Political Science

Jeffrey Herndon (Department Head and Graduate Advisor)
Location: 152 Ferguson Social Sciences Building, 903-886-5317
Political Science Web Site

The Political Science Department offers a graduate certificate for Holocaust Studies.  The graduate certificate is not exclusive to the Political Science Master's students but designed to be interdisciplinary and to meet the needs of educators in Texas who offer curriculum components on the Holocaust and other genocides.

Graduates students who want to earn this certificate must have admission to the Graduate School and take 12 out of 15 semester hours of courses developed for this certificate.  Contact Dr. Jeffrey Herndon at 903/886-5312 or Jeffrey.Herndon@tamuc.edu for more information.

Note: Individual departments may reserve the right to dismiss from their programs students who, in their judgment, would not meet the professional expectations of the field for which they are training. Once admitted students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

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PSCI 502 - Research, Concepts, and Approaches in Political Science
Hours: 3
The formulation and justification of research questions and the research design. An examination of the major qualitative research approaches such as case studies, comparative historical, institutional, etc. The course aims to teach students the basic methods and reasoning procedures for conducting advanced research in political science.

PSCI 503 - Proseminar in Comp Pol
Hours: 3
This course is an introduction to some of the dominant issues in contemporary comparative politics. The emphasis will be on important concepts, theories, and debates in the field. Topics to be covered include: modernization and political development, state/society relations, regime theory, rebellion and revolution, comparative political economy and development and the politics of institution design

PSCI 504 - Sem in Area Studies
Hours: 3
This course examines the institutions and processes of the major regions of the world: Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America May be repeated for credit as topics vary.

PSCI 505 - Topics Comp Pol
Hours: 3
This course is a focused and thorough analysis of a number of topics on global issues with a particular emphasis on the problems and challenges facing the developing world. Topics can include such issues as trade and political development, emerging economies, democracy and democratic theory, political socialization, refugees and IDPs, women and development, human rights, environmental challenges, and political violence. Some topics will be approached generally or regionally while others will utilize case studies. e.g., Grameen Bank. It may be repeated as topics change.

PSCI 506 - Proseminar in IR
Hours: 3
This course provides students with a critical assessment of the major theories and concepts which define international relations as a field of study. It has two goals. The first is an in-depth analysis of explanatory theories such as realism, idealism, structuralism, neo-liberalism, interdependence, functionalism and of core concepts such as sovereignty, national interest, collective security, and balance of power. The second goal is an examination of the historical evolution of international systems, with focus on the modern state system and the Cold War period. Special attention is given to the processes and institutions (e.g. international law, United Nations, NGOs, international civil society) that contribute to conflict resolution and international cooperation. The objective of this course is to provide the foundations (conceptual, historical, theoretical) that graduate students in International Relations need as a preparation for the curriculum's more specialized and advanced courses. Pre-requisites : PSCI 502

PSCI 507 - Selected Topics in IR
Hours: 3
This course is a focused and thorough analysis of a number of topics broadly addressing international security, international political economy, and international organizations. Topics can include such issues as causes of war, the balance of power, alliances, humanitarian intervention and peacekeeping, states and markets, power and wealth, the nature of conflict and cooperation, and the role of international institutions and organizations. May be repeated as topics vary.

PSCI 508 - Seminar in Foreign Policy
Hours: 3
This course is an introduction to foreign policy analysis in comparative perspective. It is a survey and critique of the theoretical approaches to understanding foreign policy including the determinants of foreign policy and decision making models along with empirical analysis of selected country case studies in foreign policy.

PSCI 509 - Seminar in American Government and Politics
Hours: 3
This graduate seminar provides an introduction to, and overview of, some of the most important research in the various sub-fields of American government and politics. It is designed to be the first graduate course on American politics that students take. It is intended to be broad in scope and to provide a theoretical, methodological, and substantive foundation for further study of American politics.

PSCI 510 - Sem in Am Pol Beh
Hours: 3
Seminar in American Political Behavior - Three semester hours This seminar focuses on current research on American political behavior. It examines topics such as public opinion, and political participation, and may give particular attention to electoral politics and voting behavior. The antecedents of opinions and participation are analyzed along with the consequences and implications of people’s opinions and behavioral patterns. Methods of studying these phenomena are critically assessed. May be repeated as topics vary.

PSCI 511 - Sem in Am Pol Inst
Hours: 3
Seminar in American Political Institutions - Three semester hours This seminar focuses on current research on American political institutions. It examines topics including legislatures, elected executives, bureaucracies, and judicial institutions. Among the subjects that may receive consideration are methods of election or appointment, decision-making processes, and policy outcomes. Methods of studying these topics are critically assessed. May be repeated as topics vary.

PSCI 512 - Qual Res Methods
Hours: 3
Qualitative Research Methods - Three semester hours This course is designed to introduce students to the principles and methods of qualitative research. It examines some of the main methods used by qualitative researchers in the social sciences such as participant observation, interviewing, archival research, and historical analysis.

PSCI 513 - Prosem in Pol Theory
Hours: 3
Proseminar in Political Theory - Three semester hours The pro-seminar in political theory studies and contributes to the ever-evolving dialogue about the ultimate realities that shape political life and the ultimate principles that should guide it. Animated by the Socratic spirit, this dialogue has been carried on by secular and religious thinkers, non-Western as well as Western. Central to political theory is a sustained inquiry into the nature of justice, and into the fundamental needs, both spiritual and material, of humanity in general and of particular groups. Political theory seeks to evaluate the contrasting conceptions of justice and of the good life that have been advanced by different thinkers and societies, critically examining the most important rival regimes or constitutional structures that have been promoted as best fulfilling humanity’s truest political needs and goals. At the same time, political theory wrestles with urgent issues confronting contemporary society. Political theory draws on, contributes to, interrogates, and sometimes criticizes the research agendas of social scientists employing contemporary empirical research methods

PSCI 514 - Ideology of Third Reich
Hours: 3
This course is an in-depth examination of the origins and dynamics of the ideology of the Third Reich. Among these dynamics the course examines religious secularization alongside the “sacralization of politics’ during the Third Reich. Readings and discussion uncover how concepts such as race, blood, soil, state, nation and Führer were incorporated into the sphere of faith, salvation, sacredness and myth which led these notions to acquire absolute meaning within the German ideological realm. Within this ideology, Jews came to be characterized as the enemy of all that this ideology sought to achieve and negate.

PSCI 515 - Select Topics Holocaust
Hours: 3
This course takes a more in-depth look at selected topics on the Holocaust. Selected topics courses will vary and each will explore in detail topics and themes among the following: Holocaust Perpetrators; Jewish Life in the Ghettos; Concentration/Extermination Camps; Jewish Resistance; Women and the Holocaust; Bystanders and Rescuers; The Holocaust through Diaries/Memoirs/Letters; The Nuremberg Tribunals and Holocaust Accountability. May be repeated as topics vary.

PSCI 516 - The Holocaust
Hours: 3
This course is an extensive overview of the destruction of European Jewry from 1933 to 1945. It examines political, economic, and social conditions in Germany following World War I leading to the rise of the National Socialist Party and their consolidation of power paving the way for the Holocaust. It also examines the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany first by understanding traditional forms of anti-Judaism and its evolution into modern anti-Semitism. This course also focuses on Nazi propaganda and the persecution of German Jews between 1933 and 1938 and fate of all European Jews beginning in 1939 until 1944. It studies the “Final Solution” and concludes with an examination of the persecution of non-Jews in the Third Reich.

PSCI 518 - Thesis
Hours: 3-6
Thesis The student will work on the thesis under the supervision of an adviser in the department of Political Science and an advisory committee. The Thesis will include the development of a prospectus, collection, analysis and interpretation of data and the final writing of the thesis. To be scheduled only with the consent of the department and no credit will be assigned until the thesis has been completed and filed with the graduate dean. Pre-requisites : Successful completion of the department's oral examination

PSCI 522 - Holocaust and Genocide
Hours: 3
This course places the Holocaust and other cases of genocide in the 20th century in a comparative and cultural context. The course examines the various factors that cause genocide, the theoretical and legal debates over labeling genocides, the importance of survivor testimony in documenting genocide along with the role of the international community in responding to acts of genocide.

PSCI 523 - Holocaust Genocide Educ
Hours: 3
The Holocaust and Genocide Education - Three semester hours This course begins with an examination of the development of Holocaust education and early Holocaust educators in the United States. It also is designed to provide political and historical context of the Holocaust to facilitate instructional strategies. It also is an in depth examination of the various pedagogical methods and curriculum materials available for teaching the Holocaust and genocide. It also examines the numerous resources available for teachers to facilitate the development of curriculum materials for middle, secondary, and post-secondary education on the Holocaust and genocide. Pre-requisites : PSCI 516

PSCI 540 - Applied Data Analysis for Political Science
Hours: 3
This course introduces students to three important and related topics of political methodology: research design, data analysis, and statistical inference. Students will be exposed to a number of important topics from these three categories so that they can become informed consumers as well as producers of quantitative political science research.

PSCI 541 - Seminar in American Public Policy
Hours: 3
This course considers the various theoretical and empirical explanations for federal public policy making in the United States. The course focuses on two important components: introducing students to the important scholarly theories of how public policy is defined, constructed, implemented, and evaluated; and then studying the applications of these theories to specific roles of important political actors and institutions in the policy-making process.

PSCI 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 3
Independent Study. One to four semester hours. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

PSCI 595 - Research Project
Hours: 3
Research Project - Three semester hours Required of students in Option II. This course requires the preparation of a research design on a topic agreed upon by the student and instructor.

PSCI 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 3
Special Topics - Three semester hours May be repeated as topics vary.

Political Science

Jangsup Choi
Associate Professor
BA., MA., Dankook University, Korea; Ph.D., Texas Tech University

Jeffrey Herndon
Associate Professor, Department Head, and Coordinator, Legal Studies Program (minor)
B.A., M.A., Texas State University San Marcos; Ph.D., Louisiana State University.

Chad King
Assistant Professional Track
B.A., University of Maine; M.A., Ph.D., Stony Brook University.

Robert Rodriguez
Associate Professor and Interim Associate Dean CHSSA
B.A., University of California; M.A., Ph.D., University of Kansas.