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International & Political Affairs

About The Degree:

The International and Political Affairs (IPA) major at Missouri Southern provides students the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects within an interdisciplinary environment. As a truly interdisciplinary degree, the IPA program brings together Political Science, International Studies, and Geography providing students with the opportunity to pursue interests in American, as well as international politics. As part of Missouri Southern’s unique Justice Studies Department, and in partnership with Southern’s Criminal Justice Program, our course maintains a focus on justice.

In this program students may pursue their interests by enrolling in a series of pathways. with disciplinary emphasis including, International Affairs (BS and BA), Political Science (BS and BA), and Global Cultural Emphasis (BA Only). Additionally, our variety of certificate options further allow students to specialize in multiple specific area that will suit their career ambitions.

The IPA degree will allow you to put your knowledge to work outside of the classroom with a strong focus on experiential learning. In the past some of these learning experiences have included internships, study abroad, traveling seminars, and immersive clubs and activities. In addition, you may take advantage of Missouri Southern’s international mission and study abroad with short-term and immersive, semester-long opportunities. Put your knowledge to use while developing practical workplace skills and gaining valuable experience with an internship. There are numerous opportunities for students to immerse themselves in each discipline while gaining relevant experience.

What You'll Learn:

  • International Relations (BS and BA)
    • The elements of international cooperation including trade, alliances, environmental treaties, intergovernmental organizations, international law, and more. 
    • The causes and consequences of global conflict, including inter-state war, terrorism, civil war, and economic protectionism.
    • The process of foreign policy construction and the analysis of foreign policy decisions in American Foreign Policy.  
    • Students will also be introduced to political methodologies, including game theory, statistics, and econometrics.
  • Political Science (BS and BA)
    • Demonstrate knowledge in the structure and processes of political institutions.
    • Demonstrate an awareness of the philosophical and theoretical arguments that apply to different political and legal environments.
    • Apply philosophical and conceptual reasoning to current issues in political and legal situations.
    • Provide opportunities to learn about the judicial process, including Constitutional Law, International Law, and the Philosophy of Law.
  • Global Cultural Emphasis (BA Only)
    • Students will get a greater understanding and knowledge of cultures and societies foreign to your own.
    • Students will achieve an understanding of the positive impact other cultures and societies have on our lives.
    • Students will gain a means to communicate by way of a second or even third (or more) language. 
    • The ability to travel abroad and experience a foreign culture firsthand through MSSU’s unique Study Abroad program.

The Degree is Great for You if

  • You are interested in global or domestic politics as the basis for a career in foreign service, public relations, political analysis, public administration, or campaigns and elections. 
  • You are interested in geography or the environment as the basis for a career in cartography, environmental protection, environmental conservation, or geopolitical analysis. 
  • You are interested in going to law school or entering the legal field. 
  • You are interested in teaching English as a foreign language or becoming an international student recruiter/advisor.
  • You are interested in going on to graduate school in political science, geography, international studies, international relations, and many other disciplines.   
  • IPA has more versatility than other programs, preparing students for a wider variety of career paths and graduate education
  • There are more options for the personalization of your degree
  • We provide more opportunities to engage in active learning, travel as you learn, work with faculty.


Current Catalog

Bachelor of Arts

International & Political Affairs, Global Cultural Emphasis
International & Political Affairs, Geography & Env. Affairs Emphasis
International & Political Affairs, International Affairs Emphasis
International & Political Affairs, Legal Affairs Emphasis
International & Political Affairs, Political Affairs Emphasis

Bachelor of Science

International & Political Affairs General Emphasis
International & Political Affairs Social Science Education Emphasis
International & Political Affairs, Geography & Environmental Affairs
International & Political Affairs, International Affairs Emphasis
International & Political Affairs, Legal Affairs Emphasis
International & Political Affairs, Political Affairs Emphasis


Campaigns & Elections Certificate
Gender Studies Certificate
Global Citizenship Certificate
Legal Studies Certificate
Public Administration Certificate


Geography Minor International Studies Minor
Legal Studies Minor
Political Science Minor, International Politics
Political Science Minor