The Political Science Department prides itself on fulfilling all three areas of the university's mission-teaching, research, service. It devotes itself to studying who governs and why, how government is organized, and who benefits from the policies promulgated by government. This study encompasses local, state, and federal politics in the United States, governments and politics in all areas of the globe, and how nation states relate to each other in the international arena.
Political science studies government and politics systematically and rigorously. Although many deride politics, very little can occur without action in the political arena. Everyone looks to government for action in a particular area, such as protecting the environment, providing education, or securing the national defense. The study of political science at UMSL enables one to discern why activity does or does not occur and whether there are systemic failures or failures of leadership. Political science studies the major issues of our time: individual freedom, equality, democratization, protection of the weak. Political science graduates will learn the basic quantitative and qualitative skills to analyze policies and political possibilities and to go beyond the headlines in understanding local, national, and global actions.
The Political Science Academy sponsors meetings with academics, politicians, journalists and others at professors' homes. These meetings reinforce regular coursework and provide entrees into actual political practice.