Political Science

About The Department

The Department of Political Science offers courses in Political Science (POLS) and Public Affairs (PA), as well as two undergraduate degrees, the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Public Affairs, and one graduate degree, the Master of Public Administration (for information on the MPA refer to the Public Administration program).

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Degree Programs

Click on the section titles below to see detailed information.

Political Science (BA) 

Program Overview

The mission of the Department of Political Science is to develop general competencies in students that will allow them to continue their education in either graduate or professional schools upon completion of their undergraduate studies. Political Science courses are designed to stimulate students to be better citizens through an understanding of the working of the American and other political systems. It concentrates a focus on the institutions and processes of political systems that exercise power. It also includes studies of justice issues and the many ways in which the use of political power advances toward its achievement.

Three objectives are prominent in the realization of this mission:

  • To provide students with essential knowledge and understanding of the dynamics related to the State
    of Texas, national, and international political systems and their relationships to these systems.
  • To provide students with an in-depth understanding of the American political system.
  • To develop problem solving skills and competencies in students that will translate to various work settings.

The Department of Political Science has an extraordinary faculty with a wide range of research and teaching interests. They are committed, not only to advancing the understanding of political processes, and to helping the students prepare to engage those processes, but also to expanding the realm of democratic politics through research, teaching and service to the community.

The Political Science program is designed to prepare students for entry-level professional public service positions; including the areas of law, business, journalism, politics, political consulting, public policy analysis, international affairs and education. Graduates learn how to evaluate individual and group behavior in political systems. Public service opportunities (local / state / federal) are also a focus for career opportunities. The program also prepares students for graduate work leading to research, teaching and administration on all levels of education. The training can also lead to other non-traditional career avenues including campaign staff, advocacy initiatives, issues analyst, and foundation / non-profit engagement.


public affairs (Bs) 

Program Overview

The mission of the Public Affairs program is to prepare students for professional public sector positions as well as prepare them for graduate education in Public Administration and other related academic disciplines.
Public Affairs is a multi-disciplinary course of study which prepares students for leadership roles in local, state, national or international agencies of government, non-profit organizations and the private sector.

The objectives of the Public Affairs program are:

  • Improve analytical and leadership skills essential for a public service professional in various aspects of
    public management, politics, public policy analysis, public planning and budgeting.
  • Develop professional research, writing, communication and organizational skills.
  • Develop the ability to engage in in-depth analysis and independent thinking and exercising initiative.
  • Develop the ability to evaluate individual and group behavior in political systems to be leaders and managers of public organizations.

The Public Affairs program is intertwined within the Department of Political Science with a highly regarded, well connected faculty with scholarly interest in public policy, organizational behavior, law, public administration and international policy.

The study of public affairs is concerned with the formation and administration of the managerial policies of public, private and non-profit agencies involved in public sector governance. The Public Affairs curriculum focuses on issues such as public resources, budgeting, public
accountability and the description, analysis, solutions and synthesis of contemporary managerial problems in governance. Areas of career focus can include corporate public affairs, corporate government affairs, market research analyst, political action committees, legislative issues aides, corporate social policy analyst, foreign relations,


Masters of Public Administration

Program Overview

The mission of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs is to serve as an urban-focused community of learning, dedicated to educating professionals who will plan and administer environmentally healthy and sustainable communities at the local, state, national, and international levels of society.

In offering these programs, the School seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  • Promote teaching, research, and service activities that will enhance the performance of public administrators, urban planners, and environmental policy analysts at local, state, national and international levels.
  • Provide an interdisciplinary focused graduate education that contains the theory, concepts, and research skills necessary for students who seek careers in public administration, urban planning, and environmental policy and for those already working in these career areas that want to improve their capabilities.
  • Generate state of art research that advance understanding on complex public policy issues facing public sector managers, urban planners, and environmental policy makers.
  • Educate students with appropriate knowledge, analytic skills, managerial capabilities, and sensitivities to address questions of equity and social justice.
  • Prepare students to become wise consumers of research and instill in them the importance of continuing their professional career development.
view MPA Website


Executive Masters of Public Administration