Political Science and Administration of Justice
- Bradley Holland , Ph.D.
Political science is the academic field that systematically studies the activity of making and enforcing rules and the relations of power intrinsic to this process, or, put simply, how we decide “who gets what.” Since politics encompasses a wide range of institutions and human behavior, political science is a far-reaching discipline. Political activities ranging from the behavior of leaders to the public policy aspects of nuclear energy are covered in this field. Virtually every aspect of our lives is affected by politics, whether it be the voting behavior of our elected officials, war in some distant part of the world, the price of gasoline, or what we watch on television.
Administration of Justice is the study of how justice is implemented through the institutions, laws, policies, and procedures that order the public sphere. Students who major in Administration of Justice at University of Hawaii at Hilo take courses in a variety of disciplines, including administration of justice, political science, sociology, psychology, which prepare them to be skilled and effective leaders in the areas of law enforcement, security, and government administration. Those students entering the program with an A.A. degree from a community college accredited by a U.S. regional accreditation agency will not be required to take General Education courses and will be given elective credit for selected courses in Administration of Justice that are transferred.
The mission of the Political Science and Administration of Justice Department is to promote responsible citizenship, prepare students to be skilled and effective leaders in local, state, and federal government and administration, and qualify our majors for acceptance to top-notch graduate programs and law schools. The Political Science and Administration of Justice Department provides majors with exposure to a broad range of topics within the disciplines of Political Science and Administration of Justice, and trains students in the techniques and theories used by scholars and practitioners in these disciplines to explore, describe, and explain political and social phenomena. The UH Hilo Political Science and Administration of Justice Department prides itself on small classes, personal advising, and quality education with aloha.
Goals for Student Learning in the Major
By graduation, Political Science majors:
- will be able to identify the major sub-fields of political science and the literature and scholarly contributions in each sub-field of political science;
- will know the research methods and documentation requirements for conducting and reporting research in political science;
- will be able to produce research papers in a Chicago format that demonstrate high levels of written communication fluency and information literacy;
- will be able to communicate political ideas effectively through written and oral communication;
- will be able to critically analyze political events and phenomena;
- will be able to employ different statistical tests for the purposes of testing hypotheses and to select the right statistical test for the data at hand.
By graduation, Administration of Justice majors:
- Demonstrate skills and training related to the administration of justice that supplement, not duplicate, police academy or equivalent training.
- Demonstrate leadership skills appropriate for mid-level and higher positions in agencies associated with the administration of justice.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the political, legal, and administrative contexts that influence the administration of justice.
- Articulate a comprehensive understanding of the administration of justice from social science-based perspectives.
- Use appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze policies, procedures and programs related to the administration of justice.
- Communicate knowledge effectively in written and verbal forms.
Prospects for Political Science and Administration of Justice Graduates
The Political Science Program provides students with a comprehensive political science education that enhances their knowledge of politics, democracy, and citizenship throughout the world, and prepares them for myriad career possibilities in government and the non-profit sector.
The Administration of Justice Program provides students with a multi-disciplinary education that enhances their understanding of the political, legal, and administrative aspects of the administration of justice, and offers students a flexible curriculum and research training that prepares them for diverse careers paths in the criminal justice system and related areas. Many Political Science and Administration of Justice students go on to graduate programs in political science, public policy and administration, law, criminal justice, security studies and public affairs.
Contributions to the UH Hilo General Education Program
Political Science and Administration of Justice course offerings contribute to fulfilling the College’s educational purpose of preparing students “to meet the demands of both profession and citizenship.”
Special Aspects of the Political Science and Administration of Justice Program
The Political Science and Administration of Justice Department sponsors a number of hands-on activities to broaden and deepen the students’ knowledge of political science and administration of justice. Among these are a variety of internships in state and local agencies on Hawaii Island as well as legislative internships in Honolulu and Washington DC. Political Science and Administration of Justice students who demonstrate mastery of the subject matter, professional competence, and responsibility are eligible to participate in these internship programs. Through the internship programs students gain a unique experience in politics and government that supplements their coursework and may enhance their post-graduation employment prospects.
Political Science and Administration of Justice students may choose to work with Department faculty to write a senior thesis, a research effort that will be assigned and guided by an individual faculty member. Students will present thesis research and findings to a public audience.
Students in Political Science and Administration of Justice with strong academic performance may apply to become members of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s Iota Iota chapter of the National Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha (ΠΣΑ).