Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Compare and contrast American government with democratic and non-democratic regimes.
  • Enumerate the key questions that animate the field of political science.
  • Analyze both positive and normative questions of power and governance.
  • Analyze a key political debate.
  • Communicate effectively in oral presentations of their analyses of key political debates.
  • Describe the fundamental theories and key concepts in American politics, comparative politics, and international relations.
  • Synthesize and critique the literature in American politics, comparative politics, and international relations.
  • Assess a research question by defining concepts, and collecting, measuring, and analyzing data.

BA Requirements

The requirement for a major in political science is 30 hours of political science credit. Students must achieve a GPA of at least 2.0 in political science and no credit will be given for courses in which the grade is below C-.

At least 21 hours of political science coursework must be at the 300- to 400- level, and at least 12 hours must be earned at UMKC. Students transferring from other institutions should check with the department’s undergraduate advisor as soon as possible to determine which of their hours will transfer for political science credit.

Required Coursework (12 hours)

Students must complete the following four courses:

Remaining Coursework (18 hours)

Students are required to take at least one course in three of four subfields, which include American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. Nine additional political science hours must be completed. As part of their additional nine hours, students may complete an internship, study abroad, or an independent study. Please see your major advisor for more information.

1. American Politics (303, 308, 309, 313, 314, 315, 318, 319, 326, 328, 343, 346, 348, 349, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 424, 427, 429, 438)
2. Comparative Politics (304, 316, 355, 357, 359, 365, 369, 425)
3. International Relations (230, 307, 332, 336, 361, 362, 418, 451, 452)
4. Political Theory (301, 341, 344, 403, 440, 442)

MA Requirements

Students pursuing the MA as part of the dual BA/MA program will complete 30 hours of political science coursework; 9 hours of course work at the 300/400 level from the undergraduate degree may be counted toward the graduate degree

Required Coursework (18 hours)

All BA/MA students must complete the following six courses:

Remaining Coursework (12 hours)

Students are required to complete an additional twelve hours. Please see the graduate advisor for more information.


With the permission of the graduate advisor, students may count no more than six credit hours of pre-approved graduate coursework in other UMKC departments.

No more than six hours of readings, independent study, or directed studies credit (other than thesis hours) may be counted toward the requirements for the MA.

As part of the BA/MA degree, students may count nine hours of undergraduate coursework toward their BA and their MA. For a 300- or 400-level course to be accepted for graduate credit, a student must arrange with the instructor to do supplementary work such as additional reading, writing, and contact hours). In addition, the student must register and pay for the course at the graduate student rate.

In all cases, students in the MA program must take at least 15 hours of graduate-level (5500-level) courses in political science at UMKC in fulfillment of their degree requirements.