Note: This Catalog was published in July 2009 and supersedes the 2008-2009 Catalog.
department web page: www.uta.edu/pols/pols.htm
department contact: email@example.com
graduate web page:
206 University Hall
(See School of Urban and Public Affairs)
(See Program in Humanities)
Thesis and Non-Thesis
449 University Hall, 817.272.3994
Cichock, Farrar-Myers, Gutierrez, Hekman, Ignagni, Marshall, Story
Clark, Deen, Knerr, Moon, Moore, Simowitz
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.
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.
Applicants are required to submit an official transcript(s), three (3) letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The department will review the application package in its entirety. The package is evaluated to determine if a student has achieved a 3.0 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 the university standard on the TOEFL examination (550 for paper examination, 213 for computer examination) or the IELTS examination (6.5).
Given the above standards, the department has established the following guidelines regarding admission status:
Students with unsatisfactory admissions materials (regardless of GPA) will be deferred until they provide satisfactory materials. If they do not do so, they will be denied admission.
An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline, but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements, may be granted provisional admission.
Being admitted on probationary status means that the student will be able to take their graduate level classes in their first semester after being admitted, but must earn a grade of "A" or "B" in each class during their first 12 hours of graduate coursework in the department. This regulation will be strictly enforced.
Students with a GPA of 2.5 to 2.69 and who were undergraduate political science majors with a GPA in political science classes of 3.0 or better will be admitted on probation.
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:
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 six areas:
Political Behavior and Processes-5300, 5311, 5391.
Comparative Politics-5303, 5312, 5391.
International Politics and Organization-5312, 5391.
Public Law and Jurisprudence-5301, 5313, 5391.
Public Administration and Policy Studies-5302, 5314, 5391.
Political Theory (Thought and Methodology)-5310, 5391.
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) 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 six 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.
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.
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.
The Department of Political Science participates in the interdisciplinary Master of Public Administration along with the School of Urban and Public Affairs (see the School of Urban and Public Affairs, Program in Public Administration).
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.
The grade of R (research in progress) is a permanent grade; completing course requirements in a later semester cannot change it. To receive credit for an R-graded course, the student must continue to enroll in the course until a passing grade is received.
An incomplete grade (the grade of I) cannot be given in a course that is graded R, nor can the grade of R be given in a course that is graded I. To receive credit for a course in which the student earned an I, the student must complete the course requirements. Enrolling again in the course in which an I was earned cannot change a grade of I. At the discretion of the instructor, a final grade can be assigned through a change of grade form.
Three-hour thesis courses and three- and six-hour dissertation courses are graded R/F/W only (except social work thesis courses). The grade of P (required for degree completion for students enrolled in thesis or dissertation programs) can be earned only in six- or nine-hour dissertation courses and nine-hour thesis courses. In the course listings below, R-graded courses are designated either "Graded P/F/R" or "Graded R." Occasionally, the valid grades for a course change. Students should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor or instructor for valid grade information for particular courses. (See also the sections titled "R" Grade, Credit for Research, Internship, Thesis or Dissertation Courses and Incomplete Grade in this catalog.)
POLS5197 - MASTER'S COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION (1 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
Recent literature in organizational theory, government restructuring, and policy management problems.
POLS5303 - COMPARATIVE POLITICAL SYSTEMS (3 - 0)
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 - 0)
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.
POLS5310 - EMPIRICAL THEORY AND RESEARCH METHODS (3 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
Analysis of the politics, economics, and administration of energy and environmental policies in the United States.
POLS5331 - POLITICAL SYSTEMS OF EAST ASIA (3 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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 - 0)
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.
POLS5380 - TOPICS IN U.S. NATIONAL POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS, PROCESS AND BEHAVIOR (3 - 0)
This course will focus on the specific aspects of the U.S. national 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 AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (3 - 0)
Treatment of emerging and established nations, U.S. foreign policy and international relations. (May be repeated for credit when topics vary.)
POLS5382 - TOPICS IN PUBLIC LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE (3 - 0)
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 - 0)
U.S. national policy making and program management, state and urban policy making and administration. (May be repeated for credit when topics vary.)
POLS5391 - CONFERENCE COURSE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE (3 - 0)
Research and reading in a specialized field under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty. Graded P/F/W.
POLS5398 - THESIS (3 - 0)
Original research designed to augment existing studies of problems or topics related to one of the major fields of study.
POLS5698 - THESIS (6 - 0)
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.
© 2009 The University of Texas at Arlington