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political science professor meets with two students in office

Political Science Major

Study political science at SBU

What is political science? It is the study of government, law, and politics at the local, state, national and international levels. A political science bachelor's degree is a practical liberal arts degree that will open a lot of doors for various career paths depending on your interests. As a political science major at SBU, you will develop valuable skills in research, analytical reasoning and communication that will serve you well as you pursue graduate studies or your career goals.

You can easily combine your political science degree with another major, such as history, communication or criminal justice, to add greater depth to your academic plan.

SBU's political science major will prepare you for various job opportunities in government, public or private sector, international relations, inter-government and NGOs, newspapers, academia, lobbying and more. The political science degree at SBU is also the leading major our pre-law students select when preparing for law school.

The Political Science degree is offered through SBU's College of Arts and Sciences


Major Map (PDF)

Degree Plan

politics major
at a Baptist
school in Missouri

(SBU is the only Baptist college or university in the state of Missouri that offers a major in politics or political science.)

SBU students

The SBU Advantage

  • Political science majors have completed political science internships in Washington, D.C.; Jefferson City, Mo.; and Springfield, Mo.
  • Thrive in small classes where you receive personal attention, individualized instruction and one-on-one advisement, including specialized pre-law advisement for students seeking to go on to law school following graduation from SBU.
  • You will be challenged to think deeply about the relationship between faith and culture, between faith and politics, and how Christianity has impacted the wider world.
  • Courses cover a broad spectrum of topics within the discipline, ranging from American government to African history to the Holocaust, all taught from the viewpoint of a Christian perspective.

Faith Integration

In SBU's political science program, you will learn to see politics and international relations from a Biblical perspective and will be encouraged to use a "3-D approach" - consider the body, mind and soul. 

For example, the study of international relations is essentially about a collective goods problem - there is a global village with no central authority to govern. There are three approaches to address this problem: dominance theory, mutual cooperation or empathy. As Christians, we choose to take the empathy approach based on recognizing our common humanity, forgiveness and helping others. Our interactions with others are based on the Great Commission and we know that the ultimate solution to the world's problems is found in salvation through Christ.


SBU political science graduates are equipped for a variety of careers from law and law enforcement to public service to ministry. Here are just a few examples of what our political science graduates are doing:

  • Special Agent, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
  • Director of Administration, City of Shrewsbury, Mo.
  • Manager, World Trade Center, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Director of Research, John Hancock and Associates
  • Corporate Attorney, various corporations

Graduate Schools

Many of our political science graduates pursue further education at institutions such as the following:

  • Emporia State University
  • Notre Dame University
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Virginia
  • Washburn University
  • Washington University in St. Louis

Evan Johnson
"The professors at SBU foster an environment where it is easy for students to be actively engaged in the learning process. They encouraged me to develop the skills to think critically and independently, which have been invaluable to me both in law school and as a lawyer. SBU provides more than an education; it provides the opportunity to grow intellectually, socially and spiritually while surrounded by a community of people who are committed to your success in each of those areas."
Evan Johnson '11
Graduated from University of Virginia Law School and now works as a corporate attorney for Jones Day in Dallas, Texas

Guest Speakers

Missouri Constitution — Jon Whitehead

Jon Whitehead, a 2001 SBU graduate, spoke on the Missouri Constitution and religious freedom. Whitehead was one of the attorneys on the 2017 Trinity Lutheran Supreme Court case.

Reformation Day — Dr. Jason Allen

Dr. Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary spoke to SBU students on the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (October 31, 2017) about sola Scriptura and its relevance today.


Missouri Constitution — Tony Simones

Tony Simones, Director of Civic Education for the Missouri Bar Association, spoke about Article I, Sections 8-9 of the Missouri Constitution.

Constitution Day 2017

Dr. John Hardin, director of university relations for the Charles Koch Foundation, was the featured speaker for SBU's 2017 Constitution Day commemoration.

Faculty Talk 

 Listen to SBU history and political science faculty discuss their academic discipline and the role it plays in government and society.


Missouri Constitution — Judge Gary Lynch

Bolivar resident and 1974 SBU graduate, Judge Gary Lynch of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, was the first speaker in a series about the Missouri Constitution. Lynch presented about Article I, Sections 1-4 of the Missouri Constitution.

 Constitution Day - Gen. Randolph Alles

The current director of the U.S. Secret Service, Ge. Randolph Alles, spoke in SBU's chapel service on Constitution Day, Sept. 17, 2018.



Political Science Four-Year Plan


Fall Semester

ENG 1113 English Composition I 3
CIS 1103 Computer and Information Management 3
HIS 1113 Introduction to World Civilization I 3
POL 1113 American Government and Politics 3
BIB 1013 Old Testament History 3
UNI 1111 University Seminar 1
Total hours 16

Spring Semester

ENG 2213 English Composition II 3
FAR 10_3 Intro. to Art, Fine Arts, Music or Theatre 3
POL 2223 American State and Local Government 3
COM 1103 Fundamentals of Speech Communication 3
BIB 1023 New Testament History 3
UNI 1121 Introduction to Critical Thinking 1
Total hours 16


Fall Semester

MAT 1143 College Algebra 3
HIS 2213 U.S. History I 3
SPF 2012 Introduction to Spiritual Formation 2
BIO 1004 Principles of Biology 4
KIN 1162 Foundations of Physical Fitness/Wellness 2
POL 295(1-4) Special Topics in Political Science 1-4
Total hours 15-18

Spring Semester

POL 3313 International Relations 3
HIS 2223 U.S. History II 3
ECO 2003 LIFE Economics 3
  Elective 3
PSY 1013 General Psychology 3
Total hours 15


Fall Semester

  Language (BA)/Support Course (BS) 3-4
  Support Course (BS) 3
PHS 1004 Introduction to Physical Science 4
POL 3323 Comparative Government 3
POL 4563 The Supreme Court and Constitutional
  Free Elective/Second Major 3
Total hours 20-21

Spring Semester

  Language (BA)/Support Course (BS) 3-4
POL 4453 Congress and the Legislative Process 3
POL 4883 Political Philosophy 3
  Elective 3
POL 4013 African History and Politics 3
Total hours 15-16


Fall Semester

POL 4673 The American Presidency 3
POL 4003 Public Administration 3
  Free Elective/Second Major 3
  Free Elective/Second Major 3
  Free Elective/Second Major 3
  Political Science Elective 3
Total hours 18

Spring Semester

  Free Elective/Second Major 3
  Free Elective/Second Major 3
  Free Elective/Second Major 3
  Free Elective/Second Major 3
POL 4983 Internship in Political Science 3
Total hours 15

This is a proposed guideline. Please check the catalog and see your advisor for your final degree requirements.
Southwest Baptist University reserves the right to make changes to degree plans without advanced notice or obligation.
The student is responsible for understanding and completing all general education, degree, departmental and graduation requirements.

Download in PDF format:
Political Science Plan (PDF)