Impact the world with politics, policy, and the law. You’ll do that here.

A political science degree focuses on government and international relations, public administration, and political theory.  

Our students regularly intern with local, state, and federal elected officials and find successful careers in government, campaigns, academic research and teaching, and international affairs. 

What You'll Do  

As a political science major at Southeast, you’ll be challenged to think about national and international politics. 

  • Engage with exceptionally well qualified faculty members who work closely with students in small settings. 
  • Thrive in specialized student organizations like the Political Science and Political Theory Clubs and the student honorary society Pi Sigma Alpha 
  • Gain hands-on real-world experience in a practicum, professional conference, or internship. 
  • Participate in Model United Nations 
  • Prepare for graduate or other advanced study of to take the LSATs. 

What Can You Do with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science?

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time. 

Advanced Degree Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • University of Missouri Law School
  • Washington University Law School
  • St. Louis University Law School
  • Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Law School
  • University of Indiana
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Florida

Internship Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Office of the Governor
  • Missouri State Senate
  • Missouri House of Representatives
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • Southeast Missouri Food Bank
  • Safe House for Women

Political Science (BA) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Outcomes & Careers

  • $136k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for lawyers is $135,740.

  • $48k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for legislators is $ 48,090.

  • $128k

    Political Scientists

    Philosophy majors often work in government and politics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a political scientist is $128,020.

What You'll Study

Degree Map

The political degree curriculum provides knowledge and skills that have immediate practical application, are transferable from one field to another, and are in high demand across a wide variety of careers and professions. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

Required Courses:

  • PS001 Senior Assessment (0)
  • PS240 Introduction to Political Science (3)
  • PS471 Senior Seminar in Political Science (3)
    Choose one course:
  • PS103 U.S. Political Systems (3)
  • PS104 Comparative Political Systems (3)
    Choose 15 hours:
  • 15 hours of political science courses (3 hours in each of the 5 subfields)
    Choose 6 hours:
  • 6 additional hours of political science electives

(9 hours of political science courses must be 300-level or above)

Political Science Subfields:
  • American Government and Politics
  • Comparative Governments and Politics
  • International Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Public Administration
    Additional Requirements:
  • 12 Hours in the same foreign language

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year    

Fall Semester (16 Hours)     
  • UI100 (1)
  • EN100 (3)
  • PS103 or PS104 (3) 
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)
Spring Semester (15 Hours)     
  • PS240 (3)
  • Foreign Language 1 (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)

Sophomore Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)  
  • American Government (3) 
  • Foreign Language 2 (3) 
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)
Spring Semester (15 Hours)    
  • Comparative Government (3) 
  • Foreign Language 3 (3)
  • Minor Course (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • Elective (3)

Junior Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)    
  • International Politics (3) 
  • Minor Course (3)
  • PS Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Foreign Language 4 (3)
Spring Semester (15 Hours)     
  • Political Theory (3)
  • PS Elective (3)
  • Minor Course (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)

Senior Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)     
  • Public Administration (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Minor Course (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
Spring Semester (14 Hours)  
  • PS001 (0)
  • PS471 (3)
  • Minor Course (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (2) 

Real-World Opportunities

  • Jefferson City Legislative Internship

    Southeast students are highly sought after by legislators in Missouri’s Capitol for the legislative internship experience. The program, while giving invaluable experience to students, can also lead to a career. Many former interns have gone on to government or campaign employment following their internship experience. 

  • Preparing for Law School

    A philosophy degree from Southeast provides a strong foundation for pursuit of law school. In addition to the critical thinking, analytical, and argumentative skills learned, Southeast has an impressive tradition for preparing students. 100% of our philosophy and political science students who apply are accepted to law school, including some of the most impressive in the country like Harvard, Washington University, and University of Missouri.  

  • Center for Strategic & International Studies

    If you hope to put your reasoning skills to work to make the world a better place, Southeast’s partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) could be the experience you’ve been looking for. SEMO students are immersed at the global Washington, D.C. think tank for a week of problem solving while working with policy makers to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems like hunger, cybersecurity, and climate change. Southeast is the only university in the country to have a week-long program with the CSIS for its students. 

  • Accelerated Mizzou Law Program

    Southeast has an exciting partnership with the University of Missouri School of Law that will save students one year of undergraduate school and tuition to get a head start on their career goals in the legal profession. Students complete their major and general education requirements at Southeast in three years, then enter Mizzou law in their senior year, meaning they can complete their first year of law school while credit hours transfer to Southeast for completion of their bachelor’s degree, meaning you get your undergraduate and law degree in just six years. 

"I want to work in my career field because of the ability to hear people’s concerns and be able to do something about it. I know most people seem to have a negative connotation when it comes to anything political, but I think it should be just the opposite. There are so many different career options within the field that it is more diverse than people realize."

Erika Bone ’20

U.S. Congressional Intern, Erika Bone, in front of the White House.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Carnahan Hall 211
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 2920
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701