Field of Study | PhD in Political Science
American Politics includes the study of American national institutions, political behavior, and sub-national politics. American national institutions include the constitutionally specified institutions (the presidency, Congress, and the courts) and the interactions among institutions such as the president and Congress; constitutional, statutory, and administrative law; and extra-constitutional institutions such as political parties. (Students interested primarily in bureaucratic institutions should see the public administration/public policy field statement.) Political behavior is concerned with mass political behavior (public opinion, voting behavior, and general political participation), the relationship between mass behavior and political institutions such as in representation, and organized behaviors represented by interest groups and the mass media. Sub-national politics includes the study of political institutions and mass political behavior at the state and local levels and the federal relationships between sub-national governments and the national government.
The Texas A&M University Political Science faculty has considerable expertise in all aspects of American politics and offers a wide range of courses. The predominant orientation of the American politics faculty is to produce theory-driven research on important substantive questions. As a consequence, students selecting American politics as a major field must develop methodological skills sufficient to pursue mainstream empirical research in the field. The Program in American Politics regularly brings prominent scholars to campus as individual speakers or as part of department-sponsored conferences.