Department of Political Science

BA in Political Science | BS in Political Science | Minor in Political Science |
Minor in Legal Studies | Course Descriptions


 

Chair:   Rhonda L. Callaway     (936) 294-4108 

FacultyRobert Biles, Robin Bittick, Rhonda Callaway, William Carroll, James Carter, John Domino, Laren Edwards, Jason Enia, Heather Evans, Masoud Kazemzadeh, Jeongwoo Kim, Corliss Lentz, Mitzi Mahoney, Stacy Ulbig, Tamara Waggener, Mike Yawn

SecretaryEvelyn McDaniel        (936) 294-4571

Information:  polsci@shsu.edu      (936) 294-1457

On Campus: Building CHSS, Rm. 490

Mail: P.O. Box 2149, Huntsville, TX 77341-2149

Website: www.shsu.edu/~pol_www/

Political Science is an exciting discipline, mixing the drama of politics with the development of analytical and communication skills. Students examine elections and campaigns; the causes and impact of war; the creation, implementation, and adjudication of law; and the interplay among government, business, and non-profit sectors. The discipline prepares students to compete in a changing global economy, helping them land jobs in the fields law, government, non-profit, and business.

Mission

The mission of the Political Science Department is to provide students with theoretical knowledge and understanding of core concepts and principles in Political Science while helping students develop practical experience and skills that are necessary for the marketplace. Within that context, the department focuses on programs and courses that emphasize civic engagement, public service, and citizenship and ethics at the local, national, and global levels.

To carry out this mission, the Political Science faculty endeavor to:

  • Develop students’ analytical, writing, speaking, interpersonal, and professional skills
  • Prepare students for professional careers in the 21st century
  • Build students’ citizenship skills, knowledge, and activism
  • Help students understand human beings in their diversity and appreciate democratic values
  • Expand the frontiers of knowledge in Political Science and public and nonprofit administration
  • Contribute to a better community within the university and the society.

Academic Programs

The department offers courses in five areas: American government and politics, international relations and foreign policy, comparative politics, public administration, and political theory and methodology.

Highlights

Political Science faculty members bring unique backgrounds to the classroom. They have strong academic and real-world credentials, with doctorates from top schools and practical experience in government and politics. Visiting professors have included a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a former member of Congress, and judges from the Texas Supreme Court.

Suggested Minors

The Legal Studies minor is offered through the Political Science department and is designed to help prepare students for law school or legal-related occupations.

Beyond considering Legal Studies as a minor, students should select a minor that suits their interests and career needs. Common minors include Agriculture, American Studies, Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, English, Environmental Science, General Business, Geography, History, Legal Studies, Mass Communication (Journalism), Middle Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish (or other foreign language), and Statistics.

Career Opportunities

The Political Science curriculum lays the foundation for numerous exciting careers. By developing students’ critical thinking, writing, and awareness of public problems, students graduate well prepared for jobs in business, government, non-profits, or teaching. Recent graduates currently work as lawyers, judges, elected officials, business leaders, teachers, talk-show hosts, and in many other fields.

Political Science also helps prepare students for graduate school or law school. Recent graduates have matriculated at top graduate schools across the country in political science, campaign management, and public administration, and SHSU is one of the top seven percent of national Universities in producing law-school students.

Student Organizations and Activities

The Political Science department promotes student activities, involving students in hundreds of events annually. The Political Science Junior Fellows are recognized nationally, serving as departmental ambassadors, contracting with local government agencies, engaging in hundreds of public service hours, and leading field trips across the United States. The department also recognizes students with membership in Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science honor society, and our students regularly hold leadership positions in the Student Government Association, campus party organizations, the NAACP.

Internships

Advanced students are encouraged to gain professional experience, make contacts, and explore career options through the department’s successful internship program. Recently, students have interned in city and county governments, the state legislature, the U.S. Congress, nonprofit groups, both major political parties, and numerous law offices.

Scholarships

In addition to the University’s student financial aid programs, the Department of Political Science also offers scholarships to majors and minors. For information, contact the department secretary. Information on University scholarships may be obtained from the Office of Academic Scholarships website at http://www.shsu.edu/~fao_www/scholarships/index.html or telephone (936) 294-1672.

Curriculum

Bachelor of Arts
Major in Political Science

Degree Requirements:

 3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Bachelor of Arts - Major in Political Science

SHSU Course Number

Hours

Recommended Sequence

Core Curriculum

 

 

Component Area I (Communication)

6

 

Component Area II (Mathematics)

3

 

Component Area III (Natural Sciences)

8

 

Component Area IV (Humanities/Visual/Performing Arts)*

9

 

Component Area V (Social/Behavioral Sciences)*

15

 

Component Area VI (Institutionally Designated Option)

1

 

Degree Specific Requirements

 

 

Foreign Language first two courses

6-8

Freshman

Foreign Language second two courses

6

Sophomore

Fine Arts*

3

 

Major Foundation

 

 

Communication/Theatre

3

 

Computer Science

3

 

Major Core

 

 

POL 374 <POLS 3374>

6

 

POL 377 <POLS 3377>, POL 378 <POLS 3378>, POL 380 <POLS 3380>

3

 

POL 361 <POLS 3361>; POL 365 <POLS 3365>; POL 368 <POLS 3368>; POL 369 <POLS 3369>; POL 370 <POLS 3370>; POL 375 <POLS 3375>; POL 380 <POLS 3380>, POL 381 <POLS 3381>; POL 385 <POLS 3385>; POL 386 <POLS 3386>; POL 387 <POLS 3387>; POL 482 <POLS 4382>; or POL 483 <POLS 4383>

3

 

POL 334 <POLS 3334>; POL 336 <POLS 3336>; POL 337 <POLS 3337>; POL 360 <POLS 3360>; POL 364 <POLS 3364>; POL 434 <POLS 4334>; POL 435 <POLS 4335>; POL 472 <POLS 4372>
3
 
Major

 

 

Political Science electives

9

 

Any Approved Minor

18

 

Electives

19

 

Total Hours:

124

 

Notes: *Take PHL <PHIL> in one of the marked areas.    

Bachelor of Science
Major in Political Science

Degree Requirements:

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Bachelor of Science - Major in Political Science

SHSU Course Number

Hours

Recommended Sequence

Core Curriculum

 

 

Component Area I (Communication)

6

 

Component Area II (Mathematics)

3

 

Component Area III (Natural Sciences)

8

 

Component Area IV (Humanities/Visual/Performing Arts)*

9

 

Component Area V (Social/Behavioral Sciences)*

15

 

Component Area VI (Institutionally Designated Option)

1

 

Degree Specific Requirements

 

 

Natural Sciences

8

 

Math or Natural Science

3

 

Math or PHL 262 <PHIL 2303> or PHL 362 <PHIL 3362>

3

 

Major Foundation

 

 

Communication/Theatre

3

 

Computer Science

3

 

Major Core

 

 

POL 374 <POLS 3374> and POL 379 <POLS 3379>

6

 

POL 377 <POLS 3377>; POL 378 <POLS 3378>; POL 380 <POLS 3380>

3

 

POL 361 <POLS 3361>; POL 365 <POLS 3365>; POL 368 <POLS 3368>; POL 369 <POLS 3369>; POL 370 <POLS 3370>; POL 375 <POLS 3375>; POL 376 <POLS 3376>; POL 380 <POLS 3380>, POL 381 <POLS 3381; POL 385 <POLS 3385>; POL 386 <POLS 3386>; POL 387 <POLS 3387>; POL 482 <POLS 4382>; or POL 483 <POLS 4383>

3

 

POL 334 <POLS 3334>; POL 336 <POLS 3336>; POL 337 <POLS 3337>; POL 360 <POLS 3360>; POL 364 <POLS 3364>; POL 434 <POLS 4334>; POL 435 <POLS 4335>; POL 472 <POLS 4372>
3
 
Major

 

 

Political Science electives

15

 

Any Approved Minor

18-21

 

Electives

4-7

 

Total Hours:

123

 

Notes:
* May not satisfy both the theory and comparative/international relations requirement at the same time.

Minor in Political Science

Minors in Political Science must complete 18 hours in Political Science, including POL 261 <POLS 2301>. At least 6 hours must be advanced and taken in residence. No grade below C in Political Science will count toward this minor.

Minor in Legal Studies

Minors in Legal Studies must complete 18 semester credit hours of required courses and electives. In keeping with the intent of a minor to broaden the student’s background knowledge, none of the courses taken by Legal Studies minors may be used to satisfy the requirement of any other major or minor. Every student enrolling in the Legal Studies Minor will be required to take Constitutional Law I (POL 434 <POLS 4334>) and Constitutional Law II (POL 435 <POLS 4335>). In addition, minors have two categories of electives where they must choose one Law-Related Skills Course (COM 382 <COMS 3382>, ENG 377 <ENGL 3377>, PHL 362 <PHIL 3362>, or PHL 262 <PHIL 2303>) which, with the exception of COMS 3382, must be writing enhanced.  Students must also take three courses pertaining to Substantive Legal Content. Students may only take one course from a single department and two of the three courses must be writing enhanced. The student may choose courses from Criminal Justice (CJ 430 <CRIJ 4330>, CJ 432 <CRIJ 4332>, CJ 480 <CRIJ 4380>, CJ 361 <CRIJ 3361>, CJ 362 <CRIJ 3362>), General Business (GBA 362 <BUAD 3355>, GBA 385 <BUAD 3365>, GBA 363 <BUAD 3360>, GBA 465 <BUAD 4340>), Mass Communications (MCM 471 <MCOM 4371>), Political Science (POL 334 <POLS 3334>, POL 338 <POLS 3338>, POL 395 <POLS 3395>), Psychology (PSY 383 <PSYC 3383>), and Sociology (SOC 333 <SOCI 3354>, SOC 335 <SOCI 3325>, SOC 364 <SOCI 3324>, SOC 465 <SOCI 3355>).

Requirements for Teacher Certification

Students who want to teach in a high school or junior high school can do so with the Social Science Composite program. A graduate with the social science certification will be able to teach government, economics, history, sociology, or geography at the eighth to twelfth grade level. The ability to teach several areas makes it much more likely to find and keep a job. Under present state rules, certification in Political Science (government) alone is no longer available. History is the only social science for which certification is available without the social science composite.

Students may qualify for teacher certification in the social sciences under either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees. Students seeking certification in the social studies for grades 4-8 should pursue the Interdisciplinary Academic Studies Major for a Bachelor of Science Degree with certification for 4-8 Social Studies. This is found in Elementary Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Students interested in certification should consult with their political science advisor and a secondary education advisor in the College of Education early in their program. Because of the number of courses required, students should take as many courses as possible that meet more than one requirement. These are indicated in the model curricula. Note that for teacher certification, no grade below C in social science courses is accepted.

Social Science Composite with Political Science Emphasis for Secondary Education

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science:
Political Science: BA 24 hours; BS 27 hours: POL 261 <POLS 2301>*; POL 235 <POLS 2335>, POL 378 <POLS 3378>; POL 379 <POLS 3379>; 3 hours from among POL 434 <POLS 4334> or 435 <POLS 4335>; 6 hours from among POL 285 <POLS 2302>, POL 336 <POLS 3336>, POL 337 <POLS 3337>, and POL 377 <POLS 3377>. For BS: POL 374 <POLS 3374>
Geography: GEO 131 <GEOG 1301> and GEO 111 <GEOG 1101>*, GEO 161 <GEOG 1321>, GEO 265 <GEOG 2355>, GEO 266 <GEOG 2356>, GEO 369 <GEOG 3359>, GEO 471 <GEOG 4358>
History: HIS 163 <HIST 1301>*, HIS 164 <HIST 1302>*, HIS 265 <HIST 2311>*, HIS 266 <HIST 2312>, HIS 369 <HIST 3369>, HIS 379 <HIST 3379>, HIS 398 <HIST 3398>
Economics: ECO 234 <ECON 2301>* and ECO 233 <ECON 2302>**
Sociology: SOC 131 <SOCI 1301>

*    Courses that should be taken as part of the Core Curriculum.

** Students seeking teacher certification should use general electives for the certification courses and should consult with their advisor in Teacher Education as to the timing of the courses.  Required courses are listed just above.

Requirements for Teacher Certification*: SED 374 <CISE 3374>, SED 383 <CISE 3383>, SED 394 <CISE 3394>, SED 464 <CISE 4364>, SED 480 <CISE 4380>, SED 496 <CISE 4396>, SED 497 <CISE 4397>; RDG 392 <READ 3392>; and COM 384 <COMS 3384> (preferred) or COM 161 <COMS 1361>**.

The Social Science Composite may be taken with or without teacher certification.  Ordinarily, COM 384 <COMS 3384>, SED 374 <CISE 3374>, and SED 383 <CISE 3383> are taken prior to the teaching methods block (RDG 392 <READ 3392>, SED 394 <CISE 3394>, and SED 464 <CISE 4364>). This is followed by student teaching (SED 480 <CISE 4380>, SED 496 <CISE 4396> and SED 497 <CISE 4397>).

*Students seeking teacher certification should use general electives for the certification courses and should consult with their advisor in Teacher Education as to the timing of the courses.

Required courses are listed just above.

**If not seeking teacher certification, students may substitute COM 131 <COMS 1331>, COM 282 <COMS 2382>, COM 382 <COMS 3382>, COM 383 <COMS 3383>, THR 164 <THEA 1364>, or THR 231 <THEA 2336>.


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