Government, Law, & Politics Cluster
"The first duty of society is justice."
- Alexander Hamilton
There are many rewarding career options in government, law and politcs.
Foreign service officer
Typical careers in government, law, and politics
These are some of the more common majors for this cluster. However, if you do not see your major listed, you can still find a rewarding career in government, law, or politics. For more information, please visit the Berry Career Institute for further guidance.
The following are just a few courses that you might consider while exploring this career cluster. Please note that course numbers and titles are subject to change. Consult the Course Catalog for current course information.
- ANT 102 - Topics: Truth & Lies (FYS) (1)
- ECB 109 - Topics: Economics of Crime (FYS) (1)
- GSS 171 - Gender, Power, and Identity (1)
- HIS 154 - Making of Modern America (1)
- PHI 111 - Introduction to Philosophy (1)
- PHI 202 - Ethics (1)
- PHI 203 - Logic and Critical Thinking (1)
- POL 111 - Introduction to Politics (1)
- POL 122 - Foundations of the First Amendment (Political Thought) (1)
- POL 125 - Ethics and Public Policy (Political Thought) (1)
- POL 172 - American Politics (American Politics & Public Policy) (1)
- POL 182 - Public Policy (American Politics & Public Policy) (1)
- SOC 101 - Sociological Thinking (1)
- THE 115 - Basic Acting (1)
General information about off-campus study, travel abroad, passport applications, and affiliated and non-affiliated study abroad programs are available from the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies. Students may participate in multiple off-campus study opportunities during their career at Cornell. In order to be eligible to participate in any off-campus study at Cornell students must:
- have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (unless a higher grade point average is specified)
- be in good disciplinary standing with the College
- be in good financial standing with the College
- American Foreign Policy Council
- American Political Science Association
- American Society for Public Administration
- Association for Politics and the Life Sciences
- International City/County Management Association
- Iowa City/County Management Association
- The Iowa State Police Association
- National Association of Legal Assistants
- United Nations Public Administration Network
Cornell College can help you find and pay for your internship.https://www.cornellcollege.edu/berry-career-institute/Internships-research-opportunities/internship-search-tools.shtml
ACLU of Iowa Internships. The ACLU of Iowa offers legal internships and communications internships for spring, summer, and fall.
Vote Smart Internship Program. The Vote Smart Internship Program provides a unique lesson in the study of American politics from a nonpartisan angle. Students come to help American citizens educate themselves about elected officials and candidates. Interns play a crucial role at Vote Smart. Vote Smart researchers collect information on thousands of elected officials and candidates' backgrounds, positions, statements and more. The hard, sometimes repetitive, work done by interns and has a real impact on voters looking to make honest, informed decisions and includes real responsibility.
United Nations Internship Programme. If you are thinking of entering the world of diplomacy and public policy, an internship at the United Nations could be the ideal start for you. The objective of the internship is to give you a first-hand impression of the day-to-day working environment of the United Nations. You will be given a real chance to work with our people. As part of our team, working directly with outstanding and inspiring career professionals and senior management, you will be exposed to high-profile conferences, participate in meetings, and contribute to analytical work as well as organizational policy of the United Nations. Initially you will take on the amount of responsibility you can shoulder; the potential for growth, however, is yours to develop.
White House Internship Program. The White House Internship Program is a public service leadership program that provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office, and prepare them for future public service opportunities.
Supreme Court Internship Program. For more than 40 years, the Supreme Court Internship Program has provided students with a unique opportunity to build a substantial working knowledge of the role, functions, and history of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Program offers a compelling study experience and valuable exposure to work in a professional environment. Special enrichment opportunities include attending Court sessions as well as seminars organized by the Supreme Court Fellows.
Legal Services Corporation Internship. The Legal Services Corporation Internship Program attracts bright and talented leaders of tomorrow. Our internship program is designed to provide practical, substantive, and hands-on work experience in a focused area. Student interns benefit from a variety of individual assignments and special departmental projects that will challenge and promote personal and professional development. Interns are invited to attend weekly meetings with senior staff and are encouraged to attend staff seminars, wellness events, and onsite training opportunities. Our summer internship program runs from June to August.
Where to learn more:
US Dept. of Labor resources:
- Occupational Outlook Handbook for jobs in government, law, and politics found at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/home.htm
- O*NET Online https://www.onetonline.org/
Find more scholarship opportunities here.
Funding from American Association of University Women
Use the “See Alumni” button on the Cornell College page on LinkedIn to view alumni by major, geographic location, industry, etc.
- Field organizer for the Colorado Democratic Party, Denver, Colorado
- Assistant canvass director, Donor Development Strategies, Madison, Wisconsin
- Field associate, Americans for Prosperity, Washington, D.C.
- Constituent services representative, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, Davenport, Iowa
- Owner-operator, Onyx Process Services, Detroit, Michigan
- AmeriCorps/VISTA volunteer, Iowa City, Iowa
- Generation progress, Center for American Progress, Washington, D.C.
- Developer, American Legislative Exchange Council, Arlington, Virginia
- Volunteer coordinator, Minnesota Reading Corps, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Field organizer, NextGen Climate Action, Davenport, Iowa
- Legislative assistant, Iowa State House of Representatives, Des Moines, Iowa
- Digital public relations, K Global, Washington, D.C.
- Senior research analyst, Lewin Group, Falls Church, Virginia
- Field development manager, Autism Speaks, New York City, New York
- Regional field director, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Chicago, Illinois
Should I earn a postgraduate degree?
This depends on your career goals and what you'd like to practice:
- If you want to practice law in the United States, you will need to get your J.D. from an accredited law school and pass the bar exam in the state you wish to practice.
- Master’s programs are designed to expand and deepen the knowledge and skills acquired as an undergraduate.
- If you wish to work with policy, you may want to explore a Master in Public Policy (MPP), which programs prepare you to understand complex policy issues and respond to national and global challenges
- Doctoral or PhD programs are generally designed for people primarily interested in research or careers in academia, and they are also the preferred credential if you wish to design your own policy research or lead policy initiatives.