Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Government & Justice Studies! With great enthusiasm, we wish to share with you the exciting developments that are on-going in the department. Potential students and valuable alumni are invited to explore this web site to garner information and learn about the scope and nature of departmental activities.

Government & Justice Studies is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. ASU has approximately 16,000 students in 140 undergraduate and graduate programs and has received high rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review's Best Values in America's Colleges, and Kiplinger's 100 Best Values in Public Colleges. The Department of Government & Justice Studies has thirty-three tenured and tenure-track faculty members who offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in political science, criminal justice, and public administration.

The department offers a wide range of programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our undergraduate programs include a very popular Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ), a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and career-oriented tracks in the Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Our newest political science program is the Pre-professional Legal Studies concentration which offers students the opportunity to learn about and explore the legal profession in depth before applying to law school.

Government & Justice Studies also has a large number of active and respected alumni. For example, our local government management programs are very highly regarded. Approximately one-third of all North Carolina city and county managers are alumni of these programs. Our alumni in criminal justice and political science provide valuable contacts for students seeking internships and for those who generally wish to network for future employment.

At the graduate level, the department offers the traditional Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science and the professional, nationally accredited Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees. We also offer the Master of Science in Criminal Justice & Criminology (MSCJ&C) which began in 2006.

Alumni from both programs are in leadership positions across the nation. For example, the winner of the College of Arts and Sciences Most Outstanding Alumni Award for 1998-1999 (Mr. Brad Adcock) -- member of the UNC Board of Governors) completed his graduate work in the MA in Political Science program. In addition, in the past three years, our MPA students have the highest placement rate for the highly competitive North Carolina Governors Management Fellowship Program than any other MPA program in North Carolina. The MSCJ&C program is aimed at providing an avenue for criminal justice professionals to advance their careers, as well as to prepare students for doctoral level work.

While teaching is important, faculty members are also actively engaged in research. Faculty research enriches the learning experience for Government & Justice Studies students, keeps faculty abreast of the latest developments in their respective fields and contributes new knowledge to the fields of political science and criminal justice. Government & Justice Studies has nationally recognized scholars who engage both undergraduate and graduate students in research.

The highest level of educational technology is employed by faculty members for teaching and research. The world of technology and cyberspace is changing the way educators think about knowledge and learning, and Government & Justice Studies faculty are on the cutting edge of these developments. For example, Government & Justice Studies faculty currently publish two electronic journals with global circulation. The department has two state of the art computer labs, "smart classrooms," a video-conferencing classroom and other classrooms with connections to the Internet.

To foster and support learning outside the classroom, the department sponsors two active clubs for political science and criminal justice majors. The International Relations Association annually hosts model United Nations events on campus for hundreds of junior high and high school students across the southeastern United States. This club also competes on the collegiate level in Model UN events in locales as far away as Chicago. The American Criminal Justice Association has a very active chapter on campus and regularly travels to Washington DC to learn more about the FBI, Department of Justice and the Supreme Court. For details of these organizations, click here.

I hope this brief overview of our departmental activities sparks your interest. I encourage you to explore the career opportunities in political science and criminal justice, to more closely examine the departmental programs, to learn about scholarships granted to department majors and to meet with Government & Justice Studies faculty. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance and do not hesitate to contact me should you have additional questions.

Sincerely,

Departmental Chairperson