Political Science

College of Liberal Arts

 

Chair Rebecca Deen

 

Web www.uta.edu/pols/

Phone 817.272.2991

Fax 817.272.2525

 

206 University Hall

Degrees / Certificates

Master’s Degrees

Political Science, M.A.

Graduate Faculty

Senior Vice Provost

Michael Moore

Professor

Mark Cichock

Victoria Farrar-Myers

Jose Gutierrez

Susan Hekman

Joseph Ignagni

Thomas Marshall

Dale Story

Associate Professor

Brent Boyea

Jill Clark

Rebecca Deen

Allan Saxe

Assistant Professor

Aytem Bayram

Heidi Hardt

Brent Sasley

Daniel Sledge

Associate Adjunct Professor

Thomas Little

Professor Emeritus

Allan Butcher

Senior Lecturer

Larry Carter

Graduate Advisors

Brent Sasley

Political Science, M.A.

Department Information

Courses

 

Department Information

Objective

Admissions and Fellowship Criteria

Degree Requirements

Dual Degree Program

 

Objective

The program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Political Science emphasizes preparation for service in many areas of our national life, both public and private. Students interested in careers in teaching and research or in leadership roles in the public or private sectors may pursue programs adapted to their individual objectives. The Department of Political Science endeavors to equip students with the research techniques and substantive background for coursework undertaken beyond the master’s level. Particular attention is given to newer methodologies and approaches employed by scholars in the field.

 

Admissions and Fellowship Criteria

The program is committed to a holistic admissions approach. As a result, admissions criteria include: grade point averages, letters of recommendation, personal statements, advanced degrees, graduate courses taken as a degreed student or in another program, and professional work experience. The major purpose of the admissions criteria is to promote access to our program, but maintain standards that will enable the department to determine if the applicant demonstrates the requisite skill level to master the requirements of the program.

Admission to the M.A. program in political science is based upon the completion of the general admission requirements of the Graduate School. Applicants are required to submit all official transcripts, a personal statement, and three (3) letters of recommendation. The department will review the application package in its entirety. The package is evaluated to determine if a student has achieved a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) in the last 60 hours of their undergraduate work as calculated by the Graduate School, and meets other admission requirements. If a student has already earned an advanced degree, the department will evaluate the student’s academic performance in obtaining that degree equally with the undergraduate performance. International students must meet or exceed the minimum university standard on the TOEFL (550 for paper examination, 213 for computer examination), TOEFL iBT (total score of 79 with sectional scores that meet or exceed 22 for the writing section, 21 for the speaking section, 20 for the reading section, and 16 for the listening section), TSE (40), or the IELTS (6.5).

The criteria for admission below are used, without specific weights, as positive indicators of potential success in the program. All four criteria for unconditional admission must be met in order to receive unconditional admission.

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited general or specific program. A bachelor’s degree in political science, however, is not required.
  2. An undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or greater (as calculated by the Graduate School) in the last 60 credit hours of completing an undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited institution (verified by the Graduate School from official transcripts from each college or university previously attended).
  3. A written statement (200 words) explaining the applicant’s reasons for graduate study in political science.
  4. Three letters of recommendation (including at least two from university/college faculty) mailed directly from the recommenders to the graduate advisor of political science. Letters of recommendation must favorably assess the applicant’s potential success in a graduate program and in the field of political science.

Probationary Status

Students who do not qualify for unconditional admission may be considered for probationary admission if they satisfy any 3 of the 4 criteria for unconditional admission. Students with a reported grade point average below 2.70, however, will not be eligible for probationary admission. Being admitted on probationary status means that the student will be able to take graduate level classes, but the student must earn a B or better in their first 12 hours of graduate coursework at UT Arlington. This regulation will be strictly enforced.

Provisional Admission

An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline, but otherwise appears to meet admission requirements, may be granted provisional admission. Provisionally admitted students must adequately satisfy any incomplete documentation by the end of the semester in which they are admitted. If the applicant fails to do so, the Department may then reclassify the applicant’s admission status as probationary or ask the student to leave the program.

Deferral

A deferred decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or when a denial decision is not appropriate.

Denial

If two or more of the aforementioned criteria for unconditional admission have not been met with satisfaction or the applicant’s grade point average is below 2.70, the candidate will be denied admission.

Fellowships

Fellowships, when available, will be awarded on a competitive basis. Nominees for the Graduate School Master’s Fellowship in the Political Science master’s program will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Candidates must be new students entering in the fall semester, with a minimum of 6 hours of enrollment in both long semesters to retain their fellowships.
  • The minimum undergraduate GPA requirement is 3.00, as calculated by the Graduate School, plus a GPA of 3.0 for any graduate credit hours.
  • Transcript of a completed bachelor’s degree in Political Science (or appropriate related field) from an accredited institution.
  • Three letters of recommendation. These letters may be the same submitted for admission.
  • A written statement explaining the applicant’s reasons for graduate study in Political Science.

 

Degree Requirements

The thesis degree plan requires 24 hours of coursework including three hours of methods in Political Science for those who have not had POLS 3310 or its equivalent. Of the remaining 21 hours, at least one course each must be taken from four of the following five areas:

  • Political Behavior and Processes: 5300, 5311, 5315, 5316, 5317, 5318, 5319, 5320, 5321, 5322, 5380.
  • Comparative Politics: 5303, 5331, 5333, 5335, 5336, 5337, 5381.
  • International Politics and Organization: 5332, 5334, 5338, 5339, 5341, 5342, 5384.
  • Public Law and Jurisprudence: 5301, 5323, 5382.
  • Public Administration and Policy Studies: 5302, 5324, 5325, 5326, 5327, 5328, 5329, 5330, 5368, 5369, 5383.

Additional courses may also be taken in the area of political theory, but other than the methods requirement (POLS 5310) that area is not required for the thesis or non-thesis degree plans. Elective courses in political theory include:

  • POLS 5305.

Students should consult the Political Science Graduate Student Handbook for regulations on transfer courses, undergraduate courses, conferences, internships, and special courses. It is recommended that students complete at least one general field seminar (5300, 5301, 5302, 5303, 5332) prior to taking the topics courses. See the Graduate Advisor for more detail.

The non-thesis degree plan requires a minimum of 36 hours, including three hours of methodology, and courses from four of the five areas.

All candidates for the degree of Master of Arts with a major in political science must pass a final comprehensive examination, written, oral, or both written and oral. The scope, content, and form of the examination will be determined by the student’s supervising committee. In the event of failure of the final comprehensive examination, the student may petition the Committee on Graduate Studies to retake the examination on a date no sooner than 60 days after the first examination. Students will not be permitted more than one reexamination after failure of the initial examination.

International Studies Option

The International Studies option of the Master of Arts program in Political Science emphasizes comparative politics and international politics within the framework of Political Science. This option requires courses from three of six areas of Political Science and 12 hours in comparative politics and/or international politics. Students must have three hours of a methods course. Upon satisfying the requirements for this option, students will receive a letter of completion. Completion will not be reflected on student transcripts.

U.S. Political Institutions and Processes Option

The U.S. Political Institutions and Processes option of the Master of Arts program in Political Science emphasizes political behavior and processes and public law and jurisprudence within the framework of political science. This option requires courses from three of six areas of Political Science and 12 hours in political behavior and processes and/or public law and jurisprudence. Students must have three hours of a methods course. Upon satisfying the requirements for this option, students will receive a letter of completion. Completion will not be reflected on student transcripts.

 

Dual Degree Program

Students in political science may participate in a dual degree program whereby they can earn a Master of Arts in political science and a Master of Arts in criminal justice. By participating in a dual degree program, students can apply a number of semester hours jointly to meet the requirements of both degrees, thus reducing the total number of hours which would be required to earn both degrees separately. The number of hours which may be jointly applied ranges from nine to 18 hours, subject to the approval of Graduate Advisors from both programs. To participate in the dual degree program, students must make separate application to each program and must submit a separate program of work for each degree. Those interested in a dual degree program should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor(s) for further information on course requirements. See also the statement on "Dual Degree Programs" in the general information section of this catalog.

 

POLS Courses

POLS5197 – MASTER'S COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION

1 Lecture Hour  ·  0 Lab Hours

Required of all non-thesis Master of Arts students in the semester of their graduation. Graded P/F/R.

 

POLS5300 – AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

A survey of the major theories and subfields in the study of American politics. Readings comprise a representation of scholarship illustrating a variety of substantive and methodological approaches.

 

POLS5301 – JUDICIAL POLITICS AND THE U.S. SUPREME COURT

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This course focuses on judicial decision-making and behavior. While the entire American court system will be considered, primary attention will be given to the U.S. Supreme Court and constitutional issues.

 

POLS5302 – BUREAUCRATIC LEADERSHIP: TRENDS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY MANAGEMENT

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Recent literature in organizational theory, government restructuring, and policy management problems.

 

POLS5303 – COMPARATIVE POLITICAL SYSTEMS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Theories, concepts, and methods that dominate modern comparative political analysis. The state of the discipline and controversies in the comparative method are evaluated.

 

POLS5305 – TOPICS IN POLITICAL THEORY

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This course will cover both historical and contemporary topics central to the discipline of political theory. It will consider the major figures in the field as well as themes such as citizenship, democracy, freedom, and authority. May be repeated for credit as the topic changes.

 

POLS5310 – EMPIRICAL THEORY AND RESEARCH METHODS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Focus on issues of philosophy of science, explanations and theories, research designs, measurement, survey research, and statistical analysis. Exposes the student to the basic steps of political research: defining the problem or the question, formulating hypotheses, specifying a research design, operationalizing the measures, analyzing the data, and reaching conclusions.

 

POLS5311 – CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Describes important trends in modern campaigns and elections practices, focusing on contemporary American elections, including campaign finance, voter turnout, campaign advertising, and voter choices. Class presentations, a short research paper, and journal article readings.

 

POLS5315 – PUBLIC OPINION

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Describes the development of survey research and commonly-encountered problems in surveys. Focuses most heavily on the contemporary practice of public opinion research, particularly in the American setting. Class presentations, a short research paper, and journal article readings.

 

POLS5316 – PUBLIC LEADERSHIP: RACE, ETHNICITY, & GENDER

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Study of leadership theories, skills and traits, with focus on the intersections of race, ethnicity, and gender on public leadership in the public arena.

 

POLS5317 – ETHNIC GROUPS AND THE NATION STATE

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Examines the role of the nation state on ethnic/racial groups; characteristics of a nation, theories of the nation state and of ethnic/racial groupings; and, theories of incorporation of these groups by the nation state.

 

POLS5318 – WOMEN IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This course examines women and gender in the political process, exploring various theoretical and methodological approaches helpful in studying gender and politics.

 

POLS5319 – CONGRESSIONAL BEHAVIOR

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This course addresses several major questions regarding the nature of Congress as an institution, the behaviors of its members, and the role Congress plays in shaping public policy and the general nature of a representative democracy. Students are expected to have the ability to comprehend readings that are heavily quantitative. Course requirements will include weekly writings, a research paper and exams.

 

POLS5320 – THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

An overview course on the U.S. Presidency, exploring the institution as well as its relationship to other branches and political actors.

 

POLS5321 – THE PRESIDENCY AND DOMESTIC POLICY

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This course examines presidential and domestic policy making, exploring how the president makes policy, focusing on theories of presidential leadership, White House organization and presidential-congressional interactions.

 

POLS5322 – SEPARATION OF POWERS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Theories behind institutional design and the historical development of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches in the United States. Emphasis is placed on interactions of these institutions of government and current separation of powers controversies.

 

POLS5323 – STATE COURT SYSTEMS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Examination of the major theories of judicial politics and public law applied to the state court level. Topics include attention to the institutional, strategic, and attitudinal perspectives of judicial behavior.

 

POLS5324 – PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Examination of the U. S. national policymaking process from agenda setting to policy outcomes. A variety of analytical frameworks are introduced to analyze power structures.

 

POLS5325 – STATE GOVERNORS AND LEGISLATURES

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Examination of the similarities and differences in the organization of state legislative and executive offices. Course focuses on the organization of state governments and the behavior of state elites.

 

POLS5326 – STATE/LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLICYMAKING

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Focus on policy problems. Emphasis is on trends in state policy, interstate policy innovation and diffusion, and the effects of federal programs on state policy choices.

 

POLS5327 – URBAN POLICYMAKING AND ADMINISTRATION

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Focus on the influence of economic, political, institutional, and organizational factors on urban policymaking and administration. A variety of regime and power structure models facilitate the analysis of urban policymaking.

 

POLS5328 – PUBLIC POLICY AND MEXICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Focus on the public policy process and the limited role Mexican Americans have had in national and state (TX) policymaking. Select topic areas are utilized to focus on state actors, issues, allocation of resources, and the power structure for analytical purposes.

 

POLS5329 – PUBLIC BUDGETING

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

The concepts, processes, and policy impacts of taxation and public budgeting. Introduction to current research techniques, budgetary issues, and the relevant political economy literature.

 

POLS5330 – ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Analysis of the politics, economics, and administration of energy and environmental policies in the United States.

 

POLS5331 – POLITICAL SYSTEMS OF EAST ASIA

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Comparative analysis of the political institutions and processes of China and Japan, with emphasis on the aspects of political development.

 

POLS5332 – THEORIES OF THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Classical theories and concepts of international politics and models of foreign policy decision-making. Also may include the underlying assumptions in traditionalist vs. behavioralist approaches in examining international relations.

 

POLS5333 – IDENTITY AND POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Deeper examination of processes of state building and political development; state-society relations; Arabism; authoritarianism and democratization; oil and economic issues; Islamist politics; the role of transnational ideas.

 

POLS5334 – VIOLENCE AND DEPRIVATION IN WORLD POLITICS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Focuses on theoretical frameworks, empirical analysis, and policy relevance of myriad threats to individuals and communal groups. Examples include: human rights, failed states, violence, health issues, slavery and migration, environmental security.

 

POLS5335 – LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Designed to give students knowledge of the political development of Latin America by first examining general topics and then analyzing events in specific countries. Utilizes themes and concepts that are universal to all Latin American nations, but also stresses the different paths to political development that have been taken in each of these countries.

 

POLS5336 – REPRESSION AND REVOLUTION IN LATIN AMERICAN

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Examines issues of political repression and revolutionary participation in Latin America. Topics range from human rights violations to coups and revolutions.

 

POLS5337 – POLITICAL SYSTEMS OF RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Russia and the states of Eurasia from a comparative perspective. Analysis of how political issues and policies within these states have an impact upon economic, social, and cultural systems.

 

POLS5338 – AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Evaluation of some of the primary theories and models used in explaining American Foreign Policy. The course attempts to bridge the gaps that exist between theory and reality through approaches such as realism, neo-realism, deterrence, and others.

 

POLS5339 – ISRAELI IDENTITY AND THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This course will explore the deeper threads of Israeli identity, and how these impact Israeli policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict. Topics to be covered include: diverse and clashing identities (e.g., Jewish, democratic, Middle Eastern, Israeli); how identity clashes have played out in politics; outlines of Israeli foreign policy; specific policies toward the Palestinians.

 

POLS5341 – POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Course focuses on psychological approaches to international politics and examines how different perspectives can contribute to the study of world politics.

 

POLS5342 – INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This course describes the institutions, decision-making and activities of the worldAs leading international organizations to establish an understanding of the role of international organizations in managing contemporary global problems.

 

POLS5368 – HEALTH POLITICS AND POLICY

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Course will survey the political history of the health care debate in the United States as well as major features of federal health policy.

 

POLS5369 – SOCIAL POLICY

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This course examines the role of the federal government relating to social policy as a central theme of contemporary American politics. Issues surrounding the federal governmentAs attempt to create a social safety net and issues such as poverty will be confronted, as well as the central role of tax expenditures and attempts to roll back social policies.

 

POLS5380 – TOPICS IN U.S. POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS, PROCESS AND BEHAVIOR

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This course will focus on the specific aspects of U.S. governing institutions, processes, and behavior. A single aspect of U.S. politics will be examined in a given semester. (May be repeated for credit when topics vary.)

 

POLS5381 – TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This course will serve as a treatment of emerging and established nations. (May be repeated for credit when topics vary.)

 

POLS5382 – TOPICS IN PUBLIC LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

The role of U.S. national and state courts in policy making, constitutional law, and the examination of the evolution and nature of law in the United States. (May be repeated for credit when topics vary.)

 

POLS5383 – TOPICS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY MAKING

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

U.S. national policy making and program management, state and urban policy making and administration. (May be repeated for credit when topics vary.)

 

POLS5384 – TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Topics of international politics, including subjects such as American foreign policy, assessments of institutions, and international behavior.

 

POLS5391 – CONFERENCE COURSE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Research and reading in a specialized field under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty. Graded P/F/W.

 

POLS5392 – FEDERAL POLICYMAKING: INSIDE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

This summer course offered in Washington, DC through the Archer Program in Public Policy, takes students behind the scenes in the federal government to explain how the government works. Students meet with officials from Congress, the White House, Executive Branch agencies, lobbying firms, NGOs, think tanks, interest groups, and the media. The seminar requires significant student participation. The extensive literature on federal government dynamics will be sampled, but the focus will be on interaction with representatives of the major institutions that participate in the process of federal governance. Open to designated Archer Fellows only, by permission of POLS graduate advisor.

 

POLS5398 – THESIS

3 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Original research designed to augment existing studies of problems or topics related to one of the major fields of study.

 

POLS5692 – ARCHER CENTER WASHINGTON INTERNSHIP

6 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

An approved summer internship in a government or non-governmental organization in Washington, DC. Internships are arranged with assistance from the Archer Center staff. Students acquire and utilize the interpersonal skills necessary to function effectively in an office environment; they become conversant with the substantive issues on which their office focuses; and they develop time-management, priority-setting and other skills necessary to meeting the work and classroom demands of the Archer Graduate Program in Public Policy. Open to designated Archer Fellows only, by permission of POLS graduate advisor.

 

POLS5698 – THESIS

6 Lecture Hours  ·  0 Lab Hours

Original research designed to augment existing studies of problems or topics related to one of the major fields of study. 5398 graded R/F only; 5698 graded P/F/R.