Bachelor of Arts: Political Science

University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Written Composition and one course in Oral Communication; and a Math Pathway course. Transfer students entering UMKC will elect from the UMKC Essentials General Education Program or the Missouri Core 42 General Education Curriculum.  Academic advisors will meet with incoming transfer students to determine which option best serves the student’s educational needs. More information about General Education may be found here: https://catalog.umkc.edu/undergraduate-academic-regulations-information/general-education-requirements/

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Describe the basic structures and processes of government systems
  • Summarize fundamental concepts and theories in political science.
  • Analyze political problems, arguments, information, and/or theories.
  • Demonstrate effective written communication.

Program Requirements

UMKC Essentials

First Semester Experience Course (GEFSE)3
Written Communication:
ENGLISH 110Introduction to Academic Prose3
ENGLISH 225English II: Intermediate Academic Prose3
Oral Communication (choose one of the following):3
Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening
Introduction to Communication
Argumentation And Debate (offered via dual credit only)
Interpersonal Communication
Math Pathway (choose one of the following):3
Mathematics For Liberal Arts
Statistical Reasoning
Precalculus Algebra
Precalculus (5 credit hours)
Any 200-level MATH or STAT course
ACT Math Subscore of 28 or higher; or SAT Math Subscore of 660 or higher
Critical Thinking in Arts & Humanities (GECRT-AH)3
Critical Thinking in Natural & Physical Sciences (GECRT-SC)3
Critical Thinking in Social & Behavioral Sciences (GECRT-SS)3
Culture & Diversity Course (GECDV)3
Civic & Urban Engagement Course (GECUE)3
Total Credits30

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History Since 1877
Honors American Government
American Government

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

School of Humanities and Social Sciences Degree Requirements

Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above):3
Total Credits3

Major Requirements

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 12 hours of the noted upper division (300+) course requirements completed at UMKC.

The department requirement for a major 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. Students transferring from other institutions should check as soon as possible to determine transferability.

Required Courses6
American Government (Satisfies Constitution Course Requirements)
Introduction To Comparative Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics and Research
Electives
Three Subfield Electives (see options below)9
Additional Political Science Electives 115
Total Credits30

Political science majors are required to take at least one course in three of the four subfields, which include American Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and International Relations. Courses may be offered on a rotation basis. Please consult with advisor for current availability.

American Politics
Political Behavior
Parties and Interest Groups
Public Opinion
Politics In The American States
Political Psychology
Campaigns And Elections
Constitutional Law: The Federal System
Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties
Labor, Politics and Society
Labor Law
Legitimacy, Power, and the Survival of Political Systems
Judicial Politics
Comparative Politics
Politics of Developing Countries
Terrorism And Political Violence
Western European Politics
Congress and Parliaments
British Politics
Seminar in Comparative Politics
Environmental Politics
Political Theory
Western Political Philosophy
Social And Political Philosophy
Women and Politics
Philosophy Of Law
Ethics and Government
International Relations
International Relations
American Foreign Policy
Latin America and International Relations
Immigration Politics and Policy: The United States in Cross-National Perspective
International Political Economy
Women and Conflict
Conflict Resolution
Concepts in International Relations

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives57

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major. Please see the tab above to view the major map for this program.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Audit’ degree audit system provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for students' officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Plans’ degree planning tool enables students to develop a personalized semester by semester plan of study towards completion of degree requirements for student’s officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study. Update and edit your full plan to degree completion each term and confirm accuracy each semester with your Academic Advisor(s).