Increase Your Potential

Explore diverse topics with a General Studies degree, offering a versatile education tailored to your career goals. You will benefit from a well-rounded foundation fostering adaptability and critical thinking skills for success in today’s dynamic job market. Carve your path and create a unique learning experience that suits your interests!

Student completing her assignments in front of a computer

Is This Program a Good Fit for You?

The competency-based general studies program is ideal for:

  • Career professionals seeking advancement within their industry
  • Career movers exploring new industries
  • Degree finishers with partial college credit from community college, WECM or the military

See Yourself Succeed With a Degree in General Studies

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Flexible and Online

Our programs are designed to be customized around your interests while meeting the needs of students who want the convenience of a fully online degree. Your faculty will be fully involved in helping you reach your goals.

Small group listening to a presentation while using technology like a Mac.

Career Readiness

In the College of Innovation and Design, you will gain applied skills, not just theories. As a working adult, you can apply what you learn to your existing position and prepare to move up the career ladder or take on a new career!

Woman working on laptop seated facing windows.

Accomplished Faculty

Our faculty are ready to guide your coursework. We are on your team and dedicated to your success!

Pride Pathway

Earn Teacher Certification

Ready to teach the next generation and shape the future? Our Pride Pathway program offers a competency-based path to teaching that fits your busy life.

If you are a current ISD employee and do not currently hold a bachelor’s degree, this pathway is perfect for you. You will begin by completing your competency-based bachelor’s in general studies. You will then obtain your teacher certification through our alternative certification program. This program can take approximately two years depending on your college and professional experience.

Student Support

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

A degree in general studies offers the opportunity to:

  • Move up the corporate ladder
  • Transition into a new career
  • Gain credibility in the marketplace
  • Advance to graduate studies
Cropped shot of a handsome young businessman sitting alone in his home office and talking on his cellphone

Careers

Majoring in general studies will position you for numerous career possibilities. Whether you want to enter marketing, science and technology, education, or management and beyond, there’s a career path waiting for you.

Career Possibilities and Current Median Salaries

Computer Support Specialist
$59,660
Elementary and Middle School Teacher
$61,810
Web Developer
$80,730
Public Relations and Fundraising Manager
$125,620
Sales Manager
$130,600

US DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2022

micro internship

As a student in the competency-based general studies program, you’ll gain real work experience and career readiness before graduation through a micro internship.

What You Will Learn

In today's world, a college degree can be the catalyst to jumpstart your career. Through focused coursework, this program will combine what you have already achieved within a comprehensive general studies program. You will gain the credibility and knowledge to springboard or transition your career into a wide range of organizations and industries.

Course Delivery and Resources

Course Delivery and Resources General Studies Competency-Based

There are three components to the 120-credit-hour degree. You may customize your professional development and career readiness courses. You may also transfer previous college credits, WECM and military experience to apply toward your degree.

  • General Education/Core Curriculum (42 semester credit hours)
    You have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of general education competencies without needlessly sitting through introductory courses.
  • Professional Development Electives (66 semester credit hours*)
    You are able to demonstrate competency in a variety of related fields.
  • Upper Division Applied Coursework (12 semester credit hours)
    You will build on and apply work-related skills.

You begin each term by registering for up to two courses. When you complete all of your current courses before the end of a term, you have the opportunity to take and complete another course by the end of the term. You can accelerate an unlimited number of times in a given term. Using this method, you are able to shorten your time to degree completion. You are not allowed to add courses during the final week of the term.

Did you miss the registration window? Don’t worry! You have two available registration opportunities each semester!

For specific dates, email our advising office at [email protected]

*A total of 36 semester credit hours must be upper-level courses.

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Terms

All competency-based programs in the College of Innovation and Design are offered in two seven-week terms per traditional semester with a break between each term.

2024

SemesterTerm 1BreakTerm 2
SpringJan. 16-March 1March 4-15March 18-May 3
SummerMay 13-June 28July 1-5July 8-Aug. 23
FallSept. 3-Oct. 18Oct. 21-25Oct. 28-Dec. 13

Program Costs

Earning a degree is more affordable than ever. Our competency-based programs offer quality education at an affordable price. These rates include online versions of required course materials.

Residency StatusTuition Per Semester

In-State (TX resident)

$750

Bordering County.
This includes: Oklahoma Louisiana New Mexico Arkansas

$750

Neighboring state (aka interior county: Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Arkansas)

in-state + $30/hour

Out of state (e.g., Florida)

$1,500

Employee Scholarship

$300
  • Tuition exemption limited to state residents
  • Students can only receive ONE exemption (example: you cannot stack senior citizen and active-duty law enforcement exemptions.)

Admission

Steps to Apply :: Competency-Based CBE

College is the next big step in your academic journey! Let’s connect! Complete a request for information to receive important updates!

Consider the field of study and degree program you want to pursue at A&M-Commerce. Take some time to review our competency-based degree programs and learn more about how competency-based education works!

Our onboarding specialists are eager to help you learn about A&M-Commerce and guide your academic journey! Once you have filled out a request for information, an onboarding specialist will contact you.

A&M-Commerce is committed to making the transfer process as smooth as possible.

To meet automatic admission requirements as a transfer student, you must have:

  • At least 12 transferable hours, excluding developmental coursework.
  • A 2.0 or higher grade point average (GPA) on all transferable coursework.

Applicants who do not meet the standards for full admission may be considered through the multi-tiered admission review process.

Automatic admission to A&M-Commerce is based on the Foundation High School Program with at least one endorsement. You are strongly recommended to complete one or more available endorsement(s) that include Algebra II or its equivalent and one science course from biology, chemistry or physics. Students applying for top 10% automatic admission must complete the foundation curriculum with a distinguished level of achievement.

Standards for full admission to A&M-Commerce are based on the required high school curriculum (Foundation Plan). Entering freshmen must have successfully completed the following courses in high school:

  • English Language Arts (4 credits)
  • Mathematics (3 credits)
  • Science (3 credits)
  • Social Studies (3 credits)
  • Language other than English (2 credits)

Any one of the following:

  • Rank in the top 30% of graduating class or
  • If submitting scores, use the A&M-Commerce codes 4088 (ACT) and 6188 (SAT) from encoura.org or collegeboard.org.

Study and take as many competency-based courses as you like each term for as low as $750. Because these programs are fully online, you can plan your study schedule around the rest of your day to complete the coursework.

You may also apply for any of our programs through ApplyTexas.

Send your school transcript via our secure document upload or request that your official high school transcript and transcripts for any college credit you have completed be sent to [email protected].

If your institution is unable to submit a digital copy, hard copies may be mailed to:

Texas A&M University-Commerce
Attn: College of Innovation and Design
PO Box 3011
Commerce, Texas 75429-3011

We will need official/original documents.

ACT or SAT scores are optional for admission. If submitting scores, use the A&M-Commerce codes 4088 (ACT) and 6188 (SAT) from encoura.org or collegeboard.org.

Your myLEO username is your CWID and your default password is your date of birth beginning with the three-letter abbreviated month (MonDDYYYY). You may refer to our guide for first-time login instructions.

  • Username: CWID
  • Password: Date of Birth (MonDDYYYY)
  • January: Jan
  • February: Feb
  • March: Mar
  • April: Apr
  • May: May
  • June: Jun
  • July: Jul
  • August: Aug
  • September: Sep
  • October: Oct
  • November: Nov
  • December: Dec
  • Within myLeo, check out the APPS tab for LeoMail, LeoPay and D2L Brightspace, where you will access your online classes, and more.
  • Check out the Student Resources tab for student information, including Undergrad DegreeWorks, your interactive degree audit, class schedules, financial aid status and awards, and more.

When you sign in to myLEO, the Financial Agreement will pop up. You’ll need to read over the agreement, select the checkbox and select “Continue.”

If you missed it or accidentally closed the window, you can get the agreement to pop up again by following these steps.

  • Sign in to myLEO.
  • Go to the Student Resources Tab.
  • Scroll to Student Information,
  • Click on Registration Menu. If you have not already completed the Financial Responsibility, it will appear here.

If you are not a self-pay student, you may qualify for financial aid to help pay for your classes.

Apply for financial aid by submitting a FAFSA and sending it to school code 003565.

You do not have to complete the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) if you have met one of the following:

  1. Met minimum college readiness standard on the SAT or ACT
  2. Obtained the minimum required score(s) on the statewide high school STAAR EOCs Algebra II and English III exams (these are optional for high schools)
  3. Met a veteran or active military waiver (must meet specific requirements for each category)
  4. Received exemption based on earning a prior degree
  5. Received a transfer exemption (declaration by another institution)
  6. Completed prior college-level coursework

Students are responsible for providing proof of exemption and will be considered assessment required until documentation is provided of state exemption. For more information, please contact the Testing Center at [email protected].

To access your Undergrad DegreeWorks online degree plan:

  • Log into myLEO.
  • Select the Student Resources tab from the home screen.
  • Scroll to Student Information
  • Select Undergrad DegreeWorks.
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What is Competency-Based Education?

What is Competency-Based Education

Competency-Based Education (CBE) posits that learning is best measured by students demonstrating what they know and can do rather than by the number of hours spent in a classroom. CBE is student-driven and self-paced, guided by individualized feedback from an instructor and advisor. CBE is also flexible, and offered fully online, so it works around the busy personal and professional lives of adult learners and working professionals.

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meet our faculty and staff

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hours should I take?

Students initially register for six hours (two courses per-term). You have the opportunity to accelerate into another course with the expectation that you will complete the coursework by the end of the term. You may continue to add courses, one at a time, through the 5th Friday of the term.

Do you find this helpful? Yes No

What is competency-based education?

Competency-Based Education (CBE) is based on the idea that learning is best measured by students demonstrating what they know and what they can do rather than by the number of hours spent in a classroom.  CBE is student-driven and self-paced, guided by individualized feedback from an instructor and advisor.  CBE is also flexible, offered 100% online, so it works around the busy personal and professional lives of adult learners and working professionals.

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What is the BAAS in Organizational Leadership Program?

The BAAS in Organizational Leadership is a competency-based education program that prepares innovative leaders for employment in an increasingly technological and global society. This entire program is available online and is tailored specifically for adult learners. The degree program focuses on leadership skills, including instruction in organizational planning, dynamics of leadership, finance, team building, conflict resolution and mediation, communication, and other managerial skills that are applicable to all types of organizations including business, government, non-profits and education.

The BAAS in Organizational Leadership is an affordable way to earn a baccalaureate degree with a total of 120 semester credit hours. The competencies and courses are offered in seven-week terms so students will be able to accelerate their time to degree completion.

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How long are the terms for competency-based programs?

Each term is seven (7) weeks.

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May I receive credit for prior work experience and/or professional training?

There are several opportunities for you to demonstrate prior learning and earn college credit. You can receive credit for military service (ACE), work experience, professional training, licenses, certifications, and by exam through the College Level Exam Program ® (CLEP).

See “What is Competency Based Education” above.

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Can I use my employer’s tuition reimbursement program?

The answer is determined on a case-by-case basis. Contact [email protected] to see if you can use your employer’s tuition reimbursement program.

Do you find this helpful? Yes No

Is there an application fee?

No, there is not an application fee. However, you will be charged a one-time $60 enrollment fee the first term.

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When may I start my major courses?

You will be permitted to start your Applied Major courses only after all General Education and Professional Development Electives are complete.

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If I retake a course, do I have to pay for it again?

The flat-rate tuition fee for each seven (7) week term is not waived for repeat courses.

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Do my applied major courses need to be taken in any specific order?

Yes, you need to take the Applied Major courses in the order listed on the degree guide.

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Do I have to come to campus for competency-based programs?

No. The competency modules and courses for the program are fully online.

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What is the BAAS in Health Services Administration?

The BAAS in Health Services Administration is a competency-based education program that prepares healthcare professionals for leadership positions in a variety of healthcare settings. This entire program is available online and is tailored specifically for adult learners. The degree program is leadership centered, with students’ existing education and experience integrated alongside principles from business, health, nursing, psychology and organizational leadership. 

The BAAS in Health Services Administration is an affordable way to earn a baccalaureate degree with a total of 120 semester credit hours. The competencies and courses are offered in seven-week terms so students will be able to accelerate their time to degree completion.

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How much is the tuition for BAAS – Organizational Leadership?

Texas-Residents pay a flat-rate tuition fee of $750 per seven-week term regardless of how many courses you enroll in during the term. Tuition for general education/core curriculum courses and all professional development competencies also includes e-textbooks incorporated in the online competency modules.

Out-of-State Residents* pay a flat-rate tuition fee of $1,500 per seven-week term regardless of how many courses you enroll in during the term. Tuition for general education/core curriculum and all professional development competencies also includes e-textbooks that are incorporated in the online competency modules.

*A&M–Commerce has been approved to offer educational programs to select states. Check to see if your state is on the State Authorization of Online Programs list.

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May I use financial aid?

Yes. For financial aid information, please visit the Financial Aid website.

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Do I need to come to campus for orientation?

Once you are accepted to the university you will contacted by [email protected] via your LEOmail with further instructions.

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How do I get into Graduate School?

You can begin graduate coursework after you receive your bachelor’s degree, and sometimes even while you are finishing it up. Please visit the Graduate School for graduate program assistance.

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How many hours should I take?

Students initially register for six hours (two courses per term). You have the opportunity to accelerate into another course with the expectation that you will complete the coursework by the end of the term. You may continue to add courses, one at a time, through the fifth Friday of the term.

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What is the “mandatory advising” hold on my student account?

All new and transfer students have an advising hold automatically placed on their account until they have contacted an advisor and declared a major. If you feel this hold is in error, please contact the College of Innovation and Design advising center at [email protected].

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How do I declare a minor?

To declare a minor, contact the college of your major. Example: If you are a BAAS major who wants to add a marketing minor, you will contact the College of Innovation and Design to have your minor declared.

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Will my family and friends need to pay to get into the Innovation Showcase?

No, your family and friends will not need to pay to get in. The Innovation Showcase is free and open to anyone. Make sure to grab a visitor’s parking pass before enjoying the showcase!

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Is there an application fee?

No, there is not an application fee. However, you will be charged a one-time $60 enrollment fee the first term.

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Do my applied major courses need to be taken in any specific order?

Yes, you need to take the Applied Major courses in the order listed on the degree guide.

Do you find this helpful? Yes No

May I use financial aid?

Yes. Visit Financial Aid for details.

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What does the Basic Skills policy have to do with me?

Please review the University Basic Skills policy for information on this rule so that we can better ensure your success in your higher educational endeavors.

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How do I start the graduation process?

Contact your academic advisor to begin the College of Innovation and Design graduation checkout process. Pay careful attention to the dates. You must also file for graduation with the Office of the Registrar.

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How will I be evaluated at the Lion’s Innovation Showcase?

General Criteria

  • The elaboration and delivery of the idea that reflects knowledge of the domain
  • The work/performance satisfies a demand or a need in the market or society
  • The work/performance is new or unique and will be delivered in a manner reflecting high-quality work
  • The work/performance has the potential to meet a demand and create value in the current market
  • The exhibition of the work/performance during the showcase clearly draws heightened attention from the public and strongly elicits interest from the target audience

Specific Criteria

Product/Service Pitch Presentation

  • The accompanying business plan has the potential to be successful given current market conditions should the plan be executed

Interactive Research

  • The research satisfies a gap in the literature
  • The research presentation is unique (no poster boards) and will be produced and/or delivered in a manner reflecting high quality

Science

  • The product and research has the potential to be successful given current market conditions should it be carried to market
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What categories can I compete in at the Lions Innovations Showcase?

You can compete in the following categories:

Business Pitch

Non-Profit Pitch

Marketplace and Innovation

Visual Art and Communications

Fascination Presentation

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When may I start my major courses?

You can start your Applied Major courses your first term. Please contact [email protected] for assistance. 

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What are the admission requirements?

Visit the admissions website for specific requirements.

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If I retake a course, do I have to pay for it again?

The flat-rate tuition fee for each seven-week term is not waived for repeat courses.

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What are the admission requirements?

Visit the admissions website for specific requirements.

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How do I upload documents to my Mane Sync ePortfolio?

To upload documents to your ManeSync ePortfolio, please complete the following:

  • Sign into ManeSync.
  • Click the icon with your initials located in the top right corner.
  • A menu will pop up from the initial icon with multiple options. Select “Experiences.”
  • You will be taken to a new page titled “My Experiences.” Click the “Add Experience” button located in the upper right corner.
  • Once you have clicked “Add Experience,” a menu will appear. Select “Academic.”
  • A form will pop up. Complete the form with the necessary information and the document you want to upload. If you are unsure of what information to put in the form please refer to the following:
    1. Experience name: Put the class name and document title
    2. Date: Use the date you are submitting your experience
    3. Reflection: What you learned from this experience
    4. Contact: Include your student information
  • Upload your document. Documents over 10 MB will not be accepted. It is suggested to compress or upload in sections to reduce megabytes.
  • Once finished, click submit. Your form will be reviewed and approved.
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Do I need to come to campus for orientation?

Once you are accepted to the university you will contacted by [email protected] via myLEO (email) with further instructions.

Do you find this helpful? Yes No

How much is the tuition for the BAAS in Health Services Administration?

Texas-Residents pay a flat-rate tuition fee of $750 per seven-week term and $1,500 for non-Texas residents, regardless of how many courses the student enrolls in during the term. Tuition for general education/core curriculum courses and all professional development competencies will also include e-textbooks that are incorporated in the online competency modules.

Out-of-State Residents* pay a flat-rate tuition fee of $1500 per seven week term, regardless of how many courses/competencies the student enrolls in during the term. Tuition for general education/core curriculum will also include e-textbooks that are incorporated in the online competency modules.

*Texas A&M University–Commerce has been approved to offer educational programs to select states. Check to see if your state is on the State Authorization of Online Programs list.

Do you find this helpful? Yes No

Can I use my employer’s tuition reimbursement program?

The answer is determined on a case-by-case basis. Contact [email protected] to see if you can use your employer’s tuition reimbursement program.

Do you find this helpful? Yes No

May I receive credit for prior work experience and professional training?

There are several opportunities for you to demonstrate prior learning and earn college credit. You can receive credit for military service (ACE), work experience, professional training, licenses, certifications and by exam through the College Level Exam Program ® (CLEP).

See “What is Competency Based Education?

Do you find this helpful? Yes No

How long are the terms for competency-based programs?

Each term is seven weeks in length and there are two terms per traditional semester.

Do you find this helpful? Yes No

When is the Lion’s Innovation Showcase?

The Spring 2023 Lion’s Innovation Showcase will be held on Friday, April 21th from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. at the Dallas Campus on the 19th and 20th floor.

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Am I allowed to participate in more than one category in the Lions Innovation Showcase?

Yes! However, you can’t use the same project in two categories.

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Who do I contact for more information about the Lion’s Innovation Showcase?

You can contact [email protected] – he’s the coordinator of Venture College.

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Why can’t I drop my Math or English course and What does the Basic Skills policy have to do with me?

Math courses include: PJCM 306/300 or Math 131/141/175

English courses include: ENG 100/110/101

ENG 100 must be taken concurrently with coordinating college-level courses according to the University Basic Skills Policy found in the Student Guide. As a CID student, you must be continuously enrolled in mathematics until you complete your math requirements.

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How does financial aid work for general studies or applied arts and sciences?

You have to be enrolled in at least six hours (2 courses) to be considered half-time and eligible for grants and loans. Full-time enrollment is 12 hours (4 courses).

For more information, visit the Cost and Assistance page.

Please email [email protected] or call 903.886.5096 for questions about applying for financial aid.

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How can I review my degree evaluation (audit)?

To see your degree evaluation, log into myLEO, select the Student Resources tab, then select the Undergrad DegreeWorks link.

To see degree requirements for a degree that is not listed:

  • While in your Undergrad DegreeWorks, click “What-If”
  • Select the term of your current catalog and choose the major from the dropdown menu
  • Click “Process What-If”

If you have trouble getting your degree evaluation from the myLEO system, you can contact the college of your major to obtain a copy.

If you continue to have difficulty with this process, visit the College of Innovation and Design advising office on the second floor of the library. You may email [email protected].

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What careers are available to me with a degree in Political Science?

As a traditional liberal arts degree, political science opens a wide range of career opportunities. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly apparent to many that the liberal arts are essential to creating character, community, and understanding in an increasingly complex, technological, and diverse world.

The Harvard Business Review notes that “people are beginning to realize that to effectively tackle today’s biggest social and technological challenges, we need to think critically about their human context” and that a grounding in the liberal arts makes this possible. Forbes magazine argues that “the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Tex., software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger” and that a liberal arts degree is “tech’s hottest ticket.” The President of Microsoft has argued that the potential of artificial intelligence can only be achieved through linking tech and the liberal arts.

Beyond tech, it is becoming increasingly apparent that businesses in general are clamoring for new employees who have the broad educational background that a liberal arts education gives, according to The Atlantic.Liberal arts graduates drive “innovation in the workplace” and 74% of CEOs would like to hire those “with a 21st century liberal education” as they are “more dynamic workers.”

Traditionally, graduates in political science have been expected to pursue careers in law, public service, teaching, practical politics, etc. And it is true that these career paths are available to our graduates. But it is important to understand that a degree in political science from Texas A&M University-Commerce will give you the skills necessary to succeed in any endeavor into which you put your mind and energy. A political science education is not vocational education, rather it is helping you to develop your ability to think creatively and critically in whatever career you choose.

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Contact Us

  • P.O. Box 3011
  • Commerce, TX 75429-3011
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