Political Science Major
As a political science major, you will increase your understanding of politics, political institutions, and political processes. You will examine political behavior and use different methodologies to try to understand such issues as: who gets what resources and why, how do political actors make decisions, and how does politics affect political, economic, and social outcomes?
This course provides a political science perspective on the American presidency. Our objective is to cut through common narratives provided by pundits, politicians, journalists, and the average voter to understand when presidents are more (or less) likely to influence public policy. Put simply, when (and how) do presidents exercise power? Answers to this question are both complicated and difficult to evaluate. We begin with a brief normative and historical perspective on the presidency: what presidential power ought to be, and how the presidency came to be what it is today. We then discuss the president's interactions with Congress, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy; the president's foreign policy and war powers, as well as mechanisms of public accountability.
The course will focus on skills related to the democratic expression of political rights and responsibilities. The course will balance background knowledge of the issues with application. Students will explore how to use coalition building and advocacy skills to relate to personal issues to public issues. Students will research a current Missouri bill, create a strategic plan for its passage or failure, and prepare to give testimony on such bill in a mock House of Representatives committee hearing. Students will also learn about ethical dilemmas in policy and politics and create a plan for turning their passions into policy.
our students have gone on to become:
Foreign Service Officers