Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (BA)

Welcome to MSU and the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. We are happy to have you join the approximately 250 undergraduate students who are majoring in political science. The department has 18 faculty members, who are well-known for excellent teaching (several have won awards), significant research and active publishing. We also pride ourselves on being open and accessible to our students.

Courses in political science help students learn to think analytically and critically and to communicate effectively. Political science majors are pleased to find many of their classes are relatively small, with most enrolling fewer than 30 students. They also discover that political science offers three different honors courses every year. Small classes facilitate intense but friendly student-faculty interaction. Thus, political science majors are challenged to engage in some serious self-examination, and writing and reasoning skills are put to the test.

The Department of Political Science and Public Administration offers a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) for individuals who have an interest in politics and who seek careers in the law, in federal, state, or local government (either administrative or elective), in the diplomatic service, with international organizations, in the business world, or in teaching.

Program of Study and Completion Requirements

Students pursuing the B.A. degree in Political Science are required to complete PS 1113 and choose three of the following: PS 1313, PS 1513, PS 2403, PS 2703, or PS 2713. Students must also complete PS 4464 in their junior or senior year. They must also complete a minimum of seven upper-division elective courses in Political Science (totaling at least 21 credits); of these seven courses, at least one must be completed in each of three of the four subfields of the discipline as displayed in the “Part III: Description of Courses” portion of this Bulletin (American Politics, International Politics, Political Theory, and Comparative Politics).

Political science majors who wish to teach social studies in Mississippi may become certified by combining the political science major with appropriate courses in the College of Education; in Mississippi, it is not necessary to major in secondary education in order to become certified to teach. At the same time, majors in secondary education who plan to become social science teachers should consider a second major, or a minor in political science. Students not majoring in political science may wish to select a minor. A minor consists of a minimum of 18 hours of course work in political science at least nine of which must be at the 3000 level or above. Interested non PS majors should speak with the undergraduate coordinator to formulate a suitable program of study.

For a listing of all political science courses, please visit the MSU Catalog.

General Education Core Hours
English Composition
EN 1103 English Composition I 3
or EN 1163 Accelerated Composition I
EN 1113 English Composition II 3
or EN 1173 Accelerated Composition II
EN 1113 English Composition II 3
or EN 1173 Accelerated Composition II
Foreign Language
3 semesters - one Foreign Language - see advisor 9
Literature - see General Education courses 3
History - see General Education courses 3
Philosophy Elective - Consult advisor 3
Humanities Electives - Must be from 2 different areas - see A&S Core 9
Above College Algebra 3
Fine Arts
See A&S Core List 3
Natural Sciences
Physical Sciences w/lab (CH, GG, PH)1 3-4
Biological Sciences w/lab (BIO, EPP, PO)1 3-4
Natural Science Elective2 3-4
Social Sciences3
See General Education courses 6
Social Sciences Electives 12
Major Core Hours
PS 1113 American Government4 3
Introductory PS Courses
Choose three of the following (one counts as a Social Science req): 9
PS 1313 Introduction to International Relations
PS 1513 Comparative Government
PS 2403 Introduction to Political Theory
PS 2703 Introduction to Public Policy
PS 2713 Introduction to Engineering and Public Policy
PS Upper Division Electives
See advisors for selection.5 21
Oral Communication Requirement
CO 1003 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
or CO 1013 Introduction to Communication
Writing Requirement
PS 4464 Politcal Analysis 4
Computer Literacy
PS 4464 Politcal Analysis 4
General Electives
  General Electives 18
Total Hours 121

(31 hours must be A&S upper division)

*The above curriculum applies to students admitted for Fall 2023 and future semesters.


  1. See General Education courses.
  2. Consult advisor.
  3. Must be from 2 different areas and must cross 4 disciplines over the 18 hours. Only one Economics - EC 1033 or EC 2113, can be chosen. See advisor.
  4. Also counts as Social Science Requirement.
  5. Must have at least one course from 3 of 4 areas as listed under the Political Science and Public Administration Department in the bulletin’s Description of Courses: American Politics, International Politics, Political Theory, Comparative Politics. Only one directed individual study course and only one honors thesis course may be included.
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