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
Introduction to Political Research *
*POL SC 3000 should be taken as a sophomore. It introduces majors to the systematic study of political phenomenon and prepares students for upper-class courses. A grade of C- or higher is required.
Comparative government (at least one course required)
Canadian Politics and Government
Comparative Political Systems
European Democracies
Latin American Politics
European Political Systems
The Political System of the European Union
Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
Politics of Development
Women and Politics
Power and Money
Comparative Political Behavior
Dictatorship and Democracy
International affairs (at least one course required)
International Relations
Politics and War
Genocide, Terrorism and Civil War
Strategy and Warfare
Politics of International Economic Relations
International Organization
American Foreign Policies
Political theory/methodology (one course highly recommended, but not required)
Liberty, Justice and the Common Good
American Political Thought
Introductory Statistics for Political Science
Computing Methods
Classical Political Theory
Democracy in America (and Elsewhere)
American politics/public policy (at least two courses required)
State Government
The Judicial Process
Political Parties and Election Campaigns
Political Behavior
Politics and the Media
African-American Politics
Congress and Legislative Policy
The American Presidency
Interest Groups
Politics of the American South
Politics and Hollywood
The American Constitution
Constitutional Rights
Constitution and Civil Liberties
Comparative State Politics
Public Policy
The Administrative State, Public Policy and Constitutional Democracy
Politics of Criminal Justice

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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

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 or 11003
 15 15
Second Year
Foreign Language 2100*3POL_SC 3000 (WI)3
Math/Stat class^*3Biological 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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