The mission of the Political Science/Planning Department is to serve three basic educational purposes which are best expressed under the headings of curricula, general education and scholarship.The department offers four academic degrees: the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science, the Master of Science in Rural and Small Town Planning, and the Master of Public Administration. The primary purpose of the A. B. program is to provide the students with a general, liberal arts degree with a major in political science. Such a degree is appropriate for those students who want a broad liberal arts education, plan to attend graduate or law school, or wish to prepare for employment in government, political organizations, journalism or a private business with extensive public contracts. The primary purpose of the B.S. program is to give students an overview of the discipline and a more concentrated focus on a particular subfield of political science/planning so that they are prepared for employment in the public sector or in "not-for-profit" organizations or for professional programs in graduate school or law school. The M.S. in Rural and Small Town Planning is designed to prepare students for a planning career in rural, regional and public and private planning agencies, providing a base in theory and analytical skills for the preparation, formulation and implementation of rural plans, policies and programs. The M.P.A. program is designed to meet the need for additional skills and knowledge among current and future public administrators and to provide additional graduate courses for students in related programs at West Georgia through courses on the main campus and in external centers. The general education mission of the Political Science Department is to help students develop an understanding of the basic values, institutions, political and legal processes and public policies of the American national government. In a democracy such as the United States, it is essential that college-educated citizens understand their political system so that they can participate in their government in a knowledgeable and intelligent fashion. Furthermore, the department provides service courses related to domestic and international politics for students enrolled in related programs at West Georgia.
The Department encourages its faculty to engage in constructive scholarship for the improvement of teaching and creative research leading to the presentation of papers at professional conferences and to the publication of articles in scholarly journals as well as monographs and books.