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Welcome to the Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Coordinator

Dr. Brian Shoup
Associate Prof & Interim Head

Office: 105 Bowen Hall
Phone: (662) 325-7856
Email: bds223@msstate.edu


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.

MSU's bachelor's in political science is one of the best in the country, as reflected in our students winning so many Truman Scholarships. MSU is among an elite group of five universities to have first received the Truman Honor Institution Award, granted by this prestigious foundation based in Washington, D.C. Our students have won Madison and Mitchell Fellowships.

To prepare themselves for a career, many of our students participate in internships in Jackson, Washington, D.C., and other cities. Students are also encouraged to study abroad. Other opportunities exist to expand learning outside the classroom, including working in political campaigns or party activities, public service organizations such as Project Vote Smart, and in law offices. While at MSU, our students also join such organizations as the Stennis Montgomery Association, Mississippi Model Security Council (MMSC), the Pre-Law Society, College Democrats or Republicans and others.

Our graduates pursue many career paths. Many go on to law school or graduate school (including our own master's programs) Others pursue a variety of careers, including politics, government service, the military, business, public relations, teaching and ministry.

Undergraduate Scholarships

The department offers three different undergraduate scholarships. The John C. Stennis Scholarship is a two or four-year scholarship awarded annually to two or three graduating Mississippi high school or community college students. The award amount is $2,000 annually and carries an additional travel stipend. One Haley Barbour Scholarship is awarded annually to a rising junior who is majoring in political science. The amount is $1,500 annually for two years. The Bill Collins Scholarship is awarded once every two or three years to an African-American student who is a rising sophomore or junior majoring in political science.

Please follow the links for more information about these scholarships.

Contact Info

Department of Political Science
and Public Administration
Department Phone: 662.325.2711
Department Fax: 662.325.2716
Mailing Address: P. O. Box PC
Mississippi State University, MS 39762
Department Office: 105 Bowen Hall
Email address:polscipubadm@pspa.msstate.edu