This is also known as the Political Science requirement. The State of Georgia requires that all persons receiving a degree from an institution within the Georgia University System show a proficiency in the constitutions of the United States and Georgia. This requirement can be satisfied by examinations administered by UTS in Clark Howell Hall or by completing approved course work. Please see the Undergraduate Bulletin for approved course work. For more information about the exam and exam details, click here.

The Requirement (GEORGIA)

The exam you will take is designed to satisfy the legal requirement that students demonstrate an understanding of the Georgia Constitution. The exam allows you to satisfy the requirement, but you do not receive course credit if you pass. The requirement can also be met by passing certain courses in Georgia, including POLS 1101/1105H (see the Undergraduate Bulletin under “Examination on the Constitutions”) for a complete and current list). A separate exam covers the United States Constitution.

Exam Preparation: Recommended Reading (GEORGIA)

To prepare for the exam, students should consult the following readings. In addition to those materials, outlined below are some general questions that should be viewed as a supplement to the student’s preparation for the exam.

  • Bullock, Charles S. and Ronald K. Gaddie. 2010. Georgia Politics in a State of Change. Longman Publishing.
  • Hill, Melvin B. Jr., 1994. The Georgia State Constitution: A Reference Guide. Greenwood Press.
  • Georgia Government. 2000. League of Women Voters of Georgia.
Exam Preparation: Sample questions (GEORGIA)
  •  Does the current Georgia Constitution impose term limits on governors? If so, what are they?
  • According to the Georgia constitution, does the Governor have the authority to exercise a line-item veto?
  • Who has the power of executive clemency in the Georgia Constitution?
  • What are the age qualifications for holding elective office in Georgia (US Senate, US House, Georgia Senate, Georgia House)?
  • Are there citizenship requirement for those seeking elective office? Residency requirements?
  • What are the responsibilities of the lieutenant governor in Georgia?
  • Besides the governor and lieutenant governor, what positions are identified by the Georgia constitution as being elected executive officers?
  • What are the qualifications to serve as Georgia’s attorney general? What are his/her responsibilities?
  • List the Georgia constitutional boards and commissions (see Article IV). How are members selected for each board or commission? What are the responsibilities of each?
  • How many days does the Georgia General Assembly meet each year “in session”? How can they convene in mid-January but adjourn at the end of March? What is a “special session”?
  • What is the term length for Georgia state legislators?
  • How many members makeup the Georgia General Assembly?
  • The passage of legislation by the General Assembly requires what proportion of support from each chamber?
  • What does the Georgia Constitution indicate are the powers of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia?
  • What does the Georgia constitution indicate about the state’s legal commitment to public education?
  •  What proportion of the vote is required to be elected to public office in Georgia? What happens if a candidate does not receive this proportion?
  • What requirements does Georgia have for those who wish to vote in an election?
  • What is eminent domain?
  • How many counties are there in Georgia?
  • What is Home Rule?
  • What are the categories of expenditures for which lottery proceeds can be used?
  • What does it mean to have an open, direct primary?
  • What is the jurisdiction of the “State Court” in Georgia’s court system?
  • What civil liberties are protected by the Georgia Constitution?
  • What civil liberties are not protected by the Georgia Constitution?
  • How are judges (in the state judiciary) selected in Georgia? (distinguish vacancies from open seats)
  • What are courts of limited jurisdiction (in Georgia)?
  • With the exception of some juveniles, what is the primary trial court for hearing felony cases?
  • How is the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court selected?
  • According to the state of Georgia constitution, can taxes be levied by local schools to assist with financing those schools? If so, what kind?
  • Can the constitution be amended to affect specific individual counties and cities?
  • Are there limits on cities’ and counties’ ability to tax and incur debt?
  • What is consolidation? What procedures does a local government have to go through in order to consolidate?
  • How may the Georgia Constitution be amended?
  • Article I of the Georgia Constitution provides for a bill of rights. What sorts of individual rights are included here? How does this compare with the “federal” bill of rights?
  • What does Georgia’s Bill of Rights say about limits on what the State of Georgia may do with respect to citizens who fail to pay their debts?
  • How many constitutions have been adopted by Georgia? When did Georgia last ratify a constitution?
  • What does the Georgia constitution say about “sovereign immunity”?
  • What are the responsibilities of the Georgia Public Service Commission? How are members selected for the Commission?
  • What are the responsibilities of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles?
  • What does the Georgia Constitution say about bills of attainder? What is a bill of attainder?
  • What does the Georgia Constitution say about slavery, if at all?
  • What are the requirements for registering to vote in Georgia?
  • Under the Georgia Constitution, will the state recognize marriage between two individuals of the same sex?
  • How many legislators must be present in order for the general assembly to transact legislative business?
  • What are the legislative procedures, according to the Georgia constitution, for approval, veto and override of vetos?
  • How has Georgia’s constitution historically approached judicial review?
  • How did state political leaders, pushing for white supremacy during the 19th and 20th century use the constitution to achieve their goals?
Exam Structure and Procedures (GEORGIA)

You will have one hour to answer 50 multiple choice questions. You must answer at least 30 questions correctly to pass the exam and satisfy the constitution requirement. There is only one correct answer for each question. You are allowed two chances to pass the exam, which is revised periodically.

Sample Questions -correct answer designated by * (GEORGIA)

Which of the following is elected by the voters of Georgia?

  • Commissioner of Agriculture.
  • Public Service Commission.
  • State Superintendent of Schools.
  • All of the above.*

The presiding officer of the state Senate specified by the Georgia Constitution is:

  • the Speaker.
  • a senator chosen by the governor
  • the most senior member of the Senate.
  • the lieutenant governor.*

To protect against the power of the national government, the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants the states:

  • implied powers.
  • national supremacy.
  • reserved powers.*
  • enumerated powers.

Which of the following is true of rights guaranteed by the Georgia Constitution?

  • Georgia cannot grant individuals more liberty than is provided by the U.S. Constitution.
  • Georgia was the first state whose courts recognized a right to privacy.*
  • Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the Georgia Constitution does not include a bill of rights.
  • The state is forbidden from taking private land without the consent of its owners.

Georgia’s use of the white primary was outlawed by the federal courts in the case of:

  • Wesberry v. Sanders.
  • Fortson v. Toombs.
  • King v. Chapman.*
  • Gray v. Sanders.
The Requirement (United States)

The exam you will take is designed to satisfy the legal requirement that students demonstrate an understanding of the United States Constitution. The exam allows you to satisfy the requirement, but you do not receive course credit if you pass. The requirement can also be met by passing certain courses, including POLS 1101/1105H (see the Undergraduate Bulletin for a complete and current list). There is a separate exam on the Georgia Constitution.

Exam Preparation (United States)

To prepare for the exam, you should use a standard textbook in American government. Among the textbooks used recently by UGA instructors in POLS 1101 are those written by Greenberg and Page; Fiorina and Peterson; Sabato and O’Connor; Kernell and Jacobson; Lowi, Ginsberg, and Weir; and Susan Welch et al. Most of these books are very similar in their organization. You should read the chapters on the Constitution, federalism, civil rights, and civil liberties. You should also study the text of the Constitution and The Federalist Papers #10 and #51, which are James Madison’s arguments in favor of adopting the Constitution. These items are usually in an appendix of a textbook. The exam will concentrate on the organization, procedures, and powers of government (including how the courts have interpreted the Constitution).

Exam Structure and Procedures (United States)

You will have one hour to answer 50 multiple choice questions. You must answer at least 30 questions correctly to pass the exam and satisfy the constitution requirement. There is only one correct answer for each question. You are allowed two chances to pass the exam, which is revised regularly.

Sample Questions - correct answer designated by * (United States)

Madison’s argument in Federalist #51, that “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary,” is a justification in favor of:

  • the Bill of Rights.
  • the supremacy clause.
  • checks and balances.*
  • an elected judiciary.

Under the 4th Amendment, the constitutional standard law enforcement officials must meet in order to obtain a search warrant is:

  • probable cause.*
  • proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • reasonable suspicion.
  • the preponderance of the evidence.

Overriding a president’s veto requires:

  • a simple majority of the combined number of representatives and senators.
  • a three-fourths vote in either house of Congress.
  • ratification by three-fourths of the states.
  • a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress.*

The Supreme Court established the legal doctrine of “separate but equal” in the case of:

  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.
  • NAACP v. South Carolina.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson.*
  • none of the above.