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 as a Political Science Major

Learning outcomes for the political science 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

Students will take 43 hours of Political Science core classes in addition to electives.

Students can choose from:

  • Major in Political Science: Concentration in American Government and Politics - Students take directed electives in American systems of government
  • Major in Political Science: Concentration in Global Politics and International Affairs - Students take directed electives in global and international politics
  • Major in Political Science: Concentration in Public Administration and Policy - Students take directed electives in public policy analysis and implementation
American Government and Politics

Students with this concentration will study a wide variety of topics in American Government, its structure, and its history. In doing so, students will learn to appreciate how these foundational institutions of American government shape modern politics and society.

Courses Include:

  • POLS 330 US Foreign Policy
  • POLS 431 Congress
  • POLS 443 American Constitutional Law

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

View Catalog

Students pursuing this concentration will learn about the interplay between the world’s diverse political systems, and how these interactions, similarities, and differences affect diplomacy and international relationships between countries across the globe.

Courses Include:

  • POLS 313: European Grand Strategy
  • POLS 394: Politics of Asia
  • POLS 492: International Security

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

View Catalog

Students studying this concentration will learn about the processes of the formation of policy and law and how legislation is implemented by various public institutions and will also analyze the trajectory of its influence on governments in different settings.

Courses Include:

  • POLS 238 Urban Government in the United States
  • POLS 351 Management in the Public & Non-Profit Sector
  • POLS 454 Politics and Administration of Local Government Budgets

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

View Catalog

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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