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Political Science


Faculty


Chair

Professor

  • Smith, Troy (2005) Ph.D. 1998, State University of New York at Albany; M.A. 1994, The George Washington University; B.A. 1991, Brigham Young University. 
  • Houghton, Brian K. (2006) Ph.D. 2004, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.A. 1995, The George Washington University; B.A. 1991, Brigham Young University. 

Associate Professor

  • Murdock, Michael G. (2007) Ph.D. 1999 University of Michigan Ann Arbor; M.A. 1994, University of Michigan Ann Arbor; M.A. 1990 Brigham Young University; B.A. 1988, Brigham Young University.

Assistant Professor

  • Blimes, Randall J. (2009) Ph.D. 2009, University of Colorado; M.A. 2005, University of Colorado at Boulder; B.S. 2003 University of Michigan

Special Instructor

  • Akanoa, Christina (2003) M.A. 2003 University of Hawaii; B.A. 2000, Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
  • Kajiyama, Jennifer (2009) M.P.A. 2008, Brigham Young University; J.D. 2007, Brigham Young University; B.A. 2002, Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
  • Tsukuyama, John (2013) Ph.D. 2014, University of St. Andrews; M.A. 2009, University of St. Andrews; B.A. 2008, Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

 Emeritus Faculty

  • Robertson, Dale (1977)
  • Jonassen, Jon Tikivanotau M. (1993)

Advisor

  • Susan Wesley, Academic Advisor, wesleys@byuh.edu
    HGB 296, (808) 675-3596, Fax (808) 675-3467

The Discipline


Political Science is the study of power and how human beings organize their public life. Political Science majors typically leave their undergraduate education prepared to enter graduate study, law school, business careers, and a host of other opportunities. Often times, political science majors serve their nations and the world through government service.  They learn valued skills, such as qualitative and quantitative analysis, written and oral communication, and critical thinking and graduate prepared to work and serve in a rapidly changing world.

Politics embraces more than the immediate concerns of politicians or pollsters.  It involves fundamental choices concerning life in our communities - whether local, national, or global.  Politics also allows humans to build order and peace from chaos and conflict.  Indeed, prosperity and fulfillment require a healthy political life - one that reflects our basic needs and interests, our highest aspirations, and balances the harsh requirements of power.

Political science involves a full range of inquiry, addressing questions such as:  "Who gets what?" "What is a just political order?" and "Why is it so often abused?"  The discipline utilizes methods ranging from statistical analysis to input historical comparison.  To develop skills in these methods, political science students reflect on influential and time-tested texts while also exploring cutting-edge theories.  Political science students also examine issues such as campaign finance reform and engage debates and the value of international organizations in the Pacific.  Students also study events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and phenomena such as the rise of global terrorism.  Political science students also examine key ethical questions and can thus explain intelligently whether or not the Athenians were justified in condemning Socrates to death.

Since we are all significantly shaped by the assumptions and practices of the institutions we inhabit, political science helps us to understand not only our world but also ourselves. If we choose to ignore politics, it doesn't go away; we just lose the opportunity to influence our communities for the better.

Career Opportunities


The Political Science Department offers an undergraduate degree in political science for students preparing for graduate degrees in related fields, professional degrees (law or business), a wide range of public service occupations (local, state, federal, or Foreign offices), or countless posts in organizations seeking to influence public policy.  The degree also serves the liberal arts students interested in an under graduate major that focuses on challenging questions facing modern society.

Students may emphasize the subfields of American government, comparative government, international politics, political philosophy, and public policy.

Program Outcomes


Upon completing a major in Political Science, students will: 

  1. Write an effective research paper using professional formats;
  2. Write an effective persuasive/analytical essay/report;
  3. Demonstrate competence using logical/analytical skills;
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of political philosophy/theory;
  5. Demonstrate the critical reading skills needed to engage professional journals/monographs;
  6. Demonstrate content mastery in Int Relations, Law, US Government, Asia/Pacific, or Public Management;
  7. Conduct an effective oral presentation;
  8. Complete a meaningful internship or capstone paper.
Visit the Political Science department website

Admission to All Programs

All undergraduate degree programs in the Department of Political Science are open enrollment.
 

Major and Minor Requirements

The Political Science Program prepares students to understand, analyze, and influence public policy in venues from local to international.

Students may emphasize the subfields of American government, comparative government, international politics, political philosophy, and public policy. The internship experience is an integral part of the Political Science program. An internship may be scheduled after the Junior year when sufficient class work has been completed that will provide the student with information and maturity to substantially contribute to the office assigned. The student will register for POSC 498 (3 credits) and work 180 hours. It is the student's responsibility to set up an internship with the assistance of the program director.

Occasionally students will want to extend the internship experience or seek additional experience elsewhere. Those students must keep in mind the following: 1) Only three credits of internship credit may count for Political Science credit. Any other credits will count towards graduation but not as POSC credit, 2) Only three credits will be graded. The rest must be pass/no pass, 3) No internship credit will be given beyond the 180 hours required for graduation.

The department offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Social Science Education. A minor is offered in Political Science. The department does not count "D" credit toward completion of any major or minor.

 


 It is strongly recommended that all Political Science majors take a minor in a technical field such as accounting, conflict resolution, economics, computer science (with emphasis in database management or web design) or public management.

 

B.A. Political Science (43 hours)-effective September 2017

Courses for Admission to the Major (25 hours)

  • POSC 101 Introduction to Politics (3)
  • POSC 110 US Political System (3) OR POSC 170 International Relations (3)
  • POSC 190 Foundations of Critical Thinking (3)
  • POSC 202 History of Political Philosophy (3)
  • POSC 220 Historical Systems of Power (3)
  • POSC 230 Fundamentals of Governance (3)
  • POSC 280 Professionalism in the Political Environment (1)
  • POSC 300 Political Inquiry and Writing (3)
  • POSC 304 Quantitative Political Research (3) 

Advanced Content (12 hours) Choose from the following:

  • POSC 318 Federalism & Intergovernmental Relations (3)
  • POSC 320 Government and Policy Analysis (3)
  • POSC 322 Oceanic Governments and Politics (3)
  • POSC 330 Introduction to Public Administration (3)
  • POSC 331 Public Policy (3)
  • POSC 335 Issues of Terrorism (3)
  • POSC 338 Poverty and Civil Conflict (3)
  • POSC 340 Asian Governments and International Relations (3)
  • POSC 352 Ethics and the Legal Environment (3)
  • POSC 354 Legal Research and Writing (3)
  • POSC 356 International Legal Drafting & Transactions (3)
  • POSC 358 Comparative Law (3)
  • POSC 362 International Political Economy and Development (3)
  • POSC 364 Conflict Bargaining and Management (3)
  • POSC 366 Politics and Economics of the Developing World (3)
  • POSC 380 Political Future Studies (3)
  • POSC 384 The United Nations and Intergovernmental Organizations (3)
  • POSC 386 Pacific Regionalism and Conflict (3)
  • POSC 390R Special Topics in Political Science (3)

In addition, advanced content electives may include two of any of the following:

  • ECON 350 Economic Development (3)
  • HIST 423 Modern Nationalism & Globalization (3)
  • PMGT 300 Public Policy (3)
  • PMGT 350 Crisis Management (3)
  • PMGT 360 Disaster Management (3)

CAPSTONE & INTERNSHIP (6 hours):

  • POSC 410 The Constitution of the United States (3) OR POSC 420 Complexity and Public Policy (3) OR POSC 470 International Relations Theory (3) OR PMGT 499 Public Management (3)
  • POSC 498R Internship OR POSC 499 Research & Writing

Political Science Minor (15 hours)
 
Students may earn a political science minor by satisfying the following requirements.
 
Complete one of the following:
  • POSC 190 Foundations of Critical Thinking (3);
  • or POSC 300 Political Inquiry & Writing (3);
  • or POSC 304 Quantitative Political Research (3);
  • or MATH 221 Principles of Statistics I (3);
  • or PSYC 205 Applied Social Statistics (3)

Complete 12 credit hours from the remaining political science offerings, including at least two upper-division (300-400 level) classes. Students may want to consider course selections in consultation with political science faculty.


B.A. Social Science Education (74 Hours)

See Secondary Education » Learn more.

Pre-law Advisement

There is no one special academic program undergraduate students should take to prepare them for admission to a law school. Most law schools prefer students who have developed good writing and other communication skills and who have a solid general education background. Courses in the social sciences are a good preparation for training in the law, and many lawyers find training in accounting and English to be a very useful adjunct to their legal training.

For specific information regarding particular law schools and law school admission tests and requirements, students may consult the Department of Political Science.


Public Management Minor (18 hours)

Public management is concerned with how to manage government or non-profit organizations. A public management minor combines the management skills from business and the understanding of government from political science, and should provide students with added skills and knowledge to help them acquire meaningful employment within the public sector. A minor in public management includes a total of 18 semester hours, with no more than 6 used in the student's major. Courses are to be taken from the following:

 

Core Requirements (9 hours)

  • POSC 330 Introduction to Public Administration (3)
  • PMGT 300 Public Policy (3)
  • PMGT 499 Public Management (3)

 

3 Electives (9 Hours)—Select One from Each Group:

Group 1 (3 hours)

  • ECON 200 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
  • ECON 201 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
  • MATH 221 Principles of Statistics I (3)
  • PSYC 205 Applied Social Statistics (3)

Group 2 (3 hours)

  • POSC 332 Public Personnel Management (3)
  • BUSM 310 Leadership Principles (Business Majors) (3)
  • PMGT 350 Crisis Management (3)
  • PMGT 360 Disaster Management (3) 

Group 3 (3 hours)

  • POSC 314 State and Local Government (3)
  • POSC 150 Comparative Government and Politics (3)
  • POSC 170 International Relations (3)
  • POSC 386 Pacific Regionalism and Conflict (3)
  • POSC 475 Political Futures Studies (3)
  • HIST 423 Modern Nationalism and Globalization (3)
  • *Or other course with Public Management Program approval.

Emergency Management Certificate (15 hours)
 
Emergency management is concerned with how to prevent or reduce losses that occur due to hazards, disasters (natural or man-made), and emergencies. An emergency management certificate provides leadership and decision making skills to be used in times of emergencies, and should provide students with added skills and knowledge to help them acquire meaningful employment within the emergency management sector. A Certificate in emergency management includes a total of 15 semester hours, with no more than 6 used in a student's major. Courses are to be taken from the following:
 

Core Requirements (6 hours)

  • PMGT 360 Disaster Management (3)
  • EMGT 490 Emergency Management Professional Development (3)

3 Electives (9 Hours):

  • PMGT 300/POSC 331 Public Policy (3)
  • POSC 335 Issues of Terrorism (3)
  • PMGT 350 Crisis Management (3)
  • PMGT 499 Public Management (3)

 


Governance Certificate (18 hours)
 
This certificate explores the understandings and practical skills related to the four domains of good governance: philosophical foundations; constitutional and legal framework; citizenship, participation, and civil society; and government and public policy. Governance seeks to envision a future, choose laws, secure support and resources, evaluate proposals and implement policies in order to reduce poverty, develop economies, manage sustainable environments, expand economic integration, raise political participation, and create legitimate and effective policies. The certificate provides the basic principles, concepts, theories, and models that shape the governance field as well as the fundamental skills required to work in the field. Courses should be selected from the following:
 

Core Requirements (15 hours)

  • POSC 110 US Political Systems World (3) or POSC 322 Oceanic Governments & Politics (3) or POSC 340 Asian Governments & International Relations (3)
  • POSC 190 Foundations of Critical Thinking (3)
  • POSC 230 Fundamentals of Good Governance (3)
  • POSC 320 Government and Policy Analysis (3)
  • POSC 420 Complexity and Public Policy (3)

Electives - Choose One (3 Hours):

  • POSC 318 Federalism & Intergovernmental Relations (3)
  • POSC 330 Introduction to Public Administration (3)
  • POSC 331 Public Policy (3)
  • POSC 338 Poverty & Civil Conflict (3)
  • POSC 362 International Political Economy & Development (3)
  • POSC 366 Politics & Economics of the Developing World (3)
  • POSC 380 Political Futures Studies (3)
  • POSC 386 Pacific Regionalism & Conflict (3)

International Development Certificate (15 hours)

This certificate introduces and explores the economic and political foundations of international development and the growing world of international organizations (IOs), inter-government organizations (IGOs) and non-government organizations (NGOs). The certificate equips students with practical skills and knowledge to allow them to secure employment with development -related institutions and organizations. The certificate requires 15 hours of course work and an internship. Double dipping is allowed. Courses should be selected from the following:

Core Requirements (9 hours)

  • POSC 362 International and Political Economy and Development (3)
  • POSC 366 Politics and Economics of the Developing World (3)
  • POSC 304 Quantitative Political Research (3)
    • or MATH 221 Principles of Stats I (3)
    • or PSYCH 205 Applied Social Statistics (3)

2 Electives (6 Hours):

  • POSC 338 Civil Conflict (3)
  • POSC 364 Conflict Bargaining and Management (3)
  • POSC 386 Pacific Regionalism and Conflict (3)
  • POSC 470 International Relations Theory (3)
  • PMGT 330 Public Policy (3)
  • PMGT 350 Crisis Management (3)
  • PMGT 360 Disaster Management (3)
  • PMGT 499 Public Management (3)
  • ECON 200 Microeconomics (3)
  • ECON 201 Macroeconomics (3)
  • ANTH 447 Applied and Development Anthropology (3)
 

Legal Studies Certificate (15 hours)

The Legal Studies Certificate equips students with the basic training and skills needed to engage entry-level legal positions. It introduces legal practice in international settings, international legal issues, and international legal organizations. It also strongly emphasizes skills such as legal analysis, legal research, writing within a legal context, and document preparation and submission in a legal setting. Holders of the certificate may also learn the differences between civil, common, and Sharia law as expressed throughout Asia, the Pacific, North America, and Europe. The certificate requires 15 hours of course work. Double dipping is allowed but no more than six credits may be used toward a student’s major. Courses should be selected from the following:

Core Requirements (6 hours)

  • POSC 354 Legal Research and Writing (3)
  • POSC 356 International Legal Drafting & Transactions (3)

3 Electives (9 Hours):

  • POSC 230 Fundamentals of Governance(3)
  • POSC 352 Ethics and Legal Environment (3)
  • POSC 358 Comparative Law (3)
  • POSC 410 Constitution of the US (3)
 

Criminal Justice Certificate (15 hours)

The Criminal Justice Certificate offers students a basic introduction to the field while also granting students practical knowledge related to careers in criminal justice. Holders of the certificate will learn about the basic components of US and international criminal justice systems. They will also understand the foundations of a successful criminal investigation and the features of criminology. The certificate requires 15 hours of course work. Double dipping is allowed but not more than six credits may be used toward a student's major. No more than 6 credits of this certificate may overlap with credits used for another major or certificate.

Core Requirements (6 hours)

  • CRMJ 301 Basic Criminal Justice (3)
  • CRMJ 371 Criminal Investigation and Criminology (3)

3 Electives (9 Hours): At least one class from each set

Set A - Theory

  • POSC 230 Fundamentals of Governance (3)
  • POSC 358 Comparative Law (3)
  • POSC 410 Constitution of the US (3)

Set B - Skills

  • FORS 100 Introduction to Forensic Science (3)
  • POSC 335 Issues of Terrorism (3)
  • PMGT 350 Crisis Management (3)
  • PMGT 360 Disaster Management (3)