Course Descriptions

Philosophical Foundations

HIS 3303 Perspectives in the Social Sciences: Survey of various analytical and methodological tools of the social sciences. Special emphasis on traditionalism/revisionism, realism/liberalism, and interpretive schemas from other social science disciplines including psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

GOV/HIS 3381 Political Theory: A comparative study of the ideas and ideologies that shaped the Western World and have influenced the non-Western World, emphasizing political theories that contributed to capitalism, liberalism, socialism, communism, and fascism.

GOV/HIS 4392 Christianity, Ethics, and Politics in America: An examination of the relationship between Christianity, politics, and civil government. Special emphasis on the role of ethics in responsible policy-making, and dilemmas such as war and peace, church and state, and interventionism and isolationism.


HIS 4382 Contemporary U.S. History and Politics: This seminar explores the political, economic, social, and cultural elements of recent U.S. history (1974-present) which combine to contextualize our present day.

GOV/HIS 4389 U.S. Foreign Policy and I.R. Theory: An examination of competing theories of international relations as seen through the lens of U.S. foreign policy. Special attention is paid to the role of the presidency in constructing and directing U.S. policies.


ECO 2350 Political Economy: A political analysis of implementing macro- and microeconomic principles.

ECO 3350 Economic Theory and Policy Analysis: Introduction to public policy analysis with special emphasis on the use of comparative economic theories – including Mill, Smith, Marx, Keynes, and Friedman – in the development of policy proposals and cost/benefit analysis.

Civic Foundations

GOV 2390 Legislative Process: Federal, State, and Local: This course traces the philosophical and practical contours of legislating in the federal system. Special attention will be paid to the United States Congress and the Texas Legislature, as well as to structures of local governance.

GOV 3391 Law and Society: An overview of Anglo-American legal principles and an analysis of controversial legal issues in contemporary American society.

GOV/HIS 4304 American Political Culture: This course will examine the nature of the U.S. political culture throughout the nation’s history, including and especially the role of political parties and interest groups in shaping the debate over public policies and in contesting elections.

Experiential Learning Foundation

ACA 4000 Experiential Learning: As a graduation requirement, all Honors Academy students must demonstrate an immersive learning experience. Students may: participate in a long-semester study abroad; complete three semesters in a co-curricular program (Moot CourtModel United Nations, or Student Speaker Bureau speech/debate); earn three semester hours in a for-credit internship.

Honors Academy Capstone

ACA 4108  The Academy Bachelor’s Thesis Research and Preparation: A laboratory course in research methods in preparation for the Academy Bachelor’s Thesis, which provides an analysis of a public policy topic selected by the student and approved by the Academy Executive Committee.

ACA 4208 The Academy Bachelor’s Thesis Defense: Presentation and defense of the Academy Bachelor’s Thesis to a panel of faculty graders.

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