program as well as in specific courses. It emphasizes broad areas such as political development, policy analysis, social justice, political economy, conflict, and human rights. Using information from the University of Maryland graduation survey, we have compiled details about GVPT majors, such as their post-graduation adventures.
Use this information as a place to start exploring your career interests. Review additional resources below and on the Feller Center's website.
Explore Career Paths
Start Exploring Career Titles
Use the sample job and internship titles (mentioned above) to start exploring career paths. The links below provide a short overview of the positions.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook, a career title dictionary
- O*NET Online, the nation's primary source of occupational information
- FOCUS2, explore career paths using self-assessment questionnaires
- Terrapins Connect, talk with professionals working in the field through UMD’s alumni network
- Federal positions by major, research career titles with the federal government related to your major
- Vault Guides, browse 100’s of industry guides to gain inside tips
Resources: Career Planning
Explore career path options with these resources:
- USAJobs, federal openings
- Application tips, tips for applying to state and federal positions
- Federal position options by major
- Identify organizations and issues of interest: Major public policy organizations, U.S. and public policy issues by country.
- Visit Vault’s Guide to Politics, Public Policy, and Activism Jobs for detailed tips.
- Young Professionals in Foreign Policy: attend DC events, programs and fellowships (membership required for some events).
- Guide to International Jobs in Government, by APSIA
- International Career Guide, by APSIA
- International Affairs Resources: highlights IA resource directories, repositories, and databases.
- Locate tips from professionals working in the field in Careers4Terps (log in and click Resources > Industry Notes). Sample notes: Diplomacy, Human Rights, International Development, International Humanitarian, Public Policy, U.S. Department of State.
- Visit Vault’s Guide to International Careers for detailed tips.
Career Shuttle: Capitol Hill, A UMD alum who was a Professional Staff Member on the Subcommittee on Environment invited a group of students to visit Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Skills Developed: GVPT Major
Skills lead to jobs. Which skills do you possess?
- Assess your skills, abilities, interests, and values and explore how they relate to career options.
- Skills inventory - get started identifying your unique assets.
Sample list of skills developed in class by Government & Politics majors.
- Accumulating and interpreting information
- Analytical skills
- Contending analytical and theoretical approaches
- Oral and written communication
- Proactive and display initiative
- Quantitative methods
- Understanding of basic political science concepts
Add to your skills with LinkedIn Learning's skill based videos.
Internships are a great way to try out an interest, regardless if they are directly related to your major. Employers tend to favor job seekers who have had an internship in the field they are hiring for.
Sample internship sites/title
- Counterterrorism Research Intern, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
- Data Entry Intern, Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy
- Drug Enforcement Task Force Intern, U.S. Attorney's Office
- Drug Task Force Intern, Georgia Bureau of Investigation
- Homicide Unit Intern, Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
- Intern and Clerk, Chester County Office of the District Attorney
- Intern Investigator, Public Defender Service
- Intern, DC Pretrial Services
- Intern, Greenbelt Police Department
- Intern, International Community Corrections Association
- Intern, Office of the Attorney General
- Law Enforcement Apprentice Program, Montgomery County Police Department
- Legal Advising Intern, Staines Magistrates' Court
- Legislative Intern, Maryland General Assembly
- Manhattan Special Victims Squad Intern, New York City Police Department (Manhattan Special Victims Squad)
- Office Assistant/Firearms Examiner Assistant, Montgomery County Police Department
- Research Intern, Justice Policy Institute (Research)
- Student Analyst, U.S. Department of Justice
- Student Intern, State Attorney's Office of Montgomery County
Sample list of opportunities
- BSOS Engagement Opportunities - browse links on out of the classroom experiences
- Careers4Terps - check out job and internship openings for off-campus positions for UMD students
- UMD ENSP Internship: Policy - lists organizations that typically host interns
- UMD Department of Government & Politics Blog - lists openings
- UMD National Scholarships Office - review a listing of opportunities for UMD
- Federal government internships - links to openings and application tips
- Start your search with these tips
- Positions related to GVPT - featured in Careers4Terps
- Learn about more internship sites for GVPT majors!
UMD Internship Programs
- Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement - CDCE Research Assistantship Program
- Global Fellows Program
- Maryland Internship Program
- UMD Federal Semester - enroll in a course + internship to learn about the policy-making process and discuss related issues in a seminar led by an industry expert
- UMD Undergraduate Legal Aid Office internship program - allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience while earning 3 hours of academic credit. The office selects 8 students per semester
- Maryland General Assembly Internship - students are given an opportunity to serve as legislative interns. The session takes place January through early April, usually Tuesday through Thursdays.
- Secretary’s Honors Program (SHP) - a new initiative to recruit exceptional recent graduates for careers at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that includes fellowships related to cybersecurity, policy, management, emergency management, and law
- UMD Undergraduate Legal Aid Office
- Maryland Public Defender’s Office
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- DC Courts
- United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the District of Columbia
- Internships with the Senate
Sites UMD students have interned at recently:
- Activist Non-Profits of every stripe, e.g.
- Brady Commission
- Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus
- Department of Justice
- Human Rights Watch
- Kids in Need of Defense
- Consider approaching lobbying Firms
- Maryland General Assembly (usually comes with a stipend)
- Pacific Legal Foundation
- US Congress
Tip: Reach out to small law firms. They are more willing to hire undergraduates as interns, although these internships often go to undergraduates with an existing connection to the firm, so networking is crucial.
Political internships are no longer just for political science majors; the experience would benefit students within all majors. It is an excellent networking opportunity as well as hard evidence on a resume that the student can work in a fast paced environment. Students also build communication, written, and interpersonal skills.
Sample Internship Opportunities
- White House Internships: Approximately 100 interns are chosen each spring, summer, and fall to participate in this program. The assignments given to an intern on any given day could include: conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings, writing memos, and staffing events.
- Senate Personal office: Representative’s offices usually have 8-10 employees. Interns work on a variety of projects, usually feels more intimate or cramped. Reach out by state.
- Senate Committees: Most of the legislative action occurs in committees. Review the committees and express interest to the respective Senators.
- Leadership office: Republicans and Democrats of the House and Senate elect leaders to set agendas, organize parties, etc. that receives a separate staff. Very competitive to obtain an internship, because there is only a hand full of offices like this and the leaders are high profile.
You can also sign up for biweekly email alerts of available internships in the House of Representatives.
Review a sample of the universities and programs GVPT undergraduates were accepted to below. Around 50% of GVPT majors who pursue additional education after graduating apply for a JD program.
- Cornell University
- George Washington University
- Georgetown University
- Temple University
- University of Baltimore
- University of Maryland, Baltimore
- University of New Hampshire
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Richmond
- University of Virginia
Select Other Programs:
- George Washington University, Medicine and Political Science
- Georgetown University, Public Relations/Corporate Communications
- Johns Hopkins University, Government and Politics
- Ohio State University, Political Science
- University of Baltimore, Public Policy
- University of Exeter, Business and Management
- University of Maryland, College Park
- Public Policy
- Applied Economics
- Arabic Studies
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Political Science
- Yale University, Epidemiology
Graduate School Resources: Researching programs:
- Questions to consider before applying
- Application timeline: stay on track with your graduate school application
- Tips for completing the application
- Financing ideas for graduate school
- Graduate School listing, LASC
- UMD Pre-Law Advising, contact for guidance on law related graduate school options and course suggestions
TAYLOR HENDERSON ‘18 (GVPT with minors in Global Terrorism and Cybersecurity). Internship: Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Program Support Trainee
After researching career paths, consider talking with people working in your field of interest to gain inside information. The links below provide sample events where you may be able to meet professionals in your field of interest. Use these opportunities to learn more about your field of interest, establish new networking contacts, and informational interviews.
- Career Events for BSOS students
- University Career Center Event Calendar
- Terrapins Connect, is an online platform that allows students’ virtual access to UMD alumni who have volunteered to share industry specific information, conduct resume reviews, etc.
- Use LinkedIn to locate alumni & recruiters
- Intern for a Day Lite, matches students with professionals working in a field of interest to shadow for the day or offer informational interviews
- Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, DC events (membership required for some events)
- Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), attend events to learn about international affairs careers and research graduate programs
- DC Link Tank, find citywide events, organizations and people engaging on topics that matter to you
- DEM LIST, a free calendar and resource information connecting Democrats nationwide