COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
POLITICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT


POLS 1301: American Government
(formerly POLS 1311 and 1312) 
Major political federal institutions: executive, legislative, judicial and independent agencies; functions and characteristics of American political system, its environment, legal framework, electoral process, political parties and pressure groups, and policy outputs.

POLS 1302: State Government (formerly POLS 1311 and 1312)
Maj
or political Texas institutions: executive, legislative, judicial and independent agencies; functions and characteristics of Texas political system, its environment, legal framework, electoral process, political parties and pressure groups, and policy outputs.

POLS 23X1: Law School Preparation and Intro to Legal System
Basics of US 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 2310: Legal Process (formerly POLS 4310)
Origins of law, structure, and functions of judiciary as participant in political process; interrelationships with executive and legislative branches; crime and legal process.
Prerequisites: POLS 1301 and 1302 or consent of instructor.

POLS 23X2: Mock Trial I (Introduction to Mock Trial)
Basics of trial procedure 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 1301, POLS 1302, and POLS 23X1 or consent of instructor.

POLS 3302: American Parties and Law
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; and growth and development of pressure groups.

POLS 3325: Research Methods
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 the validity and reliability of information reported in the media.

POLS 43X6: Special Topics in Law  
(Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Civil Litigation, Estates/Trusts, Family/Gender Issues, Probate Law, Contracts, Employment Law, Tort Law,etc). Course topics vary.

POLS 43X3: Mock Trial II (Advanced Mock Trial)
Review of trial procedure 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 1301, POLS 1302, POLS 23X1, and POLS 23X2 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4301: Constitutional Law I
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 and 1302 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4302: Constitutional Law II
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 and 1302 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4350: International Relations and Law
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 and 1302 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4351: Environmental Policy and Law
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 and 1302 or consent of instructor.

POLS 4360: Latino Politics and the Law (formerly Mexican-American Politics in the Southwest)
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
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 4XX8: Senior Seminar in Legal Studies
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 23X2 or consent of instructor.

POLS 43XX: Internship (formerly POLS 5316 Practicum)
Directed studies while interning in a degree-associated workplace.
Prerequisites: Advanced standing, minimum grade point average of 3.0 or consent of instructor.






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