Political Science Program

Our mission in the Hardin-Simmons Political Science program is to prepare graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead in civic and professional life in a manner enlightened by Christian faith and values. We strive to be a home for students who, through the study of government both inside and outside of the classroom, are transformed into graduates known for their tenacity, creativity, intellectual rigor, and servant leadership.

We combine two approaches in our course offerings. One approach recognizes the liberal arts orientation of the total university and presents the subject matter in various political science courses in this perspective. The other approach recognizes the unique needs of students in professional fields such as pre-law, education, and criminal justice, shaping coursework to benefit especially these professionally-oriented students.

We intend for each of our graduates to grow in the knowledge of their field, develop the skills necessary to compete after graduation, and know how their values matter as they lead in their communities. Our political science curriculum is built with these things in mind.

You can also contact:
Daniel Allen, PhD
Associate Professor of Political Science
daniel.allen@hsutx.edu
325-670-1929

Contact Us

Sandy Self-Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies

Dr. Sandy Self

Professor of Political Science, Department Head of Political Science 325-670-5885

Majors

  • Political Science (B.A.)
  • Political Science (B.B.S.)

Minors

  • Political Science Minor (B.A., B.B.S.)

Why study Political Science at HSU?

Student teacher speaks to young children taking notes

Hands-on Experience

Political Science students at HSU have many opportunities to receive hands-on experience in matters relevant to their studies. In fact, we require it. Students are encouraged to enhance their critical thinking ability through the simulations of Model U.N. HSU Moot Court offers outstanding practical training for students with an interest in law. Our students have interned with our local member of Congress, with nearby attorneys, and assisted refugees with a nonprofit organization.

1800's conference hall

Innovative Curriculum

Our curriculum is constantly progressing to embrace the most relevant, current matters from the global to the local level.

Master of Education in Gifted Education alumni at graduation wearing caps and gowns

Grad School Ready

More than half of our recent graduates have been admitted to, or are currently attending, law or graduate school.

Addison Garcia- HSU Spanish Program student

Program Details

Required courses:

  • POLS 1302 American Government
  • POLS 2301 Texas State and Local Government
  • POLS 2302 Major World Governments
  • POLS 3302 International Relations
  • POLS 3324 Political Theory
  • POLS 4300 Political Internship
  • POLS 4306 or 4316 Constitutional Law
  • POLS 4380 Capstone in Political Science
  • Six hours of upper-level elective credits (e.g. Special Topics, Politics of the Global Economy, American Foreign Policy, etc.).

All HSU students are eligible for this program.

Most graduates in political science will attend law or graduate school at some point in their careers. Many graduates work in political campaigns or serve in federal, state, county, or municipal government. Graduates often go into high school teaching. The skills obtained in a political science degree are demonstrably valued throughout the private sector, particularly when graduates are able to analyze data, write and communicate with excellence, utilize social media professionally, and comprehend the intersection of politics and the global economy.

Moot Court consists of simulated appellate court argumentation where students compete as individuals and teams. As with real appellate court hearings, there are no witnesses or juries. Advocates (student participants) debate with each other and attempt to win favorable decisions from their judges, who may ask questions of the advocates throughout the contest.

The focus of arguments are major constitutional issues, such as the following:

  • Has a student editor been deprived of his rights when the university revokes his scholarship because he writes a pro-Christian editorial?
  • Is a city acting constitutionally when it passes a minor curfew ordinance applying only to high school students?
  • Are male students discriminated against when a university executes a series of dorm room searches which are not extended to female dorms?

Advocates have the opportunity to argue in a variety of forums, such as intramural contests, intercollegiate tournaments, programs before civic groups, classes, and more.

Moot Court offers students exciting hands-on learning opportunities to develop skills such as critical thinking, written and oral expression, and an extended understanding of the American legal system. It also stimulates keener interest and deeper involvement in the legal life of our nation.

Moot Court meets a minimum of regularly scheduled periods which are specified in the Hardin-Simmons Catalog printed each term.

Any interested student may participate, regardless of his or her major or career objective. A student may become involved by securing approval of Dr. Sandy Self or by registering each semester for  POLS 2105: Laws in Action Workshop which may be repeated for credit each semester.

  • Law Office of Whitten, Hacker, Hagin, Anderson, Allen & Self
  • Law Office of Mehaffey & Watson
  • Law Office of Lynn Ingalsbe
  • Law Office of McMahon, Surovik, & Suttle
  • Federal District Court, Abilene Division
  • Taylor County District Attorney’s Office
  • Law Office of Vickie Carter
  • Law Office of Gravley and Leggett
  • Texas State Representative Susan King
  • Former Texas State Representative Bob Hunter
  • Texas Attorney General’s Office
  • Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
  • The Blackstone Foundation
  • Abilene City Attorney’s Office
  • Eastland Court of Appeals (11th)
  • United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
  • United States Congresswoman Kay Granger
  • United States Congressman Mike Conaway
  • United States Congressman Randy Neugebauer
  • United States Congressman Pete Sessions
  • Eastland County Criminal District Attorney’s Office
  • Eastland County Court
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of West Texas
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Lead America
  • Taylor County Democratic Party
  • Preemptive Love Coalition
  • Christian Life Commission
  • Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger
  • Abilene Police Department

The Hardin-Simmons Political Science program will be a home for students who through the study of government, both inside and outside of the classroom, are transformed into graduates known for their tenacity, creativity, intellectual rigor, and servant leadership.