Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Legal Studies)


The Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (Legal Studies track) provides an excellent foundation for proceeding to graduate programs in the field or to careers in the public or nonprofit sector. In addition, this degree provides an excellent background and professional preparation in the following fields: legal assistance; law school; teaching at middle school, secondary school, or college level; library science; work with archives; journalism; criminal justice administration; foreign service; non-profit organizations; and administrative, federal and state civil service.

Marketable Skills

Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."

  1. Employers want employees who can work collaboratively in groups. The B.A. in Political Science (Legal Studies) develops these skills by requiring students to work on group projects (presented in front of the instructor and peers), identify clear roles within the group (e.g., spokespersons/team leaders), and present the findings of the group in a public forum.
  2. ​Employers want employees who have solid writing and compositional skills. The B.A. in Political Science (Legal Studies) develops this skill by requiring students to engage in clear, persuasive, and grammatically and stylistically correct writing projects (research papers, policy briefs, reaction papers, memos, position papers, etc.).
  3. ​Employers want employees who have solid oral communication skills. The B.A. in Political Science (Legal Studies) develops these skills by requiring students to present their research in a public forum (that is, in front of a class of peers and the instructor) using visual aids (slides, charts, graphs, etc.) and/or to role-play in a public forum requiring extensive research on that role. 
  4. Employers in the legal field want employees who have well-developed analytical skills, especially in dealing with legal issues. The B.A. in Political Science (Legal Studies) develops these skills through coursework content that extensively discusses legal issues and requires students to analyze information.


All applicants must meet the general undergraduate admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

Total Semester Credit Hours (SCH): 120   

Major: 36 SCH  Minor (optional): 18 SCH

Program Code: POLSCIENCE.BA.LEGAL  CIP Code: 45.1001.00

Texas Core Curriculum

ENG 1013Composition I3
ENG 1023Composition II3
Life & Physical Sciences6
Language, Philosophy, & Culture3
Creative Arts3
HIST 1013History of the United States, 1492-18653
HIST 1023History of the United States, 1865 to the Present3
POLS 2013U.S. National Government3
POLS 2023Texas Government3
Social & Behavioral Sciences3
CAO: Women's Studies3
CAO: First Year Seminar, Wellness or Mathematics3
Total SCHs42

Courses Required for Major 

POLS 3153Law, Politics, and Public Policy3
POLS 3173Introduction to Comparative Politics3
POLS 3723Modern Political Thought3
POLS 4073Constitutional Law: Governmental Structure3
POLS 4533International Relations3
POLS 4933Senior Seminar3
Plus 18 more semester credit hours from the following courses18
Criminal Investigation
Criminal Law
Criminal Evidence and Procedure
The American Legislative Process
Gender, Identity, and the Law
Constitutional Law: Individual Rights
Constitutional Rights and Criminal Justice
Women, Elections, and Strategy
Global Law and Legal Systems
Legal Studies Internship
Legal Studies Internship
Total SCHs36

Departmental Requirements

English Literature (2000 level or higher if not already completed)3
Global Perspectives (if not already completed)3
Foreign Language (12 SCH of the same language)12
*Electives (select with academic advisor)24
Total SCHs42

*Students are encouraged to select internship credit as part of the electives.

Recommended Plan of Study

*The example below is only a suggestion. It is recommended to see an advisor for a personalized Plan of Study.

First Year
Creative Arts Core3
ENG 1013Composition I ENGL 13013
HIST 1013History of the United States, 1492-1865 HIST 13013
UNIV 1231Learning Frameworks: First-Year Seminar EDUC 1100, EDUC 1200, EDUC 13001
Wellness/Mathematics CAO Core2
Social/Behavioral Science Core3
 SCHs 15
ENG 1023Composition II ENGL 13023
HIST 1023History of the United States, 1865 to the Present HIST 13023
Mathematics Core3
Multicultural Women's Studies CAO Core3
Elective (Global Perspectives course)3
 SCHs 15
Second Year
English Literature3
POLS 2013U.S. National Government GOVT 23053
Life/Physical Science Core3
Elective (or minor)3
Foreign Language3
 SCHs 15
POLS 2023Texas Government GOVT 23063
Language, Philosophy, and Culture Core3
Life/Physical Science Core3
Foreign Language3
Elective (or minor)3
 SCHs 15
Third Year
POLS 3173Introduction to Comparative Politics 3
POLS 4533International Relations 3
Elective 3
Elective (or minor)3
Foreign Language3
 SCHs 15
POLS 3723Modern Political Thought 3
POLS 4073Constitutional Law: Governmental Structure 3
Political Science Elective for major (advanced)3
Elective (or minor)3
Foreign Language3
 SCHs 15
Fourth Year
POLS 3153Law, Politics, and Public Policy 3
Political Science required for major (advanced)3
Elective (or minor)3
Elective (advanced)3
 SCHs 15
POLS 4933Senior Seminar 3
Political Science elective required for major (advanced)3
Political Science elective required for major (advanced)3
Political Science elective required for major (advanced) 3
Political Science elective required for Major (advanced)3
 SCHs 15
 Total SCHs:  120