What Does it Look Like to Study Political Science at Concordia?
The Political Science program at Concordia University Texas is a unique type of program for a unique type of student. Launched in 2012, the team of program creators sought to create a unique program that went to the heart of what it means to study politics in the 21st century.
Based on feedback from academia, government agencies and private industry, we asked a simple question: “If you could design a political science degree program for the modern era, what would it look like?” We got a plethora of feedback that led to the design of our current program. Some of the unique features include:
- A commitment to developing the student both in and out of the classroom. The degree program centers around a five competency approach: political processes, research, critical thought, leadership and political craft.
- A commitment to learning through experience. Students will have many opportunities to get involved in hands-on and group experiences where they can learn through service, competitions, travel and political activities. Due to the multitude of opportunities, there are few places that are better suited for the study of politics than Austin.
- Less emphasis on memorization and more emphasis on student development. Today's students can access more information on their phone than a large library would have contained 20 years ago. With this in mind, the political science program focuses on teaching students how to find and manage information, not just memorize and recall it.
- A commitment to relevance and utility. Students are taught concepts that are fundamental to the discipline with an assurance that the information has value and can apply to real-world issues.
- A commitment to developing Christian leaders. In pursuit of Concordia's mission, the program seeks to help students navigate a secular world while retaining their Christian ideals, worldview and justice.
- Rigorous curriculum. Concordia's Political Science degree is not for everyone. Students are required to complete a number of activities outside the classroom, read and analyze considerable amounts of texts, data and information and successfully propose, research and defend a thesis.
The main objectives of this program are to:
- Provide the mastery and literacy required for professional political, academic and/or legal practitioners
- Significantly enhance students' awareness of global, national and local challenges
- Foster a basis of Christian ethics, leadership and justice to accompany students' roles as engaged and active citizens
Curriculum Overview for Political Science Bachelor of Arts Degree
The BA in Political Science from Concordia University Texas will prepare graduates to be professionally literate in the fields of law, politics, research, leadership and analytical reasoning. In this degree, there are 43 hours of required coursework which includes political science, economics, and behavioral sciences courses, a thesis, methods and at least three semesters of practicum and/or service experience. These competencies will be evaluated and assessed on a per-course basis with in a fashion that has been both vetted and approved by various institutional stakeholders.
Here are some highlighted courses:
Political Science Mock Practicum: Provides students with an opportunity to experience mock governance in a competitive environment. Students will select a mock governance program and fully engage in the required level of preparation and participation. Acceptable mock governance programs include, but are not limited to the following: Model United Nations, moot court, competitive mediation, Model Organization of American States (MOAS) or mock trial competition.
Environmental Policy: Provides an in-depth examination of the politics surrounding conservation and environmentalism. While the specific topics and concepts for this class will evolve, the class will focus on issues pertaining to global warming, land and resource management, land and resource conservation, sustainable agriculture, population, sustainable development and global and national environmental regulations.
There is no greater benefit than the real-world experience we require our students to obtain. There are several ways these experiences are gained.
- Internships. We encourage our students to get out in the community to learn while actually getting their hands dirty. This not only gives the students a practical knowledge-base in politics - it also allows the opportunity to network with professionals in the field. With a multitude of internship opportunities in the program tailored to fit the student's career aspirations, we have placed students in law and legislative offices across Austin.
- ESMOAS and Moot Court. Concordia has been an active participant in the Eugene Scassa Mock Organization of American States (ESMOAS) and moot court competitions since 2011. ESMOAS is a model diplomacy competition with universities from all over the southwest.
“I have directly used skills and knowledge gleaned from classes at Concordia in internships
at both the Texas Capitol and Texas Public Policy Foundation. I am also a College
Student Commissioner for the City of Austin and Texas Civic Ambassador, which fulfills
my more community-minded side.”
- Krista Gehlhausen
- Legislative staff members
- Agency heads
- Social Scientists
Why study Political Science?
Studying political science opens up career possibilities in the public, private and nonprofit private sectors. Students interested in business, education, law, journalism, communications or government can use their Political Science degree to become better candidates for jobs in these fields.
What do students study after getting their BA in Political Science?
Political Science is the perfect platform for pursuing a graduate degree in Law, Liberal Arts, Ministry or Social Science.
What makes studying Political Science at Concordia University different than studying it at another institution?
At Concordia, we use the Four Competency Approach. This means that the degree has four main competency areas that will be satisfied as the student matriculates through the program. The four competency areas are: political processes, analytical thinking and social empathy, leadership and political craft and research and writing.