Courses in Political Science

POLS-Y103 Introduction to American Politics (3 cr)

Introduction to the nature of government and dynamics of American politics. Origin and nature of the American federal and state systems and their political party base.
Offered fall, spring, and summer semesters and online.

POLS-Y105 Introduction to Political Theory (3 cr)

History of political philosophy, including relationships between rules and ruled, nature of authority, social conflict, character of political knowledge, and objectives of political action.
Offered summer and fall semesters and online.

POLS-Y107 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3 cr)

Examines countries around the world to investigate fundamental questions about politics. Topics include democratic development, promotion of economic prosperity, maintenance of security, and management of ethnic and religious conflict. Critical thinking skills encouraged. Cases for comparison include advanced industrialized democracies, communist and former communist countries, and developing countries.
Offered every other spring and summer semesters and online.

POLS-Y109 Introduction to International Relations (3 cr)

Introduction to the study of international relations. Topics include causes of war and peace, patterns of conflict and cooperation, as well as international organizations, political economy, law and policy.
Offered every other spring semester and online.

POLS-Y200 Contemporary Political Topics (3 cr)

Extensive analysis of selected contemporary political problems. Topics vary from semester to semester and are listed in the Schedule of Classes. May be repeated once for credit.
Offered as needed.

POLS-Y205 Analyzing Politics (3 cr)

Introduces the approaches and techniques used to study politics. Includes an introduction to social science language, concepts, and critical research skills. Overview of political science research approaches, including case study, surveys, and model-building. Emphasizes skills such as interpreting the presentation of data in charts, graphs, and tables, and elementary analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.
Offered fall semesters and online.

POLS-Y211 Introduction to Law (3 cr)

An introduction to law an aspect of government and politics, and as a means of dealing with major social problems. Students will study legal reasoning, procedures, and materials, and may compare other nation’s legal systems. The course usually includes a moot court or other forms of simulation.

POLS-Y212 Making Democracy Work (3 cr)

Nature and justifications for democratic politics and the problems confronting democracy today. Demise of liberalism in America; rise of identity politics and its significance; racial inequality and the problems of deliberative democracy; problems of political alienation and participation.
Offered spring semesters and online.

POLS-Y303 Policy Making in the United States (3 cr)

Processes and institutions involved in the formation of public policy in American society.
Offered occasionally and online.

POLS-Y304 Constitutional Law (3 cr)

American political powers and structures; selected Supreme Court decisions interpreting American constitutional system.
Offered fall semesters and online.

POLS-Y305 Constitutional Rights and Liberties (3 cr)

Extent and limits of constitutional rights; selected Supreme Court decisions interpreting American constitutional system. Offered spring semesters and online.

POLS-Y306 State Politics in the United States (3 cr)

Comparative study of politics in the American states. Special emphasis on the impact of political culture, party systems, legislatures, and bureaucracies on public policies.
Offered every other fall semester.

POLS-Y308 Urban Politics (3 cr)

Political behavior in modern American communities; emphasizing the impact of municipal organization, city officials and bureaucracies, social and economic notables, political parties, interest groups, the general public, and protest organizations on urban policy outcomes.
Offered occasionally.

POLS-Y309 American Politics through Film and Fiction (3 cr)

Recurrent themes of politics are explored in depth by means of novels, short stories, and films.
Offered every other summer.

POLS-Y316 Public Opinion and Political Participation (3 cr)

The nature of public opinion on major domestic and foreign policy issues; mass political ideology; voting behavior and other forms of political participation; political culture; and the impact of public opinion on political systems.
Offered every other spring semester.

POLS-Y318 The American Presidency (3 cr)

Examines the role of the president in American politics. Topics include the multiple roles of the president, the growth of presidential power, and presidential policy-making. Also covers the relationship between the president and Congress and the Supreme Court, as well as a discussion of the American presidential system in comparison to other executive structures.
Offered every other fall semester and online.

POLS-Y319 The United States Congress (3 cr)

This course offers students the opportunity to study the legislative branch of American national government. It includes the structure and process of the Senate and House of Representatives, the roles of parties, interest groups, and lobbyists, the legislative process, and the relations of Congress with the other branches of government.
Offered every other spring semester and online.

POLS-Y320 Judicial Politics (3 cr)

This course studies the American judicial system, and will study the foundations of law and the many assumptions behind conceptions of the judicial authority. It will delve into federal and state court organization, the selection of judges and the role of other players in the legal system. It will also cover civil and criminal trial procedure as well as the various factors that influence judges’ decision-making. Students should come away with a better understanding of how our court system operates and the philosophy underlying specific legal practices.
Offered occasionally.

POLS-Y324 Gender and Politics (3 cr)

Analysis of women in contemporary political systems, domestic or foreign with emphasis on political roles, participation and public policy. Normative and/or empirical examination of how political systems affect women and the impact women have on the system(s). Topics vary semester to semester.
Offered every other spring semester and online.

POLS-Y325 African-American Politics (3 cr)

Examines the black political condition, with special emphasis on political thought and behavior. The course analyzes not only how the political system affects blacks, but also the impact blacks have on it. Themes for this course may vary.
Offered occasionally.

POLS-Y338 African Politics (3 cr)

Explores politics in Sub-Saharan Africa. Examines relevance of “traditional” political systems; impact on colonialism; building new nations and states; authoritarian regimes; process of democratization; management development; role of international actors, including the United States, Unites Nations, World Bank, and non-governmental organizations; and globalization.
Offered occasionally.

POLS-Y340 East European Politics (3 cr)

Compares political change in the East European states, and emphasizes the legacies of authoritarianism and communism and the post-communist transition to democracy. Topics include the building of political institutions, the inclusion of citizens into the polity, the reform of the economy, the management of ethnic and social conflicts, and integration into the European Union.

POLS-Y345 Comparative Revolutions (3 cr)

Analysis of modern revolutions. Focus on the social, economic, and political causes or revolutions; the rise of revolutionary movements; and the strategies for gaining and consolidating power.
Offered every other fall semester.

POLS-Y346 Politics in the Developing World (3 cr)

Focuses on politics in the developing world (Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East). Comparison of political history: experiences of colonialism and post-colonial authoritarian systems; political economy, development and globalization; democratization and management of protest and conflict; and interactions with international actors and transnational social movements.
Offered occasionally.

POLS-Y380 Comparative Revolutions (3 cr)

An examination of basic problems and issues in the theory and practice of democratic government. Specific topics vary by semester. May be repeated once for credit.
Offered occasionally.

POLS-Y381 Classical Political Thought (3 cr)

An exposition and critical analysis of the major political philosophers and philosophical schools from Plato to Machiavelli.
Offered occasionally.

POLS-Y382 Modern Political Thought (3 cr)

An exposition and critical analysis of the major philosophers and philosophical schools from Machiavelli to present.
Offered occasionally.

POLS-Y384 Developments in American Political Thought (3 cr)

Explores the evolution of American political ideas under the Constitution of the United States, and its promises and problems.
Offered every other spring semester.

POLS-Y481 Field Experience in Political Science (Variable)

Faculty-directed study of aspects of the political process based on field experience. Directed readings, field research, research papers. Certain internship experiences may require research skills.Requires instructor permission.
Offered as needed.

POLS-Y490 Senior Seminar (3 cr)

Research paper required. Seminar sessions arranged to present papers for evaluation and criticism by fellow students. Subject matter varies by semester.
Requires instructor permission.
Offered as needed.

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