The primary mission of the Social Science Department is to prepare our students for dynamic leadership and responsible citizenship in their communities, their nation and the world. The Department also contributes to the broader mission of the University by providing students the opportunities to cultivate critical thinking, communication and technological skills that will develop an awareness of and engagement with the complex social issues of the 21st century. The faculty seeks to offer substantive instruction and intellectual nurture in the Social Sciences and to assist the advancement of higher-order thinking students can apply to their own lives as individuals, professionals and citizens. The department’s mission includes an emphasis on opportunities to engage the broader international world, consistent with the University’s international mission. Finally, the Social Science Department seeks to build bridges and avenues of communication between the University and the community, through academic internships, public events and partnerships with local institutions and the sponsorship of academic programs and events for local students and their teachers.
The American Mock Trial Association annually hosts a series of competitions from February through April to foster the development of undergraduate students in the areas of leadership, public speaking, rhetoric, and persuasion through a legal forum. Beginning in February with Regional Tournaments, all teams from any undergraduate institution are eligible to register and compete. The top seven teams from each Regional will receive a bid to an Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) tournament in March. After the ORCS round, the top six teams from each ORCS tournament will receive a bid to the National Championship Tournament in April. Learn more.
Every Spring MSSU sends a group of students to live Jefferson City and work in the Capital Building as interns for Missouri State legislators. This Program has been credited with being the best program in the State of Missouri by those we serve. Every past participant in this program has used the experience to further their life goals whether it be working for the legislature, gaining contacts for admission to graduate school or finding other employment. The experience gained and connections forged are priceless. This program is open to all MSSU students who meet the program requirements and successfully complete the application process. Student participants receive a 12-hour tuition scholarship and a stipend to help cover living expenses.
Many MSSU Political Science graduates have gone on to law school. In fact, a high percentage of attorneys and judges in the 4-states region started their legal career with a BA or BS in Political Science from MSSU.
Join the public service or work in community service. A surprising number of people who run or work for these agencies have their degree in political science.
Most of our Presidents, state and federal Senators and Representatives, Governors, Mayors, and City Managers started their career with a degree in political science. Ron Richard, Missouri State Senator, earned his undergraduate degree at Missouri Southern.
A bachelor of Science in Education degree with a major in Social Studies - Political Science Emphasis certifies graduates to teach at the secondary school level.
Most Americans do not hold jobs within their major: there are CEOs with degrees in political science, artists with degrees in marketing, writers with degrees in biology, and so on. Any job that lists "degree required" as a qualification is a job someone can do with a degree in political science!
A minor in Political Science is available for students majoring in any other discipline.
Dr. Steve Smith
Social Sciences Department Head
Webster Hall 245
3950 East Newman Road
Joplin, MO 64801-1595