POLITICAL SCIENCE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:

GOV/POLS 1303 - American Government & Citizenship: This course encourages students to think about their government with insightful analysis while affirming fundamental concepts. The class will cover the following issues: the U.S. and Texas Constitutions, federalism, civil rights, civil liberties, public policy, media literacy, and political institutions.

POLS 2115- Government Internship: Provides students with an opportunity to experience the working environment of a government agency, political campaign, legislature, or law office. Internships for credit can only be counted towards the political science degree requirements a maximum of three times and require the permission and supervision of the political science director of major. (May be repeated.)

POLS 2301 Public Policy: An introduction to the discipline of policy analysis. Explores who is responsible for making public policies, how choices are made, what kinds of tools are at the disposal of policy makers, and how their effectiveness can be enhanced. Also explores the various models of policy analysis. Theories and concepts illustrated by investigating current policy efforts in areas such as health, civil rights, poverty and welfare, education, defense and tax policy.

POLS 2302 Introduction to Law: Provides a foundational examination of the law and American jurisprudence. Specifically, this course will examine the following areas of the law: torts, family law, property, criminal law, contracts, wills and estates, and legal research.  

*POLS  2305 Texas State & Local Government: This process oriented class will focus on state and local governments with an emphasis on Texas. Specifically, this class will utilize field experiences to provide insight into political processes and issue advocacy. 

POLS 2116- 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. Political Science students can only count this course for credit three times and only once in a semester. (May be repeated.)

*POLS 2331- Principles of Political Science: Provides a thorough examination of political science as a discipline. The course will focus on providing students the basic structures of general government processes and social science research. Specifically, students will focus on the Political Science sub-disciplines of political process, political theory, international politics, political economy, comparative politics, political culture, political socialization, law, public policy, public administration and political science research methodology. 

POLS 3003- Readings in Political Science: Students will work with a faculty member to select a range of required reading materials pertaining a mutually agreed upon topic. Students will receive credit upon the complete reading of the selected materials, submission of a book review, and discussion of those readings with the supervising faculty member. This class can only be counted towards the political science degree once. (May not be repeated.)

*POLS 3301- 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.   

POLS 3302- American Constitutional Law: Provides an in-depth examination of the United States Constitution and the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Specifically, this course will examine Constitutional interpretation and how it has shaped American political culture.  This course will focus heavily on the historical, political, and analytical aspects associated with stare decisis, jurisprudence, and judicial interpretation in the United States. 

POLS 3304- Special Topics in Political Science: Various course concepts and themes will be offered in the area of political science and social justice. (May be repeated for credit when topics vary.)

*POLS 3332- American Political Institutions & Processes: Provides a thorough examination of American political institutions, processes and behavior. Specifically, this class will provide an in-depth analysis of the presidency, bureaucracy, Congress, the Supreme Court, state legislatures, elections, pressure groups, and political parties.

POLS  3333- International Relations & Comparative Politics: The focus of this course is the examination of the geopolitical realities of the modern world. Students will be introduced to a variety of global governance instruments as well as an appreciation of international diplomacy and legitimacy. Students will examine a variety of topics including the environment, global governance systems, nationalism, hard and soft power, globalization, immigration, poverty, human rights, and the effective use of diplomacy.

*POLS 3334- Political Philosophies and Ideologies: Provides an in-depth examination of the philosophical, ideological, and theoretical foundations of modern politics. This course will focus on a variety of social and political thinkers including Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, Montesquieu, John Stuart Mill, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, and Ayn Rand.

*POLS 4136- Political Science Undergraduate Thesis: Students will work with a faculty member to select an original research topic. Students will propose, research, write and defend a publication-grade research paper. Students must complete the Political Science Leadership Capstone prior to enrolling in this particular course.  (May be repeated.)

*POLS 4335-Political Science Leadership Capstone: This course is intended for upper-level students who are nearing completion of their degree. For this particular course, students will be expected to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in basic fundamental Political Science concepts, understand and articulate research goals through a thesis proposal, learn about leadership from select community change agents, and apply their accumulated knowledge and skill set to solving a designated community problem. As a prerequisite, this course requires at least 12 Hrs. of political science courses beyond POLS 1303 as well as successful completion of SOC 2341 and SOC 3491.