So, You Want to be a Political Science Major

This week we were able to interview Rebecca Sparks, a student currently working on her undergrad in political science.  She clearly has a passion for what she is preparing to do and may be able to shed some light for those who are considering a similar major, particularly if they are considering law school.x


Interviewer: What made you want to major in political science?

Rebecca Sparks:  All through middle school and high school, my favorite classes were history and the humanities, so I really felt a connection to that area of study.  I also want to go to law school and political science connects well to the field I want to go into in law school.  Another reason I love it is because I really like debating, politics, and being involved in the community.

Interviewer: What draws you to law as a career?

Rebecca Sparks:  I guess what really sparked my interest was when I read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school, I really connected with Atticus Finch.  I also just really want to do something where I can help people and be an advocate. 

There was also this moment when I was younger when I struggled a lot with social anxiety, to the point when I closed in on myself and developed selective mutism where I couldn’t get myself to share my opinions or ask for thing I needed. I was able to work through it, but I really want to become a lawyer because I want to give those who don’t have a voice a chance to speak up.  I know what it feels like to not have that voice and I want to make a difference for those people.

Interviewer: Where are you doing your schooling?  What are the educational requirements for that particular major?

Rebecca Sparks: I am attending Southern Utah University.  First of all, in majoring in political science there are three tracks that you can choose from.  There’s the legal studies track (which is the one I’m doing), international relations, and American politics.  Depending on your choice you have to take certain upper division credits as well as choose between specific electives.  You’re also required to do a capstone course, as well as an internship in order to graduate.

Interviewer:  What has been your favorite aspect of your academic experience?

Rebecca Sparks: I just like the atmosphere in classrooms in college.  There’s more of a liberty to be able to voice opinions in class for both students and teachers than there was in high school.  There’s also more of an opportunity for professors to go deeper into certain topics as their held to a specific curriculum.

Interviewer:  What has been the hardest part of your academic experience?

Rebecca Sparks: Maybe just having to be independent and realizing that our choices have life-long implications. There’s a lot of responsibility in that.

Interviewer:  What are you most nervous about moving forward towards a career?

Rebecca Sparks: Law school is definitely intimidating and just not knowing whether or not you’ll be successful.  Law is a very competitive area and there are no guarantees of success.

Interviewer: What are you most excited about as you move forward towards a career?

Rebecca Sparks: Being involved in the community and with people.  I’m just so excited to participate and make a difference.

Interviewer: What is one piece of advice you would want to give someone who is trying to decide on a major?

Rebecca Sparks: Take an inventory of your interests.  Put aside ideas about what will make you the most money and what’s stable, and just sit think about all the different majors that fit with your interests and decide what is going to make you wake up in the morning feeling excited about going back and do it again.  Bad days will happen but choose something that will make you most happy.  Just know yourself and don’t let others decide for you.