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BA in Political Science

Degree Program Description

Political science is concerned with government, politics and public policies. In political science students learn how government operates and how to analyze and evaluate public policies and political ideas. This training can help students be more effective as active citizens, as political leaders and as government administrators. The curriculum offers opportunities to link academic study with internships and study abroad. Political Science graduates pursue many careers, some related to politics, but many others pursue other paths in a wide variety of areas such as: law, business and finance, consulting, government, public relations, media, advertising, lobbying, and international relations.

Major Program Requirements

Students must complete the University of Missouri’s general education requirements, University graduation requirements and the Departmental Requirements, in addition to the degree requirements below.

All majors must take:
American Government
The Science of Politics
Introduction to Political Research - Writing Intensive
*Beginning in Spring 2020, students may take either POL_SC 2500 or POL_SC 3000W to meet the departmental research methods requirement
Comparative government (at least one course required)
Canadian Politics and Government
Comparative Political Systems
Comparative Political Systems - Honors
Politics and the Military
European Democracies
Latin American Politics
European Political Systems
The Politics of Modern Europe
African Politics
Canada in North America
Policies and Institutions of the European Union
Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
Korean Politics: North and South Korea
Understanding Korea Through Film
America's Wars in Asia/War and Peace in Asia
Terrorism: Religious, Ethnic and Ideological Politics
Politics of Development
Women and Politics
Comparative Political Culture
Power and Money
Comparative Political Parties
Comparative Political Behavior
Dictatorship and Democracy
The Age of Democratization?
International affairs (at least one course required)
International Relations
International Relations - Honors
Globalization, Identity and Citizenship
Globalization, Identity and Citizenship - Writing Intensive
The Politics of International Law
Nation Building through a Barrel of a Gun
Theories of International Relations
Politics and War
Genocide, Terrorism and Civil War
Strategy and Warfare
Politics of Cyber-Security
Peacekeeping and Intervention
Politics of International Economic Relations
Global Human Rights
Nationalism and Democracy
International Organization
American Foreign Policies
American Foreign Policies - Writing Intensive
The European Union in the Global System
Environmental Conflict
Political theory/methodology (one course highly recommended, but not required)
Liberty, Justice and the Common Good
Introductory Statistics for Political Science
Computing Methods
Classical Political Theory
Modern Political Theory
Contemporary Political Theory
Developing Dynamics of Democracy
Beltway History and Politics: American Constitutional Democracy in Theory and Practice
American politics/public policy (at least two courses required)
State Government
Missouri Politics
Missouri Politics - Honors
The Judicial Process
Race and the American Story
American Constitutional Democracy
The Intellectual World of the American Founders
The Intellectual World of the American Founders - Honors
Constitutional Debates
Constitutional Debates - Honors
American Political Thought
Political Parties and Election Campaigns
Political Behavior
Politics and the Media
Politics and the Media - Writing Intensive
African-American Politics
Race and Politics
Race, Immigration, and Urban Politics
Congress and Legislative Policy
The History of American Legislatures
The American Presidency
The American Presidency - Writing Intensive
Interest Groups
Interest Groups - Writing Intensive
Politics of the American South
Politics and Hollywood
Politics and Hollywood - Writing Intensive
Elections and Democracy in the United States
The American Constitution
The American Constitution - Writing Intensive
Constitutional Rights
Constitutional Rights - Writing Intensive
The United States Supreme Court
Constitution and Civil Liberties
Constitutional Litigation
Comparative State Politics
Public Policy
Public Policy - Writing Intensive
Policy Analysis
Issues in Public Policy
Law, Policy, and Regulation
Politics of Criminal Justice
United States Health Politics and Policy
Democracy in America (and Elsewhere)

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Options

For students who want to concentrate on a specific area, suggestions for a course of study are available from the academic advisor. These include:

  • Government service for students who want to become government administrators
  • Public information and reporting for students who plan to be governmental press secretaries, public information specialists, interest group lobbyists or government reporters
  • International relations for students who want to work for multinational corporations or international agencies
  • Graduate school preparation
  • Law school preparation

Accelerated BA to MPA Option

Degree Program Description

Political science is concerned with government, politics and public policies. In the BA program in Political Science students learn how government operates and how to analyze and evaluate public policies and political ideas. This training can help students be more effective as active citizens, as political leaders and as government administrators. The curriculum offers opportunities to link academic study with internships and study abroad. Political Science graduates pursue many careers, some related to politics, but many others pursue other paths in a wide variety of areas such as: law, business and finance, consulting, government, public relations, media, advertising, lobbying, and international relations.

Students completing the MPA program at the Truman School are prepared for leadership in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.  Students gain competencies through the core and specialization courses that build a strong theoretical foundation in public affairs, policy, and management.  Students develop rigorous analytic skills and have opportunities to apply knowledge, skills, and competencies to public policy and management issues.  Through their coursework, students build knowledge of policy processes and management principles and develop critical thinking and analytic skills that enable them to advance in careers in a rapidly changing public service. 

Major Program Requirements

Students must complete the University of Missouri’s general education requirements, University graduation requirements and the Departmental Requirements, in addition to the degree requirements below. (Note: eligible for the accelerated program after completing 90 credit hours at the undergraduate level, with at least a 3.5 GPA.)

During years 1 through 3 students complete undergraduate general education and program requirements of at least 90 hours with a 3.5 GPA.  Students may then be admitted as provisional graduate students and may take up to 15 hours of shared credit.  The BA is conferred at the end of year 4.  In year 5, the student completes 21 hours of MPA coursework and the MPA is conferred. 

Total Credits for graduation:  156
Undergraduate credits: 120
Dual credits: 15
Graduate credits:  21

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
POL_SC 1100*13Political Science13
ENGLSH 1000*3MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 1200*3
Behavioral Science*3Behavioral Science*3
Social Science outside of major*3Foreign Language 1100*5
Elective3Elective1
 15 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Political Science13POL_SC 2500 or 3000W13
Foreign Language 1200*3Biological/Physical/Math Science*3
Humanities*3Foreign Language 2100*3
Social Science outside of major*3Humanities*3
Elective3Elective- Diversity Intensive Course*3
 15 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Political Science 4000+ (WI if needed)13Political Science 4000+13
Biological or Physical Science with lab*5Biological/Physical/Math Science*3
Humanities*3Humanities*3
Social Science outside of major*3Elective (WI)*3
Elective 3000+3Elective 3000+3
 17 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Political Science 4000+13Political Science 4000+13
Political Science 4000+13Political Science13
Elective 3000+3Elective 3000+3
Elective 3000+3Elective3
Elective1Elective3
 13 15
Total Credits: 120

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to http://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com/index.htm. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to http://registrar.missouri.edu/degree-audits/index.php.


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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center.  No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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