For more information about degree offerings from the faculty of political science, visit the Department of Political Science webpage.
Political ideas and institutions impact our lives in many ways, even if they are little noticed by much of the public. Yet when the world is in turmoil, in recession, at war, or in some other such period of transition, politics makes itself felt. The study of politics is the study of power and change, stability and continuity, leadership and authority. In short, it is the study of our collective existence together and the struggle to establish-or disrupt-order.
We study political science for many reasons. It is a source for hints, suggestions, and direction that might help to explain the instability we feel around us. It helps us uncover insights into the ideas that have driven history forward. It helps us make sense of the various facts and trends related to societal and cultural development. It helps us locate the intersecting causes of conflict and cooperation, whether on a global, national, or local scale.
Political science is essential to the preservation and maintenance of democracy; for this reason, it is as essential as ever. A democratic society is a wonderful engine of dynamic innovation, but these innovations are constantly under challenge. For some, change is desirable, and analysis of power and authority will enable them to establish strategies for transformation. To others, the past is a source of wisdom, and understanding that past will give insights into its preservation. Understanding both the proponents and opponents of change-broadly conceived-is essential to ensuring that we can coincide peacefully.
As no career is untouched by politics, political science also makes a good second major and a good minor. For majors, political science is one of the grand entrances into law, government service, teaching, the nonprofit sector, or business. Political sciences leads to many different career paths, as a political science degree is built upon a foundation of critical thought, clear communication, and a problem-solving-and just as importantly, a problem-understanding-orientation toward the world.
Undergraduate Academic Programs
The faculty of political science offers courses leading to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in political science .
The faculty encourages students to study abroad.
Program Learning Outcomes
By the time students have finished the three introductory 2000-level courses, they will have competency in at least one of the three Learning Outcome rubrics listed under each subfield.
- Students will achieve both Program Learning Outcomes in any subfield in which they have taken one or more 3000 to 4000-level courses and/or have completed the Senior Project.
Students from the American politics subfield will be able to:
- Explain current political and governmental structures and/or processes in the United States.
- Critically analyze the social, cultural, and ideological development of American political ideas and/or institutions.
Students from the international studies subfield will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of politics, institutions, culture and governance issues within and among states, regional, international and transnational actors.
- For International Relations courses: Analyze the historical development and patterns of interaction among the above actors and evaluate the structural, ideological, social, economic, and political factors that shape those interactions.
- For Comparative Politics courses: Comprehensively synthesize in comparative context the political structures, institutions, governing processes, and cultures of a diverse selection of developed and developing countries.
Students from the political and legal theory subfield will be able to:
- Explain the great political thinkers and arguments that have shaped the development of political life in the West for over 2500 years.
- Critically analyze contemporary arguments about recurrently contested political ideas, such as equality, liberty, virtue, tolerance, and justice.
Teacher Education Program
Students seeking secondary teacher certification in social studies must declare education as a second major. This double major leads to teacher certification in Oklahoma (and preparation for certification in other states). In order to qualify, students must complete all the tasks listed on the Department of Education page of this Bulletin, including acceptance into the Teacher Education Program and to the Student Teaching Semester.
In addition, social studies education majors must include the following courses as part of their political science major:
Social studies education majors are assigned two faculty advisors, one in the Department of Political Science and one in the Department of Education .
Jeffrey D. Hockett
Michael A. Mosher