Nov 20, 2018  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Political Science

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Main Departmental Office
Wooten Hall, Room 125

Mailing address:
1155 Union Circle, #305340
Denton, TX 76203-5017

Web site:

Political Science Advising Office
Wooten Hall, Room 141

Richard S. Ruderman, Chair



Department courses meet the needs of both undergraduate and graduate students preparing to enter national, state and local government employment; public and private foreign service; law; politics; public and private research; writing and reporting of public affairs and political science; and government and social science teaching.

Pre-Law Information

UNT annually prepares many students to enter law schools. No prescribed program of courses has been found to be key for a successful law career. A grade point average of 3.5 or higher will be competitive for admission to a nationally recognized school, but a minimum of 3.0 is suggested to apply for admission to law school. While many students undertake a liberal arts degree, law schools place important emphasis on the diversity of their student body and seek persons from different backgrounds, including the natural sciences. Consequently, there is no pre-law program of courses; however, UNT offers an array of courses that will help prepare you.

Future law school students should take courses that emphasize writing and oral skills, research into problems facing society, logical reasoning, the American legal system and Constitutional Law. Pre-law students should take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) during the summer before or fall term/semester of their senior year. Students should plan to attend a pre-law orientation session early in their career (freshman or sophomore year) at UNT. For more information, check or send inquiries to

Political Science Requirement

The university may not award a baccalaureate degree or a lesser degree or academic certificate unless the student has completed 6 hours of credit in American government that include consideration of the Constitutions of the United States and Texas. The university may determine that a student has met the requirement in whole or in part on the basis of credit transferred from another accredited college or upon successful completion of an advanced standing examination. Completion of 12 semester hours of upper division ROTC courses may be substituted for PSCI 1050 . The student may satisfy part (3 hours) or all of the 6-hour political science requirement by credit through examination.

Programs of Study

The department offers an undergraduate program in the following area:

The department offers minors in peace studies  and political science , and a certificate in peace studies .

Global Learning Programs

The Department of Political Science is home to several global learning programs. Students may participate in the global learning program in London, where courses on British politics, British legal systems, European politics and terrorism have been taught. Students also meet with members of the British Parliament, key leaders of British political parties, cabinet ministers, and judges and practitioners in the British legal system. The summer program in The Hague, Netherlands, brings students to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia where they study international law and attend sessions of the court. Students also meet with judges, members of the prosecutor’s office and other top officials.

Degree Audits

During the sophomore year of enrollment, the student should make a degree audit. The student must meet with the departmental advisor, with whom an advisory sheet is made. Advisory sheets are then taken to General Academic Building, Room 220, for the completion of the degree audit. The process should be completed in time for the next registration period.

Pender Scholars

The department annually awards two $1,000 scholarships based on merit to incoming students (fall term) who declare their intention to major in political science. The awardees are known as Pender Scholars in honor of the first chair of the political science department, J.W. “Dad” Pender.

High school seniors must rank in the top quarter of their class and have a score of at least 1100 recentered on the SAT (or its equivalent). Transfer students must have a 3.5 grade point average and a score of at least 1100 recentered on the SAT (or its equivalent). Application deadline is April 1; awards are announced September 15. Contact the undergraduate advisor in Wooten Hall, Room 141, for more information.

Graduate Degrees

The department offers graduate programs in the following areas:

  • Master of Arts,
  • Master of Science, and
  • Doctor of Philosophy, all with a major in political science.

Concentrations under the political science major are available at the master’s and doctoral levels in political theory and political methodology.

Undergraduates who anticipate political science graduate study should take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) during their senior year.

For additional information, consult the Graduate Catalog.


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