Department of Political Science

Department Chair: Terri B. Davis

201 Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, phone (409) 880-8526, fax (409) 880-1710
email politicalscience@lamar.edu

Pre-Law Advisor: Terri B. Davis

Distinguished Professors Emeritus: Drury, Utter

Professors: Castle, Lassen, Vanderleeuw

Associate Professors: Davis, Lanier, Sandovici, Sowers

Assistant Professors: Sides

Visiting Instructors: Gubala, Raizada

Instructors: Nelson, Owen

The Political Science Department provides all university students with knowledge and appreciation of national and state political processes and equips undergraduate majors with a wide knowledge of the various substantive areas of the discipline, including American politics, comparative politics, public administration and public policy, and international relations. Students receive instruction in social science research methodology, critical analysis, and methods of effective communication to prepare them for appropriate professional, educational, and occupational opportunities. Political Science faculty members have earned doctorates in a wide range of specializations within the broad areas of the discipline. Departmental instruction is energized and informed by faculty involvement in research, scholarly publication, and professional activities at political science and social science organization meetings. Department faculty serve the larger community by participating in civic organizations, commissions, and task forces, and offering professional expertise as consultants and advisors to local governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Bachelor of Science in Political Science

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Political Science with Legal Studies Minor

Bachelor of Science in Political Science with Social Studies Teacher Certification

Additionally, the Department offers a Pre-Law Program leading to Bachelor of Arts or Science degrees.

Master of Public Administration

Minimum Academic Standards for Political Science Majors

The following minimum academic standards apply to students enrolled as majors in the Department of Political Science:

  1. A grade of C or better in English composition courses is required.
  2. A grade of C or better in all Political Science courses is required.
  3. A grade of C or better in all courses in the minor is required.
  4. A 2.0 grade point average in the major is required for graduation.
  5. An overall grade point average of 2.0 is required for graduation.

Political Science – Pre-Law

One of the traditional routes to law school is a four-year undergraduate degree in Political Science. Students may pursue either the Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science or Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science as candidates for admission to a school of law. Both degrees retain the values of a liberal education (such as instruction in history, English, and foreign language) and the enhancement of technical skills (including accounting and mathematics). With several free electives and an 18-hour minor, the Bachelor of Arts or Science in Political Science affords considerable flexibility in meeting each student’s unique educational and career needs. The Political Science Department pre-law advisor assists students in selecting appropriate undergraduate courses, applying for admission to law school and maximizing the chance for success on the Law School Admission Test.

Juniors and seniors who meet the required academic standards may also apply for participation in the State of Texas Legislative Internship Program and various legal, legislative and local government internships.

Legal Internships – Pre-Law

Exceptional students may qualify for a cooperative education program available in the legal profession. They earn up to six semester hours of elective internship credit in their junior and senior years while working half-days in local law firms. Law office experience is combined with academic assignments to develop skills useful to the potential lawyer. Admission to the program is by permission of the chair of the Department of Political Science and the pre-law advisor.

Bachelor of Arts – Political Science Major

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science emphasizes a traditional liberal arts or humanities curriculum and includes the following requirements:

A. General Requirements: See Core Curriculum. Students must have COMM 1315, and must take three additional hours of Math from MATH 1316, 1320, 1325, 1342, 2312, 2376 or higher, and three additional hours of sophomore literature.

B. Major (33 semester hours, 6 in the University Core Curriculum) POLS 1301, POLS 2301-2302 (see University Core Curriculum); POLS 3351 Statistics for Social Scientists; Six semester hours from American politics (POLS 3313, 3314, 3317, 3318, 4312).

Three semester hours from each of the following fields: International relations (POLS 3320, 3321, 4322), Comparative politics (POLS 3330, 3332, 4331), Public administration and policy (POLS 3341, 3342, 3343, 4340, 4341)

Three semester hours in either International Relations or Comparative Politics

Three semester hours in an advanced POLS elective

C. Minor (Minimum of 18 semester hours). An approved minor of 18 semester hours, including at least 12 advanced hours.

D. Additional requirements (13 semester hours) Completion of 2312 in a foreign language (normally 12 semester hours), One semester hour of physical activity

E. Electives. A number sufficient to total 120 semester hours, including 45 advanced (at least 24 in the major); 24 of the advanced hours must be completed at Lamar University.

Suggested Program of Study

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science – Total Min. Hours: 120

First Year
Fall Spring
ENGL Composition
3 ENGL Composition 3
Modern Language
3 Modern Language 3
MATH 1314
3 MATH (MATH 1316, 1320, 1325, 1342, 2312, or 2376) 3
POLS 1301
3 PHIL 1370 3
HIST 1301 3 HIST 1302 3
Physical Activity
1
TOTAL 16 15
Second Year
Fall Spring
POLS 2301 3 POLS 2302 3
ENGL Literature 3 ENGL Literature 3
Modern Language 3 Modern Language 3
Social Science (from ANTH 2346, ANTH 2351, ECON 1301, PSYC 2301 or SOCI 1301)
3 Fine Arts (from HUMA 1315, MUSI 1306, ARTS 1301, THEA 1310, DANC 2304 or COMM 1375)
3
COMM 1315 3 Minor 3
TOTAL 15 15
Third Year
Fall Spring
Political Science (advanced)
3 Political Science (advanced) 3
Political Science (advanced) 3 Political Science (advanced) 3
POLS 3351
3 Minor (advanced) 3
Minor
3 Minor (advanced) 3
Laboratory Science 4 Laboratory Science 4
TOTAL 16 16
Fourth Year
Fall Spring
Political Science (advanced) 3 Political Science (advanced) 3
Political Science (advanced) 3 Elective (advanced) 3
Elective (advanced) 3 Elective (advanced) 3
Minor (advanced) 3 Minor (advanced) 3
Elective 3
TOTAL 15 12

 

Bachelor of Science — Political Science Major

The Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science emphasizes quantitative skills in the applied social sciences and includes the following requirements:

A. General Requirements: See Core Curriculum. Students must have COMM 1315, and must take three additional hours of Math from MATH 1316, 1320, 1325, 1342, 2312, 2376, or higher, and three additional hours of sophomore literature.

B. Major (33 semester hours, with 6 in the University Core Curriculum) Political Science 1301, Political Science 2301-2302 (see University Core Curriculum), Political Science 3351 Statistics for Social Scientists, Political Science 3352 Advanced Research Methods, Six semester hours from American politics (POLS 3313, 3314, 3317, 3318, 4312).

Three semester hours from each of the following fields: International relations (POLS 3320, 3321, 4322), Comparative politics (POLS 3330, 3332, 4331), Public administration and policy (POLS 3341, 3342, 3343, 4340, 4341)

Three semester hours in either International Relations or Comparative Politics

C. Minor (18 semester hours). An approved minor of 18 semester hours, including at least 12 advanced hours.

D. Additional requirements (13 semester hours). BS Core courses. ACCT 1301, ECON 1301, 2301, Three hours in an approved advanced elective (ECON 3320, ECON 3340, or MATH 3312). One semester hour of physical activity

E. Electives. A number sufficient to total 120 semester hours including 45 advanced (at least 24 in the major); 24 of the advanced hours must be completed at Lamar University.

Suggested Program of Study

Bachelor of Science in Political Science – Total Min. Hours: 120

First Year
Fall Spring
ENGL Composition
3 ENGL Composition 3
BS Core Course
3 BS Core Course 3
MATH 1314
3 MATH (MATH 1316, 1320, 1325, 1342, 2312, or 2376) 3
POLS 1301
3 PHIL 1370 3
HIST 1301
3 HIST 1301 3
Physical Activity
1
TOTAL 16 15
Second Year
Fall Spring
POLS 2301 3 POLS 2302 3
ENGL Literature 3 ENGL Literature 3
BS Core Course 3 Minor 3
Social Science (from ANTH 2346, ANTH 2351, ECON 1301, PSYC 2301 or SOCI 1301)
3 Fine Arts (from HUMA 1315, MUSI 1306, ARTS 1301, THEA 1310, DANC 2304 or COMM 1375)
3
COMM 1315 3 Elective 3
TOTAL 15 15
Third Year
Fall Spring
POLS 3351 3 POLS 3352 3
Political Science (advanced) 3 Political Science (advanced) 3
Laboratory Science
4 Laboratory Science
4
BS Core Course (advanced)
3 Minor (advanced) 3
Minor 3 Minor (advanced)
3
TOTAL 16 16
Fourth Year
Fall Spring
Political Science (advanced) 3 Political Science (advanced) 3
Political Science (advanced) 3 Political Science (advanced) 3
Minor (advanced) 3 Elective (advanced) 3
Minor (advanced) 3 Elective (advanced) 3
Elective 3
TOTAL 15

12

 

Bachelor of Science in Political Science with Social Studies Teacher Certification

Students wishing to earn the Bachelor of Science in Political Science and at the same time certify with Social Studies as a teaching field must meet the following requirements:

A. General Requirements: See Core Curriculum. Students must take three additional hours of Math from MATH 1316, 1320, 1325, 1342, 2312, 2376, or higher, and three additional hours of sophomore literature. Lab Science must include eight hours in the same science; Communication must be 1315 or 3310. Social Science course must be ECON 2301. History must include HIST 2301.

B. Major 33 semester hours, with 6 in University Core Curriculum (POLS 2301 and POLS 2302 Introduction to American Government I & II), and 12 in Social Studies Foundation: POLS 1301 Introduction to Political Science, POLS 2330 Political Geography. POLS 3318 or 4312, POLS 3352 Advanced Research Methods

Three semester hours from each of the following fields:

International relations (POLS 3320, 3321, 4322), Comparative politics (POLS 3330, 3332, 4331), Public administration and policy (POLS 3341, 3342, 3343, 4340, 4341)

Statistics for Social Scientists (POLS 3351)

Three hours in an advanced Political Science elective

C. Composite Social Studies 30 semester hours, 27 advanced. HIST 2301 (see University Core Curriculum), HIST 3301, HIST 3302, HIST 3303, HIST 3321, HIST 3322, ECON 3340, FINC 3306, SOCI 3301, SOCI 3306

D. Pedagogy (24 semester hours). PEDG 2310, 3310, 3320, 3380, 4380 and 4620; READ 3326

E. Additional requirement. One semester hour of physical activity

F. The minimum number of semester hours required for the Bachelor of Science in Political Science with Social Studies teacher certification is 129 inclusive of one hour of physical activity), including 69 hours advanced, at least 24 of which must be completed at Lamar University.

Suggested Program of Study

Bachelor of Science in Political Science with Social Studies Teacher Certification – Total Min. Hours: 129 hours

First Year
Fall Spring
ENGL Composition
3 ENGL Composition 3
PHIL 1370
3 ECON 2301 3
MATH 1314
3 Math (MATH 1316, 1320, 1325, 1342, 2312, or 2376) 3
POLS 1301
3 Fine Arts (from HUMA 1315, MUSI 1306, ARTS 1301, THEA 1310, DANC 2304 or COMM 1375) 3
COMM 1315 or 3310
3 HIST 1301 or 1302 3
Physical Activity
1
TOTAL 16 15
Second Year
Fall Spring
POLS 2301 3 POLS 2302 3
ENGL Literature 3 ENGL Literature 3
HIST 2301 3 POLS 2330 3
HIST 3301 3 HIST 3302 3
Laboratory Science 4 Laboratory Science 4
TOTAL 16 16
Third Year
Fall Spring
POLS 3351 3 POLS 3352 3
Political Science (advanced) 3 Political Science (advanced) 3
Political Science (advanced) 3 PEDG 3310 3
SOCI 3301 3 PEDG 3320 3
READ 3326 3 FINC 3306 3
PEDG 2310 3 ECON 3340 3
TOTAL 18 18
Fourth Year
Fall Spring
Political Science (advanced) 3 POLS 3318 or 4312 3
SOCI 3306 3 PEDG 4380 3
HIST 3303 3 PEDG 4620 6
HIST 3321 3 .
HIST 3322 3
PEDG 3380 3
TOTAL 18 12

Minor in Legal Studies

Minors in Legal Studies must complete 21 semester credit hours of required courses and approved electives. A grade of C or better is required in all courses in the minor. At least 15 hours must be advanced and taken in residence.

Legal Studies Minors are required to complete the following courses:

COMM 2335 Argument and Critical Thinking

CRIJ 4300 Legal Research, Brief Writing and Oral Advocacy

PHIL 2303 Introduction to Logic

POLS 3313 Judicial Process

POLS 4312 American Constitutional Law

Students may choose 6 hours from the following approved electives:

BULW 3310 Business Law

BULW 3330 Environmental Law

CRIJ 3300 Advanced Criminal Law

COMM 4310 Communication Law

POLS 4322 International Law and Institutions

Students are encouraged but not required to complete at least one Legal Internship. Legal Internships must be approved by the Pre-Law advisor and are offered only to students with junior or senior standing and with a minimum cumulative grade point average no less than 3.0.

All persons seeking a certificate in Pre-Law must minor in Legal Studies.

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science – Political Science with Legal Studies Minor

A. See Requirements for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science above.

B. Legal Studies Minor (21 semester hours, 15 advanced)

Suggested Program of Study

Bachelor Arts/Bachelor of Science in Political Science with Legal Studies Minor – Total Min. Hours: 120

First Year
Fall Spring
ENGL Composition
3 ENGL Composition 3
BA Language/BS Core Course
3 BA Language/BS Core Course 3
MATH 1314
3 Math (MATH 1316, 1320, 1325, 1342, 2312, or 2376) 3
POLS 1301
3 PHIL 1370 3
HIST 1301
3 HIST 1302 3
Physical Activity
1
TOTAL 16 15
Second Year
Fall Spring
POLS 2301 3 POLS 2302 3
ENGL Literature 3 ENGL Literature 3
BA Language/BS Core Course 3 BA Language/BS Core Course 3
Social Science (from ANTH 2346, ANTH 2351, ECON 1301, PSYC 2301 or SOCI 1301) 3 Fine Arts (from HUMA 1315, MUSI 1306, ARTS 1301, THEA 1310, DANC 2304 or COMM 1375) 3
COMM 1315 3 PHIL 2303 3
TOTAL 15 15
Third Year
Fall Spring
POLS 3351 3 BA POLS (advanced)/BS POLS 3352 3
POLS 3313 3 POLS 4312 3
COMM 2335 3 Elective (advanced) or Legal Internship 3
Laboratory Science 4 Laboratory Science
4
CRIJ 4300 3 Political Science (advanced)
3
TOTAL 16 16
Fourth Year
Fall Spring
Political Science (advanced) 3 Political Science (advanced) 3
Political Science (advanced)
3 Political Science (advanced) 3
Minor (advanced)
3 Political Science (advanced) 3
Elective 3 Minor (advanced) 3
Elective 3
TOTAL 15 12

Minor in Political Science (No grade less then "C")

A 21 hour Political Science minor consists of nine hours of lower division courses plus 12 hours of advanced courses. The lower division courses are:

POLS 1301 Introduction to Political Science

POLS 2301 Introduction to American Government I (See University Core Curriculum)

POLS 2302 Introduction to American Government II (See University core Curriculum)

The twelve hours of advanced work may be chosen from among the department's offerings at the 3000 and 4000 levels, excluding Directed Study and internships.

A minor in Political Science may not be used for Pre-Law Certification. All students seeking Pre-Law Certification must minor in Legal Studies through the Department of Political Science.

Graduate Program

The Department of Political Science offers a program of study leading to the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. The MPA Degree is designed to prepare students for productive and rewarding careers in public service. MPA students at Lamar University come from all walks of life and academic backgrounds, but they share an interest in becoming leaders for positive change. Students come to the program with the desire to make a difference for people, organizations, and communities, and the program gives them the practical knowledge and skills to be successful. The format of the program accommodates students currently employed in the public sector as well as students seeking entry-level positions. The MPA Program is designed to complement any undergraduate degree. When students graduate with an MPA, they have the tools necessary to be competitive in the job market of their choice—whether they pursue government, nonprofit or policy-development careers. Persons seeking admission must meet the following requirements.

MPA Admissions Requirements

All potential students must apply to the Graduate School and meet the College of Graduate Studies admission requirements as well as the following program-specific admission requirements. 

  1. Undergraduate grade point average (GPA) during the last 48 hours of coursework and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores according to the formula [GPA X 100] + [GRE V+Q] ≥ 550. 
  2. Each international student must achieve a score consistent with the College of Graduate Studies requirements for English language proficiency. 
  3. Proficiency in the use of personal computers, including word processing, spreadsheets, databases and social networking technologies. 
  4. To apply to the program, students must submit the following documents for the approval of the College of Graduate Studies:
    1. submit the Graduate Application online at www.applytexas.org
    2. official transcript from each college or university attended
    3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. 
  5. In addition, all applicants must submit a 1-2 page essay that addresses the following question: “Why do you want to pursue an MPA and a career in public service? In your answer, be sure to discuss how your job, educational and life experiences relate to this goal.”

Degree Requirements

The degree of Master of Public Administration requires the completion of 36 semester hours of graduate work: 18 in the core curriculum (POLS 5350, 5351, 5352, 5353, 5354, and 5355) and 18 from an approved list of elective courses offered by the Political Science Department and other Lamar University graduate programs. An internship (POLS 5358) with local agencies is also available. Students will complete the following courses if they have not taken them, or their equivalents, as undergraduates: introduction to public administration (three semester hours); urban politics (three semester hours); and statistics for social scientists (three semester hours). Students must pass both written and oral comprehensive final examinations to fulfill graduate requirements.

Graduate Faculty

Department Chair, Associate Professor Terri Davis                                   

Jack Brooks Chair in Government & Public Service, Professor James M. Vanderleeuw

Coordinator Texas Legislative Internship Program, Associate Professor Elena Sandovici              

Associate Professor Thomas E. Sowers

Assistant Professor Jason C. Sides

Instructor James P. Nelson                            

Instructor Shawn Oubre