Department of Political Science
Chairperson: W. David Clinton
Graduate Program Director: Timothy W. Burns
The Department of Political Science offers graduate work leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in political science, as well as the following M.A. degrees:
- Master of Arts in international relations
- Master of Public Policy and Administration
- Master of Public Policy and Administration and Juris Doctor, offered jointly with the Baylor University School of Law
For admission to the department’s graduate programs, an applicant must present:
- a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university either in political science or a field relevant to applicant’s program of study
- an overall GPA and a Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) score predictive of success in the program
- three letters of recommendation
- a “statement of purpose,” identifying areas of primary interest, describing intellectual background and ambitions, and explaining how the degree sought facilitates applicant’s academic and professional goals (1-2 pages)
- a brief writing sample (e.g., an undergraduate paper of 10-12 pages)
- expressed areas of academic/research interests compatible with those of the faculty
- applicants whose native language is not English and whose undergraduate degree is from an institution outside the United States must also submit results from either the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo exam. (For further details, see the section on Admissions at the front of this catalog.)
Decisions about admissions and financial aid will, in each case, be based on evaluation of these materials as a whole.
Political Science (PSC)
To fulfill requirements for non-thesis master's students who need to complete final degree requirements other than coursework during their last semester. This may include such things as a comprehensive examination, oral examination, or foreign language requirement. Students are required to be registered during the semester they graduate.
Examination of American politics, institutions, and behavior. Topics will vary within the subfield of American politics. May be repeated three times for graduate credit when topics differ.
See PHI 5311 for course information.
See SOC 5312 for course information.
A study of major thinkers on international politics through history, with reference to contemporary international relations thought.
Modern industrial state in Western democracies from a comparative policy perspective, with selected emphasis on such topics as economic management, re-industrialization, social welfare, environmental protection, education, health care, defense, and housing/transportation.
Role(s) of the judiciary in American politics and administration. Areas examined may include American constitutional development, constitutional and legal interpretation, judicial behavior and politics, including the role of interest groups and public opinion, and judicial recruitment. May be repeated three times for graduate credit when topics differ.
Special topics, including organizational theory, administrative behavior, and personnel management, financial management and budgeting, program management and evaluation, and quantitative analysis. May be repeated for credit when topics differ.
Introduction to the discipline of political science, focusing particularly on research methods, research design, and questions relating to the philosophy of science.
Political culture, institutions, processes, and policies from a cross national perspective. Emphasis on role of political, economic, social, and cultural factors relating to political development, stability, and organization. Research topics and primary country analyses may vary.
Theories concerning relations among nations, foreign policy formation and administration, cases of cooperation and conflict within the society of nations. Research topics vary so as to cover a broad range of contemporary issues, problems, and diplomatic practice.
Study of the development and reform of political institutions and practices over the course of American history.
Select topics and issues in contemporary political theory developed and explored with an emphasis on the seminal writings of original thinkers and on the contemporary debates surrounding these writings. Possible themes of this course include postmodern political thought, neo-Kantian and neo-Hegelian political theory, contemporary liberal and communitarian thought, theories of justice, contemporary relevance of ancient political philosophy.
Analysis of the components of national security strategy and those international and domestic factors that shape it. Seminar covers the process, factors, institutions, and issues in national security decision making.
Study of the debates on the proper structure, institutional arrangements, and purposes of government during the Founding period focusing on the creation and ratification of the American constitution.
See PHI 5342 for course information.
Study of selected major texts in classical (Greek and Roman) political thought, with an emphasis on the origin of political philosophy in the thought of Socrates and its development in the works of Plato and Aristotle. This course may be repeated, for a maximum of nine credit hours, when content differs.
Comparative analysis of constitutional theory and development, the link between democracy and constitutionalism, and the role of judicial review. Different constitutional approaches to issues such as executive-legislative relations, federalism, political participation, and civil liberties will be considered.
Course examines the theory and practice of American foreign policy. Emphasis is on major issues in United States diplomacy and basic ideas governing American foreign policy.
Survey of the genres of presidential rhetoric and theories of the rhetorical presidency; critical analysis of presidential discourse in selected eras, with focus on texts in context; methods of evaluating presidential communication.
Study of selected major texts in medieval political thought, with an emphasis on either major thinker(s), or theme(s). Themes may include nature and grace, politics and salvation, theology and practical wisdom. This course may be repeated, for a maximum of nine credit hours, when content differs.
This seminar will examine the ideas of strategic thinkers who lived in a variety of historical periods. Students will read works by major strategists including Thucydides, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and Clausewitz.
Study of selected major texts in modern political thought, from Machiavelli to Nietzsche. Course may be repeated, for a maximum of nine credit hours, when content differs.
Study of themes, issues and debates defining the contemporary conversation about democracy among political theorists. Texts will include works of major importance to recent democratic theory.
A tutorial course designed for advanced graduate study in political science to supplement other course requirements. The nature, limits, and requirements will be established in each instance after consultation between professor and student. May be repeated under a different topic for a total of six hours credit.
Satisfies the non-thesis option for the Master of Public policy and Administration degree and the Master of Arts degree in international relations. A problem or topic in either public policy or administration will be selected, and the student will write a substantial paper for submission to the faculty. May not be taken if PSC 5V12 (Internship) is required.
Concentrated study of major thinkers or texts in the history of political philosophy. This course may be taken more than once, for a maximum of eighteen credit hours, when content differs.
Under the direction of a supervising professor, a problem or topic in international relations to be selected and a substantial paper to be written. This is one of the options for the master's degree in international relations.
Directed readings done in conjunction with an undergraduate course for which the student serves as a teaching apprentice. Course requirements include graduate-level research paper and annotated bibliography of undergraduate course materials. May be taken three times for graduate credit, in conjunction with different undergraduate courses.
Internship of a minimum of three months of supervised, full-time employment. The experience combines practical field experience and research. Completion of the course requires a written report on the work done during the internship. Students seeking the MA in International Relations must work in a public or private concern involved in international affairs. Students seeking the MA in Public Policy Administration or the JD/MPPA must work in a public sector agency. All students must secure the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies to take this course.
Research, data analysis, writing, and oral defense of an approved master's thesis. At least six hours of PSC 5V99 are required.
Supervised research for developing and writing a dissertation prospectus that will be the subject of an oral defense that will admit students to candidacy. A student may repeat this course for credit with a maximum of twelve total hours. Registration for this course is the equivalent of full-time status for graduate students.
Supervised research for the doctoral dissertation with a minimum of twelve semester hours required. Three to six of these hours may be taken in a section of 6V99 designed for the purpose of discussion and criticism of dissertation chapters and journal articles. Dissertation writing group will also serve as a forum for research presentations for job interviews when appropriate.