Courses in Political Science

POLS-Y 103 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-Y 105 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-Y 107 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-Y 109 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-Y 200 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-Y 205 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-Y 211 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-Y 212 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-Y 235 Introduction to Public Management (3 cr)

The management process in public organizations. Focus is especially on external influences on public managers, the effects of the intergovernmental environment and problems of management in a democratic, limited government system.

POLS-Y 303 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-Y 304 Constitutional Law (3 cr)

American political powers and structures; selected Supreme Court decisions interpreting American constitutional system.

  • Offered fall semesters and online.

POLS-Y 305 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.
  • Suggested prerequisite: POLS-Y304

POLS-Y 306 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-Y 308 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-Y 309 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-Y 316 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-Y 318 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-Y 319 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-Y 320 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-Y 324 Women 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-Y 325 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-Y 333 Chinese Politics (3 cr)

Explores contemporary politics and policy issues in the People's Republic of China. Influence of revolutionary practice and ideology; analysis of contemporary economic, political and social organizations; examination of policy issues including social reforms, economic growth, and democratization and globalization.

POLS-Y 338 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-Y 340 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-Y 345 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-Y 346 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-Y 350 Politics of the European Union (3 cr)

Study of the politics of the European Union (EU). Assesses past and present dynamics of economic and political integration in Europe, the structure and work of EU institutions, and EU public policies such as the Single Market, the common currency, common foreign and security policy, and trade.

POLS-Y 358 Human Behavior and Public Organizations (3 cr)

Increase self awareness regarding the importance of human and organization behavior in public agencies.

POLS-Y 377 Globalization (3 cr)

This course is designed to introduce you to globalization. Amongst other topics, it examines the cultural, economic, environmental, political, security and technological dimensions of globalization. No prior knowledge is assumed.

POLS-Y 379 Ethics and Public Policy (3 cr)

This course examines the ethical responsibilities of public officials in democratic societies. It explores such topics as the meaning of moral leadership, the appeal to personal conscious in public decision making, and the problem of "dirty hands" among others. A special concern is how institutional arrangements affect moral choices.

POLS-Y 380 Selected Topics in Democratic Government (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-Y 381 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-Y 382 Modern Political Thought (3 cr)

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

  • Offered occasionally.

POLS-Y 384 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-Y 394 Public Policy Analysis (3 cr)

Place of theory and method in examining public policies in relation to programs, institutional arrangements and constitutional problems with particular reference to American political experience.

POLS-Y 396 Law and Public Affairs (3 cr)

The origins, process, and impact of law in the making and implementation of public policy. Provide students with the substantive concepts necessary to understand the judicial system and law.

POLS-Y 481 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-Y 490 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.

POLS-Y 501 Fundamentals of Public Management (3 cr)

The theory and practice of managing public organizations. Problems of planning, organization, staffing, directing, coordination and reporting are considered.

POLS-Y 503 Statistics for Public Management (3 cr)

The fundamental logic of statistical inference, from description through to regression analysis.

POLS-Y 505 Personnel Management in Public Organizations (3 cr)

Analysis of public personnel systems.

POLS-Y 513 Public Policy (3 cr)

The dynamics of public policy, with an emphasis on actors, stages, analytical challenges, politics, and reconciling often contradictory goals.

POLS-Y 520 Leadership and Managerial Decision Making in Organizations (3 cr)

This course analyses models for decision-making among managers to promote effective leadership in organizations. Various theories of bureaucratic decision-making will be highlighted.

POLS-Y 522 Public Budgeting and Finance (3 cr)

This course gives students a solid grounding in the concepts, terminology and techniques in the art and science of publicsector budgeting and financial administration at the federal, state, and local levels. Students use real world examples to analyze various approaches to public budgeting and revenue planning, evaluate and problem solve fiscal activities in governmental units, and gain "hands-on" budget preparation and presentation experience.

POLS-Y 525 Public Administration Ethics (4 cr)

This course will analyze the ethical considerations and dilemmas public managers are confronted with and will provide a theoretical and practical basis for resolution of ethical issues that arise.

POLS-Y 526 Public Strategic Planning (4 cr)

This course analyzes the various theoretical and practical methodologies for strategic planning for managers in the public sector.

POLS-Y 527 Public Organizational Theory and Bureaucratic Structure (4 cr)

This course will develop the major views of organizations that comprehend much of the existing theory and research as applied to public organizations.

POLS-Y 528 Public Policy Analysis (4 cr)

This course covers public policy analysis, including policy proposal, creation, and evaluation.

POLS-Y 570 Introduction to the Study of Politics (3 cr)

This course is an introductory overview of the discipline of political science and its place in the social sciences. It coversthe major subfields of Political Science and the central questions that each subfield addresses.

POLS-Y 615 Capstone in Public Affairs (3 cr)

Application of program courses specifically to program evaluation, and more generally to thinking about the responsibilities of the public manager in contemporary society.

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