Political Science

The Political Science Program at Texas A&M University-Texarkana emphasizes student engagement and success by providing academic excellence, a mixture of face-to-face and online classes, and assistance with career planning and placement.  Our semester internship program places qualified students with local, state, and federal government administrators, elected officials, and judges.  Our faculty and curriculum reflect the various substantive and methodological orientations within the discipline, providing courses in American (U.S.) Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and Public Administration.

Political Science involves the study of political institutions, behavior, and theory in order to gain a deeper understanding of citizenship, resource distribution, and power.  It is a discipline distinguished by its relevance to the modern world.  Political Science develops students’ critical thinking and communication skills, and prepares them for careers in public administration, law, teaching, politics, elections, and research.

Degree Requirements

Students should refer to their DegreeWorks degree audit in their Web for Students account for more information regarding their degree requirements.

Major Requirements
General Education Requirements42
GOVT 2301American Government I: Federal & Texas Constitutions 13
GOVT 2302American Government II: Federal & Texas Political Behavior 13
Select 9 semester credit hours from:9
Introduction to Political Documentaries
Active Citizen Engagement
Public Opinion
Politics and Gender
Political Behavior
Politics and Religion
Political Parties and Elections
Violent Politics
Cyber-crime, Cyber-terror, and Hacktivism
Select 9 semester credit hours from:9
Washington DC Civic Engagement Field Study
Introduction to Public Administration and Leadership
Intergovernmental Politics
Comparative Political Conflict
Disputes in International Relations
Congress
The Executive
Political Science Internship
Select 9 semester credit hours from:9
Introduction to Political Theory
Introduction to Political Ideologies
Introduction to Constitutional Law
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Introduction to International Relations
Methods of Political Science Research
American Political Theory
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Public Law
Upper Division Political Science Electives3
A grade of 'C' or higher is required on all Political Science Major courses.
Minor Requirements
Minimum 18 semester credit hours18
Electives (as needed to satisfy degree requirements including 48 semester credit hours of upper division course work) 2
Minimum Hours for Degree120
1

Satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement.

2

A minimum of 48 upper division hours (300 and 400 level courses) are required for this degree, including courses in the major, minor, and electives.  Resident credit totaling 25% of the hours is required for the degree.  A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in three areas of graduation: Overall GPA, Institutional GPA, and Major GPA.

Political Science Minor

GOVT 2301American Government I: Federal & Texas Constitutions3
GOVT 2302American Government II: Federal & Texas Political Behavior3
Upper-division Political Science Electives12
Total Hours18

Undergraduate Courses in Political Science

PSCI 300. Introduction to Political Theory. 3 Hours.

This course is an introduction to the history of Western political theory that surveys the work of major political thinkers from ancient Greece to the present. Along with introducing students to the classic literature of political thought, the course provides a vehicle for understanding political concepts such as justice, power, liberty, and equality.

PSCI 305. Introduction to Political Ideologies. 3 Hours.

This course is an introductory survey of selected ideologies. Topics may include liberalism, classical Marxism, communism, fascism, democratic socialism, conservatism, authoritarianism, African-American political thought, and gender ideologies. Ideologies' assumptions, justifications, and implications for political life will also be discussed.

PSCI 310. Introduction to Political Documentaries. 3 Hours.

This course provides an introduction to political documentaries. These research-based films address citizenship and power. Students will review and analyze political documentary films.

PSCI 315. Washington DC Civic Engagement Field Study. 3 Hours.

This course explores civic engagement and public service in the United States through visits in Washington DC to national civic organizations and representative institutions, and meetings with national elected public officials and civic organization leaders.

PSCI 320. Introduction to Constitutional Law. 3 Hours.

This introductory course provides an overview of civil society and constitutional law in United States. The course will cover the founding, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, as well as the development of law in areas such as speech, press, religion, privacy, search and seizure, and punishment.

PSCI 331. Introduction to Public Administration and Leadership. 3 Hours.

This course introduces and assesses public administration concepts and scholarship.

PSCI 340. Introduction to Comparative Politics. 3 Hours.

This course familiarizes students with the field of comparative politics, its key concepts and major theoretical approaches. The bulk of the course is a broad introduction to the major types of political systems in the modern world, including advanced industrial democracies of the West, transitional systems of Communist and post-Communist countries, and economically less developed nations.

PSCI 350. Introduction to International Relations. 3 Hours.

An examination of changes in the nature of the international community from the Treaty of Westphalia to the present, this course emphasizes the forces that produce cooperation and conflict among nations.

PSCI 390. Active Citizen Engagement. 3 Hours.

This course provides a foundation for students to develop their civic participation skills by learning how to successfully improve society through the governmental process and working together to address existing political or social problems.

PSCI 395. Methods of Political Science Research. 3 Hours.

This course is an introduction to the discipline of political science, including an examination of the development of political science and the methods and approaches used by contemporary political scientists to describe, explain, predict, and evaluate political phenomena.

PSCI 410. American Political Theory. 3 Hours.

This course provides an analysis of American political thought from colonial times to the present.

PSCI 426. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. 3 Hours.

This course contributes to the student's understanding of U.S. citizens' constitutional civil rights and civil liberties.

PSCI 427. Public Law. 3 Hours.

This course addresses and evaluates the establishment, justification, and development of U.S. constitutional law.

PSCI 428. Intergovernmental Politics. 3 Hours.

This course addresses how the different levels of government (federal, state, and local) interact and accomplish practical goals, and how people participate in our intergovernmental political system.

PSCI 440. Comparative Political Conflict. 3 Hours.

This course examines political conflicts worldwide; focusing mainly upon contemporary issues, the course also explores the history and development of conflict and its scientific study. It is recommended PSCI 340 and PSCI 395 be taken before enrolling in this course. Prerequisite: None.

PSCI 442. Disputes in International Relations. 3 Hours.

This course examines modern issues in International Relations focusing on nation/state disputes, their origins, resolution processes, and theoretical methodologies explaining them. This course is reading and writing intensive; therefore, students must have college-level competency in written and spoken English, and PSCI 350 is recommended. Prerequisite: None.

PSCI 445. Public Opinion. 3 Hours.

This course is an accounting of the role of public opinion in the democratic politics of the United States.

PSCI 450. Politics and Gender. 3 Hours.

This course is meant to acquaint students with the core concepts, processes, and issues of politics and gender. The first portion of the course explores essential concepts: the actors, how gender politics are made, and the distribution of political power. The remaining sections of the course examine contemporary and future issues in the politics of gender. This is not a course in current events, although some reference will be made to current events in discussing the theories and topics covered in the course.

PSCI 455. Political Behavior. 3 Hours.

This course examines key aspects of American electoral politics and democracy.

PSCI 456. Politics and Religion. 3 Hours.

This is an introduction to a hotly debated topic in many political systems: the interaction between religion and politics. During the course, the student will examine the attempts by religious groups, movements, and interests to influence politics through agenda setting, lobbying, demonstrations, and electoral activities.

PSCI 460. Political Parties and Elections. 3 Hours.

This course provides a comprehensive review of American political parties and elections. Students will examine the historical development and contemporary nature of the major political parties. Exploration of the presidential election system will cover the different phases of the process, influences of money, the media, third parties, and possible reforms.

PSCI 464. Congress. 3 Hours.

This course provides an examination of the U.S. Congress. Areas of consideration will include the development of the legislative branch, congressional elections, representation, legislative structures and processes, leadership, and the making of public policy.

PSCI 465. The Executive. 3 Hours.

This course is a review of the executive branch of the United States, including the historical development, primary responsibilities, and decision making processes of the office, as well as contemporary relationships with the public, Congress, and policy making and implementation.

PSCI 480. Violent Politics. 3 Hours.

This course is an examination of historic and current trends in violent civil disruption from domestic and international sources.

PSCI 481. Cyber-crime, Cyber-terror, and Hacktivism. 3 Hours.

This course will provide the student with an overview of how digital crime and digital terrorism are framed within the network of our society. Our society has become so dependent of the virtual world that it has lent itself to be both the target and gateway for criminals, terrorists, and pranksters. The course will give the student an empirical examination into the politics on all sides of these issues.

PSCI 489. Individual Study. 3 Hours.

This course provides individual instruction. Students may repeat the course when topics vary.

PSCI 490. Political Science Internship. 3-6 Hours.

The political science internship course is designed to offer students an opportunity to work in the offices of local, state, or federal governments. Students will learn the kinds of services provided by the offices, expectations the electorate has of their public officials, and activities that occur in these offices. Students will be engaged in meaningful assignments that contribute to their understanding of democratic government. Prerequisite: To qualify for the internship program, a student must have a grade point average of 2.75 or higher, be currently enrolled in a degree program at A&M-Texarkana, and complete the internship application process. The student also needs to have successfully completed PSCI 320, PSCI 331, PSCI 426, PSCI 427, or PSCI 428.

PSCI 497. Special Topics. 3 Hours.

Instructors will provide an organized class designed to cover areas of specific interest. Students may repeat the course when topics vary.

Faculty

Dr. Gary Bugh

Associate Professor

Email: gary.bugh@tamut.edu

Dr. Walter T. Casey II

Associate Professor

Email: walter.casey@tamut.edu