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Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Mississippi State University'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. An objective assessment of our undergraduate program was provided recently by an external reviewer, Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Auburn University, Dr. Robert A. Bernstein, who has studied many universities across the nation. He writes:

"I have never seen a more successful undergraduate major program than at MSU... At MSU, the major is filled with students who are better than those in most other majors. Their students have higher SAT/ACT scores and win more national scholarships than do students elsewhere on campus. The undergraduates I met with were rabidly enthusiastic about the program and the department...While at MSU, students are taught in small classes by superior teachers. They are guided by one of the university's top advisors, Diane Wall. Honors classes are offered and faculty are willing to direct Honors theses. Outstanding students get strong travel support from the Stennis Center. Training is also available for top students interested in pursuing national awards such as Truman, Rhodes, and Madison Fellowships."

Political science majors are pleased to find that most of their classes are relatively small, some enrolling fewer than 20 students. They have discovered that political science offers three different honors courses every year, more than any other department. Small classes facilitate intense but friendly student-faculty interaction. The dynamic challenges students to engage in some serious self-examination, and writing and reasoning skills are be put to the test.

Requirements for the B.A. Degree in Political Science

The requirements for a B.A. degree in PS are summarized in the table below.

English CompositionEN 1103 and EN 1113 or equivalent
Mathematics/Statistics2 courses, MA 1313 or substitution of MA 1303 and one other, from College list; or one course only if first course is MA 1613 or higher MA
Foreign LanguageThru the third semester of a foreign language is required ( may be able to get credit for semesters based on high school language)
CommunicationCO 1003 or CO 1013 or AS 3013 & 3023 for AFROTC students.
Natural ScienceThree courses from College list, one must be a life science with lab, one must be a physical science with lab, third science does not require a lab
Humanities (English, History, Philosophy, and Religion)6 courses of humanities; 1 course of literature, 1 course of history, 1 course of philosophy, and 3 more from at least two of any of the four disciplines. Please see College of Arts and Science core requirements .
Fine ArtsOne course. Please see College of Arts and Science core requirements.
Social Sciences (Anthropology, Communications, Geography, Psychology, and Sociology)3 courses of social science outside of PS and EC. Courses must spread over at least 2 disciplines; Please see College of Arts and Science core requirements.
EconomicsEC 1033 or EC 2133.
Political SciencePS 1113 and three of the four introductory courses: PS 1313, PS 1513, PS 2703 or PS 2713, and PS 2403.
PS 3464 (Jr/Sr writing course and computer literacy proficiency class) is required.
Seven upper division (3000+) courses from three of our four areas (American, Comparative, International, Theory).
ElectivesEnough hours to get the student to 124, typically around 27.

The candidate for the Bachelor of Arts degree must complete at least 124 hours with an overall "C" average. At least 31 of the total number of credit hours applied toward the degree must be upper division Arts and Sciences hours.

Click here to download a four year sample course of study. All students are encouraged to speak with the undergraduate coordinator or their major advisor in completing their plan of study.

Transfer Students

MSU has several political science majors who attended a Mississippi Community College before transferring.

What courses should you take at a community college in preparation for MSU?

Click here to download a suggested program of study for the one or two years at a community college. (This pdf uses Mississippi community college course codes. They are not the same as the MSU codes.)

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