• Faculty members such as Robb McDaniel, Veterans Memorial Committee chair, are involved
  • Constitution Day brings James Madison out of the Honors College dean's office
  • Political Science major Katie Bogle shares her MTSU experiences
  • Staying in touch brings networking opportunities

Political Science

Political science and sub-fields such as public administration, international relations, and law, offer students a wide range of avenues to fulfill an interest in public affairs. Study focuses on institutions and processes by which people govern themselves or are governed and on methods of resolving issues from local to international levels. MTSU combines classroom learning with practical training through fieldwork, internships, student organizations, and intercollegiate academic teams.

Special classes, speakers supplement study

Students benefit from special advanced studies courses, with recent topics like Sustainable Development in Cities, India on the Eve of Independence, and American Politics in the Information Age. Guest speakers have included Jackie Sims, founder/director of “Beloved Community” Sustainability Project; Dr. Charles Lamb, constitutional law/civil rights expert; and Joseph Ingle, prison reform activist.

Professor reports on post-civil rights racism

Dr. Sekou Franklin, coordinator of the Urban Studies minor, edited an exhaustive report showing that Nashville's African-American community still faces widespread racism 50 years after lunch counter sit-ins helped desegregate downtown. Franklin has a book contract for After the Rebellion: Social Movement Action and Popular Mobilization among the Post-Civil Rights Generation.

Programs in Political Science and International Relations offer preparation to students for a wide range of careers in government, law, public service, public affairs, international affairs, non-governmental organizations, and education. The programs also help prepare students for more advanced degrees in the area. Students of political science also use their skills in the private sector, especially in the areas of international business, trade, and labor. Following are examples:

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis
  • Graham Insurance, Inc.
  • Institute for Energy and the Environment
  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California
  • Member of Congress, as scheduler
  • Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Notgrass Company, producing textbooks for homeschoolers
  • Response America, copywriter
  • Sales and Business Development for HB Litigation Conferences
  • SALT International
  • Tennessee Municipal League
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. State Department

Undergraduates can pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Political Science with a general focus, with a concentration in Pre-Law or Public Administration, or with Teacher Licensure; or a Bachelor of Science (B.S) degree or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in International Relations.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

A new Master of Arts (M.A.) in International Affairs is now offered, with a concentration in either Security and Peace Studies or Development and Globalization.

Minors are available in Political Science, International Relations, Public Administration, Paralegal Studies, and Political and Civic Engagement. The department also coordinates interdisciplinary minors in Urban Studies, Russian Studies, and African Studies.

Major or Minor in Political Science with Teacher Licensure

Students who want to teach government in high school should minor in Secondary Education; complete 12 hours of history (may include General Studies requirements); minor in History (highly recommended), Economics, or Geography; and take 33 hours in political science.

Students with teacher licensure in History, Geography, and Economics may also seek an add-on endorsement in government.

Political Science (B.A.) Political Science (B.S.) Political Science Teaching 


Political Science, B.A.

Department of Political Science and International Relations 
615-898-2708
Michael Federici, program coordinator
Michael.Federici@mtsu.edu

 

Students majoring in Political Science can choose a general focus or a concentration in either Public Administration or Pre-law.

Academic Map

Following is a printable, suggested four-year schedule of courses:

Political Science, B.A., Academic Map  

Degree Requirements

General Education (41 hours)

General Education requirements include Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

The following General Education course is recommended for this major:

  • PS 1005 or PS 1010 (Soc/Beh Sci)

Major Requirements (37 hours)

The major in Political Sciences requires a 2.00 GPA.

  • PS 1005 - Introduction to American Politics

    3 credit hours

    Constitutional principles, functions, and administration of American federal government; Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court. A General Education Social/Behavioral Sciences course.

  • PS 1010 - Introduction to Global Politics

    3 credit hours

    Meets part of the General Education Social/Behavioral Sciences requirement. Comparative theories and institutions of government. Law, constitutions, power, political socialization, ideologies, and the media.

  • PS 2000 - Political Science and International Relations as a Profession

    1 credit hour credit hours

    To be taken as early as possible by Political Science and International Relations majors. Provides practical information for majors on career planning and development, including potential careers in law, graduate school and research, government, policy analysis, political campaign management, lobbying, and non-profit management.

  • PS 4800 - Senior Seminar  3 credit hours  

    PS 4800 - Senior Seminar

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites:  PS 1005, PS 1010, and 12 additional hours of political science courses. A reading and discussion seminar designed to integrate knowledge of the subfields of political science through critical reflection on politics, law, ideology, and culture from both a domestic and global perspective.

American Politics (3 hours)

  • PS 3050 - The U.S. Presidency

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite:  PS 1005 or permission of instructor. A comprehensive analysis of the presidency; includes origins of the presidency, political power, the nature of the institutionalized presidency, campaigns and elections, and a careful look at selected presidents.

  • PS 3060 - The U.S. Congress  3 credit hours  

    PS 3060 - The U.S. Congress

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005. An analysis of the United States Congress; its origins, political power, the nature of the institutionalized Congress, campaigns, and elections.

  • PS 3250 - Public Administration

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Fundamentals of public management--organization theory, leadership, policy making, planning, budgeting, personnel, administrative law, bureaucratic behavior.

  • PS 3330 - Political Parties  3 credit hours  

    PS 3330 - Political Parties

    3 credit hours

    The nature of democracy, politics, and political parties; party organization and role in government; campaigning; primaries, conventions, general elections; the Electoral College; voting behavior and pressure groups.

  • PS 3370 - American Constitutional Law

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Analysis of theories of judicial decision making as well as the establishment of judicial review itself, followed by case studies of major Supreme Court decisions in federalism. Issues covered include commerce, contracts, police, and war powers as well as restrictions placed on state governments after the ratification of the Civil War Amendments. Offered  fall only.

Comparative/International Relations (3 hours)

  • PS 3210 - International Relations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1010 or permission of instructor. The state system and national power, balance of power, balance of terror, game theory, psychological aspects of international conflict, decision making, diplomacy and negotiation, war, disarmament, and collective security.

  • PS 3220 - Comparative Politics

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: PS 1010 or permission of instructor. Seminar covering the theoretical literature, methodological debates, and current issues in the field of comparative politics. Offers preparation for upper-division courses in comparative politics.

Political Theory (3 hours)

  • PS 4230 - Classical Political Theory

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005, PS 1010, or PHIL 1030. Western political theory from the ancient Greeks through the medieval Christians. Includes Sophocles, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, stoicism, skepticism, Lucretius, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More.

  • PS 4700 - American Political Thought

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or PS 1010 or PHIL 1030 or permission of instructor. Major thinkers and movements in American political thought from colonial times to the twentieth century with special emphasis on the thoughts of the framers of the American Constitution and their contemporaries.

  • PS 4920 - Modern Political Theory

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 1005, or PHIL 1030 or permission of instructor. Western political theory from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Includes Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, J.S. Mill, Marx and Engels, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, facism, existentialism, Strauss, Arendt, and contemporary thought.

  • PS 4930 - Introduction to Contemporary Political Philosophy

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005, PS 1010, or PHIL 1030 or permission of instructor. Aims to foster critical thinking about contemporary political philosophy by introducing students to four main approaches: Aristotelianism, Utilitarianism, Contractarian Liberalism, and Marxism. Familiarizes students with certain philosophical arguments about important issues in both national and global politics such as multiculturism, justice, democracy, and freedom.

PS electives (15 hours)

Foreign Language (6 hours)

Students must successfully complete 2010 and 2020 or any courses numbered above the 2000 level in a single foreign language.

Minor (15-18 hours)

Electives (18-21 hours)

Total Hours in program: 120

 

Curriculum: Political Science, B.A.

Curricular listings include  General Education requirements in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences Categories.

Freshman

 

  • ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing  3 credit hours  (Comm) 

    ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing

    3 credit hours

    The first General Education English course. Emphasis on learning to adapt composing processes to a variety of expository and analytic writing assignments. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • ENGL 1020 - Research and Argumentative Writing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 1010. The second General Education English course. Emphasis on analytic and argumentative writing and on locating, organizing, and using library resource materials in the writing. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • PS 1005 - Introduction to American Politics

    3 credit hours

    Constitutional principles, functions, and administration of American federal government; Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court. A General Education Social/Behavioral Sciences course.

  • PS 1010 - Introduction to Global Politics  3 credit hours  (Soc/Beh Sci) 

    PS 1010 - Introduction to Global Politics

    3 credit hours

    Meets part of the General Education Social/Behavioral Sciences requirement. Comparative theories and institutions of government. Law, constitutions, power, political socialization, ideologies, and the media.

  • Mathematics 3 credit hours
  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences (2 prefixes) 8 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • General elective 3 credit hours

Subtotal: 32 Hours

 

Sophomore

 

  • ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA)  OR 

    ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Traces a specific theme or idea through a number of literary texts that reflect different historical and cultural contexts. Subject will vary.

  • ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA)  OR 

    ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. The reading of a variety of literary types which illuminate themes and experiences common to human existence.

  • HUM 2610 - Foreign Literature in Translation  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA) 

    HUM 2610 - Foreign Literature in Translation

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Representative works of French, German, and Hispanic authors in English translation. No foreign-language proficiency required. Carries General Education credit.

  • COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication  3 credit hours  (Comm) 

    COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication

    3 credit hours

    Principles and processes of effective public oral communication including researching, critical thinking, organizing, presenting, listening, and using appropriate language. Emphasis on informative, persuasive, special occasion, and extemporaneous (impromptu) speaking. Counts as part of the General Education Communication requirement.

  • PS 2000 - Political Science and International Relations as a Profession

    1 credit hour credit hours

    To be taken as early as possible by Political Science and International Relations majors. Provides practical information for majors on career planning and development, including potential careers in law, graduate school and research, government, policy analysis, political campaign management, lobbying, and non-profit management.

  • Foreign language 6 credit hours
  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours
  • Minor course 3 credit hours

 

  • PS 3210 - International Relations  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3210 - International Relations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1010 or permission of instructor. The state system and national power, balance of power, balance of terror, game theory, psychological aspects of international conflict, decision making, diplomacy and negotiation, war, disarmament, and collective security.

  • PS 3220 - Comparative Politics

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: PS 1010 or permission of instructor. Seminar covering the theoretical literature, methodological debates, and current issues in the field of comparative politics. Offers preparation for upper-division courses in comparative politics.

Choose 6 hours from:

  • HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2030 - Tennessee History

    3 credit hours

    The role of the state in the development of the nation. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

Subtotal: 31 Hours

Junior

 

  • PS 3050 - The U.S. Presidency  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3050 - The U.S. Presidency

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite:  PS 1005 or permission of instructor. A comprehensive analysis of the presidency; includes origins of the presidency, political power, the nature of the institutionalized presidency, campaigns and elections, and a careful look at selected presidents.

  • PS 3060 - The U.S. Congress  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3060 - The U.S. Congress

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005. An analysis of the United States Congress; its origins, political power, the nature of the institutionalized Congress, campaigns, and elections.

  • PS 3250 - Public Administration  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3250 - Public Administration

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Fundamentals of public management--organization theory, leadership, policy making, planning, budgeting, personnel, administrative law, bureaucratic behavior.

  • PS 3330 - Political Parties  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3330 - Political Parties

    3 credit hours

    The nature of democracy, politics, and political parties; party organization and role in government; campaigning; primaries, conventions, general elections; the Electoral College; voting behavior and pressure groups.

  • PS 3370 - American Constitutional Law

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Analysis of theories of judicial decision making as well as the establishment of judicial review itself, followed by case studies of major Supreme Court decisions in federalism. Issues covered include commerce, contracts, police, and war powers as well as restrictions placed on state governments after the ratification of the Civil War Amendments. Offered  fall only.

  • Minor courses 6 credit hours
  • PS electives 9 credit hours
  • General elective 3 credit hours
  • Foreign language 6 credit hours*
  • PS 4230 - Classical Political Theory

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005, PS 1010, or PHIL 1030. Western political theory from the ancient Greeks through the medieval Christians. Includes Sophocles, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, stoicism, skepticism, Lucretius, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More.

  • PS 4700 - American Political Thought

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or PS 1010 or PHIL 1030 or permission of instructor. Major thinkers and movements in American political thought from colonial times to the twentieth century with special emphasis on the thoughts of the framers of the American Constitution and their contemporaries.

  • PS 4920 - Modern Political Theory  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 4920 - Modern Political Theory

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1010, PS 1005, or PHIL 1030 or permission of instructor. Western political theory from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Includes Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, J.S. Mill, Marx and Engels, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, facism, existentialism, Strauss, Arendt, and contemporary thought.

  • PS 4930 - Introduction to Contemporary Political Philosophy

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005, PS 1010, or PHIL 1030 or permission of instructor. Aims to foster critical thinking about contemporary political philosophy by introducing students to four main approaches: Aristotelianism, Utilitarianism, Contractarian Liberalism, and Marxism. Familiarizes students with certain philosophical arguments about important issues in both national and global politics such as multiculturism, justice, democracy, and freedom.

Subtotal: 30 Hours

 

Senior

 

  • PS 4800 - Senior Seminar  3 credit hours  

    PS 4800 - Senior Seminar

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites:  PS 1005, PS 1010, and 12 additional hours of political science courses. A reading and discussion seminar designed to integrate knowledge of the subfields of political science through critical reflection on politics, law, ideology, and culture from both a domestic and global perspective.

  • PS electives 6 credit hours
  • General electives 9 credit hours
  • Minor courses 9 credit hours

Subtotal: 27 Hours