BA in Political Science with Emphasis in Pre-Law

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.

The political science emphasis in pre-law is recommended for those who may want to enter law school or to prepare for paralegal careers.  It is designed to introduce students to the study of law and judicial process and also provides a general orientation for law school.  This program is ideal for those seeking careers in intelligence or law enforcement. 

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
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
European Democracies
Latin American Politics
European Political Systems
The Politics of Modern Europe
African Politics
Canada in North America
The Political System of the European Union
Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
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
Power and Money
Comparative Political Behavior
Dictatorship and Democracy
The Age of Democratization?
International affairs (at least one course required)
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
International Organization
American Foreign Policies
American Foreign Policies - Writing Intensive
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
Developing Dynamics of Democracy
Scots and the Making of America
Scots and the Making of America - Honors
Beltway History and Politics: American Constitutional Democracy in Theory and Practice
American politics/public policy (at least two courses required)
State Government
Missouri Politics
The Judicial Process
Race and the American Story
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 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
Public Policy - Writing Intensive
Comparative State Politics
Public Policy
The Administrative State, Public Policy and Constitutional Democracy
Politics of Criminal Justice
United States Health Politics and Policy
Democracy in America (and Elsewhere)
Minimum of 12 credit hours must be from the following list of courses
The Judicial Process
American Constitutional Democracy
Constitutional Debates
The American Constitution
Constitutional Rights
The United States Supreme Court
Constitution and Civil Liberties
Politics of Criminal Justice
Political Science Internship With a requirement that it be at the Prosecutor's office, the public defender, or a law firm

Participation in Mizzou Mock Trial and/or Mizzou Moot Court through the Office of Participatory Democracy will be considered as fulfilling a maximum of three of the 12 required hours for the Emphasis Area. 

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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
POL_SC 1100*^3Political Science^3
ENGLSH 1000*3Foreign Language 1200*5
Behavioral Science*3Elective1
Elective1Behavioral Science*3
Foreign Language 1100*5MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 12003
 15 15
Second Year
Foreign Language 2100*3POL_SC 3000 (WI)3
Elective3Biological Science*3
Political Science^3Humanities*3
Social Science*3Social Science*3
Social Science*3Elective- Diversity Intensive Course3
 15 15
Third Year
Political Science^3Political Science^3
Physical Science (lab)*3Elective (WI)3
 15 15
Fourth Year
Political Science^3Political Science^3
Political Science^3Political Science^3
 15 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

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via 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

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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 would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success 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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