If you are fascinated by the world of politics, government, and lawmaking, then Ball State’s major in political science is right for you. Taught by dedicated faculty who are experts in their field, our program allows you to choose from three options—political science, economics, and international studies—to better focus your expertise.

You will graduate prepared for career success in a diversity of fields, including law, government, public administration, international organizations (such as the United Nations), nonprofit organizations (such as CARE), and education.

What You Will Learn

Learning outcomes for this program include how to:

  • make sense of the world
  • increase your research and communication skills
  • increase your analytical and critical thinking skills
  • craft persuasive arguments and hone your debate skills
  • make a difference in your community
My research experiences have helped me broaden my own understanding of what health is, which will help me write more informed policies in the future.

Lydia Kotowski
Political Science Major

Program Benefits

You will start with a foundation in U.S. government and politics, and over the course of this program, you will expand your perspective across the globe. You may choose one of three tracks: political science, economics, or international relations.

You will learn directly from and work with our caring and dedicated faculty. You will have the same resources found at larger state university, but you will have the same, close interactions with your professors and classmates that you get at small liberal arts colleges.

We want the experience outside the classroom to be as important as the one inside. You will get to know your classmates and faculty in a much different context through numerous opportunities such as panel discussions, movie nights, tailgating parties, and more.

Explore Activities & Opportunities

Internships are an excellent way to gain real-world practice, add to your professional network, and explore career options. It is also one of the ways you can meet your capstone requirement near the end of this program.

Our students have interned for:

  • local, state, and federal government agencies
  • political campaigns
  • advocacy groups
  • field offices for members of Congress
  • state legislatures
  • nonprofits

Learn More About Internships

Major Requirements

You will need to complete the University Core Curriculum required for all bachelor’s degree programs, as well as your major’s requirements. All political science majors take two required classes—POLS 130 American National Government and POLS 210 Political Science Research Methods—before taking courses tailored to their tracks.

Additional program requirements include:

  • maintaining at least a 2.0 grade point average in departmental course work
  • as a senior, completing a required capstone course: senior thesis, research seminar, or internship

Total Credits


Thinking about Law School?

If you are thinking about pursuing law school, we recommend talking to a pre-law advisor. The advisor will outline courses that you need to take to prepare you for the rigors of law school.


Political Science

Students on this track will study a wide variety of topics in domestic and international affairs. In doing so, students will learn to appreciate how individuals and institutions shape (and are shaped by) politics.


  • POLS 293 International Relations
  • POLS 342 Problems in Public Policy
  • POLS 375 Media and Politics

For a complete list of all classes you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Students pursuing this track will study the interplay between economic systems and politics. In doing so, students will learn about markets, poverty, welfare, taxation, and economic transitions.


  • POLS 237 State and Local Politics
  • ECON 311 Environmental Economics
  • ECON 351 International Economics

For a complete list of all classes you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Students pursuing this track will learn to apply academic theories of international relations to practical issues and problems. In doing so, students will hone their analytical and research skills and develop their expertise in contemporary global issues.


  • POLS 280 Comparative Political Systems
  • POLS 293 International Relations
  • POLS 494 Politics of Terrorism 

For a complete list of all classes you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Accelerated Master's Program (AMP)

Our Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) in Political Science allows you to begin your graduate studies at Ball State while still an undergraduate student saving time and money as you pursue an advanced education in your field of interest.


What Can You Do With a Degree in Political Science?

Our graduates frequently pursue careers as:

  • campaign managers
  • nonprofit workers
  • polling or survey analysts
  • city planners
  • congressional office staff members
  • political consultants
  • International developer workers
  • researchers for government agencies or think tanks
  • journalists
  • diplomatic officers
  • conflict mediators
  • lawyers

Computer Recommendations

Students entering the Department of Political Science will need to possess a personal computer. The College of Sciences and Humanities provides recommendations for the specifications student need to excel in their course work.

See Our Recommendations (PDF)

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of scholarships the university offers its students, our department gives awards every year to its own students to recognize them for their achievements. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing this major? The first step is to apply as an undergraduate student to Ball State University. Begin the journey today.


One of the best ways to understand why Ball State stands out is to come see it for yourself. You can schedule a visit through our Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Make sure to tell them you’re interested in our program. Or if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.

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