Political Science
Holloway Hall
[Go to Course Schedules]

Course Descriptions

Click the [+] to see description
POSC 101 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICS & GOVERNMENT [+]
Introduction to the study of political science that discusses the nature of politics, the role of government in society and the processes involved in the governing of humans. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fall 2008: IIB).
POSC 102 CONTEMPORARY ISSUES [+]
Examines how the American political system responds to major issues facing the nation. The politics of recent issues such as civil rights, Watergate, the environment and the energy crisis, along with current issues, discussed in detail. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fall 2008: IIB).
POSC 110 AMERICAN NATIONAL GOVERNMENT [+]
Comprehensive examination of the American political process which analyzes the role of the Constitution, the organization and function of the presidency, Congress, Supreme Court, political parties and interest groups and the distribution of power within American society. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fall 2008: IIB).
POSC 200 POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES [+]
Analysis of political ideologies, emphasizing their role as both justifications for and radical critiques of existing social, economic and political structures and processes. Covers a number of ideologies, including fascism, liberalism, socialism and communism. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fall 2008: IIB).
POSC 202 STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES [+]
Examination of state and local governments in terms of how political power is organized and policies adopted. Focuses on forms of governing that encourage citizen participation. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fal 2008: IIB).
POSC 204 TOPICS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE [+]
Analysis of recent international or national issues which helps students understand the complex contemporary political environment. May be taken twice under different course titles recorded with the registrar. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fall 2008: IIB).
POSC 205 WOMEN IN POLITICS [+]
Study of the recent history and politics of women's rights in the U.S. and the impact of the women's movement in its various manifestations. Examines the route to political activism taken by women and the issues that unite and divide them. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fall 2008: IIB).
POSC 210 INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS [+]
Introduces students to contemporary issues in world affairs: state creation and “failed” states, balance of power, wars, nuclear proliferation and arms control. Addresses global trade, monetary, development and environmental problems, as well as regional integration and the role of the World Bank and MNCs. Examines the use of international law, diplomatic negotiation and the UN to resolve international conflicts. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fall 2008: IIB).
POSC 213 WAR AND PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST [+]
Introduction to the causes of interstate conflict in the Middle East and to the opportunities for peace in the region. Examines the impact of Great Power competition, the regional balance of power, the rise of religious fundamentalism and the struggle for control of resources. Includes an analysis of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as other examples of conflict and accommodation in the region. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110 or 210. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 215 AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY [+]
Emphasizes areas of foreign policy: the individuals, organizations and procedures involved in foreign policy making; the major approaches of U.S. foreign policy; and current issues. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fall 2008: IIB).
POSC 220 COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT OF EAST ASIA [+]
Survey of important topics for understanding of East Asian politics today. Emphasis on format and functions of political institutions, historical background, democratization, economic development, social problems and foreign relations. Prerequisite: POSC 101, 110, or 210. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 230 JUDICIAL PROCESS AND POLITICS [+]
Examines the structure and role of courts in the American political process. State and federal court systems and the role of judges are explored. Emphasis is on how courts function within the legal and political environment while acting as policy makers. Three hours per week.
POSC 300 METHODS OF EMPERICAL POLITICAL ANALYSIS [+]
Focuses on student-developed research projects that utilize the scientific method and the collection and analysis of quantitative data, especially public opinion polls. The use of computers and statistics in political science research emphasized. Prerequisites: POSC 101 or 110, junior/senior standing. Three hours lecture, one two-hour laboratory per week.
POSC 301 POLITICS PARTIES AND PRESSURE GROUPS [+]
Descriptive and analytical examination of American political parties and pressure groups with attention to political socialization and voting behavior. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 310 COMPARATIVE EUROPEAN GOVERNMENT [+]
Comparative study of the government systems, political processes, leadership, political parties, elections and current political issues in Britain, France and Germany and an overview of the European community. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110 or 210. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 311 COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT OF DEVELOPING NATIONS [+]
Comparative study of the historical backgrounds, ideological foundations, leadership, opposition groups, political processes and current issues in the governmental systems of selected developing countries. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110 or 210. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 313 COMPARATIVE POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST [+]
Examines the conditions and variables that affect the content and conduct of politics within the states of the Middle East with an emphasis on the impact of socio-economic factors, culture, religious belief systems, gender roles, ethnic and national identities, secular ideologies, and foreign penetration upon political behavior in the region. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110 or 210. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 315 THE PRESIDENCY IN AMERICAN POLITICS [+]
Helps students develop a deeper understanding of the American presidency's relationship to other governmental and nongovernmental institutions in the American political system. Particular attention paid to the implications and consequences of these relationships for democratic society. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 320 PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS [+]
In-depth study of the governmental decision-making process within the American federal government. Provides students with an explanation of the primary governmental activities associated with the basic steps in the policy-making process. Some of these steps include policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 330 AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT [+]
Study of the principles, nature and meaning of the U.S. Constitution as determined by the holdings and opinion of the Supreme Court. Emphasis on the historical development of the Constitution and a study and analysis of the U.S. court system, judicial review, separation of powers, commerce powers and powers of Congress and the president. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 340 POLITICAL SCIENCE INTERNSHIP [+]
Helps students learn about political behavior and policy problems as participant-observers in a government organization at the national, state or local level. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110, permission of instructor. (P/F)
POSC 341 POLTICAL SCIENCE INTERNSHIP SEMINAR [+]
Places an intern's work experience within a broader, analytical perspective. Interns thoroughly examine existing research on the relevant governmental agency and relate the findings of this research to their own internship experiences. Designed to be taken with POSC 340. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110, permission of instructor. Three hours per week with enhancement
POSC 360 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY [+]
Overview of national and global environmental policies in the U.S. Examines individual policies including their content, their adoption, the regulatory process and their effect on environmental quality. Role of the political actors and the political process in environmental policy-making explored. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fall 2008: IIB).
POSC 370 DEMOCRACY [+]
Explores both the idea of democracy and its possibilities for realization in human society. Advocates and critics of democracy, both old and contemporary, are examined. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours lecture per week with enhancement.
POSC 390 INTERNATIONAL FIELD STUDY [+]
On-site study of the politics, history, economy and culture of selected countries. Work in the field preceded by pre-tour lectures and readings. May be repeated once for credit. Number of credits offered to be determined by the department.
POSC 399 HONORS INTERDISCIPLINARY [+]
Examines topics of broad trans-disciplinary scope and interest in conjunction with one or more other departments. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 401 POLITICAL THEORY [+]
Survey of political thought based on the analysis of ideas of modern theorists, including the historical setting of major theories, their impact on political institutions and social changes and their contemporary significance. May be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 408 POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND TERRRORISM [+]
Investigates the political, social, cultural, economic and psychological roots of several types of political violence: international terrorism, state terrorism, inter-communal and secessionist violence, genocide, revolution and civil war. For each type of violence, the course examines theories that explain the cause of violence and case examples from historical experience. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 409 CAUSES OF WAR [+]
Explores theoretical explanations of international conflict. Major questions addressed are: What are the primary causes of war? How may war be prevented? May be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit. Prerequisite: Junior/senior standing. Three hours per week with enhancement. Meets General Education IIIB or IIIC (Prior to Fall 2008: IIB).
POSC 411 INTERNATIONAL LAW [+]
Survey of the general principles and specific rules of international law as well as its recent trends and its relations to other aspects of international affairs. May be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110 or 210. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 413 INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY [+]
Examines the most important economic issues in the current global economy and compares and contrasts liberal, statist and Marxist theories of international political economy. Topics include the debate over globalization, the formation and operation of regional economic blocks, the goal of sustainable development and the challenge of transition in post-socialist societies. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110 or 210. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 415 UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM [+]
Examines the history and evolution of the UN system. Focuses on the role of the UN in settling international disputes, providing international order and security, promoting decolonization, promoting human and political rights, and providing for economic and social development around the world. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110 or 210. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 417 RUSSIA & THE SOVIET UNION [+]
Political development of Russia from the Bolshevik Revolution and Stalinism through the Gorbachev period and collapse of the U.S.S.R. Emphasis on government structure, parties, ideology, political conflict and change. Exploration of political, social, economic, environmental and foreign policy problems of the new Russian state. May be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit. Prerequisites: POSC 101 or 110 or 210, junior/senior standing. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 420 POLITICS OF CHINA [+]
Survey of important topics for understanding of China today. Emphasis on format and functions of Chinese political institutions, Imperial China and its fall, the rise of the Chinese Communist Party, the politics under Mao, economic reforms, social problems and foreign relations. Prerequisite: POSC 101, 110, or 210. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 430 THE CONGRESS IN AMERICAN POLITICS [+]
Analysis of the structural characteristics and functions of the United States Congress. Factors influencing congressional decision making and the importance of Congress in American political process discussed. May be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 440 PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION [+]
Study of the basic characteristics of modern American governmental bureaucracies, as well as the important issues public administrators face. Exploration of administrative and organizational theories. May be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 450 CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES [+]
Explores civil rights and liberties of the individual under the United States constitution, including freedom of religion, speech, press, right to privacy, and race and sex discrimination. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours lecture per week with enhancement.
POSC 460 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW [+]
Introduction to the legal system and principles of environmental law. Explores the nature and sources of environmental problems, evolution of the law and the legal system's response to environmental problems. Examines laws, regulations and court decisions designed to control specific environmental problems; protect public health, safety and resources; and provide international environmental controls. Students use the case study method of legal analysis. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Three hours per week with enhancement.
POSC 480 STUDIES IN POLITICAL SCIENCE [+]
Intensive study of a specialized area of inquiry within the major subfields of political science: American government, international relations, comparative government, political theory and public policy. May be taken twice under different subtitles recorded with the registrar. May be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit. Prerequisites: POSC 101 or 110, junior/senior class standing. Three hours per week plus enhancement.
POSC 490 INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH [+]
Advanced students pursue their own research project under the direction of a faculty member, or assist a faculty member in a research project. Involves in-depth reading program or the collection and analysis of data from primary sources. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits with faculty approval; credit beyond three hours requires approval of the department chair.
POSC 540 PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION [+]
Study of the basic characteristics of modern American governmental bureaucracies, as well as the important issues public administrators face. Exploration of administrative and organizational theories. May be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 110. Three hours per week.
POSC 580 STUDIES IN POLITICAL SCIENCE [+]
Intensive study of a specialized area of inquiry within the major subfields of political science: American government, international relations, comparative government, political theory and public policy. May be taken twice under different subtitles recorded with the registrar. May be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit. Prerequisites: POSC 101 or 110, junior/senior class standing. Three hours per week.
POSC 590 INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH [+]
Advanced students pursue their own research project under the direction of a faculty member, or assist a faculty member in a research project. Involves in-depth reading program or the collection and analysis of data from primary sources. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits with faculty approval; credit beyond three hours requires approval of the department chair. May be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit.