2024-25 Catalogs

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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

In addition to University, general education, and College of Arts and Science requirements, students must also meet the following major program requirements. All major requirements in the College of Arts and Science must be completed with grades of C- or higher unless otherwise indicated.

All majors must take:
American Government
The Science of Politics
Introduction to Political Research - Writing Intensive
*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
The Politics of Sport
Latin American Politics
Latin American Politics through Film
European Political Systems
The Politics of Modern Europe
African Politics
Middle East 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
"Chasing Ghost", The History of Irregular Warfare
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
Politics of International Economic Relations - Honors
Global Human Rights
Nationalism and Democracy
International Organization
The European Union in the Global System
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
Contemporary 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)
Introduction to Black Politics
State Government
How Government Affects You
Missouri Politics
Missouri Politics - Honors
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 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)
Public Policy Analysis
Minimum of 12 credit hours must be from the following list of courses
The Judicial Process
The Politics of International Law
American Constitutional Democracy
Constitutional Debates
Constitutional Debates - Honors
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
Law, Policy, and Regulation
Law, Policy, and Regulation - Honors
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. Participation in Mizzou Mock Trial or Moot Court is defined as two semesters of active participation, as confirmed by the Director of the Office of Participatory Democracy. Students must still have 30 hours of Political Science coursework to fulfill the major requirements. Students will not be allowed to earn credit for POL_SC 4985 or POL_SC 4986 for Mock Trial or Moot Court participation. 

Students pursuing the BA Political Science with Pre-Law emphasis are not eligible to earn the undergraduate minor in Law. 

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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*13Political Science13
ENGLSH 1000*3MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 1200*3
Behavioral Science*3Behavioral Science*3
Social Science outside of major*3Second Language 1100*4-6
 15 14-16
Second Year
Political Science13POL_SC 2500 or 3000W13
Second Language 1200*4-6Biological/Physical/Math Science*3
Humanities*3Second Language 2100*0-4
Social Science outside of major*3Humanities*3
Elective3Elective- Diversity Intensive Course*3
 16-18 12-16
Third Year
Political Science 4000+ (WI if needed)13Political Science 4000+13
Biological or Physical Science with lab*5Biological/Physical/Math Science*3
Social Science outside of major*3Elective (WI)*3
Elective 3000+3Elective 3000+3
 17 15
Fourth Year
Political Science 4000+13Political Science 4000+13
Political Science 4000+13Political Science13
Elective 3000+3Elective 3000+3
Elective 3000+3Elective3
 13 15
Total Credits: 117-125

Course meets degree program requirements


Course meets University general education and/or campus graduation requirements

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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. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. 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 https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com. 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 https://registrar.missouri.edu/degrees-audits/degree-audits/.

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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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