Political Science Course Descriptions

Click for an explanation of terms and abbreviations used in course descriptions.

POL 200 American Government I - National Politics. 3 cr.
A survey of the underlying principles, structure, administrative decision making process and institutions of American national, state, and local government. Current issues in American politics, education and society will be included.
POL 202 American Government II - State and Local Politics. 3 cr.
A survey of the underlying principles, structure, and major institutions of American state and local government. State and local government and politics will be analyzed utilizing a comparative framework. Attention will be paid to metropolitan governace and special districts.
POL 203 Introduction to Public Administration. 3 cr.
This course will focus on the operation of the public agency. Organizational structure, budgeting, and personnel issues will be examined.
POL 210 American Political Parties and Interest Groups. 3 cr.
An introduction to the analysis of how political parties, interest groups, and social movements have impacted US national policy-making. In addition, elections, lobbying, political speech, and grassroots organizations will be analyzed.
POL 221 Development of Political Thought. 3 cr.
Students will evaluate critically the role government plays in resolving the problems facing society. Readings from diverse sources such as Plato, Confucius, Adam Smith, John Locke, and the Bible will be discussed.
POL 241 Introduction to Diplomacy. 3 cr.
This course examines historic and contemporary diplomatic concepts, incidents, and consequences. Topics such as trade, security, and human rights will be analyzed.
POL 261 Introduction to Public Policy Analysis. 3 cr.
Students will be introduced to the various methods of analyzing public policies. An important component of the course will be in the interpretation and presentation of conclusions.
POL 290 Introduction to Political Behavior. 3 cr.
An examination of political behavior in various contexts. Mass political behavior and the behavior of political elites will be investigated.
POL 305 US Judicial System. 3 cr.
The role of the courts in the American political system will be analyzed. Topics include judicial activism, Constitutional interpretation, and alternative dispute resolution.
POL 310 Congress and the President. 3 cr.
This course will explore the relationship between the legislature and executive branches of government. Students will examine the historical evolution of the congress and the presidency, the role of each in society, representation in government, how elections influence both branches, and the interaction between the congress and the presidency in the American political system. Prereq: POL 200.
POL 315 Special Topics in Political Science. 3 cr.
Special topics in Political Science will be taught occasionally. This course will examine current topics in political science including, but not limited to, enviornmental issues, trade issues, and terrorism.
POL 321 Natural Law and Freedom. 3 cr.
A study of the nature and validity of identity issues in society and government -- ranging from reason and religion, to force and revolution.
POL 325 Political Ideology and Social Movements. 3 cr.
An examination of the social search for the ideal state emphasizing various forms of mass media to influence the formation and change of public opinion and political action.
POL 327 Ethnicity, Gender, Race, and Religion in American Politics. 3 cr.
An exploration into the relationships of power and the struggles for equality as demonstrated in American policies of immigration, civil rights, and suffrage.
POL 341 US International Relations. 3 cr.
An examination of international conflict and cooperation from an American institutional perspective.
POL 343 International Organizations. 3 cr.
An examination of efforts to encourage global cooperation; however, the League of Nations and the United Nations will receive primary consideration.
POL 345 War as Diplomacy. 3 cr.
A study of armed conflict, as opposed to diplomacy and compromise, as a means and a method to achieve national interests.
POL 346 Comparative Government. 3 cr.
An analysis of governments around the world, with heavy emphasis upon close examinations of various forms and structures of divergent governments.
POL 348 Democratization. 3 cr.
This course will examine the process of transition between authoritarian government and the consolidation of democratic processes and structures. Special emphasis will be given to democratization across the globe after WWII.
POL 357 Ethics in Political Science. 3 cr.
An examination of the ethical issues surrounding the role of government and society. An examination of government reform and the need to hold public servants to certain ethical standards will be discussed.
POL 360 Business and Government. 3 cr.
This course will allow students to evaluate critically the relationship between business and government in a market economy. Government-business cooperation in an increasingly competitive and global marketplace also will be discussed.
POL 367 Constitutional Law. 3 cr.
A study of the court's role in the American government system from foundation of the Constitution to the present. Relationships that will be examined include those among national and state government, national government and the individual, and relationship among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Extensive use of cases in American Constitutional law will be made including free speech, equal protection, war powers, and states' rights.
POL 490 Internship. 1-3 cr.
By arrangement with department and college internship coordinator. See college internship guidelines.
POL 496 Seminar in Political Science. 3 cr.
Focus on a major topic, figure, or movement from pre-law, government, or political theory. Presented in a seminar format. Prereq: Senior Status with at least one course from each subfield, POL 290.
POL 199-499 Independent Study. 1-3 cr.
Advanced topics may be studied which are not normally included in the regular course offerings. By arrangement with the department.