University of Mississippi

Major in Political Science

Political science is the study of political institutions and political behavior at the local, state, national, and international levels. Students of political science will develop critical thinking, writing, and oral communication skills essential to effective citizenship, as well as many careers.

The Department is organized around three fields of study: American politics, Comparative politics, and International politics.

American politics offers a variety of courses including ones on constitutional rights and liberties, political behavior, parties and elections, the Congress, and the Presidency. The gateway class for these upper-division classes is POL 101, Introduction to American Politics. We strongly urge that you take this course first in the first or second year of your academic program.

Comparative politics includes coursework in the politics of major regions of the world (western and eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia) as well as theoretical approaches for integrating and contrasting these regional studies. The gateway course for these Comparative politics upper-division courses is POL 102. Please take this course first before considering advanced 300-level offerings.

International Relations is the study of politics that transcend the nation-state. These courses include the study of American foreign policy, international political economy, conflict, and international organizations. Please take POL 103 as an introduction to this field.

While we are diverse in our offerings and organization, the Political Science Department shares a common mission. That mission is to prepare informed, active, and critical citizens. The major should provide you with skills and knowledge for advanced studies and government-related careers. Our students prepare for careers in a wide variety of fields. While many go to law school, many others find careers in business, teaching, the Foreign Service, the armed forces, federal, state, and local government, law enforcement, lobbying, and non-profit organizations. Some of our alumni serve in Congress, at the White House, in state government and in U.S. embassies abroad, while others are attorneys and business professionals. Some of our alumni have successful careers teaching at the higher & secondary education levels. We invite you to discuss with our faculty your career and academic goals.

A major in political science for the B.A. degree consists of 33 semester hours chosen from the subfields of American government and politics, comparative government and politics, international relations, and political analysis, including Pol 101, 102, 103, and 251.

At least 18 hours must be in non-Z-graded courses at the 300 level or above. Grades lower than C in political science courses will not be counted toward the political science major or minor.

Visit the University of Mississippi Catalog for the list of required courses.