The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Department of Political Science College of Liberal Arts

What is Political Science?

Political Science is the study of governments and political processes, political behavior, political ideologies, and public policy. Political scientists use a variety of methodological approaches, perspectives, and concepts to examine the political dynamics of all countries and regions of the world.

Mission Statement

Political Science majors and minors at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley acquire a broad understanding of the political science discipline, while developing transferable skills in oral, written, and technological communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and research, including both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The Department of Political Science expects students to integrate the development of their knowledge and skills with other university and college programs, particularly those that facilitate active community engagement and informed citizenship.

These skills can lead to many fulfilling careers in politics and government, the civil service, teaching, law, policy analysis, journalism, non-profit sector management, and diplomacy. A degree in Political Science can also be the gateway to a law degree, a Master’s degree in many fields, or a Ph.D. degree in Political Science, Public Administration, or Public Policy.

The Department of Political Science offers academic programming that supports the Guiding Principles of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), including:

  1. Promoting access to postsecondary education to a diverse student body with the goal of becoming one of the largest and most successful Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the United States,
  2. Employing the highest quality faculty members and staff who pursue global excellence in teaching, research, and service,
  3. Promoting academic programs that produce state, national, and world leaders who are bicultural, bi-lingual, and bi-literate,
  4. Pursuing applied and translational research to address critical local, state, national, and global needs, and
  5. Providing a leadership role in fostering economic and community partnerships to help solve local, state, national, and global problems.

Political Science at UTRGV

The Department of Political Science at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers degree programs that are firmly anchored in the core concepts and methods of Political Science, while simultaneously incorporating topics, concepts, and methods utilized in cognate disciplines of the social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, and economics) and non-cognate disciplines other than the social sciences (e.g., management, biology, public health).

The Department of Political Science at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley defines this dynamic and evolving discipline in terms of four subfields:

U.S. Government & Politics – American Government and its institutions (Congress, Presidency, Bureaucracy, Judiciary), State & Local Government, Political Behavior (elections, interest groups, voting behavior, public opinion), Applied Social Science Statistics, and Research Methods.

World Politics – Globalization, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Foreign Policy.

Political Economy & Public Policy – U.S., North American, international, and global political economy, the policy process, and public policy issue areas (e.g., environmental policy, fiscal policy, economic policy, labor policy, health care policy, immigration policy).

Political Theory – Political Theory, History of Political Thought, and Political Ideologies.

Mailing Address

Department of Political Science
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
1201 West University
Edinburg, Texas 78539-2999


Department of Political Science
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
One West University Boulevard
Brownsville, Texas 78520-1201