Political Science

Political Science Degree

Mission Statement

The Division of Social Sciences offers a bachelors degree program in political science which is designed to provide the student with a solid grounding in American political institutions, international relations, comparative political systems, public law, and political philosophy. Throughout the curriculum the student is encouraged to critically examine the nature of relationships between citizens and the state as well as between states. 

The Political Science major prepares students for successful careers in government service, law, policy advocacy, business management, and finance, as well as advanced study in political science. 

The political science major is often used as the preliminary step toward professional training in the law or advanced study in political science or public administration. The political science program provides students with opportunities for independent studies, field experiences and internships. A pre-law program is also available.

The Political Science Major has the option of graduating with a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree.

Programmatic Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will learn to apply the skills of quantitative data analysis to real-world social science data to evaluate research hypotheses.   
  2. Students will learn to effectively employ library, archival and electronic databases for research purposes. 
  3. Students will learn how to design a clear research question, collect relevant data and construct a narrative analyzing their findings.
  4. Political Science majors will become familiar with the major authors, works, and theories of the canon of political science in each of the following sub-disciplines: a. American Political Institutions and Processes including public law b. International Relations c. Comparative Political Systems (Area Studies)  
  5. Students will learn to present, discuss and defend their own research at a high level of professional discourse. 

Political Science Minor - 18 Hours

The Political Science minor consists of 18 semester hours of political science including:

PS200   International Problems and Relations (3)
PS308   American Constitutional Law (3)
PS318   American Legislative Politics (3)
PS319   The American Presidency, Past and Present (3)
NOTE: PS101 may not be credited towards the minor in Political Science.

Political Science Courses

PS101 Introduction to American National, State and Local Government. 3 hours. A study of the structure and functions of national, state, and local government. This course fulfills the state civics requirement.  Fall and Spring.

PS103 Introduction to Missouri Civics. 1 hour. An introduction to the Missouri Constitution, state political institutions, and processes. This course will fulfill the Missouri State Civics requirement for transfer students who have completed coursework from a non-Missouri institution in American Government or a survey of American History I or an equivalent course which covers the U.S. Constitution. Prerequisite: American Government or American History I at an out-of-state institution. Cross-listed with HI103.

PS190 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. Introductory course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

PS200 International Problems and Relations. 3 hours. Introduction to principles of international affairs, including theory and methodology of world politics, nature of power and its control, competition and cooperation among nations. Even-numbered Falls.

PS204 Global Crime. 3 hours. An examination of international crime operations including sea and air piracy, smuggling and terrorism. Cross-listed with CJ204. Prerequisite: CJ100 or instructor's permission. Odd-numbered Falls.

PS260 Special Problems. 1-5 hours. Independent study or research on a subject of interest to an individual student. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

PS268 Internship and Field Experiences. 1-5 hours.

PS290 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. Intermediate-level course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

PS307 The History and Politics of Missouri. 3 hours. A survey of the social, economic, intellectual, and political history of Missouri from prehistory to the twentieth century. Fulfills the state civics requirement. Cross-listed with HI307. Even-numbered Springs.

PS308 American Constitutional Law and the Judicial Process. 3 hours. Study of the leading American constitutional principles and major decisions of the Supreme Court. An analysis of the role played by judges and courts in public policy formation. Cross-listed with CJ308. Prerequisite: PS101 or instructor's permission. Odd-numbered Springs.

PS309 Law in American Society. 3 hours. A study of the role of law and legal institutions in the American system of justice. Cross-listed with CJ309. Odd-numbered Falls.

PS312 U.S. Foreign Affairs. 3 hours. An analysis of the principles and goals of American foreign policy from the Revolution to the present. Full examination of the policy-making process. Cross-listed with HI312. Prerequisites: HI117 and HI118. Even-numbered Springs.

PS313 The Sociology of Revolution. 3 hours. An examination of theories of revolution in tandem with a close examination of empirical cases of revolution. Cross-listed with SO313. Prerequisite: SO101 or HI102 or PS200.

PS314 The History and Politics of Russia. 3 hours. This course chronicles the tremendous changes in Russia from pagan Kiev to twentieth-century superpower. Special attention is given to the succession of governments, Muscovite, Imperial, and Soviet, that ruled this diverse land and the calamities, wars, and often cruel leaders that shaped its destiny. Cross-listed with HI314. Even-numbered Falls.

PS315 The History and Politics of England. 3 hours. A survey of the British tradition from Stonehenge to the present, providing background for students of British literature, American government and law. An interdisciplinary analysis of domestic change, plus examination of international relations and colonialism. Cross-listed with HI315. Odd-numbered Springs.

PS318 American Legislative Politics. 3 hours. A detailed examination of current research into the structure and function of American legislative institutions at the national, state and local levels. Prerequisite: PS101 or instructor's permission. Even-numbered Springs.

PS319 The American Presidency, Past and Present. 3 hours. An analysis of the evolution and contemporary operation of the office of the presidency with special emphasis on the administrations of selected presidents. Cross-listed with HI319. Prerequisites: PS101 or instructor's permission. Even-numbered Falls.

PS320 The American Way of War. 3 hours. A survey of the American military during peace and war from Colonial times to the present. Major American and world political leaders and their top military commanders are examined in their social and historical contexts. Cross-listed with HI320. Even-numbered Springs.

PS322 Comparative Political Systems. 3 hours. An introduction to the comparative study of national political systems. Attention is focused on the role of political culture and historical evolution as determinants of political development. Cross-listed with HI322. Odd-numbered Springs.

PS330 Principles of Public Administration. 3 hours. Introductory survey of public administration with reference to organization, personnel management, financial administration, and administrative process. Cross-listed with CJ330. Prerequisites: PS101 and Junior standing or instructor's permission.

PS331 Research Design and Data Analysis in the Social Sciences. 3 hours. An introduction to research design, social measurement, analytic strategies and applied statistical techniques relevant to the interpretation of social phenomena. Cross-listed with CJ/HI/PY/SO331. Fall and Spring.

PS334 Applied Quantitative Data Analysis in the Social Sciences. 3 hours. A study of the application of quantitative analytic techniques to data in the social sciences. Cross-listed with CJ/HI/PY/SO334. Prerequisite: MA105 or instructor's permission. Spring.

PS355 Topics Seminar in Area Studies. 3 hours. This seminar will familiarize students with the modern political history and contemporary political and social dynamics of the nations of a selected region of the world. The seminar will examine the political and social history and social evolution of the designated region. Discussion and reading will focus on the political and social evolution of the region since World War II, the arrangement of political institutions, the key leadership dynamics, and the overall contemporary political situation in the nations of the region. There will be assigned readings and discussion topics for each seminar meeting, and students will be expected to follow contemporary developments in the politics of the region. Each student will be expected to complete a research paper on some facet of the politics of one state within the region on which the seminar is focusing. May be repeated with different designated regions. Spring.

PS360 Special Problems. 1-5 hours. Independent study or research on a subject of interest to an individual student. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

PS368 Internship and Field Experiences. 1-5 hours each semester.

PS390 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. Advanced course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.

PS480 Senior Thesis. 3 hours. (Capstone) Open only to Juniors and Seniors concentrating in political science, public administration, and history. This course is a Senior thesis seminar. To receive credit in this course all students must complete a directed research paper and successfully defend it before the faculty of the Division of Social Sciences. Fall.