Political science is the study of politics, government, and public policy at the local, state, national, and international levels. It is concerned with the struggle for power and the exercise of power in public institutions. Political science seeks to reveal the patterns of behavior associated with politics, to explain the functioning of political and governmental institutions, to appraise alternative public policies, and to assess government’s role in society.
The purpose of the political science program is to provide instruction for all university students in the basics of United States and Texas government; to contribute to the development of university students through study of the ideas and practice of politics; and to prepare political science majors for careers in many fields and graduate study. The program also offers a limited number of graduate courses for students selecting political science in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program, and as electives in the Master of Public Administration program.
The major in political science provides a proper background for a variety of diverse careers. Several career tracks are provided that can guide and prepare students for the job market. The career tracks are:
Public Administration/Policy: This track is designed to provide the political science major with a foundation for a career in government.
Pre-Law: This track is designed for students who wish to enter law school.
Professional Political Science: Students wishing to become campaign professionals and consultants are encouraged to pursue this track.
Comparative/International: Students interested in pursuing a career in the international arena of politics or business are encouraged to follow this career track.
Academic: The academic track is designed for students wishing to pursue advanced degrees in political science.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate an understanding of the definitions, concepts and theories of political science;
- Demonstrate the ability to engage in directed research, write effectively, and interpret and analyze empirical political data;
- Demonstrate advanced knowledge in one of the major areas of political science: American institutions, American political behavior, international/comparative politics, and political theory;
- Translate these skills to a professional or graduate program or to careers related to politics.
Major in Political Science
To earn a major in political science a student must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of political science courses beyond the requirements of the Core Curriculum Program. Political science majors are required to take MATH 1442 to satisfy the Mathematics Core Curriculum Program requirement. Students who did not take MATH 1442 to satisfy the core Math requirement will be required to do so to fulfill the requirement for majors. Students must take POLS 3303 and POLS 4303 . Students will take POLS 4303 during their senior year.