• home
  • Department of Political Science

Department of Political Science

BA in Political Science | BS in Political Science | Minor in Political Science |
Minor in Legal Studies | Course Descriptions


Chair: Rhonda L. Callaway     (936) 294-4108 

FacultyRobin Bittick, Jonathan Brown, Rhonda Callaway, William Carroll, John Domino, Laren Edwards, Jason Enia, Heather Evans, Masoud Kazemzadeh, Jeongwoo Kim, Mitzi Mahoney, Kenneth McIntyre, Ashley Ross, Stacy Ulbig, Tamara Waggener, Clayton Wukich, Mike Yawn

SecretaryEvelyn McDaniel, Kristin Kunz        (936) 294-4571

Information:  polsci@shsu.edu      (936) 294-1457

On Campus: Building CHSS, Rm. 490

Mail: P.O. Box 2149, Huntsville, TX 77341-2149

Website: www.shsu.edu/academics/political-science

Political Science is an exciting discipline, mixing the drama of politics with the development of analytical and communication skills. Students examine elections and campaigns; the causes and impact of war; the creation, implementation, and adjudication of law; and the interplay among government, business, and nonprofit sectors. The discipline prepares students to compete in a changing global economy, helping them land jobs in the fields of law, government, nonprofits, and business.


The mission of the Political Science Department is to provide students with theoretical knowledge and understanding of core concepts and principles in Political Science while helping students develop practical experience and skills that are necessary for the marketplace. Within that context, the department focuses on programs and courses that emphasize civic engagement, public service, and citizenship and ethics at the local, state, national, and global levels.

To carry out this mission, the Political Science faculty endeavor to:

  • Develop students’ analytical, writing, speaking, interpersonal, and professional skills
  • Prepare students for professional careers in the 21st century
  • Build students’ citizenship skills, knowledge, and activism
  • Help students understand human beings in their diversity and appreciate democratic values
  • Expand the frontiers of knowledge in Political Science and public and nonprofit administration
  • Contribute to a better community within the university and the society.

Academic Programs

The department offers courses in five areas: American government and politics, international relations and foreign policy, comparative politics, public administration and policy, and political theory and methodology.


Political Science faculty members bring unique backgrounds to the classroom. They have strong academic and real-world credentials, with doctorates from top schools and practical experience in government and politics. Visiting professors have included a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a former member of Congress, and judges from the Texas Supreme Court.

Suggested Minors

The Legal Studies minor is offered through the Political Science department and is designed to help prepare students for law school and the legal profession.

Beyond considering Legal Studies as a minor, students should select a minor that suits their interests and career needs. Common minors include Agriculture, American Studies, Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Environmental Science, General Business, Geography, History, Legal Studies, Mass Communication (Journalism), Middle Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Public Policy and Management, Sociology, Foreign Languages, and Statistics.

Career Opportunities

The Political Science curriculum lays the foundation for numerous exciting careers. By developing students’ critical thinking, writing, and awareness of public problems, students graduate well prepared for jobs in business, government, nonprofits, and teaching. Recent graduates currently work as lawyers, judges, elected officials, lobbyists, nonprofit managers, business leaders, teachers, professors, talk-show hosts, military officers, and in many other fields.

Political Science also helps prepare students for graduate school or law school. Recent graduates have matriculated at top graduate schools across the country in political science, campaign management, and public administration, and SHSU is one of the top seven percent of national universities in producing law-school students.

Student Organizations and Activities

The Political Science department promotes student activities on campus and in the community. Our students hold positions in student government, campus social service and political organizations. Our students volunteer with local organizations such as Boys and Girls Club, the SAAFE House, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Habitat for Humanity. The department recognizes student achievement with membership in Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science honor society.


Advanced students are encouraged to gain professional experience, make contacts, and explore career options through the department’s successful internship program. Recently, students have interned in city and county governments, the state legislature, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of State, nonprofit groups, both major political parties, and law offices.


In addition to the University’s student financial aid programs, the Department of Political Science also offers scholarships to majors and minors. For information, contact the department secretary. Information on University scholarships is available on the Office of Academic Scholarships website at http://www.shsu.edu/~fao_www/scholarships/index.html or by phone at (936) 294-1672.


Bachelor of Arts, Major in Political Science

Degree Requirements:

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Bachelor of Science, Major in Political Science

Degree Requirements:

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Minor in Political Science

Minors in Political Science must complete 18 hours in Political Science, including POLS 2305 and POLS 2306. Twelve hours must be advanced and taken in residence. No grade below C in Political Science will count toward this minor.

Minor in Legal Studies

Minors in Legal Studies must complete 18 semester credit hours of required courses and electives. In keeping with the intent of a minor to broaden the student’s background knowledge, none of the courses taken by Legal Studies minors may be used to satisfy the requirement of any other major or minor. Every student enrolling in the Legal Studies Minor will be required to take Constitutional Law I (POLS 4334) and Constitutional Law II (POLS 4335). In addition, minors have two categories of electives where they must choose one Law-Related Skills Course (COMS 3382, ENGL 3377, PHIL 3362, or PHIL 2303) which, with the exception of COMS 3382 ad PHIL 3362, must be writing enhanced.  Students must also take three courses pertaining to Substantive Legal Content. Students may only take one course from a single department and two of the three courses must be writing enhanced. The student may choose courses from Criminal Justice (CRIJ 4330, CRIJ 4332, CRIJ 4380CRIJ 3361, CRIJ 3362), General Business (BUAD 3355, BUAD 3365BUAD 3360, BUAD 4340), Mass Communications (MCOM 4371), Political Science (POLS 3334, POLS 3338, POLS 3395), Psychology (PSYC 3383), and Sociology (SOCI 3354, SOCI 3325, SOCI 3324, SOCI 3355).

Requirements for Teacher Certification

Students who want to teach in a high school or junior high school can do so with the Social Science Composite program. A graduate with the social science certification will be able to teach government, economics, history, sociology, or geography at the eighth to twelfth grade level. The ability to teach several areas makes it much more likely to find and keep a job. Under present state rules, certification in Political Science (government) alone is no longer available. History is the only social science for which certification is available without the social science composite.

Students may qualify for teacher certification in the social sciences under either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees. Students seeking certification in the social studies for grades 4-8 should pursue the Interdisciplinary Academic Studies Major for a Bachelor of Science Degree with certification for 4-8 Social Studies. This is found in Elementary Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Students interested in certification should consult with their political science advisor and a secondary education advisor in the College of Education early in their program. Because of the number of courses required, students should take as many courses as possible that meet more than one requirement. These are indicated in the model curricula. Note that for teacher certification, no grade below C in social science courses is accepted.

Social Science Composite with Political Science Emphasis for Secondary Education

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science:
Political Science: BA 24 hours; BS 27 hours: POLS 2305 *; POLS 2306POLS 3335; POLS 3378; 3 hours from among POLS 4334 or POLS 4335; 6 hours from among POLS 3336, POLS 3337, and POLS 3377. For BS: POLS 3374
Geography: GEOG 1301 and GEOG 1101*, GEOG 1321, GEOG 2355, GEOG 2356, GEOG 3359, GEOG 4358
History: HIST 1301*, HIST 1302*, HIST 2311*, HIST 2312, HIST 3369, HIST 3379, HIST 3398
Economics: ECON 2301* and ECON 2302**
Sociology: SOCI 1301

* Courses that should be taken as part of the Core Curriculum.

** Students seeking teacher certification should use general electives for the certification courses and should consult with their advisor in Teacher Education as to the timing of the courses.  Required courses are listed just above.

Requirements for Teacher Certification*: CISE 3374CISE 3383, CISE 3394, CISE 4364, CISE 4380, CISE 4396, CISE 4397; READ 3392; and COMS 3384 (preferred) or COMS 1361**.

The Social Science Composite may be taken with or without teacher certification.  Ordinarily, COMS 3384, CISE 3374, and CISE 3383 are taken prior to the teaching methods block (READ 3392, CISE 3394, and CISE 4364). This is followed by student teaching (CISE 4380, CISE 4396 and CISE 4397).

*Students seeking teacher certification should use general electives for the certification courses and should consult with their advisor in Teacher Education as to the timing of the courses.

Required courses are listed just above.

**If not seeking teacher certification, students may substitute COMS 1331, COMS 2382, COMS 3382, COMS 3383, THEA 1364, or THEA 2336.

Sam Houston State Logo

Sam Houston State University | Huntsville, Texas 77341 | (936) 294-1111 | (866)BEARKAT Member TSUS
© Copyright Sam Houston State University | All rights reserved. | Contact Web Editor