Department of History, Political Science, and Languages & Culture


Department of History, Political Science, and Languages & Culture

Historical and political understanding and awareness are perceived as one of the chief attributes of a functional and involved citizen of the United States.

speakerwebAristotle characterized politics as the queen of the sciences. Political science is, in one sense, an ancient discipline and, in another sense, one of the most recently developed social sciences. The origins of the study of politics reach back to the beginnings of human society, for people have always made observations about the nature of their government. It is also true that political science, as it is taught today, is a very new discipline, as current scholars have attempted to move from observations about politics to scientific observations about politics. Political science, in the broadest sense, is the study of governments, governing procedures and political processes. The political science faculty encourage students to make connections between the theoretical study of government/politics and how government affects their lives in contemporary times. Highlands enables a special focus on the Southwest and minority political studies.

Students in political science may seek careers in government, teaching, or private industry. The political science major serves as excellent preparation for law school or other academic pursuits, such as graduate study. It provides preprofessional training for governmental or public sector positions involving policy making or administration. Representative employers are government agencies at the national, state, or local levels, corporations and research institutions.
Public Affairs (MA)
The Master of Arts in Public Affairs combines studies in sociology, political science, economics, anthropology, literature, and history with an interdisciplinary emphasis. The program gives a comprehensive understanding of the social and cultural environment of the public and private spheres through a core curriculum taken by all students in political theory, classical social theory and historical thought, human culture, and economic theory.

Students then select courses from one of the following concentration fields: history, political and governmental process, and historical and cross-cultural perspectives. Each student receives training in appropriate research methodologies, and completes a thesis or two professional papers.

This program will prepare students for doctoral studies and may provide enrichment for professionals in public careers such as law, politics, or government service. The program also provides advanced preparation for teachers. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is well suited to such purposes. It combines theory and practice in the following areas: historical and cross-cultural analysis; archival research; personal and participant observation, interview, and survey techniques; statistical analysis, model building, and simulation as applied to the analysis of social and cultural trends; political and economic policy at local, regional, national, and international levels; and organizational and institutional processes.

The program’s geographic location in a multiethnic region of the Southwest brings unique perspectives. Field and practicum experiences are available to capitalize on the region’s rich social, cultural, and institutional resources.


Required core:

Choose 12 to 15 credits from the following:
 Dept Course description Credits
Anth 650 Sem: Concepts of Human Culture 3
Hist 615 Cont Hist Thought 3
PolS 563 Political Economy 3
PolS 654 Sem: The State 3
Soc 539 Classical Social Theories 3
Core Total: 12 – 15 credit hours


History and Political Science News

With concentrations in:

Political and Governmental Processes course requirements
Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspectives course requirements


With concentrations in:

History/Political Science course requirements