Department of Political Science

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political scienceCONTACT INFORMATION:
113 Holden Hall
Box 41015, Lubbock, TX 79409-1015
T 806.742.3121 | F 806.742.0850


About the Program

This department supervises the following degree and certificate programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Global Studies
  • Master of Arts in Political Science
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science
  • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Studies

Dual Degree Programs

  • Master of Public Administration/Master of Arts in Economics
  • Master of Public Administration/Master of Science in Environmental Toxicology
  • Master of Public Administration/Doctor of Jurisprudence

The department also participates in the Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Cultures with a specialization in Russian Language and Area Studies; a minor in women's studies; Honors College programs; and Arts and Sciences minors in urban studies, international studies, ethnic studies, and Asian studies.


Undergraduate Program

The political science curriculum is designed to provide students with a solid foundation and broad understanding of the discipline of political science and to allow them to specialize in areas of particular substantive interest. Political science provides excellent instruction for students interested in politics, law, journalism, teaching, or civil service. Insight into political values, domestic policy issues, and foreign policy are invaluable for students interested in such careers as well as for careers in business.

Students seeking an undergraduate degree in political science must complete 30 hours of coursework within the department. Political science majors are required to take POLS 1301. All majors are required to take POLS 3310, 3361, 3371, and 15 hours of upper-level POLS courses (must include 6 hours of writing intensive courses).

Under state law, all students who receive bachelor's degrees from Texas Tech must have received credit for 6 semester hours in political science, covering the federal and Texas constitutions. Students will normally fulfill this requirement by completing POLS 1301, which is a prerequisite for all upper-division political science courses, and POLS 2302.

Minor – The requirement for a minor in political science is 18 hours, including POLS 1301 and 2302. Political science minors are also required to take either POLS 3361 or 3371 plus 9 hours of upper-level POLS courses.

Transfer Students – Transfer students who major in political science must complete at least 9 credit hours at the 3000/4000-level in political science at Texas Tech. Transfer students who minor in political science must complete at least 6 credit hours at the 3000/4000- level in political science at Texas Tech.

Teacher Education – Students seeking certification to teach in the secondary schools of Texas may qualify for such certification by completing requirements for the Bachelor of Arts. Consult the political science advisor and the College of Education for details

Requirements and Prerequisites – POLS 1301 is a prerequisite for all upper-division political science courses. A student must receive at least a C in courses in political science that apply to major, minor, or teaching field requirements.

Writing Intensive Requirement – All majors are required to take 6 hours of writing intensive courses. Each semester the department designates two or more 3000-level courses as Writing Intensive under the university's policy of writing intensive requirements. The designation is not visible in the catalog course description because the courses change each semester, but the designation is visible in the Banner online schedule and course attributes. The department and the Dean of Arts and Sciences Student Division have a list of the writing intensive POLS courses for reference. For questions about the writing intensive requirements or courses in the department, contact a departmental advisor.

Accelerated Bachelor's-to-Master's Degree Program – The department offers two accelerated bachelor's-to-master's programs.

For the B.A./M.A. in Political Science, undergraduate political science majors may apply for admission to the master's program during their junior year. If accepted, they will begin taking graduate courses during their senior year. Nine hours of graduate coursework taken during the senior year will count toward both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

The 153-hour B.A. in Political Science/M.P.A. is open only to seniors who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in their major courses. Students must apply for this program in their junior year. They will then take 9 hours of graduate public administration courses in their senior year that will count for both the undergraduate and graduate M.P.A. requirements.

For more information about either accelerated program, contact the graduate advisor at or visit the department.


Bachelor of Arts in Political Science


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Graduate Program

For the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, the department emphasizes and encourages specialization in the following areas of political science: American institutions and behavior, comparative politics, and international relations. In addition, the department offers graduate courses in political theory, methodology, public policy, public administration, and strategic studies.

To be admitted to the M.A. or Ph.D. program, the student must submit a department application form along with three letters of reference. In addition, the student must complete the Graduate School admission process, including the Graduate School application form, submission of GRE scores, and submission of official transcripts showing prior graduate and undergraduate work. Students applying to any of these programs should have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 in undergraduate and graduate work. M.A. and Ph.D. students must develop their courses of study in consultation with the department's director of political science graduate programs.

Master's Programs

Master's degree work may follow either of two plans: 24 hours of coursework plus a thesis or 36 hours of coursework without a thesis. M.A. students are required to take POLS 5381 and 5382. The M.P. A. program requires 36 hours of coursework, an additional 3-hour capstone course, and an internship assignment. Courses are scheduled so that the M.P. A. degree may be obtained in evening study.

Master of Public Administration – The program for the Master of Public Administration degree is designed to prepare students to assume administrative positions in government, health and nonprofit agencies. Persons already employed in government can be prepared to assume more advanced positions. Applicants to the M.P. A. program should complete the Graduate School application process and submit two letters of reference.

The M.P.A. degree is a non-thesis program that requires 36 hours of in-class coursework, a 3-hour internship, and a 3-hour capstone practicum. Of these hours, 21 are specified as core curriculum and must be completed by all students. The remaining 18 hours are electives that are grouped as a combination of courses in a major field of concentration and an area of emphasis. The 3-hour internship can be waived for in-service students with substantial public service work experience. There are no foreign language or thesis requirements. M.P. A. students must develop their courses of study in consultation with the department's M.P. A. director. Comprehensive examinations are given during the last semester of the candidate's coursework.

Specialty tracks include public management, fiscal administration, policy analysis, health administration, and nonprofit management.

Doctoral Program

The doctoral degree requires a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree, exclusive of credit for the dissertation. A minimum tool requirement for all Ph.D. students is the successful completion of POLS 5381 and 5382 (or their equivalents) plus POLS 5383. Additional language or tool requirements may be imposed at the time of the student's preliminary examination and will be tailored to the student's field of specialization. Students may be admitted directly into the doctoral program without first having completing a master's degree.

Students are required to complete coursework in one major field and two minor fields, one of which may be taken outside the department. For the qualifying examination, the student will select one major field and one minor field, and will be tested in those fields only. However, if the student chooses to take a minor outside the department, the outside field will automatically be counted as the second minor field and will be exempted from examination.

Additional information and application materials for these programs can be found at Interested students may also address questions and information requests to for the M.A. and Ph.D. programs and to for the M.P. A. program. A brochure providing additional information may also be obtained by writing to the department.

Dual Degree Programs

Dual Master of Public Administration/Doctor of Jurisprudence – The School of Law and the Graduate School of Texas Tech offer a dual degree program that allows students to complete the requirements for the M.P.A. and the J.D. degrees in less than the five years normally required if the degrees were pursued separately. The dual program reduces the total required hours through a reciprocal arrangement by which 12 hours of approved public administration courses are counted as elective credit toward the J.D. degree, and 12 hours of law are counted as credits towards the M.P.A. degree. To enter the program, candidates must apply separately to the School of Law and the Graduate School and be accepted by both (see top left column for admission information). The degree is designed so that students complete the first year of law school before taking a mix of PUAD and law school courses.

Dual Master of Public Administration/Master of Arts in Economics – The Department of Political Science and the Department of Economics, both in the College of Arts and Sciences, offer a 54-hour dual degree program leading to the Master of Public Administration and Master of Arts in Economics. The program will be particularly helpful to students intending to specialize in areas such as fiscal administration and policy analysis. To fulfill the requirements of the dual degree program, students must take a total of 54 hours: 21 hours of core courses in public administration; 18 hours in economics; 12 hours of approved elective courses in public administration, economics, or a related field; and 3 hours of internship in public administration.

Dual Master of Public Administration/Master of Science in Environmental Toxicology – The Department of Environmental Toxicology and the Department of Political Science, both in the College of Arts and Sciences, offer a three-year 61- to 62-hour dual degree program leading to the M.P.A. and a M.S. in Environmental Toxicology. This program is designed primarily for students who wish to complement their expertise in environmental toxicology with training in public management and policy analytic skills. This dual degree program reduces the number of hours required in the program by 12. Students are required to complete the 21-hour core program, take 6 hours of approved electives, and complete a 3-hour internship.

Graduate Certificate Program

The Department of Political Science offers a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Studies. The 15-hour program prepares students to fill the need for strategic positions in all branches of federal government, officers in the armed forces of the United States, and officials in state and local governments to deal with the strategic responsibilities. For further information contact Professor Dave Lewis, 806.742.3134,


Course Descriptions

Political Science (POLS)
Public Administration (PUAD)
Modern Conflict, Diplomacy, and Reconciliation (MCDR)



Alphabetical listing of all TTU faculty and their academic credentials.


Dennis Patterson, Ph.D., Chairperson

Professors: Dometrius, Khan, A. Lee, Mayer, Patterson
Associate Professors: Barkdull, Hamilton, Hayhoe, Kwon, Lektzian, McKee, McKenzie, Murray, Nokken, Rider, Thames
Assistant Professors: Bak, Forbis, Gittner, H. Lee, Lewis (visiting), Meserve, Ostrander, Steele
Instructor: Kim

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