B.A. in Constitutional Democracy

The B.A. in Constitutional Democracy not only engages undergrads in the College of Arts & Science in a close, interdisciplinary examination of the ideas and events that are central to understanding the founding of the United States but also provides students with an opportunity to trace the reverberation of these ideas and events over time and around the globe. How and why have the philosophical ambitions and historical practice of constitutional democracy changed over time in the U.S.? What are the institutions and who are the figures that have been most responsible for driving this change? How, over the course of its history, has U.S. constitutional democracy influenced—and been influenced by—foreign nations? These are just some of the many questions that students can explore through the major, which consists of required common curriculum courses and concentrated upper-level electives in Constitutional Democracy, History, Black Studies, Philosophy, Public Affairs, Economics, and more.

Any student interested in pursuing or adding a major in Constitutional Democracy should B.A. academic advisor Dr. Thomas Kane, KaneTC@missouri.edu.

Degree Plan

There are four primary components of the Constitutional Democracy B.A., which requires 36 total hours of coursework in the College of Arts & Science at a C- grade or higher.

I. 15 hours of common curriculum coursework on the origins of the United States

II. 15 hours of upper-level coursework in one of four concentration areas: U.S. & the World, Politics & Policy, Law & Institutions, and Social & Political Thought

III. 3 hours of experiential coursework

IV. 3 hours of thesis or capstone coursework

A degree worksheet for the B.A. and list of Spring 2021 courses that apply to the major can be accessed using the links below.

A current draft of the full catalog of common curriculum and concentration area courses that apply to the B.A. can be found here.

Common Curriculum Courses

Adapted from the Kinder Institute’s Constitutionalism & Democracy course series, the major’s common curriculum, which consists of the five classes below, allows students to explore the origins of the United States, from the philosophers that the founding generation were reading when they were contemplating the design and ambitions of the new nation’s government to the first rocky decades of the American republic.

CNST DEM 2450: Intellectual World of the American Founders (also POL SC 2450)
CNST DEM 2100: Revolutionary Transformation of Early America (also HIST 2100)
CNST DEM 2455: Constitutional Debates (also POL SC 2455)
CNST DEM 2120: Young Republic (also HIST 2120)
CNST DEM 4400: History of American Law (also HIST 4400)

Descriptions of the five common curriculum courses can be found here, in the B.A. in Constitutional Democracy course catalog.

Concentration Area 1 Elective Courses: U.S. & the World

BL_STU 2904: Black Studies in Slavery & Freedom
BL_STU 3804: Resistance in the Black Atlantic
BL_STU 4904: Historical & Contemporary Slavery
HIST 2150: The American Civil War, a Global History
HIST 2520: Europe in the 19th Century
HIST 2570: The First World War & Its Aftermath
HIST 2820: Taiwan, the First Chinese Democracy
HIST 3485: U.S. & the Middle East
HIST 3870: Social Revolution in Latin America
HIST 4070: Indians & Europeans in Early America
HIST 4075: Global History at Oxford
HIST 4620: Modern England
HIST 4650: The French Revolution & Empire
HIST 4660: Gender, War, & Migration
HIST 4680: Germany in the 20th Century
HIST 4800: Modern China & Japan
HIST 4821: Constitutionalism in the Americas
HIST 4880: Chinese Migration
POL_SC 4435: Nationalism & Democracy
POL_SC 4440: International Organizations
POL_SC 4540: American Foreign Policies
POL_SC 4700: America’s Wars in Asia
POL_SC 4750: Power & Money
POL_SC 4780: Dictatorship & Democracy

Descriptions of the U.S. & the World Concentration Area Electives can be found here, in the B.A. in Constitutional Democracy course catalog.

Concentration Area 2 Elective Courses: Politics & Policy

BL_STU 4303: Race, Class, Gender, & U.S. Social Policy
HIST 2210: 20th Century America
HIST 2440: Missouri History
HIST 3200: Black Freedom Movement
HIST 3220: U.S. Women’s Political History
HIST 4235: The Wire: Race, Urban Inequality, & the “Crisis” of the American City
HIST 4270: African Americans in the 20th Century
HIST 4280: America in the Reagan Years
HIST 4430: The Great West in American History
HIST 4445: American Political Economy
POL_SC 2250: Missouri Politics
POL_SC 2500: Science of Politics
POL_SC 4140: Congress & Legislative Policy
POL_SC 4320: Public Policy
POL_SC 4370: The Administrative State, Public Policy, & Constitutional Democracy
POL_SC 4390: U.S. Health Politics & Policy
POL_SC 4550: Environmental Conflict
POL_SC 4750: Power & Money

Descriptions of the Politics & Policy Concentration Area Electives can be found here, in the B.A. in Constitutional Democracy course catalog.

Concentration Area 3 Elective Courses: Law & Institutions

CNST_DEM 2445: American Constitutional Democracy
ECONOM 3367: Law & Economics
HIST 4821: Constitutionalism in the Americas
PHIL 4610: Philosophy of Law
POL_SC 2200: Judicial Process
POL_SC 2410: Politics of International Law
POL_SC 4140: Congress & Legislative Policy
POL_SC 4141: History of American Legilsatures
POL_SC 4150: The American Presidency
POL_SC 4190: Elections & Democracy in the U.S.
POL_SC 4200: The American Constitution
POL_SC 4210: Constitutional Rights
POL_SC 4220: The Supreme Court
POL_SC 4370: The Administrative State, Public Policy, & Constitutional Democracy
POL_SC 4380: Politics of Criminal Justice
POL_SC 4440: International Organizations
WGST 3260: Themes in Gender, Law, & Justice

Descriptions of the Law & Institutions Concentration Area Electives can be found here, in the B.A. in Constitutional Democracy course catalog.

Concentration Area 4 Elective Courses: Social & Political Thought

AMS 4800: Political Thought in Classical & Christian Antiquity
BL_STU 2804: Black Political Thought
CNST_DEM 2425: Race & the American Story
ECONOM 4320: History of Economic Thought
HIST 3560: Scientific Revolution
HIST 4580: Intellectual History of Europe
PHIL 4600: Political & Social Philosophy
PHIL 4610: Philosophy of Law
PHIL 4620: Marxism
POL_SC 2800: Liberty, Justice, & the Common Good
POL_SC 2860: American Political Thought
POL_SC 4810: Modern Political Thought
POL_SC 4820: Contemporary Political Thought
POL_SC 4830: Democracy in America & Elsewhere

Descriptions of the Social & Political Thought Concentration Area Electives can be found here, in the B.A. in Constitutional Democracy course catalog.

Experiential Learning Requirement

We want to be broad and creative in our thinking about experiential learning, and students in the Constitutional Democracy major can fulfill this requirement in a number of ways, not only through internships through which they can pursue professional interests, but also through study abroad, research assistantships, directed research programs, and more.

The following courses can be applied toward the Kinder Institute’s experiential requirement, though students can petition the B.A.’s director, Prof. Justin Dyer (DyerJB@missouri.edu), to have other courses count.

CNST DEM 2004: Constitutional Litigation
CNST DEM 4075: Global History at Oxford
CNST DEM 4840: Developing Dynamics of Democracy
CNST DEM 4900: Beltway History & Politics
CNST DEM 4975: Journal on Constitutional Democracy
HIST 4940: Internship in History
POL SC 4940: Internship in Political Science
SRV LRN 3028: Civic Leaders Internship

Note that students cannot use a single course to fulfill both a concentration area and experiential learning requirement and that all non-CNST DEM experiential coursework must be approved by the Constitutional Democracy Academic Advisor prior to students’ receiving major credit for it.

Thesis and Capstone Coursework

Students in the major can fulfill the thesis/capstone requirement by applying at the end of their sixth semester on campus to take CNST DEM 4996, the Kinder Institute’s yearlong thesis writing workshop, through which students will work independently with a thesis advisor to complete a scholarly work of at least 50 pages and also attend weekly seminars on the writing process or peer review workshops.

Students can also fulfill the thesis requirement by taking an additional 4000-/7000-level seminar in their concentration area and fulfilling the graduate writing requirement for the course.

M.A. in Atlantic History & Politics

Students who complete all concentration area requirements prior to the end of their undergraduate career at Mizzou can begin taking coursework for the Kinder Institute’s M.A. in Atlantic History & Politics, a one-year, interdisciplinary Master’s program in the College of Arts & Science that begins with in July, with a month spent studying at University of Oxford, and continues in Columbia during the fall and spring semesters.