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University Catalog|Office of the Registrar

Department of Political Science

Robert A. Schuhmann, Department Head
136 Arts and Sciences Building
Phone: (307) 766-6484, FAX: (307) 766-6771
Website: http://www.uwyo.edu/pols

Professors

R. MCGREGGOR CAWLEY, B.A. Kearney State College 1971; M.A. Colorado State University 1974; Ph.D. 1981; Professor of Political Science 1997, 1987.
JEAN A. GARRISON, B.A. University of Wyoming 1990; M.A. University of South Carolina 1992; Ph.D. 1996; Professor of Political Science and Global and Area Studies 2010, 2001.
JAMES D. KING, B.A. Michigan State University 1974; M.A. Western Michigan University 1977; Ph.D. University of Missouri-Columbia 1983; Professor of Political Science 1999, 1992.
MARGARET M. MURDOCK, B.A. Creighton University 1970; M.A. Tufts University 1975; Ph.D. 1978; Professor of Political Science 1993, 1975.
BRENT L. PICKETT, B.A. Wichita State University 1989; M.A. University of Colorado at Boulder 1991; Ph.D. 1995; Professor of Political Science - Casper 2010, 2005.
ROBERT SCHUHMANN, B.S. Appalachian State University 1987; M.P.A. 1989; Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 1995; Professor of Political Science 2013, 2002, 1995.

Associate Professors

STEPHANIE B. ANDERSON, B.S.F.S. Georgetown University 1989; M.Sc. The London School of Economics and Political Science 1990; Ph.D. University of Cambridge 1996; Associate Professor of Political Science 2009, 2005.
TEENA J. GABRIELSON, B.A. Macalester College 1992; M.A. University of California-Davis 1997; Ph.D. 2002; Associate Professor of Political Science 2012, 2004.
ANDREW D. GARNER, B.S. Kennesaw State University 2002; Ph.D. University of Mississippi 2007; Associate Professor of Political Science 2014, 2008.
TRACY A. SKOPEK, B.A. University of Texas 1992; M.P.A. Texas Tech University 1995; Ph.D. 2000; Associate Professor of Political Science 2009, 2003.

Assistant Professors

NEVIN T. AIKEN, B.A. University of Western Ontario 2003; M.A. 2004; Ph.D. University of British Columbia 2010; Assistant Professor of Political Science and Global and Area Studies 2012, 2010.
JUSTIN T. PICCORELLI, B.A. Loyola Marymount University 2004; M.P.A. Cleveland State University 2009; Ph.D. 2014; Assistant Professor of Political Science 2015.

Professors Emeriti

Winberg Chai, Larry Hubbell, Stephen C. Ropp, Oliver Walter

Associate Professor Emeritus

Alan E. Schenker

Political Science

Political Science is the study of how societies govern themselves and interact with one another. Courses of instruction in the Department of Political Science are offered in the following subfields: American politics, comparative government, international relations, political philosophy, public law, and public administration. Areas of focus include analysis of government structures and processes, citizens' influence on government, policy content, philosophical concepts and traditions, political systems of other nations, and resolution of conflicts between nations. Our goals are to help students better understand political processes, and to develop the critical thinking and analytic skills necessary for: effective participation in the political process, successful careers in the public and private sectors, and further study in law, political science, and public administration.

In 1925, the state legislature passed a law requiring the study of the U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions by all University of Wyoming students. Political Science 1000 satisfies this requirement, but the requirement can also be satisfied by special examination given periodically by the Department of Political Science.

Learning Outcomes

We continuously and actively assess the Political Science undergraduate curriculum to ensure that the following learning outcomes are being met for each of our graduates:

  1. Acquire a knowledge and understanding of the values, beliefs, and institutions that constitute governing processes;
  2. Acquire an understanding of the disctinctions among the major subfields of the discipline including: American politics and law, internationsl relations, comparative politics, and political theory;
  3. Develop a knowledge and understanding of citizens' roles withing governing processes;
  4. Acquire a knowledge of the theories and analytic skills necessary to evaluate conflicting arguments, assemble and present appropriate evidence, and make reasoned conclusions from the evidence available;
  5. Communicate effectively, both orally and in written form.

Undergraduate Major

In addition to the university and college requirements listed elsewhere in this bulletin, a major in political science requires 33 hours. Students are required to complete the following four introductory courses: POLS 1000; POLS 1200 or POLS 1250; POLS 2310; and POLS 2460 or POLS 3600. Students are also required to take at least one seminar in political science (and its prerequisites); 8 hours of a single foreign language or equivalent credit by examination as determined by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages; STAT 2070; and a minimum of 9 hours of upper division credit in political science. A maximum of 6 hours of internship credit may be applied toward the 33 hours required for the political science major. Only those political science courses in which a grade of C or better has been earned may be used to satisfy departmental requirements.

Most university studies courses and lower division political science courses should be completed prior to the junior year. Additional information about the political science major may be obtained from the Department of Political Science office, 136 A&S Building.

Undergraduate Minors

The department offers optional undergraduate minors in American politics, international relations and comparative government, public law, and political theory. Eighteen hours are required in each minor, including 9 hours of upper-division courses and one seminar. A maximum of 3 hours of internship credit may be applied towards the 18 hours required for the political science minor. At least 12 credit hours in a minor must be from courses not being counted toward the student's major. Information relating to specific courses fulfilling minor requirements may be obtained from the Department of Political Science office, 136 A&S Building.

Teacher Education

The teacher certification program in Secondary Social Studies Education, with a concurrent major in Political Science is available through the College of Education. A minimum 2.50 UW grade point average and a 2.50 grade point average in Political Science and Social Studies content are required to change majors. Further information may be found under the College of Education section in this Catalog.

Major or Minor in Environmental and Natural Resources

The Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) offers a second major or minor for students interested in interdisciplinary training in the policy, legal, economic, scientific, ethical, and other perspectives associated with ENR challenges. The Haub School uses problem-based learning and interdisciplinary team teaching. Students of all disciplines are welcome to take classes in ENR or add ENR to their degree program. Contact the Haub School at (307)766-5080, senr@uwo.edu, or www.uwyo.edu/enr.

Graduate Study

The master of arts and the master of public administration are offered by the Department of Political Science. The department's mission is to give graduate students an understanding of the theories and methods necessary for success in (1) research or in post-baccalaureate study in any of the subfields in political science, (2) high school teaching in social science, or (3) careers in policy analysis or public administration in local, state, or federal government, or international governmental or non-governmental organizations. Our graduate students have progressed to senior positions in government, the U.S. Foreign Service, and international organizations; they have pursued rewarding careers in education and the private sector; and they have advanced to Ph.D. programs in political science and related fields.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

Master of Arts in Political Science

Admission is open to all students holding a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA in political science or a cognate discipline such as international studies, criminal justice, history, sociology, or economics, including substantial undergraduate course work in political science and a minimum GRE score of 60th percentile in Verbal and 40th percentile in Quantitative. Applicants must submit a writing sample of at least 10 pages such as a paper prepared for an undergraduate class.

Master of Public Administration

Admission is open to all students holding a bachelor's degree in any major with at least a 3.0 GPA and a minimum GRE score of 60th percentile in Verbal and 40th percentile in Quantitative. Only POLS 5000 may be taken prior to full admission into the program with permission of the M.P.A. director.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Master's Programs

Master of Arts in Political Science

Plan A (thesis)

At least 30 hours of graduate credit, to include:

POLS 5510. Public Policy and Program Management.

POLS 5680. Research Methods for Political Science. 

POLS 5684. Empirical Analysis for Public Administration.

POLS 5810. Seminar in Political Philosophy.

At least 6 additional hours of coursework in political science.

A maximum of 9 hours of coursework in disciplines other than political science.

A minimum of 4 hours thesis research.

A master's thesis demonstrating independent research, written under the supervision of the major professor.

An oral examination conducted by the graduate committee covering all coursework and the thesis.

No more than 6 hours of grades lower than 3.0 may be counted toward the minimum number of hours required for the degree.

Students must maintain a graduate GPA of 3.0.

Plan B (non-thesis)

At least 30 hours of graduate credit, to include:

POLS 5510. Public Policy and Program Management.

POLS 5680. Research Methods for Political Science.

POLS 5684. Empirical Analysis for Public Administration.

POLS 5810. Seminar in Political Philosophy.

At least 6 additional hours of coursework in political science.

A maximum of 12 hours of coursework in disciplines other than political science.

Plan B paper that reflects the quality but not scope of a master's thesis, written under the supervision of the major professor.

An oral examination conducted by the graduate committee covering all coursework and the Plan B paper.

No more than 6 hours of grades lower than 3.0 may be counted toward the minimum number of hours required for the degree.

Students must maintain a graduate GPA of 3.0.

Master of Public Administration

Plan B (non-thesis)

Thirty-nine hours of graduate credit, to include:

21 hours of core credit,

6 hours of option-core credit,

12 hours of approved elective credit.

In addition to graduate coursework, M.P.A. students must complete a series of papers constituting the Plan B project. It is the purpose of POLS 5690, Capstone in Public Management, to be a framework within which students initiate and substantially complete their Plan B projects.

Following the completion of all other requirements, the M.P.A. student is required to pass a comprehensive oral examination covering the information contained within his/her program of study as well as a defense of the Plan B projects. The oral examination is also conducted within the framework of the POLS 5690 Capstone course.

Significant administrative experience is required of all M.P.A. graduates. If the M.P.A. student has little or no administrative experience an internship is required and will be included as 3 hours of the required elective credits.

Students entering the M.P.A. Program are expected to possess basic computer literacy, and to have access to a computer for such purposes as communicating with professors via e-mail, receiving M.P.A. Program memos, conducting research on the Web, retrieving articles from course documents libraries, working on course projects, and for conducting interactive/electronic class discussion.

Students must maintain a graduate GPA of 3.0.

Students must complete the CAPP program in lieu of a program of study.

Master of Public Administration/Juris Doctor

See the M.P.A. Director and/or the College of Law for information.

Students must be accepted to both programs.

Political Science (POLS) Courses

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