Jul 21, 2024  
2021-2022 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2027 
2021-2022 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2027 [Archived Catalog]

Political Science and International Relations (BS)

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Affiliation: School of Social & Cultural Studies

The goals and priorities of Political Science and International Relations at Truman reflect the liberal arts mission of the University. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations acquire a breadth and a depth of knowledge and are nationally competitive with others in the discipline.


Political Science and International Relations graduates are superior in their abilities to synthesize and to analyze material. They are also superior in their abilities to conduct research, to speak, to advocate, to write, and to make decisions.  Every course in the major involves at least one writing assignment involving critical analysis.  Methodology and Comparative Politics teach students to complete a large-n statistical analysis project and to produce a written interpretation of the results, while in Senior Seminar students complete a research design.  Students in Advanced Public Policy complete a substantial analysis of a public policy, using government documents to trace a policy from its placement on the agenda through its implementation. Students develop their presentation skills not only by presenting their research before the class, but they also receive multiple opportunities to present their work at both on-and off-campus research conferences.  Upper-level courses typically involve extensive discussion between the faculty and students over the material.

Graduates are prepared to enter graduate school in political science, public administration, public policy, and business administration. In addition, the program prepares the student for law school as well as for other graduate and professional programs requiring a liberal arts undergraduate major. Political Science and International Relations graduates should be competent and confident of their abilities to compete nationally for positions of leadership, scholarship, and service and to enter demanding careers in government, politics or public service.

Within the major, students must take a core curriculum as specified under the Major Requirements listed below, which provides them with basic knowledge in important subfields of the discipline. Students supplement these with electives to allow them to learn about any of a number of topics that interest them or that allow them better to prepare for their intended career or graduate or professional school interests. For example, those interested in law school may be interested in an elective such as Judicial Process or Constitutional Law. Those who are interested in international affairs may take any one of a number of courses in the nations and politics of the world. 


To graduate with Departmental Honors in Political Science and International Relations the student must meet the following criteria:

  1. An overall Truman GPA of 3.65.
  2. A GPA in the major of 3.75.
  3. Leadership and pursuit of knowledge out of the classroom demonstrated by evidence in at least two of the following three categories:
    a. Presentation of research at an organized conference, such as Truman’s Student Research Conference, a regional political science conference, or Truman’s Women’s Conference.
    b. A significant off-campus learning experience, such as a study abroad or university sanctioned internship (generally this is an experience of at least one semester/12 credits).
    c. Demonstrated excellence in a University activity, such as forensics or athletics, or in a University or community organization or activity.
  4. Approval by the Political Science and International Relations faculty.

Departmental honorees are noted as such on the graduation program and the honor is recorded on their transcript. 


Dialogues Requirements: 42-61 Credits

Missouri Statute (1-4 credits)

Bachelor of Science Requirement: 6 Credits

Six additional credits in statistics, economics, math, computer science or in PHRE 342 Symbolic Logic. Courses in formal reasoning and science may be accepted with the approval of the student’s academic advisor and Department Chair. Courses in economics and statistics are recommended for students considering graduate school. Courses used to fill the BS requirement may not be used to satisfy the Political Science and International Relations major and required support requirements and the Dialogues.


The Political Science and International Relations BS major consists of two (2) parts: Required Support and Major Requirements. Each student must complete both parts.

Part I: Required Support: 18 Credits

Fifteen credits from one other discipline, any established and approved University minor, or 15 credits of any coursework from multiple disciplines if approved by the student’s advisor and the Department Chair.

Students may apply up to twelve credits of POL 471 - Internship: Political Science  toward Required Support and up to three credits of POL 472 - Internship Evaluation and Analysis  toward Required Support or Political Science and International Relations electives.

Part II: Major Requirements: 37 Credits

Electives to Total: 120 Credits

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