Texas A&M University-Texarkana’s Political Science Program announced its Law and Theory Studies Certificate last week. The certificate of completion recognizes student excellence in scholarship about U.S. theory and constitutional law.  

According to the press release, to earn the certificate of completion, students must achieve an A or B grade in at least four classes from a list of eligible Law and Theory courses.  The classes are from different disciplines—Business, Criminal Justice, Honors, Mass Communication, Political Science, and Sociology—but all emphasize law and theory.  Any of these classes may also count toward a Bachelor’s degree. Along with the four law and theory classes, a student also needs to author a scholarship project on an approved topic and present it in a professional setting, such as a student showcase or regional conference.

Political Science Professor Gary Bugh explains that while the certificate is not an academic credential, the initiative “will encourage and support student scholarship, in turn contributing to students’ professional goals.  It will help students learn more about the basics of our constitutional system.” Bugh adds that the certificate “gives students a leg up when applying to graduate or law school because it’s something they accomplished that shows additional scholarly work and commitment.”

Dr. Del Doughty, Dean of TAMUT’s College of Arts, Sciences and Education, added that the certificate program “shines a flashlight beam on a student’s focus of interest beyond the usual academic labels.  It will tell a law school admissions committee or an employer, ‘This student may have studied political science or English, but he or she also had a sustained interest in legal and theoretical questions.’”

More information on the program can be found on the university website or by emailing gbugh@tamut.edu. The application for the Law and Theory Certificate can be found at www.tamut.edu/lawandtheory.