Political Science Courses
POL 110American National GovernmentPolitical Science4FreshmanIntroduction to the basic principles, theories, and major factors which influence decision-making within the political process. Satisfies social sciences exploratory requirement. Fall, and spring even academic years.
POL 120Introduction to International RelationsPolitical Science4FreshmanHistory, theory, practice, and analysis of the forces and conflicts among nation-states, including such factors as nationalism, diplomacy, war, i.e., causes, peaceful resolution and discussion of systems to prevent war, polycentrism and power, i.e., public opinion, technology, economics, and military. Satisfies diversity and social sciences exploratory requirements. Spring.
POL 130Introduction to Comparative PoliticsPolitical Science4FreshmanIntroduction to the methodology of systematic country comparison through use of selected examples from Asia, Africa, Latin America and/or Europe. Issues such as the roles played by political institutions, ideologies, cultures and interest groups are examined alongside the concepts of nation-building, development and democratization. Students learn a method for comparing countries across political systems. Satisfies intercultural and social sciences exploratory requirement. Fall.
POL 225State and Local GovernmentPolitical Science4SophomoreThe American political process as viewed from the perspective of state and local governmental institutions, including political parties, interest and clientele groups, the electoral process, urban politics, traditional and new patterns of city and county government, and problems and needs of metropolitan areas. Satisfies Civic Learning exploratory. Spring, odd academic years.
POL 234American Political ParticipationPolitical Science4SophomorePatterns of voting, political parties, interest groups, and the election process in the American political system and their impact on stability and change in the system. Students will be required to complete a substantial service component within this course, either through media coverage of political participation at TheStatehouseFile.com or through service to a relevant political organization. Fall, even academic years.
POL 275Law and Politics in American SocietyPolitical Science4SophomoreThe focus of this course will be on tracing the American legal philosophy from the roots of its political and legal settings. Special attention will be paid to the English legal heritage, the concepts of law and justice, and the different types of law in American society. Fall, even academic years.
POL 316American PresidencyPolitical Science4JuniorExamination of the institutionalization of the presidency, as well as the topics of power, personality, public opinion, and elections. Students develop an understanding of the constraints placed on the individuals that hold the presidency as well as the manner in which the behavior of these individuals irrevocably change the institution. Students learn of the powers and imperatives of the American presidency, as well as an understanding of the president’s role in the American political order. Prerequisite: POL 110. Offered on demand.
POL 317American CongressPolitical Science4JuniorExamination of the institutionalization of Congress, the theories regarding motivations of its members and how these motivations likely impact the nature of the institution itself. Topics discussed include: rules, procedures, and structures of Congress; elections; and the role of parties, leadership and interest groups. Students learn alternative ways of conceiving the motivations of members of Congress and how such motivation might impact policy, as well as the importance of information in making legislative decisions. Prerequisite: POL 110. Offered on demand.
POL 320International Security and Conflict MgmtPolitical Science4JuniorExamination of international conflict and cooperation. A wide range of competitive situations are surveyed, including: war, global economy, terrorism and the environment. The structure and functions of international organizations and their role in the resolution of international conflicts are also examined. Students learn to critically assess international relations theory regarding the prospects of war and peace. Prerequisite: POL 120. Offered on demand.
POL 336Introduction to Public PolicyPolitical Science4JuniorIntroduction to the elements of the American public policy process including the identification, formation, adoption, implementation, and impact stages. Prerequisite: POL 110. On demand.
POL 341International Law and OrganizationsPolitical Science4JuniorNature, sources, and functions of international law with particular attention to the rights and duties of states. The new subject of international law: international organizations particularly the United Nations will be examined thoroughly. Satisfies intercultural exploratory requirement. Prerequisite: POL 120. Fall, odd academic years.
POL 350Public AdministrationPolitical Science4JuniorTheories and processes of public bureaucracy with emphasis on alternate efficiency and accountability problems in a democratic political system. Prerequisite: POL 110. Offered on demand.
POL 355Comparative Politics Developed CountriesPolitical Science4JuniorThis course examines the political cultures, governmental institutions, and current policy debates in Canada, France and Germany. Relations between these countries and the United States will also be examined. Same as CAN 355. Prerequisite: POL 130 or CAN 130. On demand.
POL 360Social and Political ThoughtPolitical Science4JuniorStudy of social and political ideas such as the nature and justification of political power, the nature and legitimacy of governments, and related topics, from Plato to the present. Same as PHL 360. Fall.
POL 375Justice and AdvocacyPolitical Science2JuniorThis course focuses on advanced concepts relating to the American system of justice. Students will learn about the rules of evidence, rhetorical strategy in a legal setting, principles of civil and criminal law, and other issues relating to court proceedings and trial practice. This course does not satisfy the hours required toward a major in Political Science. Prerequisite: POL 275. Fall, odd academic years.
POL 390American Foreign PolicyPolitical Science4JuniorExamination of the leading theoretical approaches to the study of American foreign policy. The impact of Realist and Liberal paradigms are explored along with the role of culture in the formation of foreign policy. Additional approaches such as decision-making, leadership, public opinion and psychology are also explored. Students learn to critically evaluate foreign policy from several different perspectives. Prerequisite: POL 120. Offered on demand.
POL 410Amer Constitution Law I: Powers and DutiesPolitical Science4SeniorAnalysis of decisions of the Supreme Court of the U.S., with special emphasis on decisions relating to the powers and duties of the institutions of American government. Prerequisite: POL 110. On demand.
POL 420Amer Con Law II:Civil Rights and LibertiesPolitical Science4SeniorAnalysis of decisions of the Supreme Court of the U.S., with special emphasis on decisions relating to the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment. Prerequisite: POL 110. Spring.
POL 469Methods of Political InquiryPolitical Science4SeniorSurvey of the variety of ways political scientists study phenomena. Students gain familiarity with the prominent paradigmatic and methodological approaches employed by political scientists. This course serves to coalesce prior coursework exploring political science literature and provides an overview of the principles of research design. Students will explore different methodological approaches to addressing research questions. This course culminates in practical student application of what they learned as evidenced by the submission of a formal research proposal. Prerequisite: POL 110. Fall.
POL 470Senior SeminarPolitical Science4SeniorMethods and materials of research in government. Each student chooses a research question which culminates in a formal empirical analysis which is presented to the College. Corequisites: POL 498. Prerequisites: POL 110, 360, and either POL 410 or POL 420. Spring
POL 498PortfolioPolitical Science0SeniorThe main component of this collection of student work will be the research paper completed in POL 470 that students develop from courses taken within the department and internships they may have completed. Contents may also include designated class assignments, case studies and projects, or assignments and projects of the student’s choosing. The portfolio is completed with assignments related to leadership and professional development from the PDP 200 course. Corequisites: POL 470. Spring.
POL 499Senior Competency PracticumPolitical Science0SeniorThe senior competency practicum is both a written essay and oral exam. The questions for the essay exam are submitted by the faculty of the department who also conduct the oral exam. A grade of ‘C-‘ or better is considered a passing grade.

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