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Political Science & International Relations Degree

Political Science Program

Political Science or International Relations Degree

Interested in government and global issues?

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Given the pervasive influence of politics on our daily lives, a political science or international relations major is indispensable for you to critically analyze the world around you. You will learn:

  • Ideas of political philosophy
  • Policy debates
  • Social science research design skills

You will then apply the knowledge and skills of the discipline to explore the many challenges of our contemporary world and to develop your own values.




Why a B.A. Degree in Political Science or International Relations?

The bachelor’s degree in Political Science or International Relations is perfect for students who are interested in government and its relationship with citizens, foreign powers, and today’s major global issues. Through exciting research and internship opportunities, study abroad programs, and a capstone experience, these degree programs will expand your horizons and prepare you for a wide range of careers.




Photo of Holman LibraryAbout the Political Science or International Relations Major

Housed under the Division of Social Science, the B.A. in Political Science and B.A. in International Relations equip students with the skills to critically analyze the world around them and explore the many challenges of contemporary society.

B.A. in Political Science:

Designed to expose you to the philosophical and practical problems of political organization, action, and governance.

2021-2022 Program Catalog

B.A. in International Relations:

Designed to analyze contemporary areas of global governance, including war, human rights, trade, terrorism, and many other issues.

2021-2022 Program Catalog

Minors in both Political Science and International Relations are also available.




Photo of McKendree's Entryway MonumentWhy McKendree?

McKendree University provides you with interactive learning opportunities through our small class sizes, experienced faculty, and unique internship experiences that move you beyond the classroom. We are committed to your success in the degree programs we offer, the internships and extracurricular activities that will set you apart, and the college experience you’ll get here. Just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Missouri, McKendree University is located in historic Lebanon, Illinois, and affords students a host of enriching cultural, career, and entertainment opportunities.



Program Highlights


  • Unique opportunities to conduct research with faculty members, present papers at national academic conferences, and gain real world experience through exciting internships.

  • Clubs like Model United Nations and the Public Affairs Forum enable you to meet others and enhance your resume.

  • Study Abroad program includes opportunities at over 80 universities around the world.



Photo of McKendree Seal MarkerEmployment Opportunities

Graduates in Political Science and International Relations have found employment in a wide array of career fields, including local, state, or national government, law, transnational government or non-governmental organizations, labor and industrial relations, city management and urban planning, political consulting and campaign management, social interest lobbying, and journalism.

Here are some examples:


Max Aviles (Class of 2017), a Pickering Award winner, M.S. in International Relations at the University of California-San Diego, works as a diplomat at the US State Deparatment.

Mesa Spotttedcorn (Class of 2017), double major in computer information systems, works on cyber security at the US State Department.

Meagan Musgrave (Class of 2011), M.S. in Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, works as a Payments Industry Relations Representative at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago.

Michael Collins (Class of 2007), M.A. in Security Studies at Texas A&M University, works as an Infrastructure Preparedness Specialist at the Argonne National Laboratory.

Kimberly Murphy (Class of 2013) works as a Network Specialist at the Department of Defense.


Gregory Mennerick (Class of 2006), J.D. at St. Louis University School of Law, is a Corporate Attorney at Thompson Coburn LLP.

Rebecca (Lindstrom) Wohltman (Class of 2009), J.D. at St. Louis University School of Law, is an Associate Attorney at Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd.

Erin Conner (Class of 2008), J.D. at St. Louis University School of Law, is an Assistant States Attorney for St. Clair County.

Reggie Cloyd (Class of 2012), J.D. at University of Illinois Law School, is an Associate Attorney at Tressler LLP.

Ian Reynolds (Class of 2013), J.D. at St. Louis University School of Law, is a Law Clerk at Emerson.

Non-Governmental Organizations

Lance Allen (Class of 2019), Senior Organizer, For Our Future.

Tony Mitchell (Class of 2010), J.D. in Health Law at St. Louis University, works as a Manager of Health Policy at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Shaun Randol (Class of 2003), M.A. in Security Studies at the New School, is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Mantle.

Samantha Leonard (Class of 2009), J.D. at the University of Wisconsin, is a Legal Research Adviser for the American Civil Liberties Union.


Paul Woodruff (Class of 2007), M.A. in Public Administration at St. Louis University, is Vice President of Community Development at St. Louis Community Credit Union.

Steven Loftus (Class of 2008), works as a Systems Engineer at Camber Corporation.

Darius Miller (Class of 2002), J.D. at St. Louis University School of Law, is a Vice President at Wells Fargo Advisers.


Aron Durant (Class of 2020), is an intelligence officer in the US Navy.

George Fust (Class of 2008), is a Military Intelligence Officer in the US Army and an Instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point.


Michael Butler (Class of 2016), is a marketing organizer at Cors Strategy.

Kent Strang (Class of 2005), is a Grassroots and Program Director at Americans for Prosperity, Illinois & Missouri.

Our majors have also attended graduate school at:

  • St. Louis University
  • Harvard University
  • University of Kansas
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of California-San Diego
  • Claremont Graduate School
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Texas A&M University
  • Monterrey School of International Studies

Our majors have attended law school at:

  • St. Louis University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Washington University
  • University of Illinois
  • Southern Illinois University




What Our Students & Alumni Are Saying


Quotation Graphic

Being a part of the Political Science program at McKendree prepared me for graduate work at Carnegie Mellon University, the top ten policy school, through a curriculum focused on political theory and government structure. The small class sizes and individual instruction from professors gave me the confidence to pursue my own research, which has resulted in the publication of two of my articles in academic journals.”

~ Meagan Musgrave '11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Quotation Graphic

My experience in McKendree’s International Relations program allowed me to explore a variety of interests while maintaining a common relationship to Political Science. The flexibility of the program and strong foundation of my McKendree education are largely responsible for my decision to pursue a graduate degree and career in International Relations.”

~ Whitney Baillie '11, Graduate Student at Syracuse University
after teaching English in Korea




Interesting Courses


  • United States Foreign Policy
  • Campaigns and Elections

  • Constitutional Law
  • International Law



Club Information / Honor Societies


  • Study Abroad - Learn more about how your trip of a lifetime is within reach!

  • Model United Nations - For more than 50 years, McKendree’s Model UN program has given students the chance to have fun and earn scholarship money at the same time. Participate as a delegate in college-level simulations and chair committees in our on-campus program for area high schools.

  • Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society)



Related Programs



Faculty Research


  • Dr. Ann Collins publishes research primarily on race riots. Her books include The Dawn Broke Hot and Somber and All Hell Broke Loose.

  • Dr. Brian Frederking publishes research primarily on the United Nations Security Council. His books include The Politics of Global Governance, The United States and the Security Council, and Resolving Security Dilemmas



Your Student Success Support Team





Key Faculty


Ann Collins

Ann Collins, Ph.D.

Piper Academic Center (PAC) 203
(618) 537-6897



Brian FrederkingBrian Frederking, Ph.D.

Piper Academic Center (PAC) 204
(618) 537-6913



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