Political Science (PSC)

PSC 1200 American National Government

[3 credit hours]

An introductory survey of the institutions, processes and politics of the government of the United States and its relationship to state governments. (not for major credit)

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

Core Social Sciences, Trans Mod Social Science

PSC 1710 Current International Problems

[3 credit hours]

A course designed to give the student a perspective on world affairs through an examination of some contemporary international problems like war, human rights, democratization, regional politics, and global health and the environment.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

Multicultural Non-US Diversity

PSC 2210 Women And Politics

[3 credit hours]

An exploration of women and gender relations in US political life. Special attention is paid to differences among women, their socializing experiences, political power bases, and legal status.

Multicultural US Diversity

PSC 2300 Principles Of State And Local Government

[3 credit hours]

A study of the political processes and institutions of American state and local governments, with attention given to selected areas of public policy and intergovernmental relations.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 2400 Topics in Political Science

[3 credit hours]

Examination of current topics in Political Science. Area and topic to be determined by instructor.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 2600 Principles of Comparative Politics

[3 credit hours]

How can we explain the vast array of political systems around the world? This course examines the political systems of various countries and the internal and external factors shaping their political decisions. We will focus on institutional arrangements at the country level and the shaping forces behind their design, as well as on broad global topics affecting national politics

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 2660 African Politics

[3 credit hours]

The character and development of African political institutions and processes with a special emphasis on patterns in the post-independence period and prospects for the future.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

Multicultural Non-US Diversity

PSC 2700 Principles Of International Relations

[3 credit hours]

An examination of the theoretical and methodological foundations of the international system. Through case studies, students will analyze and predict issues of cooperation and competition among states. For example, why does war occur? Why does the international system have particular international institutions rather than others? What best explains a state’s foreign policy?

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 2770 Great Decisions: America's Foreign Policy

[1 credit hour]

(1 hour) An examination of key U.S. foreign policy issues as decided by the Foreign Policy Association, which takes place both in a classroom setting and through a speaker series with public discussions.

Term Offered: Fall

PSC 2780 Political Science and Pop Culture

[3 credit hours]

(3 hours) This course critically examines the role that politics and pop culture play in creating and shaping each other and the roles that each play in our lives. This course also acts as an overview of some of the major issues in political science such as democratization, war, and human rights.

Term Offered: Fall

PSC 2800 Principles Of Political Theory

[3 credit hours]

This course investigates core concepts in the history of political theory such as justice, liberty, and equality. We discuss how and why the influence of certain authors and ideas persists. Contemporary issues are interpreted using these authors and ideas in order to strengthen critical thinking skills and broaden students' thinking about politics.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 3150 Research and Writing in Political Science

[3 credit hours]

This course introduces the student to academic writing and research techniques in the political science discipline. Topics covered include: research ethics, scholarly literature review, peer-review process, research questions and research design, methodological approaches, and data analysis, among others.

Term Offered: Spring

PSC 3210 Political Parties

[3 credit hours]

Why are political parties central to organizing democracy? This course examines how they set the terms of public debate, mobilize citizens, inform voter preferences, and shape policy.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 3240 African-American Politics

[3 credit hours]

A study of the many ways black people have involved themselves in American politics; examines African-American participation in the political and governmental process.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

Multicultural US Diversity

PSC 3250 Public Opinion

[3 credit hours]

This course explores the role of public opinion in American politics. It also develops data analysis skills and familiarizes students with survey development.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 3270 Campaign and Elections

[3 credit hours]

Campaigns and elections are vital components of democracy in the United States. In this course, we examine how candidates, parties, and citizens participate in the electoral process. Topics covered throughout the semester include candidate recruitment, voting behavior, advocacy groups, campaign finance, and the impact of new technology on voter mobilization.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 3280 Race and American Politics

[3 credit hours]

This course examines the role that race plays in the development of American politics. The class investigates definitions of race, how they have evolved, and how they continue to influence policy debates. This seminar assesses the impact that different racial groups, and their struggles for equality, have had on American democracy. This course examines the leading theoretical frameworks and empirical findings to analyze the relationship between race and American political development.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

Multicultural US Diversity

PSC 3410 Principles of Public Policy

[3 credit hours]

This course is an introduction to public policy. It is focused on the factors that affect policymaking in the United States.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 3500 Principles Of Law

[3 credit hours]

An overview of the politics of law. We examine such questions as the sources and existence of law, the legal process in civil and criminal cases, the nature of rights and the search for justice through participation in the legal system. Addresses specific issues such as plea bargaining and jury trials, personal injury lawsuits, national security and police powers, and the nomination and confirmation of federal judges.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 3510 Constitutional Law I

[3 credit hours]

Examines the political and institutional role of the U.S. Supreme Court in the development of the American legal system, the separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government, and the relationship between the federal government and the states. The course focuses on the analysis of Supreme Court cases as well as political science and legal scholarship.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 3520 Constitutional Law and Politics II

[3 credit hours]

Examines the political and institutional role of the Supreme Court in the development of the U.S. system of civil liberties, the relationship between judicial decisions and state actions affecting rights such as free speech, religion, and privacy, and the underlying theories of civil liberty in a democratic society. The course focuses on the analysis of Supreme Court cases as well as political science and legal scholarship.

Term Offered: Spring

PSC 3600 Fascism and Populism in Comparative Perspective

[3 credit hours]

A comparative survey of historical fascist regimes and contemporary populist governance, mainly in Europe and Latin America. Contemporary populist rule is frequently equated with fascism but the differences are significant. In this course we will examine the differences and similarities between the two regime types.

PSC 3690 Peasant Politics

[3 credit hours]

The study of political science has become increasingly urban but peasant movements remain a significant political force around the world, particularly in less-developed regions. In this course we will study peasants and their politics worldwide from both a historical and contemporary perspective.

PSC 3730 American Foreign Policy

[3 credit hours]

An examination of the American foreign policy-making process as well as an analysis of the major problems facing the United States in its interaction with the international environment.

Prerequisites: (PSC 1200 with a minimum grade of D- or PSC 1300 with a minimum grade of D-) or (PSC 1400 with a minimum grade of D- or PSC 1710 with a minimum grade of D-) or PSC 2700 with a minimum grade of D-

PSC 3790 Model United Nations/Model European Union

[1 credit hour]

This is a faculty-advised, student-led simulation course. Students are exposed to the decision-making procedures of one of two major international organizations: The United Nations or The European Union. Through role-play, students will represent countries, delegates, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and government officials. Whenever possible, the organization represented in a given semester (UN or EU) will be chosen based on the opportunity to attend a conference where students will apply the concepts learned throughout the semester.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 3800 Sexual Politics

[3 credit hours]

This course critically examines gender, sex and sexuality as identities, practices, and relationships. Through readings in feminist political theory and history, we study state practices, social norms, and historical movements for change to understand why and how various forms of gender, sex and sexuality become normal or are challenged in unexpected ways.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 3820 Contemporary Political Ideas

[3 credit hours]

Surveys developments and themes in political theory since the early 20th century.  Particular issues addressed include bureaucracy, mass society, state and civil violence, and identity politics.

Term Offered: Spring

PSC 3850 Sports, Politics and Policy

[3 credit hours]

This course explores the intersection of sports with politics and policy-making. Topics covered include sports and nationalism, sports and international diplomacy, globalization and sports, economic development and sport stadiums, baseball and antitrust law, Title IX and women's athletics, college athletics and race, and athletes and political advocacy.

PSC 3990 Independent Study For Honors Students

[3 credit hours]

Individual reading and research in selected topics for honors students.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4220 Advocacy Groups in US Politics

[3 credit hours]

This course investigates the role of advocacy groups in American politics. It develops practical lobbying skills through experiential learning and covers topics such as the role of advocacy groups in campaigns and elections, grass roots mobilization, and agenda setting.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 4230 Presidency

[3 credit hours]

Presidents enjoy special prominence in the American political system. However, they are strongly influenced by their interactions with other political institutions, such as Congress, courts, the bureaucracy, and political parties. This course examines the presidency’s original design and how the office has developed over time. We also investigate contemporary cases and controversies in presidential power.

Term Offered: Spring

PSC 4280 U.s. Congress

[3 credit hours]

Despite its key role in our political system, the U.S. Congress is not well understood by the public. This course examines how it works: the committee system, parties, and arcane legislative procedures. We consider topics like the impact of party polarization on congressional gridlock, the impact of divided government on policymaking, and how to improve representation.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4300 Principles of Public Administration

[3 credit hours]

This course provides an overview of public administration. It addresses organization theory, decision making, budgeting, public policy, and the changing role of public institutions. It covers important democratic, professional, ethical and human values that are central to public administration.

PSC 4320 Urban Policy & Administration

[3 credit hours]

What does it take to govern a city and its environs? In this course, we examine the balance between the pressing needs of a city and the many economic and political constraints that citizens, leaders, and experts must navigate to achieve their goals.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4340 Environmental Policy

[3 credit hours]

Policy for air and water pollution control, hazardous wastes, nuclear wastes. Examination of EPA, Congressional committees, state and city agencies. Some international issues.

Term Offered: Fall

PSC 4360 Ethics In Public Policy And Administration

[3 credit hours]

Examination of values and principles which guide public policy formation and public administration. Applications of philosophical concepts to policy problems and the responsibilities of public administrators will be emphasized.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4380 Fundraising

[3 credit hours]

This course examines the theoretical, practical and ethical issues related to public and nonprofit organizations fundraising. This course will prepare students who plan to work in public and nonprofit organizations to win and manage grants as well as philanthropic donations from multiple sources.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4410 Public and Nonprofit Management

[3 credit hours]

This course examines management techniques, organizational design, strategic planning and the theoretical and practical behavioral skills that are necessary for effective public and nonprofit management. These skills include communication, organizational, and leadership skills within public and nonprofit organizations.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4430 Human Resources Management in Public and Nonprofit Organizations

[3 credit hours]

This course is a study of human resource management in public and nonprofit organizations. The course explores broad themes within public personnel administration such as recruitment, retention, motivation, and diversity to provide students with the opportunity to develop technical skills necessary for effectively managing human resources in contemporary public agencies, including government and nonprofit organizations.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4440 Budgeting And Financial Administration

[3 credit hours]

An examination of the institutions and techniques of financial administration, including government accounting, budgeting, financial management and government choice.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4480 Introduction to Nonprofits

[3 credit hours]

This course provides an overview of the voluntary sector with an emphasis on the historical, philosophical, and theoretical justifications of the nonprofit sector, voluntary action, and philanthropy. The course will explore the administration and management of nonprofit organizations as well as the impact nonprofit organizations have on public policy.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4520 The Politics of Development and Underdevelopment

[3 credit hours]

This course examines political and economic development through a comparative lens. We focus on developing regions of the world to explore successes, possibilities, outcomes, and setbacks in their path towards achieving "developed" status.

PSC 4530 Civil Rights

[3 credit hours]

Examines the role of the US Supreme Court, judicial policy-making, and administrative implementation in the development of policies involving race, gender, sexual orientation, and the family. Issues covered include equal protection, voting rights, and affirmative action.

Term Offered: Summer, Fall

PSC 4550 CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN LAW AND POLITICS

[3 credit hours]

Examines current controversies in US law and politics drawing on recent research in political theory, constitutional history, and legal doctrine. Includes issues such as freedom of speech, presidential war powers, and religious freedom.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 4560 Law And Public Administration

[3 credit hours]

Survey of law topics that are relevant for managers of public and nonprofit organizations.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4580 International Law

[3 credit hours]

A course focusing on the foundations of international law and the current use of international law in cases covering a wide range of issues such war, weapons, diplomacy, the environment, economics, and human rights.

PSC 4590 Law, Policy And The Politics of Sexuality

[3 credit hours]

This course explores the public policies that affect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in the United States and in other countries. It examines the factors that affect policymaking in this area.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 4640 The European Union

[3 credit hours]

An analysis of the evolution, institutional structure, and operation of the European Union. Issue areas include human rights, trade, migration and refugees, international and domestic law, and foreign policy.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 4660 Politics of Africa

[3 credit hours]

There are multiple political systems, ethnic identities and external interests among the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Applying a comparative lens, we will survey Africa’s pre-colonial and colonial heritage; and economic, cultural, social and environmental characteristics that help define Africa. We will delve deeper into a few countries as case studies as well as examine the international and regional influences, thereby gaining a broad understanding of the political, social and economic implications surrounding Africa today.

Term Offered: Fall

Multicultural Non-US Diversity

PSC 4680 Politics of Latin America

[3 credit hours]

This course provides a survey of the Latin American region, its political transformation, and place in international politics. It covers an array of issues that have shaped and continue to shape the region: its history, its people, its culture, institutions and politics, and social and economic issues. Themes are approached both from a regional and country-level perspective.

Multicultural Non-US Diversity

PSC 4720 International Organization

[3 credit hours]

A study of the background, general concepts and problems of international organizations including the United Nations, regional organizations and non-governmental organizations. Issues covered include war, security, human rights, trade, international law, and global health.

Term Offered: Fall

PSC 4740 Politics of the Middle East

[3 credit hours]

An advanced examination of international relations theory applied to the Middle East and a survey of modern Middle Eastern governments, cultures, and institutions with case studies on key issues facing the region.

Multicultural Non-US Diversity

PSC 4750 Terrorism in International Relations

[3 credit hours]

This course will give students a comparative historical, empirical, and theoretical overview of the causes, strategies, and goals of terrorist and counter-terrorism. The primary focus of the course is on the comparative and international nature of terrorism. Global and regional case studies will be used to better understand issues related to terrorism.

PSC 4770 Human Rights

[3 credit hours]

What are human rights? How are human rights created? Why do states protect or repress human rights? This class answers these questions by examining both the theoretical and empirical contributions to the study of human rights from the social sciences and law. In addition, human rights best (and worst) practices are considered.

Term Offered: Spring

PSC 4810 Environmental Justice

[3 credit hours]

Environmental Justice examines the unequal distribution of environmental benefits and burdens among vulnerable communities. This course will examine the challenges and solutions associated with environmental justice, both as a social movement and as a public policy initiative. We will discuss several different policy areas like health, pollution, hazardous waste siting, climate change, food, and natural disasters; and strategies applied by NGOs and interest groups, to understand the patterns of environmental inequality and injustice.

PSC 4900 Politics of Asia

[3 credit hours]

Asia is the largest of all continents and hosts more than half the world’s population. This course will apply a comparative framework to explore the historical, cultural, and social forces shaping the politics of Asia. We will explore the similarities and variations across countries, regional influences of countries on one another, and the role of the international community, with special focus on U.S. - Asia relations (such as North-South Korea, Japan, India, China).

Multicultural Non-US Diversity

PSC 4940 Applied Politics Internship

[3 credit hours]

A study of electoral politics, public decision-making or policy implementation through internships with candidates, political parties, public officials or governmental or nonprofit agencies.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4950 Capstone in Political Science

[1 credit hour]

This course provides the opportunity to integrate and reflect on knowledge and experiences gained during completion of the political science major with an eye towards post-graduation endeavors such as graduate or professional study, or employment. Topics include how to construct a portfolio and write cover letters, resumes, and CVs.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 4960 Senior Honors Thesis

[3 credit hours]

Supervised research and writing for honors students only.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall

PSC 4980 Current Topics In Political Science

[3 credit hours]

Timely examination of emerging issues within the various segments of the discipline of political science.

Term Offered: Spring, Fall

PSC 4990 Independent Study In Political Science

[1-3 credit hours]

Individual study and research in a selected political science topic under mentorship of a faculty member.

Term Offered: Spring, Summer, Fall