Political Science and Liberal Arts Education in Texas

Political science is considered to be a liberal arts discipline, which means that students studying for a political science degree in Texas will enjoy and benefit from a wide variety of subjects to give them a well-rounded education. Most undergraduate political science degrees at the bachelor's level within this discipline are in political science, public administration, government or a combination of these. Graduate degrees in political science may be in the above sub-disciplines plus education/teaching, legal studies, mediation or paralegal studies.

When one examines political science departments at Texas colleges and universities, it quickly becomes clear that more than just classroom learning is going on. Internships within the state legislature, on political campaigns and even in Washington, D.C. are offered. Activist groups on environmental, gender and race concerns are often available for all students to join and are usually favored by political science students, who represent the majority of the group's membership. Debate and discourse clubs and boards are available for students to hone their critical and analytical skills. Foreign studies abroad may be available in an exchange or scholarship program to students with an interest in international relations and foreign affairs.

Texas Political Science

Political Science Careers in Texas

Texas houses many corporations in what is considered to be "big industry" and/or "big business." Such companies also employ political science graduates in a multitude of positions ranging from directorships to governmental/foreign affairs to public relations. Companies in Texas that potentially employ political science majors include the headquarters of Fortune 150/Global 500 petroleum refining company Tesoro Corporation in San Antonio; global computer giant Dell, Inc. in Austin; Bell Helicopter in Hurst; Southwest Airlines in Dallas; Chemonics International in West; and Waste Management Corporation in Houston.

Political science careers pay well in Texas. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Texas has the fourth-highest concentration of political scientists of any state (numbering 310 in May 2010), earning an average annual salary of $65,550. Other positions that pay higher than average salaries in Texas include public relations managers, who earn $104,430; logisticians, who earn $72,730; lawyers, who make $128,650 annually; postsecondary political science teachers, who earn $74,430; broadcast news analysts, who make $82,950 per year; market research analysts and marketing specialists, who earn $66,520 annually; and urban and regional planners, who make an average annual salary of $58,120. (All salaries quoted are from BLS data, circa May 2010).

How to Become a Politician in Texas

The Texas Secretary of State's office provides Candidate Information for anyone who wishes to run for elected public office. Procedures for candidates for city, school district, state, district, county and federal offices are listed here, as are qualifications for each office. As these procedures may vary from one election year to the next, it is recommended that any interested candidates check the Secretary of State's website for the latest information pertaining to the office you seek. Generally, requirements for all Texas public elected offices include holding U.S. citizenship, being at least 18 years of age on the first day of the term of office, having the right to vote (not mentally incapacitated), not having been convicted of a felony, and holding residency in Texas for at least one year prior to election and for at least six months in one's district.

According to the Texas Secretary of State's website, the following political parties are actively recognized in the state: Republican Party, Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, Green Party, and minor parties. A minor party may be established in the state under rules specified in the Texas Election Code.

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