SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

Political Science major at Southwest Baptist University

Degree Requirements

Related Majors

Questions? Contact

Timothy L. Wood
Chair, Department of History and Political Science
(417) 328-2067

Visit the Department of History and Political Science website for more information.

The political science major ranks as one of the most practical among the several liberal arts majors.

Successful careers in so many professional fields demand that the individual function effectively in a political environment. The complexity of that environment, which is the product of a long political heritage, is often both a barrier to progress and an avenue of opportunity. Knowledge of that political heritage is as essential to the ordinary citizen in a democracy as it is to the great leader or politician.

The SBU Advantage

  • Be challenged to think deeply about the relationship between faith and culture, between faith and politics, and how Christianity has impacted the wider world.
  • Small class sizes allow you to build lasting relationships with fellow students and faculty members, and you will have direct access to faculty.
  • Develop valuable skills in research, analytical reasoning, and communication that will serve you well in the discipline of political science and in many other professions.

Course Information

The political science program typically consists of eleven courses totaling 32 semester hours of work. This is in addition to the 3-hour general education requirement in American Government and Politics. Students completing a major in politcal science are required to complete the Major Field Examination in political science during their last semester in the program.

A minor in political science also is available.

Career Opportunities

A political science degree offers excellent preparation for a broad range of careers not only for students who are interested in attending law school or pursuing public service careers, but also for those anticipating careers overseas in government service, business, or missions.

Degree Requirements

POL 2223 American State and Local Government
Organization, administration and problems of state, county, municipal and other local governments in the United States.
POL 2952 Special Topics in Political Science
POL 4453 Congress and the Legislative Process
Major topics include: origin and powers of the United States Congress; relation of Congress to the other branches of government and to the public; leadership, partisanship, the committee system and policy making; comparison with the state legislatures.
POL 4563 The Supreme Court and Constitutional Development
Focuses on landmark Supreme Court decisions and judicial interpretations of the U.S. Constitution from the 1790's until the present; topics addressed include origins of the Constitution, powers of the three branches, separation of powers, regulation of commerce and individual rights based on the Bill of Rights.
POL 4673 The American Presidency
Explains the role of the President in the American Federal System. Focuses on relations with the public and the press, the Congress and the Courts, the bureaucracy and public policy.
POL 4883 Political Philosophy
A study of the political themes in the classical philosophies from Platonism to Marxism in comparison with biblical teachings on the same themes. Major topics addressed include: the nature of man, the ideal form of governments, the citizen's responsibility to the government, the government's responsibility to the citizen, the definition of liberty and the nature of human rights.
POL 3313 International Relations
An in-depth study of relations among the nations of the world and the problems which arise with their constantly increasing interactions.
POL 3323 Comparative Government
A comparison of different kinds of political systems in the various regions of the world. The U.S. style of democracy will be compared with parliamentary systems, middle eastern and African authoritarianism, socialist systems, Asian democracies and Latin American corporatism.
HIS 3843 Recent United States History, 1928-present
A topical exploration of the period with emphasis on the Great Depression and New Deal, domestic effects of World War II and the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, the Johnson and Nixon presidencies and Watergate. Course requirements stress reading, writing, and class participation.
Choose two courses from the following:
POL 4983 Internship in Political Science
Credit for participation in approved off-campus internship, training, or in-service training experience in government related activity.
POL 4953 Intensive Studies in Political Science
A seminar investigating a selected topic or theme in the light of previous and current interpretations. Areas of study will vary with each offering; therefore, the student may elect to repeat the course when different content is offered.
POL 4993 Independent Studies in Political Science
Advanced studies of specific topics.

Internship Opportunities

Our students have completed internships in Washington, D.C., Jefferson City, Mo., and Springfield, Mo.

Choose one course from the following:
MAT 3343 Probability and Statistics
This course is a Calculus-based investigation of the concepts of probability and statistics including sample spaces, methods of enumeration, discrete and continuous functions or random variables and their distributions, conditional probability, Chebyshev inequalities, central limit theorem, regression and correlation, and sampling and hypothesis testing.
BUS 2023 Business Statistics
An introduction to business statistics. Students will calculate and interpret measures of center and dispersion. Normal, binomial, Chi-square, F, t, and Poisson distributions, elementary probability, sampling techniques, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, linear correlation, simple and multiple regression, contingency tables and computer applications are also covered.
PSY/SOC 3243 Elementary Statistics
Measurement, averages, variability percentile rank, normal curve, correlation, chi-square and probability related to the behavior sciences.
Choose three courses from the following:
ACC 2013 Principles of Financial Accounting
An introduction to the concepts and principles underlying accounting and financial information as used in operating a business. Basic fundamentals of financial accounting from both a preparer’s and a user’s perspective will be presented. The impact of business events on an entity’s financial position will be emphasized through an understanding of an organization’s operating, investing, and financial activities.
BUS 3073 Legal Environment of Business I
Ethical, social and legal issues in business environment. The development and resolution of contemporary issues found in the business environment. Emphasis on the perspective and systematic approach to the law to such issues. Topical areas: legal history, reasoning, procedure; environmental, administrative, criminal and tort law; law of contracts, law of sales.
BUS 3083 Business Enterprise/Debtor and Creditor Rights
Legal alternatives in the structuring of the business enterprise and its relationships with employees. The rules of law governing financial transactions in today's business and personal affairs. Topical areas: agency, partnerships, corporation, personal property, real property, bailments, intellectual property rights, commercial paper, secured transactions and bankruptcy.
COM 3363 American Public Address
Historical and critical study of leading American speakers, their speeches and philosophies. Individual research and analysis.
HIS 3783 United States Diplomatic History, 1775 - 1928
Survey of late 18th and 19th Century diplomatic relations of the United States.
HIS 3893 United States Diplomatic History 1928 - present
Survey of 20th century diplomatic relations of the United States.
MGT 3013 Principles of Management
The study of the process of management, which is the coordination of all the resources of organizations in order to achieve organizational objectives. The management process will be described, analyzed and applied to all types of organizations, indicating the universality of management.
SOC 4033 Criminology
A study of sociological theories of crime and delinquency, of crime control including punishment and treatment, and of practices and organizations of police, courts, probation and parole departments and prisons.
SOC 4043 Minorities in American Society
Provides an overview of majority/minority relations within the United States, including an in-depth examination of current social problems facing America's racial and ethnic minorities.