» About the
» Related Links
Home » Academics
of Public Affairs » Department
of Government Studies » Political
PSC 151 AMERICAN GOVERNMENT (3 s.h.)
This course fulfills 3 s.h. of the Social Science General Education/Core Curriculum requirements.
This general introduction to the study of American government and
politics focuses on the national level and on the actors and interests
who contend for power and influence in Washington DC. Students will
gain an understanding of the origins, structure, and operation of
American government. Topics include American political culture,
the framing of the Constitution, political parties, campaigns and
elections, interest groups, the media, the Presidency, the Congress,
the federal judiciary, and current issues of public policy. This
course is offered every semester.
PSC 171-178 MODEL UNITED NATIONS PRACTICUM
(1 s.h. each)
The Model United Nations Practicum is a one hour course designed
to prepare students participating in Model United Nations conferences.
Course of study includes effective debate tactics, policy paper
writing, resolution writing, parliamentary rules of procedures,
the United Nations' principal and subsidiary organs, and research
strategies for country assignments. These courses are offered as needed.
PSC 201 STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (3 s.h.)
Most business and citizen contact with government is at the state
and local levels. This survey course gives special attention to
intergovernmental relations and to the workings of state and local
government in the policy areas of law enforcement, economic development,
land use planning and regulation, education, transportation, social
services, taxation, and budgeting. Politics are also examined with
topics that include the impact of political participation, elections,
political parties, and interest groups on public policy. This course is offered fall semesters, in odd numbered years.
PSC 210 RESEARCH METHODS IN POLITICAL
SCIENCE (3 s.h.)
An introduction to the process of political inquiry and written
analysis, this course helps students develop good research and writing
habits in the specialized field of political science. Topics include
the steps in the research process, the types of papers in political
research, alternative approaches to research, and the techniques
of quantitative analysis. This course is required for all political
science majors, and it is recommended for students in a pre-law
curriculum and the paralegal program. This course is offered every
PSC 227 COMPARATIVE POLITICS (3 s.h.)
Parliaments, politburos, juntas, revolutions, Islamic jihads — this
introductory course explores the politics of other countries and
regions, and compares them to the United States. Topics include
political culture, geography, history, types of political systems,
patterns of governance, political thought, and issues of public
policy. This course is offered every spring semester.
PSC 305 DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES AND THE
DEMOCRATIC STATE (3 s.h.)
The main currents of democratic political thought, from ancient
Greece to the present, are examined in terms of their historical
setting, philosophical content, and contribution to the development
of the modern democratic state. The democratic concepts of justice,
liberty, freedom, equality, and legitimacy receive special emphasis,
along with the ideological struggles associated with socialism,
liberalism, and conservatism. This course is offered in the fall
semester, even-numbered years.
PSC 310 LAW AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM (3 s.h.)
From lynchings to landmark decisions, this course examines the traditions
and historical development of the law in America, emphasizing the
judicial process. Topics include the types and sources of law, the
structure and functions of the state and federal court systems,
civil and criminal law procedure, and judicial governance with special
attention placed on the U.S. Supreme Court. This course is offered
every spring semester. Cross listed as LAW 310 and JUS 310.
PSC 333 PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (3 s.h.)
What do public managers do and how do they do it? These and other
questions are addressed as this course explores the theory and processes
of the modern bureaucratic state. Topics include administrative
structure and functions, organizational direction, personnel and
financial management, and bureaucratic governance and discretion.
Consideration is given to the interaction of governmental and non-profit
agencies. This course is offered every fall semester.
PSC 341 CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENCY (3 s.h.)
The personalities, parties, and ideas on both ends of Pennsylvania
Avenue battle for supremacy in a unique arena established by our
constitutional separation of powers. This course examines how the
policy-making process functions in the midst of this political struggle
by studying critical domestic and foreign policy issues. The structures
of these institutions are examined as well as influences such as
the media, public opinion, and interest groups. This course is offered
in the spring semester, even-numbered years.
PSC 345 POLITICAL PARTIES AND INTEREST
GROUPS IN THE U.S. (3 s.h.)
Faction checking faction! This principle was constitutional framer
James Madison's ideal for the new American republic, but in contemporary
politics does representative governance fall prey to "special interests"
and elitist political parties? Do moneyed interests and ideological
parties so dominate the political arena that the voice of the commoner
goes unheard? This course will introduce students to the history
and contemporary state of political parties and interest groups
in the United States, scholarly debates surrounding parties and
interest groups, and these organizations' roles in elections and
in governing. This course is offered in the spring semester, odd
PSC 347 AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY (3 s.h.)
The Persian Gulf, Vietnam, the Cold War, World War II, and other
significant past experiences are examined in an effort to understand
the "how" and "why" of American foreign policy. The policy-making
process of the national security establishment is observed. Key
concepts include vital national interests, national policy objectives,
institutional roles, and the domestic sources of foreign policy.
This course is cross listed as HIS 347. This course is offered in
the fall semester, even-numbered years.
PSC 351 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (3 s.h.)
What are the games nations play? What are the rules? Are there any
rules? The balance of power, diplomacy, imperialism, and collective
security are just some of the topics surveyed in this wide-ranging
look at world politics. This course focuses on the issues of war,
development, and trade in the international system, while also including
some attention to international organizations and international
law. This course is offered every spring semester.
PSC 385 THE LIVING CONSTITUTION (3 s.h.)
Prayer in schools, abortion, gay rights, burning the American flag,
term limits--these are some of the constitutional issues this course
examines as it studies the actors and actions that develop constitutional
law. Topics include leading Supreme Court decisions, the amending
process, separation of powers, federalism, economic liberties, civil
liberties, civil rights, and due process. This course is offered
in the fall semester, odd-numbered years. Cross listed as LAW 385
PSC 401 to 410 AREA STUDIES (3 s.h.)
The courses in Area Studies examine the political setting, patterns
of governance, and current political problems of a particular region
of the world. Selected countries within each region are identified
for in-depth comparison. Topics include political culture, political
thought, geography, history, political and economic development,
and comparative public policy. These courses are offered as needed.
Specific regions covered are:
401 EUROPEAN POLITICS (3 s.h.)
402 MIDDLE EAST POLITICS (3 s.h.)
403 POLITICS IN AFRICA (3 s.h.)
404 POLITICS IN EAST ASIA (3 s.h.)
405 LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS (3 s.h.)
406 ADVANCED INDUSTRIAL COUNTRIES (3 s.h.)
407 POLITICS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA (3 s.h.)
408 POLITICS OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (3 s.h.)
PSC 425 SPECIAL TOPICS SEMINAR (3 s.h.)
When warranted, instructors can offer this course to examine topics
not covered by the normal course offerings. Students engage in discussion,
research, and writing. It is open to sophomore, junior, and senior
Political Science Majors and to others by permission of the instructor.
Topics vary and are announced in advance. This course is offered
PSC 430 POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SEMINAR (3 s.h.)
Learn what constitutes a winning campaign. This course examines
the major elements of a political campaign, including campaign strategy
and finance, issue selection, event planning, polling, election
law, as well as the influence of the media and campaign ethics.
Normally offered during an election year, current events form an
important part of the course material, and there is opportunity
for campaign field experience. This course is offered in the fall
semester, even-numbered years.
PSC 440 INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (3 s.h.)
This course studies the structures that attempt to organize interstate
relations, which includes both governmental and non-governmental
organizations, international law, and international regimes. Specific
study of the United Nations system and the European Union is included.
This course is offered fall semesters, in odd numbered years.
PSC 451 INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY
This course examines the political dynamics of the development and
management of the contemporary international economic system. Among
the topics covered are the decision-making role of international
economic organizations, the political implications of interdependence,
and the activities of transnational actors. This course is offered
spring semesters, odd-numbered years.
PSC 460 SENIOR SEMINAR (3 s.h.)
This is a senior-level, capstone course required for all students
majoring in Political Science. Students draw upon all the knowledge,
theory, and skills from their earlier courses to undertake an original,
empirical research project using quantitative methods. Students
complete a Senior Thesis and a Power-Point presentation. Juniors
must receive the consent of the instructor to be admitted. Prerequisites:
completion of PSC 210 and the statistics requirement. Prerequisites
can be waived with the permission of the instructor. This course
is offered every fall semester.
PSC 470 INTERNSHIP (3 s.h.)
Internships provide opportunities for well-qualified, upper-division
students to work in a "real world" professional setting and gain
invaluable experience. These can be found locally or in Washington
DC, and could be with a government agency, non-profit organization,
or private enterprise. The department chair must grant permission
and determine the hours of credit before registration for the internship.
Internships are available each semester; however, arrangements must
be made during the preceding semester. Campaign internships are
offered in the fall semester of election years.
PSC 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN POLITICAL
SCIENCE (1-3 s.h.)
This is an individual, tutorial course established at the request
of the student when special needs or circumstances require examination
of subject matter not available in other courses. Students engage
in an individual program of reading, research, and written requirements.
This provides an opportunity for well-qualified, upper-division
students to engage in special research in Political Science. It
requires approval by the faculty advisor, the supervising professor,
the department chair, and the school dean before approval is sought
from the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Credit to be determined.