Political Science (PSC)

Course meets General Education Aims Curriculum Requirement(s) in specified area(s).

History and Political Science Program of Study

Link to History and Political Science Program of Study

PSC 151 – Introduction to American Government 4cr

This course is an introduction to the major institutions and actors of the American political system, including parties, interest groups, and the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Attention is given to cultural, ideological, and economic contexts. The fundamental concepts of political science are applied to the structure of power and the policy-making process in America.

Aim 14 Society and Human Behavior

PSC 237 – Voting, Campaigns, and Elections 4cr

This course explores the electoral process in the United States with special attention paid to the current election, including study of the factors that influence individual voting behavior; the actions that candidates, political parties, and interest groups take to influence election outcomes; and the importance of the structure of electoral institutions.

PSC 238 – The American Presidency 4cr

This course examines the role of the presidency in American politics. Topics include the evolution and contemporary status of the American presidency, nomination and election politics, relations with Congress and party leadership, control of the bureaucracy, the international political role, and presidential psychology and decision-making.

Aim 14 Society and Human Behavior

PSC 245 – Environmental Politics in Global Perspectives 4cr

This course surveys the emerging global environmental legal structures, norms, and standards. It examines the role of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in creating international regimes, and monitoring and tracking compliance of different states. It will also look into the dynamics of interactions between IGOs and NGOs in creating new global discourse communities in an era of increased environmental awareness.

PSC 257 – International Relations 4cr

This course is a general survey of the essential concepts and practices of international politics, examining the historical past of international communities as well as current international concerns and issues.

Aim 14 Society and Human Behavior and Aim 16 International Perspectives

PSC 258 – Comparative Government: Global North 4cr

This course examines the structure of government and political culture in states of the Global North. The course focuses on, but is not limited to, the governments of Great Britain, Japan, France, Russia, and Germany. The principal forms of government, including parliamentary and presidential systems, are examined along with a wide variety of party systems and electoral systems. In addition, students compare and analyze the public policies of industrialized states in the areas of immigration, health care, education, and the environment.

Aim 14 Society and Human Behavior and Aim 16 International Perspectives

PSC 259 – Comparative Government: Global South 4cr

This course is a systematic and comparative study of the important political institutions, political culture, political legitimacy, policies, and politics of major third world countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Students examine in a comparative manner what makes a state strong or weak in the global system, and why certain governments behave the way they do.

Aim 14 Society and Human Behavior and Aim 16 International Perspectives

PSC 320 – Chinese Government and Politics 4cr

This course is an in-depth study of the origin and evolution of Chinese revolutions, and their impact on world power configuration and on transforming Chinese society and culture. Students study the dramatic events of the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the Tiananmen Square Incident and their aftermath for China and the world. Students learn to appreciate the dynamics of Chinese politics and their impact on regional as well as world politics.

Aim 14 Society and Human Behavior and Aim 16 International Perspectives

PSC 330 – Politics of Developing States 4cr

This issue-oriented course examines important questions in the politics of developing states. Students look at the legacies of colonialism, neocolonialism, and nationalism in the developing state, as well as the impact of modernization, the WTO, IMF, World Bank, and other international institutions on the development of the third world countries. Population growth and its environmental impact will also be examined through different case studies.

Aim 14 Society and Human Behavior

PSC 336 – United States Foreign Policy 4cr

This course covers United States foreign policy and its geo-political consequences from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. Study begins with constitutional authority, and then students determine how foreign policy has been made, tracing various influences such as public opinion, the media, interest groups, and multinational corporations, as well as the military, congress, and the president. Students engage in extensive research into a major crisis in American foreign policy in the past thirty years, analyze the role played by dominant influences, and evaluate the leadership of the sitting administration in the crisis. Awareness of and application to current foreign policy issues will continue throughout the course.

PSC 340 – International Politics in the Pacific 4cr

This course examines the dynamics of international relations among major Asia-Pacific Nations including the United States, China, Russia, Japan, the two Koreas, Southeast Asian Nations, as well as the importance of the overseas Chinese community in Southeast Asian countries. Students strive to understand the cooperation and rivalry of these different nations through a discussion of the history, culture, economic, and security concerns of these different nations from World War II to the present.

Aim 14 Society and Human Behavior

PSC 350 – Political Parties and Interest Groups 4cr

This course focuses on the roots of organized political power in American government. Students explore the role and influence of interest groups and political parties in the electoral process and in government. Historical and theoretical perspectives are used to analyze topics such as money in politics, lobbying and corporate power, social movements, political coalitions, third parties, and political polarization.

Aim 14 Society and Human Behavior

PSC 357 – Markets and Politics in the United States 4cr

In this course, students study the structure of the current market-oriented economic system in the United States, with an in-depth exploration of its strengths, its weaknesses, and the political struggle to maintain and/or reform the system. Alternative economic systems are considered and debated, focusing on their economic and political viability.

PSC 431 – Constitutional Law 4cr

Using a combination of history, jurisprudence, and case law, this course investigates the evolving role of the Supreme Court in shaping American politics. Topics to be considered include governmental structures, powers, and relationships; civil liberties; and civil rights. Students study legal history, legal theory, and examine some of the most important decisions handed down by the Supreme Court.

Prerequisites: PSC 151 Introduction to American Government and junior or senior standing or permission of the instructor.

Course meets General Education Aims Curriculum Requirement(s) in specified area(s).