Political Science is the systematic study of the use of power to pursue a policy in an institutional setting and to exercise control over human society. Political Science is concerned with political interaction in the exploration of political attitudes, elections, interest groups, lobbying, organizations, and the electorate’s interaction in governmental settings.
Political Science courses are taught by permanent faculty members and distinguished adjunct professors. Undergraduate courses in Political Science, whether lectures or seminars, are designed to provide each student with a basic foundation and understanding of the American and International political process. The program is both challenging and stimulating, including internship requirements allowing students to develop the necessary practical skills to solidify a successful career choice, adequately prepare them for graduate study, law school, or relative employment following graduation. Texas Wesleyan University Political Science majors may select their program of study from (1)Bachelor of Arts, (2)Bachelor of Science, or (3)Bachelor of Science with a Pre-Law emphasis.
Courses place a strong emphasis on critical thinking and analytical writing. Students read assigned texts, write scholarly papers, engage in political science research, develop a political science research design, participate in group presentations, engage in case studies, and represent Texas Wesleyan University at various regional and national competitions. Texas Wesleyan University students may participate in the Model Arab League, Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association, the American Collegiate Moot Court Association, and regional and national Ethic Bowls. Our curriculum seeks to encourage professional responsibility, critical analysis of emerging issues and to prepare students with skills to realistically evaluate and analyze political systems, political development, and political thoughts and observations currently at work in the nation and world.
A Letter from the Faculty
The Political Science faculty at Texas Wesleyan University teach political science courses in a student-friendly environment with optimal emphasis on individualized student assistance and guidance. Faculty follow an “open door policy” and are readily accessible, with offices located in central proximity to the student mall and main campus thoroughfare. Political Science faculty take a personal interest in the academic success of their students, and share respective current research, book, and publication information with students in relevant class settings. The faculty makes a concerted effort to advance student knowledge and skills within the discipline to enhance a personal appreciation of national and global issues. The faculty strive to cultivate cultural awareness, political science inquiry, and educate students for future generations, encouraging interaction with Texas Wesleyan University alumna already distinguished in government, the public sector, and law.
Majors and Minors
The Political Science program requires the completion of 124 credit hours with a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 and a minimum major GPA of 2.0. This includes a minimum of 45 hours taken at Texas Wesleyan University, 24 of which must be upper level hours (3000 or 4000), of which 15 hrs. must be upper level hours (3000 or 4000) in your major course of study at Texas Wesleyan University. The major in Political Science must successfully complete all the undergraduate requirements to receive a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in political science. The B.A. degree requires the completion of 36 semester hours and 24 hours of related courses. The B.S. degree requires 36 semester hours and 12 hours of related courses. The B.S. degree, with a Political Science major with Pre-Law emphasis requires 42 semester hours and 12 hours of related courses. To minor in Political Science, 18 semester hours of required courses must be completed.
Majors are required to complete specific courses within their discipline, as well as courses relating to government and politics. These courses include:
- Scope and Methods of Political Science
- American Governement
- Judicial Process
- Political Theory
- Political Parties Parties and Pressure Groups
- Legislative Process
- American Constitutional Law
- European Governments
- International Law
- American Foreign Policy
- Criminal Law and Justice
- International Relations
- Moot Court
- Critical and Logical Reasoning
- The History of Rhetoric
- Ethical Thinking in the Professions
The Political Science courses are categorized into nine subject areas.
American Government and Politics
Theory and Methodology
International Relations and Law
American Constitutional Law
Public Law and Jurisprudence
Critical and Logical Reasoning
Specifically for Pre-Law, other resources can be found at the PreProfessional homepage.
Learn more about Careers in Political Science
1311. Introduction to Political Science 3 hours
A comparative inquiry into the system of ideas, values, and political
realities which gives structure to contemporary life and a consideration of
those significant forces which have helped shape our present world.
2302. Scope and Methods of Political Science 3 hours
An introduction to the scope, design, and methods of political inquiry.
2311. American Government 3 hours
A survey of the fundamental principles of American government with
special emphasis on the Texas government and Constitution. This course
satisfies the legislative requirements for teacher certification in Texas.
2314. Judicial Process (PLS 2314) 3 hours
A comparative introduction to the structures, processes, and politics of
3310. Civil Rights: Law and Society 3 hours
An examination of the development of civil rights and social ideologies as
reflected in racial, sexual, and ethnic discrimination law in various
environments and settings. It addresses the exercise of power through law
and legal changes as a mechanism of social reform.
3312. Political Theory 3 hours
A survey of philosophy from the seventeenth century to the twentieth
century with special emphasis on political thought.
3317. Political Parties and Pressure Groups 3 hours
A study of the role of political parties in the American process of
government and the techniques of pressure groups in effecting social action.
3318. Legislative Process (PLS 3318) 3 hours
A study of the composition of American legislative bodies and their
lawmaking functions, methods, and procedures.
3319. Criminal Law and Justice (PLS 3319, CRJ 3319) 3 hours
Covers (1) substantive criminal law, including crimes against the person,
crimes against property, crimes against the public, and defenses to
criminal accusations; (2) the pre-trial, trial, and appellate processes in
federal and Texas criminal cases; and (3) constitutional criminal
procedure, including searches, seizures, arrests, and police interrogation.
3320. Legal Ethics (PLS 3320) 3 hours
Prerequisite: sophomore standing
This course focuses on dynamic legal ethics within the paralegal profession.
Emphasis is placed on ethical duties and responsibilities toward clients,
third parties, and other legal and paralegal professions. Course open to all
students regardless of major.
3322. American Constitutional Law I (PLS 3322) 3 hours
Prerequisite: POL 2311
The study of the U.S. Constitution, Institutional Authority, Separation of
Powers and Nation-State Relations through an exploration of Supreme
Court cases concerned with the relationship between the individual and the
government. The cases studied are designed to explore federalism,
governmental powers, substantive due process and economic liberties
within the contest of Supreme Court decision-making.
3323. American Constitutional Law II (PLS 3323) 3 hours
The overall purpose of this course is to stimulate interest in civil and
personal freedoms established by the United States Constitution in the Bill
of Rights though critical and factual analysis of Supreme Court cases. A
working knowledge of judicial interpretation and analysis of the
Constitution is essential to this study.
3331. European Governments 3 hours
An analysis of the political and governmental systems of Great Britain,
France, West Germany, and Russia, contrasting the principles of parliamentary
democracy with those of dictatorship.
3352. Internship 3 hours
Prerequisite: POL 2311 and departmental approval
Provides the student with practical experience in government offices
(national, as in congressional district offices, state, and local in a variety of
fields) and in political campaign organizations and public service
organizations, as in consumer groups.
4302. Critical and Logical Reasoning3 hours
Prerequisite: PHI 2301, sophomore standing
This course focuses on preparing students for the LSAT and for the rigors of
law school through review of the LSAT component areas, writing exercises,
practice sessions, and logic application analysis. The course also develops
writing skills and constructs portfolios as part of the organizational
directives required for success in law/graduate school.
4307. Alternative Dispute Resolution (PLS 4307) 3 hours
Methods of resolving civil disputes without litigation, including mediation
4320. Moot Court Workshop (3PR 4320) 3 hours
Prerequisite: POL 2314, sophomore standing
A course that focuses on law in action in the form of simulated appellate
court proceedings—“moot court” actions. Students discuss major
constitutional issues through case briefs, a written appellate brief, and oral
argument. Students are afforded the opportunity to participate in
intramural and intercollegiate competitions. Open to all interested
students, regardless of major, minor, or career goals.
4321. International Law (PLS 4321) 3 hours
The systematic study of the legal principles determining international order.
The course emphasizes methods for settlement of disputes regarding the
rights, duties, and responsibilities of sovereign states.
4322. Foreign Policy of the United States (HIS 4322) 3 hours
A study of the diplomatic relations of the United States from its pre-
Revolutionary foundations to its present international posture.
4324. Trial Advocacy and Preparation (PLS 4324) 3 hours
The aim of this course is to train students in a range of performance skills
such as interviewing, negotiating advocacy so that they will be better able to
carry out tasks which are fundamental to the delivery of a range of basic
4351. International Relations (HIS 4351) 3 hours
The study of the political relations of the world of states with particular
attention being given to recent problems of international politics.
4355. History and Politics of the Middle East (HIS 4355) 3 hours
A historical and political approach to the study of the Middle East from the
Islamic era to the contemporary period.
4355H. History and Politics of the Middle East 3 hours
This Honors component discusses at length the theory of “offensive
realism” as brought forth in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by
political scientist and international security scholar John J. Mearsheimer.
This 2001 scholarly work illustrated various strategies that great powers use
to advance their interests. Other emerging theories and issues will also be
discussed, in addition to routine classroom activity. Discussions will include
in depth historical and evidentiary analysis of the strategies of great global
powers, based upon the theories put forth in this book and similar scholarly
4370H. The Power of the Presidency 3 hours
This Honors seminar discusses the power of the executive, both in terms of
the office and in terms of the office-holder. It includes active discussions of
the presidency, the presidents, and the politicians surrounding the executive
branch. It is a thoughtful and provocative analysis of the most powerful
position of government in the world, as seen through respected political
science research, literature, and scholarly comments. It is also a historical
exploration of where the executive branch “has been,” and where it might
be headed in the twenty-first century.