Department of Political Science

Department of Political Science

Location: 201 Social and Behavioral Sciences Building

Phone: (409) 880-8526

Chair: Thomas E. Sowers II

Fax (409) 880-1710, email

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.

Minors Offered

  • Minor in Political Science
  • Minor in Legal Studies

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 a 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.

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.