Political Science vs. English College Majors

English majors will typically take classes in both American and English literature.
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Universities offer bachelor's degrees in a variety of majors. Two options that are available to students interested in the humanities and social sciences are political science and English. Political science is the study of government, politics, economics and international relations and English is the study of literature and language. Both majors require students to do a lot of writing and complete four years of course work.

1 Political Science

Political science is the interdisciplinary study of government that incorporates political theories, economics, history and international relations. Many universities offer Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in this field. Bachelor of Science programs are intended for students who are interested in graduate studies and go on to masters and doctoral programs in the field. Bachelor of Arts programs are intended for students who are interested in entering the workforce as entry-level employees or pursuing graduate degrees in related fields like education or business.

2 Political Science Curriculum

Requirements vary across universities, but most students who decide to major in political science have to complete 120 credits of coursework, of which 60 credits is made up of general education requirements. General education requirements give students a strong background in the liberal arts and introduce them to different ideas and cultures. Political science majors typically have to take 30 credits of foundational courses in the field and 30 credits of electives. Examples of possible foundational courses are American politics, comparative politics, and race, ethnicity and politics. Bachelor of Science programs in political science typically require students to take electives in the field while Bachelor of Arts programs give students the option of pursuing electives in any available department.

3 English

English is the study of literature and language. As a major, it typically focuses on American and British literature. This degree is typically offered as a Bachelor of Arts. Graduates with Bachelor of Arts degrees in English pursue a number of different career paths. Some graduates go on to complete Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs in English or literature and Master of Fine Arts programs in creative writing programs, while others pursue graduate studies in related fields such as education, law and business. Students who do not pursue graduate school typically begin working in entry-level positions in a variety of sectors including real estate, finance, entertainment and insurance.

4 English Curriculum

Different universities have different requirements, but students who major in English typically have to complete 120 credits of coursework. Approximately half of these credits are taken up by general education requirements, a quarter by English foundational courses and a quarter by electives. Examples of possible foundational courses in English are Victorian literature and culture, and American literature before 1860. Some departments require students to take the electives in the English and language department while others allow students to pursue other interests and take electives in a number of other fields such as fine arts, history, mathematics or biology.

Kate Prudchenko has been a writer and editor for five years, publishing peer-reviewed articles, essays, and book chapters in a variety of publications including Immersive Environments: Future Trends in Education and Contemporary Literary Review India. She has a BA and MS in Mathematics, MA in English/Writing, and is completing a PhD in Education.