Skip to main content

Political Science (POLS) Courses

Lower Division

POLS 101 AMERICAN NATIONAL GOVERNMENT (3-0-3)(F/S)(FS). Institutions and processes of the American political system, emphasizing social, ideological, and constitutional background.

POLS 200 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICS: AMERICAN POLITICS AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3)(F/S). Students will confront the key texts in the American Politics and Political Philosophy subfields of the political science discipline and react to the key debates addressed in those texts and propose solutions to the issues that are traditional to political analysis. PREREQ: ENGL 102.

POLS 201 CURRENT EVENTS IN AMERICAN POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S)(FS). Examines a current issue in American politics through the lens of political science research. Compares analysis of current topics from the media to political science approaches. Consult current class schedule for specific selections offered each term. May be repeated for credit. PREREQ: ENGL 102 or PERM/INST.

POLS 202 CURRENT EVENTS IN GLOBAL POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S)(FS). Examines a current issue in global politics through the lens of political science research. Compares analysis of current topics from the media to political science approaches. Consult current class schedule for specific selections offered each term. May be repeated for credit. PREREQ: ENGL 102 or PERM/INST.

POLS 203 POLITICAL SCIENCE IN POPULAR MEDIA (3-0-3)(F/S)(FS). Examines the field of political science and politics through the lens of popular media. Consult current class schedule for specific selections offered each term. PREREQ: ENGL 102 or PERM/INST.

POLS 205 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICS: COMPARATIVE POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (3-0-3)(F/S). Students will confront the key texts in the Comparative Politics and International Relations subfields of the political science discipline and react to the key debates addressed in those texts and propose solutions to the issues that are traditional to political analysis. PREREQ: ENGL 102.

POLS 298 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL INQUIRY (3-0-3)(F/S/SU). Techniques of political science inquiry, behavioral and attitudinal, using data analysis and introductory statistics.

Upper Division

POLS 300 AMERICAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS AND BEHAVIOR (3-0-3 )(F/S). Examination of institutions, political culture, and political processes throughout the American regime. PREREQ: ENGL 102, POLS 200 or PERM/INST.

POLS 305 COMPARATIVE POLITICS: THEORIES, METHODS, AND POLITICAL PROCESSES (3-0-3)(F/S). Cross-national analysis of the structure and functioning of various types of political systems, with special emphasis on the problem of political change. PREREQ: ENGL 102, POLS 205; or Global Studies major, GLOBAL 200, or PERM/INST.

POLS 306 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: ACTORS, INTERACTIONS, AND METHODS (3-0-3)(F/S). Nature of relations among nations with particular reference to contemporary international issues. Analysis of the causes of war and efforts to promote peace. Study of national sovereignty and its relation to international cooperation. PREREQ: ENGL 102, POLS 205; or International Business major or minor, with junior standing or above; or Global Studies major, GLOBAL 200, or PERM/INST.

POLS 315 POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3)(F/S). Examination of the issues that define political thought, such as human nature, the best way of life, and the character of government institutions. PREREQ: ENGL 102, POLS 200 or PERM/INST.

POLS 398 ADVANCED POLITICAL SCIENCE METHODS (3-0-3)(F/S/SU). Examination of the discipline of political science, its central problems and unifying concerns using advanced research methods and computer applications. PREREQ: POLS 298 or PERM/INST.

POLS 400 WOMEN AND POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines the role of gender in U.S. politics and explores the participation of women in politics as citizens, activists, and politicians. Also evaluates the underrepresentation of women in politics as well as analyzes the influence of women in office and their impact on public policy. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST .

POLS 401 POLITICAL PARTIES AND INTEREST GROUPS (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines the function and importance of political parties and interest groups within the American political system. Considers the organization and activities of political parties and interest groups. PREREQ: POLS 300; or SPS 301 and Political Communication Minor or PERM/INST.

POLS 402 CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines the nature of electoral campaigns in the United States, including candidacy, the role of the media, how to run a campaign at the local level, and campaign finance issues. Also investigates the American electoral structure and voting behavior of the American electorate. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST or SPS 301 and Political Communication minor or Political Management minor.

POLS 404 URBAN POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). An inquiry into different urban political systems and issues. Included are investigations into different governing arrangements in urban jurisdictions, including variations in electoral structures, types of governing bodies, and different government structures. Also included is an analysis of the role of political parties and interest groups, as well as urban issues such as transportation, waste disposal, service delivery, and financing. PREREQ: POLS 300 or URBAN 200 or PERM/INST.

POLS 405 AMERICAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE (3-0-3)(F/S). Consideration of the importance and involvement of the President in the political and policy-making processes and powers of the Presidency. Presidential campaigns and elections. The role of the President as policy-maker and administrator. The effect of the personality of a President on performance in office. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST.

POLS 406 LEGISLATIVE BEHAVIOR (3-0-3)(F/S). Analysis of behavior of American state and national legislatures. Special consideration given to impact of constituencies, parties, interest groups, interpersonal relations, and other factors on legislators, and the role of the legislature in the American political system. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST.

POLS 407 AMERICAN POLICY PROCESS (3-0-3)(F/S). The process through which policy is determined, implemented, and adjusted, with emphasis on the role of administrators. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST.

POLS 409 ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). This course explores the political context of natural resource and environmental issues and examines how various aspects of the political process influence natural resource and environmental policy outcomes. PREREQ: POLS 300 or URBAN 200 or Environmental Studies or Global Studies major or minor, junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 410 (ECON 410) PUBLIC FINANCE (3-0-3)(S). This course examines the roles of government and market systems in modern economies using the tools of economic analysis to evaluate major public policy decisions. The theory and rationale of government spending, taxing, and indebtedness will be examined, as well as the effects of government activity on resource allocation, income distribution, and economic efficiency. This course draws on the tools of microeconomic theory to develop analytical tools such as cost-benefit analysis to examine public spending projects. May be taken for either ECON or POLS credit, but not both. PREREQ: ECON 201 and ECON 202.

POLS 411 APPLIED STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION (3-0-3)(F/S). Applies skills related to strategic communication, which refers in general to the purposeful use of a range of communication techniques in order to achieve a goal or objective. Throughout the semester, leading practitioners in these areas will visit the class, sharing not only their experiences but insight into the skills needed for success in their area of expertise. PREREQ: upper-division standing

POLS 412 ETHICS IN PUBLIC POLICY (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines perspectives in moral philosophy used to assess the ethics of public policy decisions and implementation. PREREQ: POLS 300 and POLS 305 or POLS 306 or POLS 315.

POLS 413 (SOC 487) ORGANIZATIONAL THEORY AND BUREAUCRATIC STRUCTURE (3-0-3)(F/S). Sociopolitical analysis of theories and concepts of complex social organizations, their application to public administration, and the inter-relationship between political science and sociological organizational theory. May be taken for POLS or SOC credit, but not for both. PREREQ: senior standing, PERM/INST.

POLS 414 COMPARATIVE STATE POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). A comparative analysis of U.S. state political systems, with emphasis on the variation among the states within the context of a federal political system. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST.

POLS 415 SEMINAR IN AMERICAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS (3-0-3)(F/S). Intensive study of a particular issue or problem in American political institutions. Consult current class schedule for specific selections offered each term. May be repeated for credit. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST.

POLS 416 SEMINAR IN AMERICAN POLITICAL BEHAVIOR (3-0-3)(F/S). Intensive study of a particular issue or problem in American political behavior. Consult current class schedule for specific selections offered each term. May be repeated for credit. PREREQ: POLS 300; or SPS 301 and Political Communication Minor or PERM/INST.

POLS 417 POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY (3-0-3)(F/S). Introduces the various ways psychological research has been applied to politics, helping one understand how people think and feel about politics. Focuses both on how psychological characteristics of individuals influence their reaction to politics, and how political events impact individual level attitudes and psychological reactions. PREREQ: POLS 300; or SPS 301 and Political Communication Minor or PERM/INST.

POLS 418 PUBLIC OPINION (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines what the American public thinks about politics, where their political attitudes come from, and why they change over time. Explores why people hold issue positions, party affiliations, and voting preferences, as well as how these attitudes are shaped by current events, the media, campaigns, and other people. PREREQ: POLS 300; or SPS 301 and Political Communication Minor or PERM/INST.

POLS 419 POLITICAL COMMUNICATION (3-0-3)(F/S). Introduces how political information is communicated, focusing on how politicians and the media disseminate information, and how citizens respond to this information. Assists with understanding how the media, both in traditional and emerging formats, disseminates political information and the consequences of this information for average citizens. PREREQ: POLS 300; or SPS 301 and Political Communication Minor or PERM/INST.

POLS 420 COMPARATIVE FOREIGN POLICY (3-0-3)(F/S). Examination of foreign policies and objectives of world’s major powers, analysis of contemporary international problems, and consideration of theories of international politics. PREREQ: POLS 306; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 421 INTERNATIONAL LAW AND ORGANIZATION (3-0-3)(F/S)(Alternate years). The law of peace, international intercourse, war and threat of war, pacific settlement, and the principles and practice of international law. Historical background of international organizations, including the United Nations. PREREQ: POLS 306; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 422 POLITICS IN RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE (3-0-3)(F/S). A comparative analysis of the political systems of the former Soviet republics and Eastern Europe, with primary emphasis on Russia. Special attention will be given to the collapse of communism, the problem of democratization, and the transition from state to socialism to a market economy. PREREQ: POLS 305; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 423 LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). Covers twentieth century Latin American politics, focusing on regime change, economic development, and political conflict. Particular attention is paid to Mexico, Cuba, and Brazil. The last section of the course focuses on current problems and political dilemmas in the region. PREREQ: POLS 305; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor or Latin American and Latino/a Studies minor, upper-division standing, or PERM/INST.

POLS 424 CANADIAN POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). An analysis of the Canadian political system, with emphasis on political culture, governmental institutions and processes, and selected public policy issues. PREREQ: POLS 305; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above, or PERM/INST.

POLS 425 POLITICS IN ASIA (3-0-3)(F/S). Political systems of selected nations in Asia. Patterns and problems of political development and modernization in the nations will be analyzed. PREREQ: POLS 305; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above, or PERM/INST.

POLS 426 EUROPEAN POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). Political Systems of selected industrialized European nations, including Great Britain, France, the German Federal Republic, and the countries of Scandinavia. Analysis of patterns of political culture, political interests, political power, and selected public policy issues. PREREQ: POLS 305; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 427 POLITICS OF AFRICA (3-0-3)(F/S)(Alternate years). Political systems of selected nations in Africa. Patterns and problems of political development and modernization in the nations will be analyzed. PREREQ: POLS 305; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 428 SEMINAR IN CONTEMPORARY COMPARATIVE POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). Intensive study of a particular issue or problem in comparative politics. Consult current class schedule for specific selections offered each term. May be repeated. PREREQ: POLS 305; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 429 INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines the relationship between international politics and international economics across different levels of analysis. Includes a discussion of the contending paradigms of international relations, as well as an analysis of the many relationships between/among different nation-state groupings within the world system. PREREQ: POLS 305 or POLS 306; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 430 UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY (3-0-3)(F/S)(Alternate years). Development of diplomacy from the foundation of the republic to the present, with emphasis on emergence and continuance of United States as a world power; impact of domestic developments on formulation of foreign policies. PREREQ: POLS 306; or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above, or PERM/INST.

POLS 431 SEMINAR IN CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (3-0-3)(F/S). Intensive study of a particular issue or problem in international relations. Consult current class schedule for specific selections offered each term. May be repeated. PREREQ: POLS 306;  or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 432 CIVIL WAR AND TERRORISM (3-0-3)(F/S). Study of the theoretical and empirical causes of non-state actors using force against states and civilians in both domestic and international spheres. The course also examines the motivations for other interested parties to intervene into conflicts on behalf of both states and rebels. PREREQ: POLS 306; or International Business or Global Studies major or minor, with junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 433 (WORLD 320) CHINA TODAY (3-0-3)(F/S). Survey of contemporary China including cultural and historical roots, nation-building efforts, political, economic and social systems, and domestic and foreign policies. Discussion of Hong Kong, Tibet, and Taiwan. May be taken for WORLD or POLS credit, but not both. PREREQ: HIST 121 or GLOBAL 101 or GLOBAL 200 or POLS 305 or POLS 306.

POLS 434 ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY (3-0-3) (F/S). Examines environmental security threats, including the linkages between climate change, water scarcity, and food security. Analyzes human rights abuses, civil war, political unrest, and international conflicts as underlying themes. Provides a thorough understanding of how environmental systems and state security are intertwined. PREREQ: POLS 305 or POLS 306, or Global Studies major or minor or Environmental Studies major or minor and upper-division standing.

POLS 435 GLOBAL DEMOCRACY (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines, from a comparative perspective, the processes by which countries become democratic, from macro level geopolitical and socioeconomic forces to micro level grass roots citizen and civic initiatives.  Also focuses on whether the trend of more countries becoming democracies will continue throughout the 21st century. PREREQ: POLS 305 or POLS 306, or Global Studies major or minor or Environmental Studies major or minor and upper-division standing.

POLS 436 OIL, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMOCRACY (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines the relationship between oil, development, and democracy. Analyzes the consequences of oil for democracy, economic performance, gender, violence, international cooperation, and international economic outcomes. Provides an in depth understanding of individual oil-rich countries and cross national patterns. PREREQ: POLS 305 or POLS 306, or Global Studies major or minor or Environmental Studies major or minor and upper-division standing.

POLS 437 RACE, JUSTICE, AND DEMOCRACY (3-0-3)(F/S). Exploration of the dynamics of race and ethnicity in American society, political institutions, and public policy. Historical construction of race in the United States and the development, the dynamics of race and ethnicity in historical and contemporary political issues, the Obama era and the idea of a post-racial presidency as well as the future of race relations in the United States. PREREQ: Junior standing or above or PERM/INST.

POLS 438 APPLIED CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT (3-0-3)(F/S). Introduction to the applied side of contemporary politics, with an emphasis on campaign management. Students who successfully complete this course will be better equipped with the skills required to do politics. Throughout the semester, leading practitioners in these areas will visit the class, sharing not only their experiences but insight into the skills needed for success in their area of expertise. PREREQ: upper-division standing

POLS 440 AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT (3-0-3)(F/S). Genesis and development of political thought in the United States from the colonial period to the present. PREREQ: POLS 300 or POLS 315 or PERM/INST.

POLS 441 (PHIL 441) CLASSICAL POLITICAL THOUGHT (3-0-3)(F)(Odd years). Development of political philosophy from Socrates to Machiavelli. May be taken for either POLS or PHIL credit, but not both. PREREQ: POLS 315; or one upper-division philosophy course or PERM/INST.

POLS 442 (PHIL 442) MODERN POLITICAL THOUGHT (3-0-3)(S)(Even years). Development of political thought since Machiavelli. May be taken for either POLS or PHIL credit, but not both. PREREQ: POLS 315; or one upper-division philosophy course or PERM/INST.

POLS 443 (PHIL 443) CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THOUGHT (3-0-3)(F)(Even years). Major trends in political thought from the post-French Revolutionary era, which may include German idealism, historicism, existentialism, nihilism, and Marxism. May be taken for either POLS or PHIL credit, but not both. PREREQ: POLS 315; or one upper-division philosophy course or PERM/INST.

POLS 445 (INTBUS 445) INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT LAW (3-0-3)(F). The law and policy of international economic institutions (e.g., World Trade Organization, NAFTA), national government regulation and private law affecting international transactions in trade in goods, services, technology, and investments. Also selected issues in U.S. foreign/trade policy and ethical/social responsibility. May be taken for either INTBUS or POLS credit, but not both. Recommended: INTBUS 230. PREREQ: Admission to COBE, senior/graduate standing or POLS 305 or POLS 306, or PERM/CHAIR.

POLS 446 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (3-0-3)(F/S). Examination of the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, through the case method. Powers and limitations of the judicial, legislative, and executive branches and legal significance of federalism. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST.

POLS 447 CIVIL LIBERTIES (3-0-3)(F/S). Examination of constitutional rights and liberties, as interpreted by U.S. Supreme Court, through the case method. Rights of free speech, press, association, religious exercise, privacy, and protection of civil rights that were denied on basis of race or gender. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST.

POLS 448 WOMEN AND THE LAW (3-0-3)(F/S). Examination of laws and legal issues concerning women, including equality in education and employment, family and privacy issues. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST.

POLS 449 LAW, POLITICS, AND SOCIETY (3-0-3)(F/S). Study of the social and political context of the American judicial system, with an emphasis on legal culture, institutions, and process in the field of civil law. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST.

POLS 451 SEMINAR IN JUDICIAL POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). Intensive study of a particular issue or problem in American or comparative legal institutions. Consult current class schedule for specific selections offered each term. May be repeated for credit. PREREQ: POLS 300 or PERM/INST.

POLS 452 SEMINAR IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3)(F/S). Intensive study of a particular issue or problem in Political Philosophy. Consult current class schedule for specific selections offered each term. May be repeated for credit. PREREQ: POLS 315 or PERM/INST.

POLS 493 INTERNSHIP (Variable credit)(F,S,SU). Upper-division students may arrange through the department for an internship program. The legislative internship is a part of this program and application for it should be made in early October. PREREQ: Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and upper-division standing and PERM/INST.

POLS 499 CAPSTONE RESEARCH SEMINAR (3-0-3)(F/S)(FF). Finishing foundation course that will focus on producing a final research project in each student’s area of choice. Students will develop a research question, collect evidence and data, and write and present a thesis paper. PREREQ: Senior standing in political science major and POLS 298.

Back To Top