Jul 21, 2024  
2010-2011 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2016 
2010-2011 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2016 [Archived Catalog]

Political Science (BS)

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Affiliation: School of Social & Cultural Studies
Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science
Minor Offered: Political Science

The goals and priorities of Political Science at Truman reflect the liberal arts mission of the University. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in political science will acquire a breadth and a depth of knowledge and be nationally competitive with others in the discipline. Political science graduates will be superior in their abilities to synthesize and to analyze material, to conduct research, to speak, to advocate, to write, and to make decisions. Graduates will be prepared to enter graduate school in political science, public administration, public policy, and business administration. In addition, the program will prepare the student for law school as well as for other graduate and professional programs requiring a liberal arts undergraduate major. Political science 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 will provide them with basic knowledge in important subfields of the discipline. Students seeking a BS degree will have one course added to the core curriculum—Principles of Public Administration—since the BS degree is the more applied of the two Political Science degrees and these students need a basic knowledge of public administration.

Students will 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 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 will be an experience of at least one semester/12 hours).
    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 faculty.

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


Liberal Studies Program Requirements: 31-57 Credit Hours

Missouri Statute Requirement: 1-3 Credit Hours

Bachelor of Science Requirement: 6 Credit Hours

Six additional hours 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.


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

Part I: Required Support: 18 Credit Hours

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

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

Part II: Major Requirements: 33 Credit Hours

  • Electives in Political Science: 9 Credit Hours

Electives to Total: 120 Credit Hours

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