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Political Science

POLS 1301 - AMERICAN GOVERNMENT (3 Credits)

Major political federal institutions: executive, legislative, judicial and independent agencies; functions and characteristics of American political systems, its environment, legal framework, electoral process, political parties and pressure groups, and policy outputs.

POLS 1302 - STATE GOVERNMENT (3 Credits)

Major political Texas institutions: executive, legislative, judicial and independent agencies; functions and characteristics of Texas political systems, its environment, legal framework, electoral process, political parties and pressure groups, and policy outputs.

POLS 2190-2690 SELECTED ISSUES IN POLITICAL SCIENCE (1-6 Credits)

Introduction to a specialized topic(s) chosen by the instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

POLS 2310 - LEGAL PROCESS (3 Credits)

Origins of law, structure, and functions of judiciary as participant in political process; interrelationship with executive and legislative branches; crime and legal process. Prerequisites: POLS 1301, POLS 1302 or consent of instructor.

POLS 2321 - LAW SCHOOL PREPARATION AND -INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL SYSTEMS (3 Credits

Basic of U.S. legal system; preparation for students for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT); guidance on how to decide where to apply to law school; helps students understand why they want to go to law school; introduces the theory of legal education.

POLS 2332 - MOCK TRIAL I (3 Credits)

Basics of trial procedures through the use of simulations and mock trials. Students will read texts and discuss trial procedure and selected readings on the structure and procedures of trial courts. The main goal of the course is to impart the fundamentals necessary for successful participation in intercollegiate mock trial competition and to lay the groundwork for more advanced study in law school. The majority of class time in the second half of the course will be spent in hands on practice of these techniques in mock trials. Prerequisites: POLS 1302, POLS 2321 or consent of instructor.

POLS 3302 - AMERICAN PARTIES AND LAW (3 Credits)

Legal analysis of the development of American political parties; survey of party structures, problems and methods of political leaders; voting laws, election laws, campaign laws; growth and development of pressure groups.

POLS 3325 - RESEARCH METHODS (3 Credits)

Introduction to the tools necessary for conducting research including information literacy, critical thinking, effective writing style, and understanding of elementary statistical techniques. Emphasis on skills such as problem solving, debating, understanding tables printed in newspapers, and evaluating validity and reliability of information reported in the media.

POLS 4301 - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I (3 Credits)

Examination of constitutional law developed through case study. Focuses on legal policies as determined through the course system and implemented with national and state legislation. Cases emphasize commerce and civil law. Prerequisites: POLS 1301, POLS 1302 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4302 - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II (3 Credits)

Examination of constitutional law developed through case study. Focuses on legal policies as determined through the court system and implemented with national and state legislation. Cases emphasize criminal and civil rights law. Prerequisites: POLS 1301, POLS 1302 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4316 - SPECIAL TOPICS IN LAW (3 Credits)

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Civil Litigation, Estates/Trusts, Family/Gender Issues, Probate Law, Contracts, Employment Law, Tort Law, etc. Course topics vary.

POLS 4333 - MOCK TRIAL II (3 Credits)

Review of trial procedures through the use of simulations and mock trials. Students will read texts and discuss trial procedures and selected readings on the structure and procedures of trial courts. The main goal of the course is to impart the fundamentals necessary for successful participation in intercollegiate mock trial competition and to lay the groundwork for more advanced study in law school. The majority of class time in the second half of the course will be spent in hands-on practice of these techniques in mock trials. Prerequisites: POLS 1302, POLS 2321, POLS 2332 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4350 - INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND LAW (3 Credits)

Analysis of the international system, policy formulation process and selected problems on the international scene. Topics may include military conflicts, aid, conflict, resolution, environment and space. Prerequisites: POLS 1301, POLS 1302 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4351 - ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND LAW (3 Credits)

Current environmental acts, regulations, and laws examined with emphasis on federal regulations and laws. Examination of environmental processes and beliefs through which public demands are generated and incorporated into policy. Prerequisites: POLS 1301, POLS 1302 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4360 - LATINO POLITICS AND THE LAW (3 Credits)

Overview and analysis of Mexican Americans and the political movement in the southwest. Examination of political history, changes and development. Topics include civil rights law and policy, voting and redistricting, education, the judicial system and affirmative action.

POLS 4361 - LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS (3 Credits)

Addresses the conditions in various Latin American countries that lead to their forms of government, culture, society, and nature of political and economic development. Special topics include comparative legal systems, transition and consolidation of democracy, and the role of political culture, the state, interest groups, class structure, and political institutions.

POLS 4388 - SENIOR SEMINAR LEGAL STUDIES (3 Credits)

A capstone course for pre-law senior students that explores and summarizes selected areas of government, law and the public arena. This course may be team taught. Prerequisites: POLS 1301, POLS 1302 and POLS 2332 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4395 - INTERNSHIP (3 Credits)

Directed studies while interning in a degree-associated workplace. Prerequisites: Advanced standing, minimum grade point average of 3.0 or consent of instructor.