Graduate Catalog

The graduate program in Political Science is designed to expand students' knowledge and to develop their skills of analysis and professional communication in the area of political science and public administration. The program is of value to both recent college graduates and those seeking to advance their careers. Among the audience it serves are students preparing for doctoral work or law school, school teachers seeking to improve their professional competence, promising scholars wanting to teach in community colleges, present and prospective public administrators, and those preparing for careers or advancement in nonprofit organizations, international organizations, the military, and private business.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the graduate program in Political Science must meet the basic requirements of Graduate Studies specified in the ADMISSION section of this catalog and at the Graduate Studies web site.

Application Process

To apply for admission to the graduate program you must:

A copy of the application is available at Graduate Studies web site.

Graduate Assistantship

The Political Science Department offers graduate assistantships. To apply for the assistantship, you must complete the application for admission and the Graduate Assistantship form. The application deadline for the Graduate Assistantship for the Fall Semester is April 1 and for the Spring Semester is November 1. All documents must be in the College of Arts and Sciences office by these dates.

Graduate Curriculum

Political Science majors may choose one of three degrees: Master of Arts, Plan I, Master of Arts, Plan II, and Master of Education, Plan II. M.A. Plans I and II may be thesis or non-thesis. Those writing a thesis will take 24 hours of course work and receive 6 hours of credit for the thesis (30 hours total). When counseling with the student indicates that the student's needs would be better served, the department may substitute 12 hours of additional course work in lieu of the thesis (total of 36 hours).

Political Science students ordinarily take two core courses and then focus on the areas of concentration appropriate to their needs. The three areas of concentration are American politics, comparative politics and international relations, and public administration and public policy. With departmental approval, students may take a minor or special concentration in an appropriate area from one or more other departments, such as history, criminal justice, business, or health. The intent is to design a program that best fits the student's needs. For each degree, a comprehensive examination will be given over the core and major and minor areas of study.

Master’s Degree in Public Administration. The MPA degree will have a total of 42 semester credit hours. Find out more about the MPA degree.

Master of Arts, Plan I. The student will normally have a major of at least 18 hours within two areas of concentration in Political Science and a minor of 12 hours in a supporting field.

Master of Arts, Plan II. This degree plan is designed for prospective junior and senior college teachers, students planning to pursue a doctoral program, and those preparing for a career in government service. Under this plan, the student takes at least 30 hours in Political Science.

Master of Education, Plan II. This degree program is designed to provide additional study in Political Science for the professional secondary school teacher and is initiated in the College of Education and Applied Science. Students may take from 12 to 24 hours of course work in Political Science, 6 to 12 semester hours in a secondary teaching field, and 12 to 18 semester hours in Education, for a total of 36 semester hours. No thesis is required under this plan. Students enrolled for the Master of Education, Plan II, must also satisfy the requirements for a second teaching field (or minor) as set forth by the department in which the minor is taken. Further information is provided in this catalog under Teacher Education and Professional Certification Programs.

Political Science Course Descriptions

Courses in Political Science (POL) at the 400 level may be taken in limited numbers for graduate credit. They are listed below, but see the undergraduate catalog for the course descriptions. Those courses listed as "Other Courses" will generally fit one of the concentrations, depending on the topics covered.



Requirements for the Master’s Degree in Public Administration

The MPA degree will have a total of 42 semester credit hours: 24 hours of core courses taken by all students, a 12 hours concentration selected by the student, and 6 hours of internship. Students will be required to pass a comprehensive examination at the end of the course of study.

Core Courses:

Twenty-four semester credit hours of required core courses:

POL 438: Grant Research and Writing

PA 581: Dynamics of Public Administration (3 hours)
PA 583: Program Evaluation (3 hours); Prerequisite: POL 577
PA 584: Organizational Theory and Behavior (3 hours)
PA 586: Leadership and Human Resource Management (3 hours)
PA 587: Local Government Budgets and Financial Management (3 hours)
PA 588: Ethics in Government (3 hours)
POL 577: Scope and Methods of Political Science (3 hours)


Students without relevant job experience will be required to take six semester credit hours of an internship of at least twelve months. Students with relevant employment experience in government, non-profit agencies, or universities may substitute six hours of coursework, including directed projects relevant to their employment.

POL 578: Problems and Internships in Political Science (6 hours)

Students will be required to pass a written and oral comprehensive examination at the end of the course of study.

Areas of Concentration:

Students will be required to select a concentration of 12 hours in one of the following areas: State and Local Government, Comparative and International Relations, Financial Management, Criminal Justice, or Human Service and Health Administration. The following courses are included for concentrations; however, substitutions will be allowed with the approval of the graduate advisor. When the topic is appropriate, POL 582, Seminar in Public Administration, may count in any of the concentrations.

Concentration in State and Local Government: Students will choose 12 semester credit hours from the following graduate courses. None of these courses require stem work.

POL 530: American Political Institutions (3 hours)
POL 531: American Political Behavior (3 hours)
POL 560: Seminar in American National Politics (3 hours)
POL 562: Seminar in Political Theory (3 hours)
POL 585: Public Policy Formulation and Implementation (3 hours)
SOC 576: Sociology of Community (3 hours)
GBA 562: Managerial Law

Concentration in Comparative and International Relations: Students will choose 12 semester credit hours from the following list. None of these courses require stem work.

Nine semester credit hours from the following courses:

POL 567: Seminar in International Relations (3 hours)
POL 571: Comparative Political Analysis (3 hours)
POL 572: Seminar in Comparative Politics (3 hours)
POL 573: Theory and Method of International Relations (3 hours)

And 3 semester credit hours from the following courses:

GEO 472: Ethnic Texas: A Multicultural Geography (3 hours)
HIST 583: United States Diplomatic History (3 hours)
HIST 593: European Diplomatic History (3 hours)
HIST 585: Latin American History (3 hours)
HIST 589: Great Britain and the British Empire (3 hours)
HIST 591: Asian History (3 hours)
SOC 574: Sociology of Religion (3 hours)
SOC 589: Seminar in Social Change and Development (3 hours)

Concentration in Financial Management: Students will choose 12 semester credit hours from the following courses. Some courses may require stem work.

ACC 468: Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting
ACC 535: Financial Reporting and Business Decisions
ACC 564: Accounting for Management
ECO 570: Economic Theory
FIN 531: Introduction to Institutions, Investments, and Managerial Finance
FIN 537: Problems in Administrative Finance
FIN 569: Seminar in Investments
POL 438: Grant Research and Writing (3 hours)

Concentration in Criminal Justice: Students will choose 12 semester credit hours from the following:

CJ 530: Critical Analysis of Justice Administration (3 hours)
CJ 534: Courts as Organizations (3 hours)
CJ 632: Human Resource Development in the Organizational Context (3 hours)
CJ 633: Seminar in Organization and Administration (3 hours)
CJ 635: Seminar in Leadership and Management (3 hours)
CJ 687: The Ethics of Criminal Justice (3 hours)
POL 438: Grant Research and Writing (3 hours)

Concentration in Human Service and Health Administration: Students will choose 12 semester credit hours from the following graduate courses:

CJ 668: Seminar on Drugs, Society and Policy Issues (3 hours)
HED 470: Study of AIDS (3 hours)
HED 531: Foundation of Community Health (3 hours)
HED 533: Colloquium in Human Sexuality (3 hours)
HED 534: Colloquium in the Use and Abuse of Drugs (3 hours)
HED 535: Leadership in Health Promotion Programs (3 hours)
HED 565 Aging and Health Promotion (3 hours)
PSY 530: Advanced Abnormal Psychology (3 hours)
SOC 565: Seminar in Race and Ethnic Studies (3 hours)
SOC 572: Sociology of the Family (3 hours)
SOC 587: Gender and Society (3 hours)
ECO 579: Seminar in Labor Economics


More Info

If you have questions about the SHSU Political Science Program, please contact us at:

Department of Political Science
SHSU Box 2149
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, Texas 77341-2149
Phone: (936) 294-1457
Fax: (936) 294-4172