Political Science Courses
COURSE DESCRIPTIONS (POLS)
POLS 1101 United States Government.
An introduction to political science through an analysis of the political system
of the United States. Topics considered include basic concepts of political science,
federalism, civil liberties and civil rights, basic governmental institutions,
elections and public opinion, political parties and groups, and domestic and foreign
*POLS 1102 Introduction to Political Science.
An introductory course that focuses on the nature of the discipline of political
science and deals with the way political scientists study politics through an overview
of the major topics of the discipline.
*POLS 2210 Comparative Politics.
An introduction to comparative analysis of political systems. Topics considered
include basic concepts of comparative theory, modern political history in developed
and developing areas, the interaction of political and economic factors in developed
and developing areas, politics and state institutions in selected countries, and
comparative aspects of domestic and foreign public policy.
*POLS 2220 International Politics.
An introduction to the interaction of nation-states in the global system. Topics
considered include war and power, economic and social interdependence, and problems
specifically associated with developing nations.
POLS 2320 or Seminar on Ecological Sustainability and Policy.
A survey of sustainability as a political, economic and socio-cultural part of
our lives. The course is divided into three (3) major segments. First, it assays
how our lives are conducted and considers the ecological cycles and processes that
make life possible. Second, it examines the ground solutions to the issue of a
sustainable lifestyle and attempts to implement this goal. Finally, it surveys
the arena of ecological politics in order to engage the issue of how can we achieve
this as a society.
POLS 3300 Research Methods in Political Science.
SOCI 3900 Research Methods in Social Science.
A study of basic social science research methods as applied in political science.
Topics considered include research design and data collection, measurement and
causality, fitting models to data with various methods, graphic analysis, and the
use of statistical software.
POLS 3310 State and Local Government.
A study of state and local government in the United States. Topics considered
include the political cultures and social environments of American states and communities,
political processes in states and communities, the structure of state and local
political institutions, and policy issues facing states and communities.
POLS 3311 Congress and the Presidency.
A study of the institutional interactions of the executive and legislative branches
of the United States government. Topics considered include the President and policymaking,
Congress and policymaking, institutional constraints on executive and legislative
policymaking, foreign policy, civil rights policy, economic policy and budgeting,
and social welfare policy.
POLS 3312 Public Administration and Public Policy.
An introduction to the study of public administration and public policy. Topics
considered include theoretical approaches to the study of public administration;
the historical and constitutional basis for public administration in the United
States; the organization and management of public institutions; the social, political,
and legal environments of public institutions; the role of political processes
in public administration; the analysis and evaluation of public policy; and the
ethical basis of public administration.
POLS 3313 American Judicial Institutions.
A study of judicial institutions in the United States. Topics considered include
the functions of legal and judicial institutions, the structure and powers of national
and state court systems, the legal profession, judicial selection, judicial procedure,
court administration, and policy formation by judicial institutions.
POLS 3314 American Constitutional Law: Institutions.
An introduction to the study of constitutional law as it applies to government
institutions in the United States. Topics considered include basic concepts of
constitutional analysis, historical development of present legal institutions and
regimes, judicial policy decisions in different areas of law, and the social, political,
and economic factors affecting those decisions.
POLS 3315 American Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.
An introduction to the constitutional liberties and rights accorded American citizens.
Topics considered include basic concepts of constitutional analysis; historical
development of present legal interpretations and regimes; judicial decisions in
different areas of law; the social, political, and economic factors affecting those
decisions; and their effect on governing in the United States.
POLS 3320 Analysis of Foreign Policy.
An introduction to how structures, institutions, outside actors, and political
culture produce American foreign policy. Topics covered include recent history
of U.S. foreign relations; the roles played by both the President and the Congress;
the roles, functions and structures of U.S. State Department, the Defense Department,
intelligence agencies, and the National Security Council; the policy making process
and the measurement of outcomes; roles played by the public, interest groups, and
other actors. Current major foreign policy issues will be discussed and examined
as case studies.
POLS 3321 International Political Economy.
A study of international economics and trade through the analysis of the factors
influencing past and present changes. Topics covered include current and past international
finance systems and mechanisms of exchange; the role of the state and other actors;
an examination of comparative advantage; various strategies states employ, such
as import substitution or export promotion; the nature and impact of formal and
informal barriers to trade; the GATT and WTO; the problems, failures, successes,
and prospects of the international economic system; and its impact on domestic
POLS 3322 International Organizations.
A study of the current international system. Topics covered include the nature
of ?systems?; the recent history of global affairs and the evolution of the international
system to its present state; selected theoretical analyses of international systems;
the nature, roles, and functions of the various actors in the system; how advances
in technology have fundamentally changed the world; and the evolving roles of both
states and supranational institutions.
POLS 3323 International Conflict.
A study of the conditions that produce war and peace in international relations.
Topics considered include an examination of recent conflicts in the international
system, theories concerning the potential sources and determinants of war (with
an emphasis on the theory of realism and competing theories), and theories of war
settlement and potential sources of future interstate tension.
or Themes in Political Philosophy.
An introduction to the basic ideas of political philosophy. Topics considered
include the social and historical context of political theory; the development
of major ideas in political philosophy; critical analysis of theoretical arguments;
and the relation of political theory to contemporary politics.
POLS 3341 Modern Political Theory.
An overview of liberalism, communism, and fascism, the three primary political
ideologies that have shaped the twentieth century.
POLS 3350 The Politics of Development.
A comparative study of the political systems in developing countries. Topics considered
include basic comparative political theory, modern history of developing societies,
and an overview of theories explaining economic and political change in developing
POLS 3351 States and Politics in Developed Areas
A comparative study of the political systems of developed societies. Topics considered
include basic comparative theory, modern history of developed societies, political
systems of selected states, and the interaction of political and economic factors
in developed societies.
or States and Politics in Latin America.
A comparative study of political systems in Latin America. Topics considered include
basic comparative political theory, modern history of Latin American societies,
politics of selected Latin American states, and the interaction of economic and
political factors in Latin America.
POLS 3353 States and Politics in Africa.
A comparative study of political systems in Africa. Topics considered include
basic comparative political theory, modern history of African societies, politics
of selected African states, and the interaction of economic and political factors
POLS 4400 Political Science Internship.
(credit may vary)
A supervised internship opportunity for students to work for approved public or
POLS 4410 Selected Topics in Political Science.
This course examines particular issues related to topics in political science
selected by program faculty.
POLS 4420 Directed Study in Political Science.
A supervised course of independent study available to selected students. The course
provides an opportunity for close cooperation between program faculty and students
on research projects and presentations.
POLS 4430 Senior Seminar in Political Science.
A seminar course on a major subject of national or international concern, based
on individual research and assigned readings.
*Denotes POLS courses that may substitute for a CORE Humanities course in the Core Curriculum.