Government / Public Policy / International Relations

Are you interested in a career in public service? Jobs in the Local, State or Federal Government, or the many agencies, organizations or multilateral institutions that influence them, offer a wide range of options to apply your skills and explore your interests in all types of roles in the United States and abroad.

Welcome to the Government / Public Policy / International Relations Community

Students who are interested in how governments work and how policy decisions are made, as well as students who want to make a positive contribution to society through public service, may find their niche in Government, Politics and Public Policy, and International Relations. From elected office to the campaign work that happens behind the scenes, from lobbying for large corporations and advocating for social issues to research and strategy, there is something for everyone who wants to be involved in, very broadly, the way countries are run.

Sample Classes

Depending on your main area of interest, your academic pathway will shift. To explore this field, you can take courses that will provide you with knowledge and skills in:

  • Analytical & Critical thinking
  • Oral & Written Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Creative Problem Solving

In the Relevant Courses section below are a few examples of relevant SBS courses, but we urge you to talk to your major/departmental advisor and explore available courses in SPIRE. Remember not to constrain yourself to classes within your major.  Check SPIRE for full course descriptions and availability. These are abbreviated descriptions, and details may change at the discretion of the instructor.  Courses may not be offered every semester.

Also in this section are some relevant non-academic Linkedin Learning courses that you can take for free, compliments of UMass.

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Learn more about what project management is, and start learning the lingo, as well as parts of the project management process, and how things fit …

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Sam Milbrath
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What Is Professional Development (and Why Does It Matter)?

School may be over, but learning is a lifelong process, especially if you want to move up the career ladder. Professional development plays a huge role in helping you advance in your chosen career. But what is professional development, and …

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What Do You Really Want To Do?

Are you uncertain of what you want to do for a career? Maybe you have a lot of ideas or maybe you are unsure of where to even start. You are not alone! In this interactive workshop, we will use …

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Odessa Burkett Assistant Director of Career and Professional Development for SBS
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Sidebar

Relevant SBS Courses

Your major does not necessarily have to be in direct line with your career! Sociology majors can work in the business sector. Economics majors can work in government. Poli Sci majors can work on Wall Street. Many SBS departments offer courses relevant to various career paths. Here is a very small sampling of courses relevant to this industry from across the majors. Please speak with your academic advisor to explore all available courses, and remember that you need not constrain yourself to courses within your major. Study what is interesting to you!

ANTHRO 104 – Culture, Society and People

ANTHRO 104 – Culture, Society and People: The nature of culture and its role in creating forms of social, economic,…

POLISCI 121: World Politics

POLISCI 121: World Politics: Introduction to the principles and practices of international relations in the political, military, economic, and environmental realms.…

SOCIOL 224 – Social Class & Inequality

SOCIOL 224 – Social Class & Inequality: The nature of social classes in society from the viewpoint of differences in economic…

SOCIOL 386 – Complex Organizations

SOCIOL 386 – Complex Organizations: The significance of large, complex organizations like schools, hospitals, businesses, religions and government.  How such organizations…

LEGAL 375 – Human Rights and Wrongs

LEGAL 375 – Human Rights and Wrongs: Introduction to humanitarian law. Topics include theory and history of international human rights law,…

COMM 387 – Media, PR, and Propaganda

COMM 387 – Media, PR, and Propaganda: The historical roots of the PR industry in government propaganda efforts; the contemporary influence of…

RESECON 121 – Hunger in the Global Economy

RESECON 121 – Hunger in the Global Economy: Explores the causes of hunger (chronic under nutrition) from an economic perspective. Focus on…

ECON 366 – Economic Development

ECON 366 – Economic Development: Theories of economic growth applied to Third World countries. Classical and Neoclassical economic theories and…

COMM 250 – Interpersonal Communication

COMM 250 – Interpersonal Communication: This course introduces non-majors to a variety of competing theories of interpersonal behavior and everyday social…

COMM 260 – Public Speaking

COMM 260 – Public Speaking: Practical communication in one-to-group contexts. Theoretical bases for structuring and presenting public speeches.

POLISCI 253H – Int’l Environmental Policy & Politics

POLISCI 253H – Int’l Environmental Policy & Politics: Focus on the social, political, and economic factors causing environmental threats and by…

POLISCI 228 – Weighing the Evidence

POLISCI 228 – Weighing the Evidence: What are the likely effects of proposed social policies? Should an environmental pollutant be…

SBS College to Careers – SOCBEHAV 250

SOCBEHAV 250: College to Careers This class is all about YOU. • One credit, highly-participatory course • Learn about yourself…

SUSTCOMM 125 – Global Cities & Global Issues

SUSTCOMM 125 – Global Cities & Global Issues: Cities are dynamic organisms whose inhabitants require food, water, shelter, safety, commerce, leadership,…

LEGAL 293 – Race, Citizen, and the American Constitution

LEGAL 293 – Race, Citizen, and the American Constitution: The role that law and courts have played in shaping, defining, and constructing…

POLISCI 391 MP – Media & Politics

POLISCI 391 MP – Media & Politics: From the power of the political pamphlet and partisan press in the 18th century…

POLISCI 308 – Public Opinion in Politics

POLISCI 308 – Public Opinion in Politics: Examine how people’s opinions influence their behavior, and whether or not political leaders follow…

ECON 105: Intro to Political Economy

ECON 105: Intro to Political Economy: Facts and concepts basic to understanding the U.S. economy today. Topics may include: unemployment,…

POLISCI 171 – Intro to Political Theory

POLISCI 171 – Intro to Political Theory: Introduction to the Western tradition of political theory; focus on particular problems and…

JOURNAL 310: Going Global; Changes in International Journalism

JOURNAL 310: Going Global; Changes in International Journalism: This course explores the challenges and issues facing journalists covering global affairs. Students…

Skill-Building With Linkedin Learning Classes

See below for skill-building classes – visit LinkedIn Learning for more.

The Core Competencies All Employers Seek

Some skills are universally sought by employers and are essential to a well functioning team.  Stand out from the crowd…

Media Relations Foundations

Taught by Jessica Chen
View Jessica’s LinkedIn Newsletter If you want your business to succeed, you need as much brand recognition as you can…

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Essential Training (2021)

Taught by Corey Koberg
Google Analytics 4 provides the means to track, analyze, and report on the visitors to your site and app—who they…

Emerging Leader Foundations

Taught by Dan Schawbel
View Dan’s LinkedIn Newsletter Taking on a leadership role in the diverse, ever-changing modern workplace can feel both exhilarating and…

Learning Data Analytics: 1 Foundations

Taught by Robin Hunt
Are you interested in pursuing a career in data analytics? In this course, instructor Robin Hunt brings you into the…

Nonprofit Management Foundations

Taught by Leslie Crutchfield
Thinking about leading a nonprofit organization? Internationally renowned author Leslie Crutchfield provides a primer on nonprofit management and leadership. She…

Excel Essential Training (Microsoft 365) (2018)

Taught by Dennis Taylor
Get up to speed with Microsoft Excel, the world’s most popular spreadsheet program. Follow along with Excel expert Dennis Taylor…

Artificial Intelligence Foundations: Machine Learning (2018)

Taught by Doug Rose
Machine learning is one of the liveliest areas in artificial intelligence. Machine learning algorithms allow computers to learn new things…

Public Speaking Foundations

Taught by Laura Bergells
Develop the skills you need to prepare and deliver an outstanding speech or presentation. In this course, Laura Bergells offers…

Cert Prep: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®

Taught by Kelley O'Connell
The agile approach to project management can help companies respond faster and more effectively to change. As a result, having…

Excel: PivotTables for Beginners (2018)

Taught by Dave Ludwig
PivotTables don’t have to be scary! This powerful Excel feature cuts the time you spend on formulas in half. In…

Data Science & Analytics Career Paths & Certifications: First Steps

Taught by Jungwoo Ryoo
The career opportunities in data science, big data, and data analytics are growing dramatically. If you’re interested in changing career…

PowerPoint: Designing Better Slides (2017)

Taught by Heather Ackmann
Designed for non-designers, this course introduces average business professionals to key design components and requirements for purposeful PowerPoint slide design.…

Learning Data Science: Understanding the Basics

Taught by Doug Rose
Many of the people who work on data science teams won’t be data scientists. They’ll be the managers and associates…

Learning Excel 2016

Taught by David Rivers
This beginner-level course will introduce new users to Excel 2016. Author David Rivers covers the interface, creating and opening workbooks,…

You Need a Career Development Plan

Taught by Macmillan Publishers
You can’t navigate your way to career success without first plotting a course. Having a career development strategy can be…

Data Visualization: Best Practices

Taught by Amy Balliett
Media and marketing efforts often rely on data visualizations to prove a point quickly. But poorly designed visualizations can be…

Learning Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies (2018)

Taught by Tom Geller
Bitcoin is a form of money that only exists online. While it’s making headlines around the world, many people don’t…

Cryptocurrency Foundations (2018)

Taught by Jonathan Reichental
View Jonathan’s LinkedIn Newsletter The digital revolution has impacted almost every aspect of our lives, including the way money is…

Nano Tips for Using Excel with Miss Excel (2021)

Taught by Kat Norton
Welcome to our Nano Tips series, where LinkedIn Learning creators deliver impactful lessons in literally seconds. Here, join Miss Excel…

Explore Outcomes

The SBS Office of Career & Professional Development annually surveys graduating seniors in order to provide a snapshot of their post-graduation plans.  The survey begins just prior to graduation, and continues until six months after graduation.  Our data collection process is guided by the industry standard put forth by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and includes information collected by the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development, the Office of Institutional Research at UMass Amherst, and by various academic departments, as well as from information that is made publicly available by students.  The SBS undergraduate outcomes knowledge rate for 2022 was 70%, though knowledge rate varies among departments.

The SBS Office of Career & Professional Development annually surveys graduating seniors in order to provide a snapshot of their post-graduation plans.  The survey begins just prior to graduation, and continues until six months after graduation.  Our data collection process is guided by the industry standard put forth by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and includes information collected by the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development, the Office of Institutional Research at UMass Amherst, and by various academic departments, as well as from information that is made publicly available by students.  The SBS undergraduate outcomes knowledge rate for 2023 was 80%, though knowledge rate varies among departments.

  • First Destination
  • Top Employers
  • Starting Salary
  • Job Titles
  • Employment Locations
  • Top Universities
  • Degree Types
  • Fields of Study

First Destination

SBS graduates pursue a range of plans after graduation, including employment, continuing education, and volunteering/service, among others.  This graph depicts what recent SBS graduates tell us they are doing within six months after graduation.

Professionals In-Residence / Industry Experts

Cristina Sunkel

Professionals In-Residence / Industry Experts
  • Washington, DC
  • Independent Consultant
Learn more from Cristina >

Student Success Stories

Featured Resources