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 Program

  • 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 31 hours of coursework within the department. Political science majors are required to take POLS 1301, 2302, 3410, 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.

Selected Topics Courses. Multiple sections of POLS 3300 and 3301 are offered each semester with varying topics of contemporary interest. These courses are repeatable for credit up to four times each (totaling 12 hours). In order to apply to a student's major or minor, these courses must each cover different topics, as indicated by the course title found online each semester. Additionally, for students to grade replace either course, the topics must be the same.

Accelerated Bachelor's-to-Master's Degree Programs. The department offers the following 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 undergraduate advisor at or visit the department.

Internships in Political Science. Political science majors and minors may receive up to 9 hours of POLS credit toward their major or minor during a long semester (or during a full summer session) when they complete the congressional internship program offered through the Office of the President. Alternatively, students who secure internships individually are eligible to be awarded upper- level political science credit with permission from the undergraduate director. Students must complete the appropriate POLS internship coursework in conjunction with the approved internship. Approved internships vary but have historically included internships working in legislative offices, on political campaigns, in law offices, and with non-profit organizations.



Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Bachelor of Science in Global Studies

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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, international relations, comparative politics, and public administration. In addition, the department offers graduate courses in methodology, public policy, 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, a curriculum vitae, and a statement of purpose. 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. International students also must submit evidence of English language proficiency. 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, POLS 5382, and POLS 5383. 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 Master of Public Administration program is designed to provide students with the highest quality education in preparation for careers or advancement of careers and in public, nonprofit, and healthcare organizations. The program stresses the acquisition of academic theory and practical skill to foster an ethical and enduring commitment to public service values of serving the public interest with accountability and transparency; serving professionally with competence, efficiency and objectivity; acting ethically to uphold the public trust; and demonstrating respect, equity and fairness in dealings with the public and fellow workers.

The program provides students with a public service perspective to do the following:

  • Lead and manage organizations
  • Understand and contribute to public policy
  • Critically analyze policies, programs, problems, and issues and make pertinent recommendations
  • Communicate effectively in oral and written discourse with a diverse and changing workforce and public.

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, 24 are specified as core curriculum and must be completed by all students. The remaining 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 just before the last semester of the candidate's coursework.

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


Doctoral Program

The doctoral degree requires a minimum of 61 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 with a minimum grade of B. 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 two major fields and one minor field. For the qualifying examination, the student will select two major fields and will be tested in those fields only. There will be no exam for the minor field.

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.

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, 806.834.4972,


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, Lee, Mayer, Patterson
Associate Professors: Barkdull, Hamilton, Hayhoe, Kwon, Lektzian, McKee, McKenzie, Murray, Nokken, Rider, Thames
Assistant Professors: Bak, Forbis, Gittner, Lewis (visiting), Meserve, Ostrander, Steele, Wright

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