DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
Chair: Nader Entessar
AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Graduate Coordinator: Sam Fisher
Associate Professors: Bowers, Fisher, Husain, Nelson,
Assistant Professors: Costanza, Koon-Magnin, Schulze
Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice web site
The courses offered in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice are designed to achieve three important objectives:
1. to help students attain a liberal education;
2. to encourage and prepare students to participate actively in public affairs;
3. to help students advance toward professional careers in such fields as education, law and government.
Political Science is a broad discipline in both content and methods. Political Science includes philosophical, historical, and analytical studies of governments, politics, and policies. Political scientists may focus on political behavior, decision making, processes, organizations, and public policies. Inquiry in political science addresses the domestic and international policies of the United States and all other countries and regions. Political scientists study the political values, attachments, and activities of people, individually and in groups. Political science examines both what preferences people share and how they differ according to their personal attributes and positions in the economy and society. Political science also studies how people regard and trust each other as well as their leaders and governments. Consequently, political science has many facets and offers opportunities for many different concentrations.
All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.
The Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice offers an opportunity for students in Political Science or Criminal Justice who are not in the University's Honors Program to graduate with departmental honors. In order to graduate with departmental honors, the student needs to have at least a 3.50 grade point average (overall and in the major) and maintain that average upon graduation. In addition, the student must take a two-semester departmental honors thesis project (PSC 499 for Political Science majors and CJ 499 for Criminal Justice majors) with a faculty mentor and a committee.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MAJOR IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
The major in political science requires 39
semester hours, of which 15 hours come from the core political science courses, 15 hours of PSC electives at the 300/400 level, and 6 hours of PSC electives at the 400 level, and the capstone seminar in political science.
A grade of "C" or higher is required for PSC majors in all core classes and the capstone seminar
(PSC 130, PSC 250, PSC 270, PSC 310, PSC 311 or PSC 312 or PSC 313, and PSC 492
). Students must complete 15 hrs. of the 39
hrs. at the 300/400 level at the University of South Alabama. Students pursuing a degree in Political Science also must have a minor in another discipline. In addition, all political science majors must take the ETS major field test in political science and receive a satisfactory score (standard for passing is determined by the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice). The ETS test is a standardized national examination in political science that is administered by the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey. Students with unsatisfactory scores on the ETS test can retake the test, or they may be required to repeat foundation classes in political science.
All Political Science majors must take the Capstone Seminar and the ETS test during the Fall Semester of their senior year. Failure to do so may prevent you from graduating.
All political science majors must show competency in oral communication. This requirement can be satisfied through paper presentations in the required capstone seminar in political science.
Political Science Major:
PSC 311 or PSC 312 or PSC 313
400 level PSC electives
300/400 level PSC elective
Total Required Hours
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJORS
General Education Requirements for Political Science majors are specified in the College of Arts and Sciences
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
For a minor in political science a student must take a minimum of 21 semester hours in political science, of which 9 hours are required (PSC 130, PSC 250 or PSC 270, PSC 311 or PSC 312 or PSC 313), and 9 hours of 300/400 level PSC electives and 3 hours of 400 level PSC electives. Students must complete 9 hrs. of the 21 hrs. at the University of South Alabama.
POLITICAL SCIENCE MINOR:
PSC 250 or PSC 270
PSC 311 or PSC 312 or PSC 313
400 level PSC elective
300/400 level PSC electives
Total Required Hours
The curriculum in
Criminal Justice provides students interested in law enforcement, criminal law, corrections, and the criminal court system with a broad educational background emphasizing social science and the University's general education skills of critical thinking, writing and analysis. At the same time, students in the department gain basic knowledge of the criminal justice field to the extent of specialization compatible with University and College requirements. The curriculum leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. The mission of the program
must be conceived as interdisciplinary in nature, since no traditional discipline covers the wide spectrum of expertise required. The undergraduate program addresses issues respecting the entire criminal justice system, from the nature of crime and delinquency to society's varied responses to crime. Such a focus includes the organization and operation of each of the functional components in the field.
All first-time freshmen with less than 15 semester hours are required to successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MAJOR IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
The major in criminal justice requires 42
semester hours, including PSC 130, CJ 205, CJ 310, CJ 320, CJ 330, CJ 340, and CJ 360, and CJ 492
, plus 18 semester hours of criminal justice electives. CJ 205 is a prerequisite to all CJ courses and must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher before enrolling in any other CJ course. CJ majors must earn a grade of "C" or higher in all core courses and the capstone seminar
(PSC 130, CJ 205, CJ 310, CJ 320, CJ 330, CJ 340 and CJ 360, and CJ 492
). Students must complete 15 hrs. of the 39 hrs. at the 300/400 level at the University of South Alabama. Students pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice also must have a minor in another discipline. In addition, all Criminal Justice majors must take the ETS major field test in criminal justice and receive a satisfactory score (standards for passing is determined by the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice). The ETS test is a national standardized examination in criminal justice that is administered by the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey. Students with unsatisfactory scores on the ETS test can retake the test, or they may be required to repeat foundation classes in criminal justice.
All Criminal Justice majors must take the Capstone Seminar and the ETS test during the Fall Semester of their senior year. Failure to do so may prevent you from graduating. Also all core classes should be successfully completed prior to taking CJ 492 and CJ 492 is offered in the Fall Semester only.
All criminal justice majors must show competency in oral communication. This requirement can be satisfied through paper presentations in the required capstone seminar in criminal justice.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE MAJOR
Total Required Hours
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE MAJORS
General Education Requirements for Criminal Justice majors are specified in the College of Arts and Sciences
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
The minor in Criminal Justice requires 18 semester hours, including PSC 130 and CJ 205, plus 12 semester hours of criminal justice electives. CJ 205 is a prerequisite to all CJ courses and must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher before enrolling in any other CJ course. Students must complete 9 hrs. of the 18 hrs. at the University of South Alabama.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE MINOR
Total Required Hours
The Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) curriculum in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice is a professional degree program designed principally for present and future administrators and officers in government and other public related organizations. It is open, however, to other qualified students as well.
Students entering the program come from varied academic and vocational backgrounds. Accordingly, no specific undergraduate major is required for admission to the MPA Program. However, certain course prerequisites must be satisfied prior to enrollment in any of the required core courses of the curriculum.
All students in the program have an option of non-thesis (Plan A) or thesis (Plan B).
Students in the program who are not already employed in the public sector should, if possible, serve in government internships, discussed as follows.
HEALTH ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY CONCENTRATION
Students in the MPA program can choose to concentrate on the Health Administration and Policy track. Students who select the Health Administration and Policy concentration will take 12 semester hours of appropriate PSC coursework in lieu of the 12 semester hours of electives required of all MPA students.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION
Students are admitted each semester. The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria (see Categories of Admission
1. Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
on all undergraduate work (on a 4-point scale).
2. Satisfactory GRE scores (at least 300
combined score on the Verbal and the Quantitative Sub tests).
3. The GRE requirement may be waived for holders of earned advanced degrees on the recommendation of the program coordinator. GRE scores must be submitted prior to any category of admission- except for the person with an earned advanced degree from an accredited institution.
In addition to the minimum standards required by the Graduate School, the student must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7, or 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) for the last 64 hours of undergraduate work
and submit GRE general test scores.
REQUIREMENTS FOR DEGREE
To qualify for the degree of Master of Public Administration, all candidates must satisfactorily complete a minimum of thirty-six semester hours, as follows:
1. PSC 130, Introduction to US Government, or its equivalent is a prerequisite for the core curriculum
2. Twenty-four hours in the following eight core courses:
Note: The Core Curriculum Cycle Should Ideally Commence in the Fall Semester
PSC 500 PSC 510 PSC 520
PSC 530 PSC 540 PSC 550
PSC 570 PSC 580
3. Students must select one of the following three concentrations to complete the remaining twelve hours of graduate electives:
a. Non-thesis Concentration:
Students must take an additional twelve hours of graduate electives as approved by the MPA coordinator.
b. Health Care Concentration:
In addition to the core courses, students must take 12 hours of PSC health care administration and policy graduate courses.
c. Thesis Concentration:
In addition to core courses, students must take 6 to 9 hours of graduate elective courses as approved by the MPA coordinator and 3 to 6 hours of PSC 599 (Thesis). Students must have a minimum of 12 hours of graduate elective and thesis credit combined. They must also complete a thesis in compliance with Graduate School requirements.
Any substitutions for the above requirements must be approved in writing by the Coordinator of the MPA Program.
A candidate for the MPA degree must complete successfully a comprehensive written examination covering the eight core courses listed previously. To be eligible to take this examination, a student must have achieved at least a 3.00 (B) grade-point average on the core curriculum course work. Normally, the examination will be administered during the Fall and Spring Semesters. The comprehensive examination may be attempted no more than twice.
Students in the MPA Program who are not suitably employed full-time in public agencies may be allowed to enroll in PSC 596, Graduate Internship in Public Administration, for a maximum of nine semester hours.
Normally, admission to the Internship Program will be dependent upon the following prerequisites:
1. Satisfactory completion of at least six of the required core courses;
2. Approval by the internship professor of the prospective intern's qualifications and proposed project; and
3. Placement of the student in an appropriate agency of the government or other public service institution.
The length of the internship and corresponding credit (at the rate of three to nine hours per semester), not to exceed a total of nine hours, will be determined for each student on the basis of the student's particular needs and opportunities.
Each intern will be required, in consultation with the intern professor, to develop a research design for the project to be undertaken during the internship. Each intern will also be required to write a paper showing how that research design has been carried out. Particular emphasis will be placed in the paper upon the relationship between the internship experience and academic course work. Close and continuing supervision of each intern's progress will be provided by the intern professor.
College of Arts and Sciences