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).
The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree prepares students for careers in
various aspects of public service, law, business, journalism, politics, public policy
analysis, and education. They learn how to evaluate individual and group behavior
in political systems. In addition, the department offers 6 semester hours of American
and Texas government credits that are required of all students by the university.
The core objectives are to provide the student with essential knowledge and understanding
of the dynamics related to the 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, and to develop problem solving skills and competencies
in students that will translate to various work settings
Click on the section titles below to see detailed information.
Political Science (BA)
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
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.
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
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,
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.