Undergraduate Program Information
The study of government and political science blends the strengths of a liberal arts education while preparing students for a career in their field. Career opportunities can include positions in: federal, state, and local government; public administration and public service; and in public policy analysis.
The government major program calls for a thorough preparation in the study of government as described below with the opportunity for those interested in specific careers to concentrate in one of the subfields:
- American government and politics,
- public law,
- public administration and policy,
- comparative politics,
- political theory and
- international relations.
The department also offers a supplementary major in law and society, which is supportive of law-related careers.
A government minor program involving 18 credits of course work is also offered. A subfield minor or a general minor may be selected. In addition, the department participates in an interdisciplinary minor in Contemporary Social Studies.
Graduate Program Information
The Department of Government offers two degrees:
- the Master of Arts (MA) in government and
- the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and
- a graduate minor in Security Studies.
The programs are designed to prepare students both for diverse careers in the public sector and for further training at the doctoral level. The MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), a distinction held by fewer than one-quarter of MPA programs nationwide. The MPA program offers joint degrees
- with the Department of Criminal Justice (MPA/MCJ) and
- with the Department of History (MPA/ MA in Public History).
Students in a joint degree program can earn two master's degrees with fewer credits than would be required to earn those degrees independently.
Prospective graduate students in either the MA or MPA should demonstrate a 3.0 grade point average for the second half of their undergraduate course work. For students with a GPA of less than 3.0, GRE scores are required, though this requirement may be waived if the undergraduate degree was awarded more than five years before applying. Applicants to either program are required to submit an application online. See instructions at: http://prospective.nmsu.edu/graduate/apply/index.html. Applications include three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and a personal statement concerning their interest in pursuing a graduate degree. Additional information concerning program requirements and the admission process can be obtained from either the department’s MA chair or MPA director. Under exceptional circumstances the department may exempt students from the minimal requirements. Application for admission to the Graduate School should clearly indicate the program in which the student wishes to enroll. Applications for admission to the MPA program are reviewed twice a year, once in the Fall semester and once in the Spring semester.
Students interested in a joint degree option must apply and be accepted in to the two departments separately, and indicate their interest on their applications in one of the joint degree programs.
Students in both the MA and MPA programs select either a thesis or non-thesis option. Students planning on continuing their studies in a doctoral program or wishing to establish expertise related to a specific career objective are strongly encouraged to select the thesis option. The non-thesis option is suggested for students desiring immediate employment or seeking to enhance their current employment situations. Course work outside the department must have prior advisor approval to ensure a well-integrated program of study. Complete information on the requirements for either program should be obtained directly from the department. Most MA and MPA courses are offered in the evening.
The Department of Government offers a general undergraduate Government minor and specialized sub field minors. In addition, the department participates in an interdisciplinary minor in Contemporary Social Studies with History and other departments.
A student cannot earn both a B.A. in Government and a general minor in Government. Government majors may pursue a subfield minor in the department, however, they cannot double count any upper division courses in Government toward the minor.
Degrees for the Department
Minors for the Department
Professor, Neil Harvey, Department Head
Professors Butler, Harvey, Slaton; Associate Professors Conner, Medina, Rosendorf; Assistant Professors Hirschauer, Kang; College Professor Seckler; Emeritus Professors Baker, Lapid, Taggart, Winn
N. Harvey, Ph.D., Department Head (Essex)– Mexican politics, comparative politics, Latin America; N. Baker, (emeritus) Ph.D. (Tulane)– public law, American politics, presidency; G. Butler, Ph.D., (Catholic)– political theory, American politics; T. Conner, Ph.D., (Oklahoma) - public administration, Native American politics, public budgeting; S. Hirschauer, Ph.D., (Old Dominion University) - Intenational relations, security studies, gender, migration and identity, comparative politics; S. Kang, Ph.D., (Univ. Georgia)- public and non-profit management, organizational theory and behavior, public sector volunteering; Y. Lapid, (emeritus) Ph.D., (Columbia)– international relations theory, comparative foreign policy, international organizations; C. Medina (Univ. Colorado Denver) Ph.D., – public administration, public policy, education policy, qualitative methods; N. Rosendorf, Ph.D., (Harvard) international relations, cultural diplomacy, US foreign policy; K. Seckler, J.D. (Univ. of New Mexico)- Law and Society,New Mexico state and local government, US Supreme Court, US and NM Constitutions; C. Slaton, Ph.D., (Hawaii) - American politics, American political thought, university and community engagement, public administration, conflict resolution; W. Taggart, (emeritus) Ph.D., (Florida State)– public administration, public policy, American politics; R. G. Winn, (emeritus), Ph.D., (Arizona State)– public administration, policy analysis, environmental policy
GOVT 100G. American National Government
Class critically explores political institutions and processes including: the U.S. constitutional system; legislative, executive and judicial processes; political parties, elections, media, policy making, civic participation, popular and group influence
GOVT 101. Introductory Government Seminar
Introduction to the government major. Designed to assist students in planning college experience and preparing for professional or advanced educational opportunities upon graduation. Graded: S/U. Restricted to: Main campus only.
GOVT 110G. Introduction to Political Science
This class covers fundamental concepts such as justice, sovereignty and power; political theories and ideologies; and government systems that range from democratic to authoritarian.
GOVT 150G. American Political Issues
Major contemporary problems of American society and their political implications.
GOVT 160G. International Political Issues
Current developments and issues in world politics.
GOVT 201. Special Topics
Specific topics to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Community Colleges only. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits.
GOVT 300. Political Research Skills
Introduction to methods of political analysis and fundamentals of research design, including basic methods for the collection and analysis of political data.
GOVT 308. Prepping for Law School Admissions Test
This workshop helps students prepare to take the Law School Admissions Test and apply for law school. Graded: S/U.
GOVT 313. Model United Nations
Issues related to the United Nations and international law/organizations through simulations, discussions and research projects.
Prerequisites: GPA of 2.5 or better and consent of instructor.
GOVT 314. Advanced Model UN
Advanced topics, research and preparation for Model United Nations activities. Consent of instructor required. Restricted to: Main campus only.
Prerequisite(s): GOVT 313, minimum GPA 2.5.
GOVT 315. Politics and Film
Exploration of political themes, images, and representation in film and other media. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits under different subtitles.
GOVT 320. Domestic Policy
The course examines how U.S. public policy is made, including the players, politics, issues and power critical to the policy process. An interactive class that bridges theory and political action. Restricted to: Main campus only.
GOVT 321. Topics in Public Policy
Course examines issues in public policy. May be repeated under different subtitles.
GOVT 324. Environmental Policy
This introductory course explores environmental policy issues. Students study perspectives of policy-makers, political activists and policy analysts, and apply policy models to solve pressing environmental problems. Focus may be on U.S. or global concerns.
GOVT 325. Education Policy and Politics
Overview of current pressing policy issues and political debates on education in the U.S., including school choice, vouchers, accountability, and affirmative action. Multiple topics and perspectives covered, with political economy as the main approach.
GOVT 330. Introduction to Public Administration
What is public administration? Course examines public service, focusing on federal and state government. Issues include management and leadership, personnel, bureaucratic politics, organizational theory, personnel, budgeting and administrative law. Restricted to: Main campus only.
GOVT 331. Special Topics in Public Administration
Special topics in public administration. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits under different subtitles.
GOVT 335. Management of Nonprofit Organizations
This course provides an overview of a range of nonprofit management concerns and practices. Students will be challenged to assess their own theories of nonprofit accountability and excellence, while confronting critical issues facing the sector. Activities are designed to expand the management skills of students by offering analytical tools and knowledge, and providing opportunities to test the application of these skills.
GOVT 343. Congress and the Legislative Process
This class reviews the history, structure, membership, operation, power and culture of the American Congress. Restricted to: Main campus only.
GOVT 344. The American Presidency
A comprehensive overview of the U.S. presidency, including powers, electoral politics, decision-making styles, domestic and foreign policy, and relations with Congress, courts, media and interest groups.
GOVT 345. The Supreme Court
This class studies the history and operation of the Supreme Court, as well as landmark cases that have shaped American government and the Court.
GOVT 348. Political Parties and Interest Groups
Organization, principles, and functions of political parties and interest groups in the U.S.
GOVT 350. Special Topics in American Government
Special topics in American government. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits under different subtitles.
GOVT 353. Women, Politics and Administration
An examination of women's participation in U.S. electoral politics as voters, candidates, and officeholders; political activism in issue-based movements and strategies for affecting public policy; leadership as administrators and managers in public service agencies. Also explores the influence of feminism in changing women's roles socially, legally, and politically. Crosslisted with: W S 453
GOVT 354. American Indian Politics
Introduction to American Indian tribal governments, politics, policy, and administration; historical and contemporary leadership of Indian Nations; and the history and current status of American Indian-U.S. relations. Students learn about Native peoples' cultural responses, forms of resistance, and adaptations to colonization. Restricted to: Main campus only.
GOVT 360. International Relations
Introduction to world politics; fundamental international issues and problems.
GOVT 361. Special Topics in International Relations
Course examines contemporary issues in international relations. May be repeated under different subtitles.
GOVT 362. International Political Economy
Political factors in international economic relations; theories of political economy.
GOVT 366. American Foreign Policy
Formulation, content and rationale of current foreign policies of the U.S.
GOVT 367. Terrorism
An introductory course using an interdisciplinary framework to explore definitions, historical roots, contemporary manifestations and future trends in political terrorism.
GOVT 368. Fundamentals of Intelligence Studies
Introductory survey of the major theoretical approaches and substantive issues in intelligence studies.
GOVT 370. Comparative Politics
Introduction to functional approaches to comparing similarities and differences among political systems.
GOVT 371. Latin American Politics
Basic structure of politics in major Latin American countries; role of groups, including church, labor, and parties.
GOVT 372. Special Topics in Comparative Politics
Course examines contemporary issues in comparative politics. May be repeated under different subtitles. Restricted to: Main campus only.
GOVT 373. Resistance Movements in World Politics
Research on violent and non-violent resistance movements around the world. Focus on their origins, demands, ideologies, strategies and impacts in the post-Cold War context of economic globalization, US military power and new geopolitical dynamics.
GOVT 375. Self Determination and Minority Rights
Comparative study of ethnic relations, minority rights, identity, citizenship and political representation.
GOVT 378. U.S.-Mexico Border Politics
Comparative perspectives applied to the problems of the U.S.-Mexican border.
GOVT 379. Mexican Politics
Introduction to the politics and government of contemporary Mexico.
GOVT 380V. Contemporary World Political Ideologies
Introduction to the prevailing political ideologies in the modern world and the ways in which modern nations operating under one or more of these ideologies attempt to answer fundamental questions about the allocation and distribution of rights, liberties, and other things of value. In addition, the course work and discussions attempt to address recent political, social, and economic events in various areas of the world.
GOVT 382. Classical Political Thought
Analysis of main currents in political thought from ancient Greece and Rome to the high Middle Ages.
GOVT 383. Modern Political Thought
Historical and theoretical examination of political ideas and ideologies from Machiavelli to Nietzsche. Topics include liberalism, conservatism, romanticism, communism, and Nihilism.
GOVT 384. Contemporary Political Thought
Examination of major currents in political theory from early twentieth century to the present. Includes positivism, fascism, neo-liberalism, and varieties of postmodernism.
GOVT 385. American Political Thought
Introduction to major American thinkers and historical currents from colonial time to the present.
GOVT 386. Political Economy
Analysis of political ideas concerning the role of the state in management of national economies, in both European and American contexts.
GOVT 387. Religion and Politics
Survey of major points of interaction between politics and religion in the U.S., using theoretical, historical, and institutional analysis.
GOVT 390. Special Topics in Public Law
Course examines various issues in public law. May be repeated under different subtitles.
GOVT 391. Constitutional Law
The class explores the reasoning and political context of the Supreme Court cases that define the distribution and limits of governmental powers and duties under the U.S. Constitution, including separation of powers and federalism. Restricted to: Main campus only.
GOVT 392. Civil Liberties
The course examines the reasoning and political context of major Supreme Court cases defining constitutional rights of free speech, religious liberty, free press and criminal procedural rights.
GOVT 394. Judicial Process
Class examines the structure, function and purpose of the American judicial system. Restricted to: Main campus only.
GOVT 395. Law and Society
Class critically explores the development, role and impact of law on our society, covering different theories of law, conceptions of justice and the values they reflect. These models are then applied to current legal issues. Not a class in legal reasoning, but one where students evaluate their beliefs about the legal system. Restricted to: Main campus only.
GOVT 396. International Law
Nature, growth, and scope of law of nations, rights and obligations of states in peace and war, current issues.
GOVT 399. New Mexico Law
New Mexico legal system, court structure and procedures; legal terms and concepts; constitutional, criminal, mass media, historical and social issues relating to New Mexico. Same as C J 399, HIST 399, JOUR 399, and SOC 399.
GOVT 405. Directed Readings
Individualized readings. Course subtitled. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Graded S/U. Consent of instructor required.
GOVT 406. Independent Study
Individualized research. Course subtitled. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Consent of instructor required.
GOVT 407. Workshop
Focus on skills related to careers in government and political science. Specific topics announced in the Schedule of Classes; may be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Only 3 credits apply toward government major or minor requirements. Graded S/U.
GOVT 410. Internship
Hands-on experience working with public agencies, political campaigns, elected officials & non-profits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits; only 3 credits apply toward government major or minor requirements. Consent of instructor required. Graded: S/U.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 government credits, 2.5 GPA, junior and above standing.
GOVT 411. Service Learning Experience
Experiential learning through a community service project. May be subtitled to reflect service activity. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits; only 3 credits apply toward government major or minor requirements.
Prerequisites: completion of 12 government credits, junior or above standing, and consent of instructor.
GOVT 412. Practicum in Student Government
Research of issues in student government. Consent of instructor required. Graded: S/U.
Prerequisite(s): Student government participation, completion of 12 GOVT credits, junior or senior standing.
GOVT 415. Senior Seminar
Review and integration of political skills acquired in the Government Department. Students will prepare a professional portfolio for entry into the workforce, advanced study, and civic participation. S/U Grading (S/U, Audit).
GOVT 465. Peru: From Incas to Inca Kola
Explores issues of cultural and national identity in Peru from the Incas to the present, focusing on the modern period. Themes include indigenous resistance and adaptation to colonial rule, nationalism, militarism, terrorism, globalization, and the drug trade. Same as ANTH 459 and HIST 459.
GOVT 468. Rebels, Guerrillas, and Terrorists in Modern Latin America
Explores history of rebels in Latin America. Examines guerilla struggles attaining national dimension. Focus on modern events, including Peru's Shining Path, Columbia's FARC, and Mexico's Zapatistas. Same as HIST 331.
GOVT 469. Globalization
Analysis of the globalization process. Covers theories of globalization, the global economy, political globalization, global culture, transnational social movements, transnational migration and world labor market, global cities, and local-global linkages. Same as SOC 489.
GOVT 474. European Politics
Politics in European countries, European integration, post-communist states, regionalism and border politics.
GOVT 493. Mass Communications Law
Same as JOUR 493 and COMM 493.
GOVT 502. Research Methods in Government
Contemporary methods of political analysis, including mathematical and statistical techniques and computer applications. MPA students must complete this class with a B- or better. MA students must complete either GOVT 502 or GOVT 503 with a B- or better.
GOVT 503. Qualitative Research Methods
An overview of qualitative research methods such as fieldwork, ethnography, content analysis, case studies, focus groups and grounded theory. Introduces students to epistemology (the study of knowledge) and to basic components of research design. Explores activist scholarship, ethical dilemmas in research, and software tools for computer assisted analysis. Especially useful for students preparing theses, dissertation, or other research projects. MA students must complete either GOVT 503 or GOVT 502 with a B- or better.
GOVT 505. Directed Readings
Selected topics in government. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Graded S/U.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
GOVT 510. Internship
Assignment with a public agency and research report. Only 3 credits apply toward degree requirements. Graded S/U.
Prerequisite: approval of graduate advisor.
GOVT 517. Selected Topics in Government
Selected issues which may cross sub-fields of the discipline. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 519. Proseminar in Public Administration
Review of classic and contemporary theory and practice in public administration. Application of written and oral skills to the presentation and defense of essays on various aspects of public administration. To be completed with a B- or better.
Prerequisite(s): 30 credits of M.P.A.
GOVT 522. Public Sector Economics I
Same as AEEC 522.
GOVT 523. Public Sector Economics II
Same as AEEC 523.
GOVT 527. Issues in Public Management
Selected issues in public management. May be repeated under different subtitles for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 530. Seminar in Public Policy
Survey of the political, administrative, and technical aspects of policy making in government. MA students taking GOVT 530 as part of their core requirements must complete the class with a B- or better.
GOVT 535. Education Policy and Politics
Overview of current pressing policy issues and political debates on education in the U.S., including school choice, vouchers, accountability, and affirmative action. Multiple topics and perspectives covered, with political economy the main approach.
GOVT 536. Public Policy and Indigenous Communities
Indigenous communities are found throughout North, Central and South America. This course addresses the history, development and governance of these communities. Different sections of the course may choose to focus on different indigenous communities. All courses will consider the principles of governance internal to indigenous communities as well as the governing relationships between indigenous communities and modern states.
GOVT 537. Issues in Public Policy
Selected issues in public policy. May be repeated under a different subtitle for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 540. Seminar in Public Administration
Survey course on the theory and practice of program, personnel, and financial management in government and the private, nonprofit sector. MA students taking Govt 540 as part of their core requirements must complete the class with a B- or better.
GOVT 541. Public Budgeting
Budgetary processes; budget classification, analysis, and evaluation. MPA students must complete this class with a B- or better.
GOVT 542. Public Sector Human Resources Management
Exploration of public personnel systems and practices, including job analysis, compensation, performance evaluation, recruitment, and labor-management relations. MPA students must complete this class with a B- or better.
GOVT 543. Skills Workshop
Focus on management of task skills in selected areas of public administration. Specific topics will appear in the Schedule of Classes; may be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 544. Public Policy Analysis
Environment of policy analysis; various descriptive and quantitative designs for analyzing and evaluating public policy. Problems of policy analysis. MPA students must complete this class with a B- or better.
Prerequisite(s): GOVT 502 or consent of instructor.
GOVT 547. Government Organizations
Historical overview and present applications of organization theory in public management. MPA students must complete this class with a B- or better.
GOVT 548. Public Sector Leadership
Theories and styles of leadership.
GOVT 549. Ethics in Government
Examination of standards, perspectives, and issues for ethical decision-making in public agencies. MPA students must complete this class with a B- or better.
GOVT 550. Seminar in American Politics
Overview of American political institutions. Includes study of American constitutional theory; legislative, executive, and judicial functions and processes; political parties and interest groups; and public policy formulation. MA students taking Govt 550 as part of their core requirements must complete the class with a B- or better.
GOVT 560. Seminar in International Relations Theory
A critical overview of leading approaches and controversies in international relations theory. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to contending theoretical perspectives and conceptual frameworks that help make sense of contemporary world politics. MA students taking Govt 560 as part of their core requirements must complete the class with a B- or better.
GOVT 561. Nations and Soft Power
Course employs historical, theoretical and practical “best/worst practices” lenses to deal with key questions, such as how do the US and other states present themselves to the world? What are “soft power” and “national reputation management”? How does one build or damage a country’s image and “brand”? What are “public diplomacy” and “cultural diplomacy”, and how do they factor into the foreign relations of the US and other states?
GOVT 563. Issues in International Relations
Selected issues in international relations. May be repeated under a different subtitle for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 564. Advanced National Security Policy
Major topical, theoretical, and regional issues in national security policy.
GOVT 569. Advanced Issues in Globalization
Analysis of the globalization process. Covers theories of globalization; global economy; political globalization; global culture; transnational social movements; transnational migration and world labor market; global cities; local-global linkages. Same as SOC 589.
GOVT 570. Seminar in Comparative Politics
Examination of methods used for comparing various types of political entities. Investigation of criteria needed to examine a concept across cultures or national boundaries. MA students taking Govt 570 as part of their core requirements must complete the class with a B- or better.
GOVT 574. Contemporary Comparative Studies
Major topical, theoretical, and regional issues in international politics. May be repeated once.
GOVT 578. Seminar in the U.S.-Mexican Border
An analysis of the political environment along the United States-Mexico border and a survey of the literature available for a number of contemporary issues.
GOVT 579. Seminar in Mexican Politics
Advanced research on politics and government of Mexico.
GOVT 580. Seminar in Political Theory
Examination of major issues in political theory, including democracy, sovereignty, classical and modern traditions of thought. May be repeated with different subject matter. MA students taking GOVT 580 as part of their core requirements must complete the class with a B- or better.
GOVT 587. Seminar in Religion and Politics
Historical, theoretical and comparative analyses of the interaction between politics and religion.
GOVT 590. Seminar Public Law and Legal Systems
Focus on U.S. Constitutional Law and other national legal systems. MA students taking Govt 590 as part of their core requirements must complete the class with a B- or better.
GOVT 591. Law for Administrators
Case-law definitions of the legal roles and powers of public administrators.
GOVT 593. Issues in Public Law
Selected issues in public law. May be repeated under a different subtitle for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 596. International Law
Nature, growth and scope of law of nations; rights and obligations of states in peace and war; current issues.
GOVT 598. Special Research Programs
Individual investigations either theoretical, analytical or experimental. Three credits may be taken per semester for a total of 6 credits for thesis students, and 9 credits for non-thesis students. Consent of instructor required.
GOVT 599. Master's Thesis
Name: Patricia Vargas
Office Location: Breland Hall, Room 337
Phone: (575) 646-4936