PSC-Political Science Courses

Courses

PSC 100. Public Service. 3 Hours.

This course provides an introduction to public service values and career paths in political science and public policy. Students will learn of various career paths relevant to political science and international studies in public management and nonprofit organizations. A component of the course focuses on career preparation, resume building, professional networking, and interview strategies.

PSC 101. Foundations of American Government. 3 Hours.

This course provides an overview of the American political system. The course covers the constitutional foundations of the American political system. It explains how the institutions of American Government -Congress, the presidency, and the courts operate and how they interact with one another. Each section provides a foundation for future study. Ethics and Civic Responsibility are significant components of this course. This course meets the Core Curriculum requirements for Area IV: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSC 102. Foundations of Comparative Politics. 3 Hours.

Compares the political cultures and institutions of various political systems around the world. Special emphasis upon the Communist and post-Communist states, religiously-based states, and countries in transition to democracy. (CP) This course meets the Core Curriculum requirements for Area IV: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSC 103. Foundations of International Relations. 3 Hours.

The introductory course in international relations is designed to be a survey of the problems and practice of global cooperation and conflict. Quantitative Literacy and Ethics and Civic Responsibility are significant components of this course. This course meets the Core Curriculum requirements for Area IV: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSC 104. Foundations of Political Theory. 3 Hours.

This course surveys the intellectual origins and historical development of political theory from the ancient Athenian experiment in direct democracy to the contemporary American challenge of diversity in a representative government. We explore citizenship as a philosophical conversation about rights and duties, equality and liberty, and the ethical responsibility of the individual to the community.

PSC 120. Urban Politics. 3 Hours.

This course is a critical examination of the institutions of urban government, focusing on intergovernmental relations, official decision makers, and the role of group and electoral politics in metropolitan environments. (AG/PT).

PSC 170. Contemporary Political Issues. 1-3 Hour.

Selected topics of current political importance and interest. Interests identified in current schedule of classes. May be repeated with permission of department chair.

PSC 221. American State and Local Government. 3 Hours.

This course is a critical study of the institutions, functions, and processes of the state and local levels of American government. (AG/PT) This course meets the Core Curriculum requirements for Area IV: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSC 266. The United Nations. 3 Hours.

Organization framework, evolving experiences and continuing problems of United Nations system for maintenance of international peace and security and for international economic and social cooperation. (IR/CP).

PSC 270. Law and Film. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the portrayal of courts, cases, lawyers, and law in major motion pictures. The course examines the extent to which films that focus on law are affected by the legal, political, and pop culture at the time of their production as well as the extent to which films shape society’s perceptions, whether correctly or incorrectly, of law and the legal profession. (AG/PT).

PSC 271. Contemporary Political Issues. 3 Hours.

Issues of current interest in political science.

PSC 272. Model Arab League. 1 Hour.

Preparation for participation in Model Arab League simulations around the country. Individual research on the Arab League and cooperative efforts to represent an assigned country and it's foreign policy on committees, such as political affairs, economics, social affairs, and others.

PSC 310. American Public Policy. 3 Hours.

This course covers the policy process at local, state, and federal levels of government, as well as the specific facets of the public policy process, including problem identification and definition, policy formulation and enactment, policy implementation and evaluation, and policy termination.

PSC 316. Human Rights. 3 Hours.

This course examines the definition and major facets of human rights, key issues and controversies related to human rights, as well as groups and institutions related to the promotion of human rights. Specific issues include state repression and torture, genocide, the rights of women and children, and economic rights.

PSC 317. Religion and Politics. 3 Hours.

This course investigates the relationship between religion and the American political community. Topics examined will include: the influence of religion on Early Settlement thought; the role of religion in shaping the 1st Amendment; the political evolution of Christian, Jewish and Islamic sects in the US; the court and the issue of "church and state"; religion and political activism; faith-based organizations and the implementation of public policy. (AG/PT).

PSC 319. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. 3 Hours.

This course examines the role of the Supreme Court in defining the fundamental rights and liberties of citizens in the United States. We analyze the inherent tension in supporting individual rights when they conflict with the will of the democratic majority.

PSC 320. Political Participation. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on forms of political participation in American national politics, including individual level public opinion, voting behavior, and the role of groups in public life. It explores the causes and consequences of individual participation in campaigns and elections, parties and interest groups, and protest movements. Ethics and Civic Responsibility are significant components of this course.(AG/PT).
Prerequisites: PSC 101 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 321. Public Opinion in American Politics. 3 Hours.

This course is an in-depth study of public opinion and the factors that shape it, including media effects, socialization, and group formation and advocacy. Students will examine the effects of public opinion on elections and policy, and explore the methods of public opinion measurement. (AG/PT).

PSC 322. Gender, Politics, & Policy. 3 Hours.

This course analyzes the history, theory and public policy of women as U.S. citizens from the colonial era through suffrage toward a woman in the White House. We examine the struggle for political rights, educational opportunity and economic equality, and gender roles in the family. We evaluate poll date, public policy debates, electoral strategies and leadership styles for women candidates for local, state. and federal office. (AG/PT).

PSC 323. Public Administration and Policy. 3 Hours.

This course surveys the principles and practices of governmental management and administration, including organization, procedures, personnel management, budgeting, and control.

PSC 324. American Foreign Policy. 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with the analytical tools necessary to analyze and evaluate how foreign policy decisions in the U.S. are formulated and implemented.

PSC 330. The American Judicial Process. 3 Hours.

This course examines the purpose and structure of American courts; the selection of judges; the role of jurors; how federal courts set agendas, decide cases, and impact legal policy; the role of interest groups and public opinion on judicial behavior. This course is writing-intensive; students will produce a central research project that asks and answers an empirical question about the judicial system, broadly described. Writing is a significant component of this course.(AG/PT).

PSC 331. The U.S. Congress. 3 Hours.

This course in an in-depth analysis of the U.S. Congress. Students will explore the internal organization of Congress and the rules and norms that govern the legislative process. Students will also examine the roles of the president, the court, interest groups, and political parties in the legislative process. (AG/PT).
Prerequisites: PSC 101 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 332. The American Presidency. 3 Hours.

This course is a critical exploration of American presidential leadership. Students examine the legal foundations of presidential authority, popular influences on presidential politics, the role of the presidency in the broader context of American democratic government. (AG/PT).

PSC 333. Political Parties and Interest Groups. 3 Hours.

This course covers engagement and governing in American politics through the institutions of participation - political parties and interest groups. Topics include parties and political organizations in their varied forms - trade associations, membership groups, social movements and others, and the role of these organizations shaping outcomes. (AG/PT).

PSC 335. Memory Politics: Monuments, Museums and Human Rights. 3 Hours.

This course introduces students to the field of memory politics and focuses on the memorials, monuments, museums, and sites of historical significance. We will examine the politics of how governments and different segments of society decide to memorialize historical human rights abuses, the perpetrators of those abuses, and the individuals who were directly affected by those abuses.

PSC 341. Classical Political Thought. 3 Hours.

This course analyzes the development of Western political thought in classical period from Plato to Augustine. We trace the emergence of democratic government and the political culture of the polis as represented by the philosophers and playwrights of the ancient world from Athens to Rome, (AG/PT).

PSC 342. Modern Political Theory. 3 Hours.

This course surveys the development of Western political though from early modern era to contemporary debates from Machiavelli to King. We examine the innovation of social contract theories and the revolutionart orgins of modern democracies as we analyze philosophical arguments for individual consent, political authority, personal liberty, and legitimate government. (AP/PT).

PSC 350. African Politics. 3 Hours.

Following the African tradition of communication of political philosophies through narrative, our study of African politics will incorporate storytelling (in film, fiction, and poetry) as well as more standard methods of political analysis. The course addresses social, economic, and political dimensions of Africa - Northern, Southern, and Sub-Saharan - from pre-colonial era to the present. We will also examine Africa's regional and international relations today. (CP/IR).

PSC 351. European Political Systems. 3 Hours.

Comparative analysis of politics in European nations. (CP/IR).

PSC 352. Latin/South American Political Systems. 3 Hours.

Comparative analysis of politics in Latin and South American Societies. (CP/IR).

PSC 353. Asian Political Systems. 3 Hours.

This course provides an overview of the relationships between state and society in contemporary Asia, with particular emphasis on India, Pakistan, China and Japan. Also included are a presentation of Pan-Asian relation, environmental problems, current armed conflicts and political culture. (CP/IR).

PSC 355. Politics of Development. 3 Hours.

Analysis of social, economic and political problems confronting the world's poor countries. Topics examined include national responses to the following problems: child soldiers and child labor; government corruption and transparency; ethnic conflict; environment destruction; social inequality; globalization; and cultural preservation. (CP/ IR).

PSC 358. Health and Humanitarian Crisis. 3 Hours.

This course examines the concepts, actors, analytic frameworks and dilemmas related to humanitarian action. Specific issues include the changing nature of conflict, coordination difficulties among humanitarian actors, evidence shortcomings, food security, public health crises, and efforts made to reform and professionalize the humanitarian sector.

PSC 359. Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. 3 Hours.

In this course, we examine the political, legal, psychological, cultural, and societal roots of genocide and assess the ways in which global and national institutions have responded to it.

PSC 360. International Security. 3 Hours.

Analysis of arms race, process of arms control negotiations, and diffusion of nuclear weapons. (IR/ CP).
Prerequisites: PSC 103 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 361. North/South International Relations. 3 Hours.

Relations between advanced industrial countries and underdeveloped countries, focusing on changing dynamics of these relations. (IR/CP).
Prerequisites: PSC 103 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 362. Diplomacy. 3 Hours.

Origins, institutions, functions and rules of modern diplomatic and consular practice and roles of diplomacy as instrument of national policy. (IR/CP).

PSC 363. Nationalism in World Politics. 3 Hours.

The primary objective of this course is to examine the political basis and implications of nationalism, as an idea and a political movement, in world politics. (IR/CP).
Prerequisites: PSC 103 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 364. Gender in World Politics. 3 Hours.

This course is an investigation of contemporary women’s and LGBT issues in world politics, with particular emphasis on cultural politics and women and development. There is also an investigation of masculinities and conflict.

PSC 365. Special Topics in Comparative Politics. 3 Hours.

Selected topics in Comparative Politics.

PSC 366. The United Nations. 3 Hours.

Organization framework, evolving experiences and continuing problems of United Nations system for maintenance of international peace and security and for international economic and social cooperation. (IR/CP).

PSC 367. Politics of the Middle East and Northern Africa. 3 Hours.

The course will examine relevant theories of comparative and international politics and apply them to the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region. Concepts and issues examined include authoritarian rule, uprisings, religious extremism, violence and war. The course will also discuss the calls for change to the political, economic and social environment in the region.

PSC 368. Women and War. 3 Hours.

This course provides an overview of gender and armed conflict from a global perspective. In the first third of the class, we will learn about theories of gender and war. In the second third, we will apply these theories to case studies of women and war. We will also examine the roles of women in terrorism. The last third of the course concerns women and peacemaking.

PSC 370. Politics and the Media. 3 Hours.

This course covers how significant changes in communications media have affected our ability to address our political problems and make public policy. It covers the interactive relationship between real world politics and communications media, where and how we learn about candidates, elected and appointed officials, and policy issues.
Prerequisites: PSC 101 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 372. Social Justice and Pop Culture. 3 Hours.

This course uses popular culture to introduce students to ideas and concepts related to social justice in the context of race, class, gender identity and other forms of difference and exclusion. Using various types of media (e.g. social media, music, television shows, movies etc.), this course will illuminate the ways in which decision-making, policies, practices, and behaviors are used to maintain inequity and inequality for underrepresented groups and communities through interlocking systems of oppression, privilege and power.

PSC 375. Special Topics in Political Theory. 3 Hours.

Special Topics in Political Theory: selected topics in Political Theory.

PSC 379. Supreme Court Politics. 3 Hours.

In this course, you will learn how the United States Supreme Court was established and how it subsequently helped to define the other branches of the U.S. Government (Legislative and Executive). The course will focus not only on the external politics of the Court but the inner political workings of the Court as well. After covering the mechanics of the Court and how it interacts with other sovereigns (both domestically and abroad), students will have the opportunity to examine the political drama that results when the Court exercises its authority over various pieces of American life.

PSC 380. The Politics of Constitutional Law. 3 Hours.

Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court as related to the development of important doctrines of constitutional law. Role of judiciary; extent of federal executive and legislative power; federal taxing and commerce powers. (AG/PT).
Prerequisites: PSC 101 [Min Grade: C]

PSC 381. The Bill of Rights. 3 Hours.

Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court as related to the development of important doctrines of constitutional law. Guarantees of Bill of Rights regarding both national and state governments; 14th Amendment. (AG/PT).
Prerequisites: PSC 101 [Min Grade: C]

PSC 382. Political Networks. 3 Hours.

The way we connect to others affects how we behave and think, even politically. The course explores how traditional and new (through social digital media) connections between individuals, groups, and institutions affect political behavior and policy outcomes both in domestic and international politics. The course also covers computational tools used to study social networks.

PSC 383. International Conflict & Conflict Management. 3 Hours.

Who fights whom, where, when, and how? And what can be done to resolve conflicts? This course investigates the causes of conflict between states, groups, and individuals. It reviews and evaluates the effectiveness of the political and legal tools at our disposal to manage conflict, including negotiation, various forms of mediation, peacekeeping and peace enforcement.

PSC 384. Diamonds, Drugs, and Guns: The Illicit Global Economy. 3 Hours.

Systematic analysis of the illicit global economy, including the causes of the leading illegal markets, the various organizations involved and key concepts used to analyze illicit markets. Particular attention is paid to the role of the state, as well as international organizations, in responding to these markets.

PSC 385. Special Topics in International Relations. 3 Hours.

Selected topics in International Relations.

PSC 386. Economics of Public Policy. 3 Hours.

The primary focus of this course is the role of government in the economy, specifically when and why the government intervenes, how it does so, and the effect of these interventions. Key economic concepts are brought to bear on leading public issues including safety and environmental policy, health policy, and social insurance.

PSC 395. Special Topics in Political Science. 3 Hours.

Special topics in political Science. The specific content can vary with individual courses.

PSC 400. Data, Politics, and Policy. 3 Hours.

From big data to focus groups and “small world networks,” this course explores the use and misuse of data in the policy process and in political analysis. It emphasizes strategies for using data to test hypotheses about domestic and international politics.
Prerequisites: PSC 101 [Min Grade: C] and PSC 102 [Min Grade: C] and PSC 103 [Min Grade: C] and PSC 104 [Min Grade: C]

PSC 401. Seminar in American Government. 3 Hours.

There are multiple theoretical approaches employed in the study of American political culture, behavior, institutions, and policy making. This course covers those approaches and the significant literature on the central topics in American government and politics (AG/PT).
Prerequisites: PSC 101 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 402. Seminar in Comparative Politics. 3 Hours.

This seminar is an exploration of core themes, debates, and concepts of world politics. (CP/IR).
Prerequisites: PSC 102 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 403. Seminar in International Relations. 3 Hours.

From civil war and terrorism to human rights and climate change, this capstone seminars deals with how important issues in world politics can be understood and analyzed from a multitude of theoretical perspectives. The seminar has significant writing, quantitative, and civic engagement components.
Prerequisites: PSC 103 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 404. Seminar in Political Theory. 3 Hours.

Multiple approaches employed in study of political theory and their usefulness in forming normative judgements. (PT/AG).
Prerequisites: PSC 104 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 418. Politics and Race in America. 3 Hours.

Politics and Race in America is an advanced level course about racial politics in the United States. This course focuses on tensions between separatism and assimilation, electoral politics and protest politics, and cooperation and competition among underrepresented groups in America. The goals of the course are for you to (a) grasp the complex dynamics of racial stratification in America and the role of politics in contributing to these dynamics and (b) pinpoint the similarities and differences of the agendas and strategies adopted by underrepresented groups, but to indicate the interaction between “racial” politics and American politics as a whole. The study of race in America provides a window into the soul of America; by learning about race in America, we learn enduring lessons about the foundations, institutions, participation, and policy in American government. After completing this course, you will be able to understand the race in America and be able to develop your own analyses about race in America.

PSC 422. Gender, Politics, & Policy. 3 Hours.

This course analyzes the history, theory and public policy of women as U.S. citizens from the colonial era through suffrage toward a woman in the White House. We examine the struggle for political rights, educational opportunity and economic equality, and gender roles in the family. Students will design and research a paper on the impact of women elected and appointed leaders on law and public policy. (AG/PT).

PSC 431. American Constitutional Law. 3 Hours.

This is a course on constitutional interpretation. Although the focus is on the Constitution of the United States, comparisons with the texts and experiences of other nations and of the several states of the United States will be used to define and illustrate frames of interpretation.
Prerequisites: PSC 101 [Min Grade: C] or PSC 380 [Min Grade: C]

PSC 432. Law and Society. 3 Hours.

This course examines law as a social institution, and assesses its relationship to other institutions in society, including the federal government, law enforcement, and the media.

PSC 440. American Political Thought. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the origins and evolution of American political theory from the colonial period to post-modernity. Investigates the philosophical legacy of the American founding and the civic republican tradition on contemporary theories of liberty, equality, and civic engagement in public life. Ethics and Civic Responsibility are significant components of this course).

PSC 443. Digital Democracy. 3 Hours.

The advent of the internet and digital media has fundamentally transformed the way humans connect, communicate, and share information. This class will look at the democratization of information as a result of the “information revolution” - i.e the internet and digital medium as a game changer in communications, politics, health, education, citizenship, and many other sectors. Additional topics will include net neutrality, protection of consumer rights, and a touch of behavioral economics in digital commerce.

PSC 444. Human Rights and Technology. 3 Hours.

The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad understanding of the impact of technology on human rights and how human rights law and policy have been shaped by these developments.

PSC 456. Revolution and Political Violence. 3 Hours.

This course examines political violence within states, ranging from protests to civil wars. We will focus particularly closely on post-WWII resistance and revolutions in North Africa.

PSC 458. Human Trafficking. 3 Hours.

The goal of this course is to address issues regarding modern slavery and human trafficking. Specifically, we will investigate the types of slavery, such as bonded labor and forced prostitution, the political, legal, economic and social dimensions of global slavery and human trafficking, and ways in which a broad variety of international and nongovernmental organizations respond to this crisis.

PSC 459. Politics of Transitional Justice. 3 Hours.

This course introduces students to the field of transitional justice and focuses on the political aspects of how governments, citizens, and the international community respond to human rights abuses, especially those committed during conflicts and dictatorships.

PSC 461. International Political Economy. 3 Hours.

The course examines global economic processes, such as trade and finance, as well as the key actors involved, including states, societal actors, multinational corporations, and international organizations. Key issues of contention, including trade disputes, financial crises, and problems associated with globalization, are also assessed (IR/CP).
Prerequisites: PSC 103 [Min Grade: D]

PSC 465. International Law. 3 Hours.

The course covers the sources, foundational principles, and main institutions of public international law. It explores international law concerning boundaries and territory (including the high seas and outer space), diplomatic relations, the use of force, conflict resolution, human rights, and the environment. (IR/CP).

PSC 466. The United Nations. 3 Hours.

Organizational framework, evolving experiences and continuing problems of United Nations system for maintenance of international peace and security and for international economic and social cooperation. (IR/CP).

PSC 471. Political Propaganda in Film. 3 Hours.

This course analyzes the ethics and rationale for using and abusing the film medium to relate to, undermine, or support political authority. The class employs a critical analysis of the explicit or implicit forms of political propaganda messages transmitted to popular culture in order to manipulate policy and public opinion. The films are drawn from four nations: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Russia.

PSC 490. Political Science Internship. 1-3 Hour.

Individually arranged assignment in public or non-profit agencies or organizations, monitored and evaluated by member of department.

PSC 494. Special Topics in Political Science. 3 Hours.

Special topics in Political Science.

PSC 495. Directed Research in Political Science. 1-6 Hour.

Directed research in political science with department faculty. Open to Political Science majors only. Requires instructor approval.

PSC 496. Independent Studies and Special Projects. 1-3 Hour.

Directed reading under supervision of member of PSC faculty.

PSC 497. Honors Research in Political Science. 3-6 Hours.

Directed research by Political Science Honors student.
Prerequisites: PSC 499 [Min Grade: C]

PSC 498. Capstone Public Affairs Internship. 3 Hours.

Individually arranged assignment in public or non-profit agencies or organizations monitored and evaluated by a member of the department. Placement provides significant opportunity to synthesize, practice, apply skills in political science through substantial, sustained work in real settings, planned and guided cooperatively by the institution and internship organization for credit. Minimum 150 hours at the internship organization.

PSC 499. Capstone in Political Science and International Studies. 3 Hours.

This is the capstone course for all majors in political science and international studies. The course is designed to provide students with a culminating capstone experience. In this course, we will discuss a diverse set of readings that provide a comprehensive overview of the major theories and methods in Political Science or International Studies. This is a writing intensive course in which a discipline-based research paper or research project is developed and presented.
Prerequisites: PSC 400 [Min Grade: D]