Jan 20, 2020  
2010-2011 General Catalog 
2010-2011 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog at https://catalog.usu.edu/]

Political Science

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Department Head: Roberta Q. Herzberg
Location: Main 320C
Phone: (435) 797-1307
FAX: (435) 797-3751
E-mail: bobbi.herzberg@usu.edu
WWW: http://politicalscience.usu.edu/

Assistant Department Head:

Michael S. Lyons, Main 330D, (435) 797-1312, michael.lyons@usu.edu

Graduate Program Director:

Peter McNamara, Main 324B, (435) 797-1318, peter.mcnamara@usu.edu

Undergraduate Advisors:
Political Science:

Roberta Q. Herzberg, Main 320C, (435) 797-1307, bobbi.herzberg@usu.edu

Law and Constitutional Studies:

Anthony A. Peacock, Main 330B, (435) 797-1314, anthony.peacock@usu.edu

International Studies:

Veronica Ward, Main 324E, (435) 797-1319, veronica.ward@usu.edu

For further information concerning advising, contact main office at (435) 797-1306.

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science; BS and BA in Law and Constitutional Studies; Administers BA in International Studies

Undergraduate Programs


The Department of Political Science offers a flexible program to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. to provide students with theoretical and factual understanding of government, politics, and political philosophy, nationally and internationally;
  2. to develop students’ analytic ability, communication skills, and facility with political research methods;
  3. to prepare students for effective participation in civic affairs, careers in government and the teaching of government, and graduate study in political science, law, and other fields related to the public sector; and
  4. to further the liberal arts education mission of the University and to enrich the educational experiences of students in all programs of study.

Admission and Prerequisite Requirements

Departmental Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Department of Political Science include a minimum 2.0 GPA for Political Science majors and a minimum 3.0 GPA for Law and Constitutional Studies majors. Students in good standing may apply for admission to the department.


It is assumed that students registered for upper-division political science courses have acquired the basic knowledge and information taught in the lower-division courses required for the major. Anyone who wishes to take an upper-division course, but has not had the appropriate prerequisites, should consult with the instructor before registering. Faculty members reserve the right to drop from upperdivision courses students who do not meet these requirements.

International Studies Major

Problems of security, development, ethnic conflict, and human rights, as well as problems relating to the environment and natural resources, are increasingly confronted at a global rather than a national level. With its theoretical models and real-world application, the study of international studies is an exciting and highly relevant interdisciplinary major. This program cultivates the development of language and intercultural skills, develops understanding of global problems and circumstances, and expands the students’ capacity to make informed judgments regarding complex international and global issues. For information about requirements for this major, see International Studies, BA .

Sample Four-year Plans

Sample semester-by-semester four-year plans for students working toward a bachelor’s degree within the Political Science Department can be found at: http://www.usu.edu/degreeplans/

Students should consult with their advisor to develop a plan of study tailored to their individual needs and interests.


The department places approximately 40-45 students in government or related internships each year. Most of these interns work with a member of the Utah delegation to the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C., a member of the Utah Legislature in Salt Lake City, a political campaign, a state or local administrative agency, or a lobbying group. Students in any major, of at least junior class standing, and having a minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply.

Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honorary political science society. A member must have earned at least 15 credits in political science courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a minimum 3.0 GPA overall.

Financial Support

The Political Science Department offers a number of scholarships yearly to students. Contact the Political Science departmental office for applications (usually available around the first week of February and due back the first week of March) at (435) 797-1306 or visit the office in Main 320.

Departmental Honors

Students who would like to experience greater academic depth within their major are encouraged to enroll in departmental honors. Through original, independent work, Honors students enjoy the benefits of close supervision and mentoring, as they work one-on-one with faculty in select upper-division departmental courses. Honors students also complete a senior project, which provides another opportunity to collaborate with faculty on a problem that is significant, both personally and in the student’s discipline. Participating in departmental honors enhances students’ chances for obtaining fellowships and admission to graduate school. Minimum GPA requirements for participation in departmental honors vary by department, but usually fall within the range of 3.30-3.50. Students may enter the Honors Program at almost any stage in their academic career, including at the junior (and sometimes senior) level. The campus-wide Honors Program, which is open to all qualified students regardless of major, offers a rich array of cultural and social activities, special classes, and the benefit of Honors early registration. Interested students should contact the Honors Program, Main 15, (435) 797-2715, honors@usu.edu. Additional information can be found online at: http://www.usu.edu/honors/

Additional Information

For detailed information about requirements for the majors and minors within the Political Science Department, see the major requirement sheets, which can be obtained from the department, or online at: http://www.usu.edu/majorsheets/

Graduate Programs

Departmental Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a BS or BA degree. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, or a GPA of 3.5 or better over the last 90 semester credits of undergraduate coursework is required. Students must have quantitative, verbal, and analytical GRE scores at or above the 50th percentile. Applicants with very high GPAs and other exceptional supporting materials may petition for admission with deficient GRE scores. The graduate admissions committee will review petitions individually.

International students must receive a score of 550 or better on the TOEFL exam.

Due to limited space, acceptance into Political Science graduate programs is not guaranteed, even for students who meet admission requirements. Moreover, all students are expected to perform at high levels throughout their program. Any student receiving a C grade or lower for any course at any level or a grade point average below 3.0 for a given semester will be placed on academic probation. Receipt of two grades of C or lower or a grade point average below 3.0 for two semesters will result in termination from the program. In addition, students must meet the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants not meeting minimum requirements may be allowed to correct deficiencies concurrently with graduate coursework.

Applications will be considered throughout the year. However, students who wish to be considered for financial aid outside of the department must submit applications by March 31 for the coming academic year.

No application will be considered until all required information arrives in the office of the School of Graduate Studies.


The department appoints a number of teaching assistants, each with a $7,000 annual stipend. Appointments are for one year, and may be renewable for a second year. Research assistantships and government internships are sometimes  available as well. Applications are available from the Political Science Department and are due on May 15.

Course Requirements

Effective Fall 2006, the master’s degree in Political Science will consist of three area tracks, with each student choosing one of the three. Details of requirements and courses follow. Completion of the degree requires a total of 30 credits, along with a thesis.

Political Science Faculty

William L. Furlong, Latin America, Central America, democratization, development, U.S. foreign policy
Yolanda Flores Niemann, ethnic studies, leadership, communication

Adjunct Professors
Larry Boothe, national security policy
Brian Theadore “Ted” Stewart, constitutional law
James L. Waite, European policy, comparative European government, methodology, public opinion

Professor Emeritus
Stanford Cazier, U.S. government, public law

Associate Professors
David B. Goetze, human cooperation and conflict, ethnic conflict, evolutionary theory
Roberta Q. Herzberg, public choice, health policy, public policy, U.S. government
Michael S. Lyons, U.S. government, Congress, public policy, elections
Peter McNamara, political theory
Anthony A. Peacock, public law
Veronica Ward
, international relations, social choice, global environmental issues, conflict and cooperation

Adjunct Associate Professor
Charles E. Kay, environmental policy ecology

Assistant Professors
Damon Cann, American politics of methodology
Huiyun Feng, Chinese politics, East Asian politics, comparative politics, international relations
Kai He, international relations, Chinese and Asian politics, trade, methods
V. James Strickler, public law

Senior Lecturer
Carol L. McNamara, political theory, presidency

Jeannie L. Johnson, international relations, comparative cultures

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