As a government major, you’ll learn how to think and write rigorously and creatively about issues of public life. You’ll have the choice of courses in four subfields: American politics (the political behavior, policies and institutions of the U.S.), comparative politics (the institutions and political processes of other nations), political theory and philosophy (normative theories of politics and history of political thought) and international relations (transactions between states, international organizations and transnational actors).


Want to start right away? Here are some basic requirements for students wanting to major in government. Keep in mind this isn’t the complete list of formal requirements — that list can be found on the Courses of Study page.

To complete the major, you need to:

  • Take two of the introductory government courses in the subfields of American Government (AM), Comparative Politics (CP), Political Theory (PT), and International Relations (IR)  (GOVT 1111, GOVT 1313, GOVT 1615, GOVT 1616 or GOVT 1817)
  • Take an additional course in a third subfield: American Government, Comparative Politics, Political Theory or International Relations. You're strongly advised to take at least one course in each of the four subfields.
  • Take an additional 28 credits of government course work at the 2000-level or above.
  • Complete at least one seminar-style course in government (which can be applied toward the 28 credits).

Sample classes

  • Sex, Power and Politics
  • Issues Behind the News
  • Racial and Ethnic Politics
  • Secession, Intervention and Just-War Theory


All information below is based on the 2018 First-Destination Survey. Lists are not exhaustive; rather, they are a sampling of the data. If you would like more information, please email

70%   Employed
17%   Attending Grad School
6%     Seeking Employment
6%     Other

81% of the Class of 2018 Government graduates completed the survey. n = 93

Below, you will find:

  • Top Employment Sectors
  • Where Graduates Work
  • Top Graduate Fields
  • Where Graduates Study

Top Employment Sectors

  • Consulting/Prof. Practice (18%)
  • Law (18%)
  • Financial Services (15%)
  • Nonprofit Organization (13%)
  • Government (10%)
  • Education (6%)
  • Communications/Media (4%), Business-Other (4%), Technology (4%)

Where 2018 Government Graduates Work

Employer Job Titles
Abt Associates Research Assistant
Agency for the Performing Arts Agent Trainee
American Enterprise Institute Media Relations/Marketing Coordinator
American Israel Public Affairs Committee Fellow
Atlantic Media Editorial Fellow
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Risk Analyst
Risk Analyst
BlackRock Legal Analyst
Booz Allen Hamilton Defense Research Analyst
CEB Research Analyst
Center for Investigative Reporting Intern
Comcast/NBCUniversal Ad Sales Associate
Cracath, Swaine, & Moore LLP Legal Assistant
Credit Suisse Sales & Trading Analyst
Deloitte Consulting   Federal Strategy & Operations Business Analyst  
Federal Business Analyst
EY Analyst
Fragomen Del Ray Assistant Paralegal
Gap, Inc. Inventory Management Analyst
Gartner Research Specialist
Goldman Sachs Legal Analyst
Good2bSocial Digital Marketing Coordinator
IBM Digital Sales Specialist
ideas42 Associate
International Crisis Group Intern
Irell & Manella LLP Litigation Clerk (Paralegal)
Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff, & Cohen, PC Paralegal
Korn Ferry Organizational Strategy Analyst
Latham & Watkins

Business Analyst
Business Services Trainee (2)

Lazard Investment Banking Analyst
Major League Baseball Labor Relations Intern
Manhattan District Attorney Paralegal
Marcus & Milichap Investment Sales Associate
MarketsandMarkets Associate
Metric Theory SEM Analyst
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley, & McCloy Litigation Legal Assistant
Morgan Stanley Full-Time Analyst
New York District Attorney's Office Paralegal
New York State Attorney General Legal Support Analyst
Nomura Investment Banking Analyst
NYC Economics Development Corporation Initiatives Project Support Coordinator
Oracle Corporation Business Development Consultant
Paul Weiss Litigation Paralegal
Republic Services Leadership Trainee
Sher Tremonte LLP Paralegal
Sightline Institute Research Associate
  Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom LLP   Legal Assistant
TD Securities Investment banking Analyst
The Expert Institute Research Analyst
Tracy Mitrano for Congress Deputy Campaign Manager
United States Army 2nd Lieutenant
United States Navy Student Naval Aviator
Vcheck Global Analyst
Venture for America Fellow
Wayfair Business Associate
Wellesley College Investment Office Investment Analyst
Western Riverside Council of Governments Public Service Fellow

Top Graduate Fields Pursued

  • Law (69%)
  • Government (13%)
  • East Asian Studies (6%)
  • Public Administration (6%)
  • Psychology (6%)

Graduate Degrees Pursued

  • JD (63%)
  • MA (19%)
  • PhD (13%)
  • Certificate/License (6%)

Where 2018 Government Graduates Study

  • Columbia University in the City of New York
  • CUNY Graduate School and University Center
  • Duke University
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • New York University
  • Seoul National University
  • Stanford University
  • The University of Law (UK)
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • Yeshiva University