The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Political Science (Minor Required), Bachelor of Arts

The concepts, skills, and knowledge acquired as part of a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree can lead to many diverse career fields, including but not limited to civil service, teaching, law, policy consultant, journalism, non-profit sector management, Foreign Service, politics, and government. Acquired skills include oral, written, and technological communication, critical thinking and problem solving, and quantitative and qualitative analysis. A degree in political science can lead to a Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees. The Department of Political Science has divided the discipline into four sub fields:  U.S. Government & Politics,  World Politics,  Political Economy & Public Policy and  Political Theory.

Core Curriculum - 42 Hours

The Core Curriculum serves as a broad foundation for the undergraduate degree. All candidates for a bachelor’s degree must achieve core student learning outcomes, including communication, critical thinking, empirical and quantitative skills, teamwork, personal responsibility and social responsibility, by completing courses within each category or component area of the Core Curriculum as outlined below.

The University has approved specific courses that satisfy Core Curriculum Requirements. Approved courses can be found on the Core Curriculum page. Students seeking the most efficient way to complete the core curriculum and major or minor requirements are advised to take approved courses that can fulfill both requirements. Although core curriculum courses can also be used to fulfill major or minor requirements, earned credits hours are only applied once. 

Major Requirements – 37 Hours

Required Courses - 13 hours

Gateway to Political Science - 6 hours

Choose from: 
POLS 2330Introduction to Globalization

3

POLS 2340Introduction to Political Theory

3

POLS 2350Introduction to Political Economy

3

Or

ECON 2301Principles of Macroeconomics

3

Students may not take both POLS 2350 and ECON 2301 to fulfill the Gateway to Political Science requirement.

Research Methods and Capstone Experience – 7 hours

POLS 2470Introduction to Political Science Research

4

POLS 4370Senior Research Seminar

3

Prescribed Electives - 24 hours

In the prescribed electives, POLS 4392, POLS 4393, POLS 4394, and POLS 4395 combined may be taken no more than three times for credit, only two of which may be used to satisfy degree requirements.

US. Government and Politics – 6 hours


U.S. Political Institutions and State/Local Politics

Choose one from: 

POLS 3310U.S. State and Local Government

3

POLS 3311Contemporary Texas Politics

3

POLS 3319Archer Politics of National Memory

3

POLS 4310U.S. Judicial Process

3

POLS 4311U.S. Constitutional Law - Federalism

3

POLS 4312U.S. Constitutional Law - Civil Liberties

3

POLS 4313U.S. Legislative Process

3

POLS 4314U.S. Executive Process

3

POLS 4317Minority Representation in U.S. Political Institutions

3

POLS 4392Special Topics in U.S. Government & Politics

3

POLS 4310, POLS 4311, and POLS 4312 may not be used to satisfy both U.S. Political Institutions & State/Local Politics requirement and a requirement for the Legal Studies minor if selected.
U.S. Political Groups and Behavior

Choose one from:

POLS 3312U.S. Political Parties

3

POLS 3313U.S. Gender Politics

3

POLS 3350Voting Behavior, Campaigns, and Elections

3

POLS 3351Interest Groups and Political Movements

3

POLS 3352Media and Politics

3

POLS 4316/MASC 4316U.S. Latin@ Politics

3

POLS 4350Political Socialization and Civic Engagement

3

POLS 4351Public Opinion and Political Behavior

3

POLS 4352U.S. Race and Ethnic Politics

3

POLS 4353Race and Gender: The Politics of Intersectionality

3

POLS 4392Special Topics in U.S. Government & Politics

3

World Politics - 6 hours

Choose two from: 
POLS 3321Comparative Politics of Developing Nations

3

POLS 3323Middle Eastern Politics

3

POLS 3324Asian Politics

3

POLS 3330International Politics

3

POLS 3331Global Security

3

POLS 3332Revolution and Reform in Developing Nations

3

POLS 3333Gender Theory in World Politics

3

POLS 4320Latin American Politics

3

POLS 4321Central American Politics

3

POLS 4322Western European Politics

3

POLS 4323Mexican Politics

3

POLS 4324Contemporary Chinese Politics

3

POLS 4326Globalization & Identity Politics

3

POLS 4327Conflict Studies

3

POLS 4329Politics of Debt

3

POLS 4332International Organizations

3

POLS 4333/MASC 4333U.S. Mexico Border Relations

3

POLS 4393Special Topics in World Politics

3

 

Political Economy and Public Policy - 3 hours

Choose one from: 
POLS 3353Urban Political Economy

3

POLS 3355U.S. Public Policy

3

POLS 3356U.S. Economic Policy

3

POLS 4328Global Political Economy

3

POLS 4331U.S. Foreign Policy

3

POLS 4354/MASC 4354Immigration, Race, and Citizenship

3

POLS 4355U.S. Labor Policy

3

POLS 4356U.S. Environmental Policy

3

POLS 4360Class, Power, & the State

3

POLS 4361Inequality & the Welfare State

3

POLS 4362Money, Politics, & Policy

3

POLS 4394Special Topics in Political Economy & Public Policy

3

Political Theory - 3 hours

Choose one from: 
POLS 3340Classical Political Theory

3

POLS 3341Modern Political Theory

3

POLS 3342Contemporary Political Theory

3

POLS 4340Politics and Culture

3

POLS 4341U.S. Political Theory

3

POLS 4342Democratic Theory

3

POLS 4343Political Ideologies

3

POLS 4395Special Topics in Political Theory

3


 

Advanced Political Science Electives - 6 hours

Choose  six credit hours  from  any course from  the Advanced Political Science lists (all 3000 and 4000 level POLS courses)  not used to fulfill other requirements  or:
POLS 3190Internship

1

POLS 3390Independent Study

3

POLS 3319Archer Politics of National Memory

3

POLS 3391Archer Advocacy and Politics

3

POLS 3392Archer Policy Making Process

3

POLS 3393Internship

3

POLS 3690State Capitol Internship

6

POLS 4390Legal Research and Writing I

3

POLS 4391Legal Research and Writing II

3

Students may take 3 credit hours of POLS 3190 or POLS 3393 to satisfy 3 of the 6 credit hours for the advanced electives in political science.

POLS 3390 may be taken no more than twice (6 hours) for credit; topics must be different.

Only 3 credit hours of POLS 3391 will be accepted to satisfy 3 of the 6 credit hours for the advanced electives in political science.

Only 3 credit hours of POLS 3392 will be accepted to satisfy 3 of the 6 credit hours for the advanced electives in political science.

Minor - hours will vary

Minors vary in credit hours required. If applicable, the credit hours in the minor selected may impact the number of free electives required to reach the 120 credit hours needed to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Free Electives - hours will vary

Free elective credit hours at the advanced level may be needed to achieve the institutional minimum of 42 advanced hours.

Total Credit Hours: 42

Total Credit Hours: 120

Major Graduation Requirements

Specific graduation requirements required for this program beyond university bachelor’s degree requirements. 

Students must complete POLS 4370 Senior Research Seminar with a minimum grade of C.