Academic and Professional Responsibilities

Students' professional conduct is governed by their schools' respective guidelines. In the School of Law, students must adhere to the Student Code of Conduct. In the Political Science department, students are expected to adhere to the following behavioral standards:

Students are expected to take responsibility for their academic progress by familiarizing themselves with the academic calendar and meeting deadlines as stipulated by the Department or the Graduate School. Graduate students should become involved in activities that will contribute to their professional development and the development of their professional contacts.

At the beginning of the program, all new graduate students are required to participate in a graduate orientation which is offered in the fall semester of every year. The orientation is composed of a general session introducing the new students to the Department's graduate programs and the faculty, and to departmental expectations. The orientation includes academic and professional components. The general introduction is supplemented by an extensive library orientation by a staff member of Mullins Library, as well as a familiarization with academic and professional expectations, standards and conduct offered by members of the faculty. Students entering in the spring are expected to participate in the orientation in the fall of the year that they enter the program.

The Department makes opportunities available to participate in professional conferences, workshops and field trips, as well as other projects. Participation and membership in professional organizations or the Department's honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha, are other ways to contribute to professional development.


Pre-service students are highly encouraged to take advantage of the internship opportunity. Internships may vary from one (1) to six (6) hours. They can be taken in any part of the state, or with an agency or organization with which the student seeks to develop his/her career interests or expertise. At the conclusion of the internship, the student submits an analytical paper evaluating a problem/issue encountered during the internship. The length of the paper is commensurate with the hours taken.

Dismissal from the Dual Degree Program

In order to remain in the dual degree program, a student must remain in good standing in each program (see the curriculum handbook of each program for details). Failure to do so will lead to the automatic dismissal from the program in which the student does not meet the required conditions. If a student is dismissed from either of the programs, he/she may elect to continue in the program in which he/she has maintained good standing. The student is then subject to all the requirements of that program.

Academic Honesty

True professionals aspire to behavior that does not compromise the integrity of their workplace and their fellow workers or colleagues. The University of Arkansas' Academic Initiatives and Integrity Office has adopted a policy to discourage inappropriate behavior that does not uphold such standards. Professional programs such as ours are especially concerned with creating an ethical work environment, as well as provide conditions that are supportive of the students' academic and professional development

In academic settings, plagiarism is an offense that requires the strongest action by the Department. Consider the following as general guidelines. First, any passage, no matter how short, which is taken word for word from another work, must be marked as a quotation and the source must be shown in a footnote. Second, when the wording of a passage is not taken directly from another work, a reference showing the source must be inserted. In general, it is preferable to paraphrase in your own words the opinion of an author, with proper citations, instead of copying lengthy literal quotations.

If you believe that you cannot express an idea as well as the author, however, copy the passage exactly and mark it as a quotation. Individual facts which are common knowledge in the field need not be footnoted. In case of doubt whether plagiarism is being committed, consult a reference work or your instructor.