Political Science BA

General Education Requirements

Majors must satisfy the university and college general education requirements. Political science courses may be used to satisfy the social sciences requirement. The foreign language requirement for the B.A. degree may be satisfied in any language.

Degree Requirements

All majors must complete at least 36, but no more than 51, hours of political science. All students are required to take the following core curriculum:

Political Science
POL SCI 1100Introduction to American Politics (MOTR POSC 101)3
POL SCI 1500Introduction to Comparative Politics (MOTR POSC 202)3
POL SCI 1800World Politics (MOTR POSC 201)3
POL SCI 20003
POL SCI 39503
Total Hours15

Majors are urged to take POL SCI 1100, POL SCI 1500, and POL SCI 1800 as early as possible since these courses are designed to provide a substantive foundation as well as conceptual and analytical tools for subsequent course work. Because the seminar topics in POL SCI 3950 change from semester to semester, the course can be repeated as an elective. All majors must take at least one Seminar in Political Science.

Students also must complete at least one course in four of the following political science areas:

  • Public Law (chosen from among courses listed in bulletin at the 1000, 2000, or 3000 or 4000 level)
  • American Politics (chosen from among courses listed in bulletin at the 1000, 2000, or 3000 or 4000 level).
  • Public Policy and Administration (chosen from among courses listed in bulletin at the 1000, 2000, or 3000 or 4000 level).
  • Comparative Politics (chosen from among courses listed in bulletin at the 1000, 2000, or 3000 or 4000 level).
  • Political Theory (chosen from among courses listed in bulletin at the 1000, 2000, or 3000 or 4000 level).
  • International Relations (chosen from among courses listed in bulletin at the 1000, 2000, or 3000 or 4000 level).
  • Methodology (chosen from among courses listed in bulletin at the 1000, 2000, or 3000 or 4000 level).

At least 15 hours of political science course work must be at the 3000 or 4000 level, including POL SCI 3950 Senior Seminar. B.A. degree students may take a maximum of 3 hours of political science on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory basis; this can include any course except the required courses in the core curriculum.

Note: As early as possible, students should determine their educational objectives and consult with an adviser regarding a plan of study. Those students who are uncertain of their future plans are urged to include in their 36-45 hours of political science a broad set of courses in American politics, public policy and administration, public law, comparative politics, international politics, political theory, and methodology. In addition to this general course of study in political science, the department offers B.A. degree students several specialized programs of study in political science geared to various student academic and career interests.

Departmental Honors

The department awards honors to students having a grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 in the major, an overall GPA of 3.2 (except in extraordinary circumstances), and successfully completed an honors thesis, project, or report.

B.S. Ed. in Secondary Education with Emphasis in Social Studies

The B.S. Ed. is a professional education degree designed for students who wish to pursue a teaching career in secondary schools.  Much of the discipline-specific coursework parallels the B.A. degree in the discipline; however, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires specific coursework for teacher certification.  Therefore, students interested in the B.S. Ed. should contact the advising office (OASIS) 314-516-5937 in the College of Education for discipline-specific requirements.  Note:  To obtain teaching certification, DESE requires a 3.0 GPA in the discipline and professional education coursework, as well as a 2.75 GPA overall.

B.A. in Political Science with Master’s Level Coursework for Secondary Teacher Certification

In addition to the B.S. Ed., students may opt to complete a B.A. degree in their discipline as an undergraduate, followed by admission to the Graduate School for Master’s level teaching certification.  The College of Education has a one-year accelerated program for post-graduate certification called Teach in 12, or students can choose a traditional path to certification.  Graduate coursework for certification can apply towards a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, with additional coursework.  Students interested in Master’s Level teacher certification should contact the advising office (OASIS) 314-516-5937 in the College of Education.  Note:  To obtain teaching certification, DESE requires a 3.0 GPA in the discipline and professional education coursework, as well as a 2.75 GPA overall. 

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Explain the history, characteristics, and impact of legal, economic, and political institutions and systems, including international, national, state, and local governance.
  • Apply various methods, tools, and sources applicable to the discipline of political science to answer important policy and political questions.
  • Compare and contrast different ideologies, theories, and interpretations of politics.
  • Assess political issues, formulate evidence-based recommendations, and communicate them with clarity and coherence.
  • Plan, execute, and defend a major research project.

Sample Four Year Plan

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
INTDSC 100311POL SCI 15003
CORE - Math Proficiency3ENGL 11003
POL SCI 11003EXPLORE - Math and Science3
EXPLORE - Math and Science3EXPLORE - Humanities & Fine Arts3
CORE - Communication Proficiency3EXPLORE - Social Sciences3
EXPLORE - Humanities & Fine Arts3 
 16 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
POL SCI 18003POL SCI area requirement6
EXPLORE - Humanities & Fine Arts3EXPLORE - General Education Course3
EXPLORE - General Education Course3Foreign Language 10025
Foreign Language 10015Elective or minor1
 14 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
POL SCI area requirement3POL SCI area requirement3
POL SCI 3000+ level course3POL SCI 3000+ level course3
Foreign Language 21013ENGL 31003
Elective or minor6Elective or minor6
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
POL SCI area requirement3POL SCI 39503
POL SCI 3000+ level course3POL SCI 3000+ level course3
Elective or minor9Elective or minor 9
 15 15
Total Hours: 120

Please Note: This plan is an example of what a four year plan could look like for a typical student. Placement exam scores in math as well as the completion of coursework may change the plan. It should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor each semester. All requirements are subject to change.