Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science is designed to provide students with the substantive and analytical skills necessary to study important questions about how citizens influence government, the responsibilities and effectiveness of government, and the consequences of what public institutions and officials do for individual and community well-being. Course work explores Congress, the Supreme Court and other institutions, international relations, law, political behavior, political economy, political institutions, political theory, and public policy. The program prepares students for more advanced study and provides them with the core knowledge needed for professional education in law and public policy, and the skills useful for careers in business, education, government and public service.
Careers in Political Science
A bachelor’s degree in political science can be applied to many different career paths, from positions in government and business to journalism, teaching, nonprofit management and public policy analysis and advocacy. The career flexibility comes from the critical and strategic thinking skills that are developed in the major. As with most liberal arts degrees, a BA in political science will not prepare a student for a specific job, but it will instill knowledge and communication and analytical skills that are valued by employers. It also provides a foundation for graduate study or advanced professional education in fields such as law, public administration and public policy. The University’s Career Center is an important resource for students pursuing their career. Licensed counselors are available to provide strategies for mastering job interviews, writing professional cover letters and resumes and help students connect with campus recruiters, among other services.
Political Science at UT Dallas
The BA in political science degree requires 120 hours to graduate: 42 hours from the University’s core curriculum, 57 hours from the major and 21 hours of electives. Students must complete a set of core courses within the major. An 18-hour minor in political science also is offered through the school. All undergraduates can arrange for internships through the Career Center. In addition, students have the opportunity to spend a semester in Washington, D.C., completing an internship and taking classes through the Bill Archer Fellowship Program. Archer is highly competitive and open to the entire UT System, but UT Dallas students routinely earn a substantial number of slots. Students participate in a number of political- or law-related organizations including UT Dallas’ chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society.
The Pre-Law Advising and Resource Center at UT Dallas works with students interested in pursuing a legal career. Their guidance begins in the students’ early years at the University and continues through preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Many pre-law students at UT Dallas are admitted to the nation’s top 10 law schools, and the majority earn admission to law school on their first attempt. Undergraduates may enroll in classes included in the school’s master’s programs in constitutional law studies, legislative studies, public policy or general political science.
The Fast Track program enables exceptionally gifted UT Dallas students to include master’s level courses in their undergraduate degree plans. Students who meet the requirements for admission to graduate school and the minimum GPA requirement for their major can take up to 15 hours of graduate level coursework that can apply toward their undergraduate and graduate level coursework. To take graduate courses in the Fast Track program upper-division undergraduates must have completed 90 semester credit hours and petition their associate dean for permission to take graduate courses.
About the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
Every new generation inherits a world more complex than that of its predecessors, which prompts a need for new thinking about public policies that impact people’s daily lives. In the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS), we examine the implications of innovation and change for individuals and communities. The social sciences are where the world turns to for answers to the important issues of today and the future such as education and health policy, financial crises, globalization, policing, political polarization, public management, terrorism, and the application of geographical information sciences to study social, economic and environmental issues.
As an undergraduate in EPPS, you will have the opportunity to work with professors who are probing issues that will affect your future. You will develop the vital skills you need to thrive in a rapidly evolving, highly competitive job market. EPPS will prepare you for careers in government, non-profits and the private sector that enable you to make a real difference in the world of today and tomorrow. EPPS is at the forefront of leadership, ethics and innovation in the public and nonprofit sectors. Our students and faculty look forward to new opportunities to study and address the complex and evolving issues of the future. Research informs much of the instruction. The school has four centers of excellence:
- Center for Global Collective Action
- Texas Schools Project
- Institute for Urban Policy Research
- The Negotiations Center
Master of Arts: Political science
Master of Public Affairs: Public affairs
Master of Public Policy: Public policy
EPPS offers the following 15-hour graduate certificates, which generally can be completed in one year of part-time evening classes:
- Economic and Demographic Data Analysis: focusing on the understanding and application of quantitative analysis of demographic and economic data.
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS): focusing on the application of GIS in government, private sector and scientific areas.
- Geospatial Intelligence: focusing on the application of geospatial ideas and techniques to national security and other intelligence activity.
- Local Government Management: designed to broaden knowledge of important issues and approaches employed by professional local public administrators.
- Nonprofit Management: designed to provide an overview of the nature and context of nonprofit organizations and develop competencies needed by nonprofit managers.
- Program Evaluation: designed to provide students the opportunity to gain competencies in the design and implementation of program evaluations in fields such as education, health care, human services, criminal justice and economic development.
- Remote Sensing: focusing on remote sensing and digital image processing.