The Department of Political Science offers courses in Political Science (POLS) and Public Affairs (PA), as well as three undergraduate degrees, the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Public Affairs, and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The Department also offers two graduate degrees, the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) and the Online Executive Master of Public Administration (e M.P.A.) (for information on the MPA refer to the Graduate School Bulletin). In addition to these programs, the department offers six (6) semester credit hours of American and Texas government that are required of all students by the University. Offices of faculty members are located on the fourth floor of the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs Building.
The mission of the department is essentially twofold: (1) to develop general competencies in students that will allow them to continue their education in either graduate or professional schools upon completion of their undergraduate studies; and (2) to prepare students for entry-level professional public service positions. Three objectives are prominent in the realization of this mission: (1) to provide students with essential knowledge and understanding of the dynamics related to the Texas, national, and international political systems and their relationships to these systems; (2) to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the American political system; and (3) to develop problem solving skills and competencies in students that will translate to various work settings.
- To provide students with essential knowledge and understanding of the dynamics related to the State of Texas, national, and international political systems and their relationships to these systems.
- To provide students with an in depth understanding of the American political system.
- To develop problem solving skills and competencies in students that will translate to various work settings.
The Political Science program is designed to prepare students for entry-level professional public service positions; including the areas of law, business, journalism, politics, political consulting, public policy analysis, international affairs and education. Graduates learn how to evaluate individual and group behavior in political systems. Public service opportunities (local / state / federal) are also a focus for career opportunities. The program also prepares students for graduate work leading to research, teaching and administration on all levels of education. The training can also lead to other non-traditional career avenues including campaign staff, advocacy initiatives, issues analyst, and foundation / non-profit engagement.
The Department of Political Science has an extraordinary faculty with a wide range of research and teaching interests. They are committed, not only to advancing the understanding of political processes, and to helping the students prepare to engage those processes, but also to expanding the realm of democratic politics through research, teaching and service to the community.