Pursuing Political Science
Learn to Think and Lead within a Small Classroom Environment
School of Social & Cultural Studies: Department of Political Science
Whether you’re looking for a career in politics, law, teaching, grassroots organization or political consulting, there’s a place for you here as a political science major or minor at Truman.
Learning the underlying theories that drive political behavior gives our students a deep understanding of why things happen in the world of politics – and helps them find a place in it. Our program focuses on cultivating the strong research, writing and oral presentation skills necessary to achieve in this ever-changing field, wherever you choose to take your career. You’ll quickly learn why Dr. John Walke, past-president of the American Political Science Association, called it the best undergraduate political science program he had ever seen.
Be challenged. Prepare for a life that matters.
- Degrees offered: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
- Major offered: Political Science
- Minors offered: Political Science & Public Administration
- Approximate number of students pursuing this major: 170
- Approximate number of students pursuing one of these minors: 70
- Majors engaged in research: 100%
- Full-time faculty members: 6
- Part-time faculty member: 1
- Departmental student organizations: Political Science Students Association, Pi Sigma Alpha, College Democrats, College Libertarians, College Republicans, Mock Trial, Pre-Law Club
- Political science faculty have been leaders in creating the national Teaching and Learning Conference, sponsored by the American Political Science Association, and play important roles in organizing and presenting papers at the meeting.
- Critical Thinking Skills: Develop strong critical thinking and analytical skills. Cultivate research, writing, and oral presentation skills as well. Learn the theories that drive political behavior to understand why things happen in the world of politics.
- Focus on the Undergraduate: Unlike many universities where students are taught in a large auditorium or by graduate assistants, you’ll be taught in small classroom settings by professors with doctorates. Benefit from the increased interactions with faculty and fellow students.
- Faculty Advising: After your freshman year, receive a faculty member as an advisor. Get expert advice on courses and other academic issues. Build a close-working relationship with a professional who can advise you on the next step in your career, whether it be law school, graduate school or a job in government or in the private sector.
Beyond the Classroom
- Study Abroad: Spend a semester or more studying at a university in another country, like many other political science majors. (Political science students have studied at universities in Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Greece, Australia, and China, to name a few.) Work with your advisor and Truman’s Center for International Education to ensure that your courses taken abroad meet your requirements. Truman grants you access to over 500 study abroad opportunities in more than 60 countries. Monetary assistance is available, including Truman State University Foundation Scholarships. Cultural loans are available for all programs, as well.
- Internships: Benefit from extensive opportunities for internships. Enticed by the thought of working at Missouri’s State Capitol? Participate in the Missouri Internship Program and spend an entire semester with a state representative, state senator or in the governor’s office. You’ll receive a stipend to defray living expenses.
Other recent internship locations:
- U.S. Representative and Senator offices in Washington, D.C.
- White House
- Cabinet departments
- Local mayor
- Local judges, prosecutors and attorneys (Great for those interested in law school!)Earn academic credit that will count toward graduation requirements through these internships.
- Student Research: Build strong research by presenting research projects (completed as part of a class requirement or outside of class) at Truman’s Student Research Conference or at the annual meetings of regional and national professional associations. Work with faculty on their research, and possibly co-author a paper with them, and present your findings together at conferences or by publishing your research in professional journals.
- Political Groups & Organizations: Gain valuable opportunities for hands-on political experience through politically relevant groups and organizations. Work on numerous campaigns — from President of the United States down to county clerk — learning real world skills from staffing phone banks to organizing rallies and debates. Truman political science majors have served as full, voting delegates to both the Democrat and Republican national conventions, in addition to serving in important leadership roles in other political forums both on and off campus. Graduate with important contacts and references as you begin the next stage of your educational and professional career.
After the Degree
- Placement in Top Graduate & Law Schools: Each year since 2003, we have placed between 63% to 79% of our graduates in graduate programs or law schools. Examples of institutions that our graduates have gone on to attend include:
- Harvard Law School
- Duke University
- University of Chicago
- Syracuse University
- Ohio State University
- University of Michigan