Courses | Political Science, B.A.

Summary

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising. For official program requirements see catalog for details.

General Education

A survey of U.S. History from the time of European settlement, to the colonial period, to independence from Britain, the formation of the republic and the constitution, the issues of the early 1800s, and the Civil War.

A survey of U.S. history from Reconstruction, to the gilded age and progressive era, to the world wars, the cold war, and the present age. Major Supreme Court cases will be covered as will social and ethnic issues.

Highlights in the development of World civilization with an overview of Western, Asian, African and Latin American civilizations to 1500. Examination of comparative cultural contributions made in the arts, sciences, government and religions. Includes regional geographic studies.

Highlights in the development of World civilization with an overview of Western, Asian, African and Latin American civilizations since 1500. Examination of comparative cultural contributions made in the arts, sciences, government and religions. Includes regional geographic studies.

Major Courses

Micro and macro economic terms and concepts of economic reasoning with an emphasis on the application of these concepts to current economic issues, including: the elements of America's market economy including supply and demand, profit, competition, pricing, incentives, private property and the debate between free market and regulation; the relationship between politics and economics; the U.S. labor market and aggregate economic behavior and policy; and international trade, and global regulation and cooperation.

The history, organization and function of the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the American government. Includes one hour per week involving students in a local government civic service or life experience activity. Satisfies the state requirement in institutions in American history.

This course will introduce students to the major elements of the research process in Political Science. Students will learn the distinction between a more general research topic and research question more appropriate to research in Political Science. As part of the overall research process students will be introduced to the major elements of a Political Science research paper among them being: a thesis, a literature review, an annotated bibliography, and proper citations using the notes-bibliographic style from the Turabian/Chicago style guide. Each student will produce and develop a research project around their research question and produce a significant research paper that is the result of several drafts.

Fundamentals of public administration; overview of the concepts, nature and scope of the field. Role of government in modern society and the nature of public business.

The elements and theories of states, citizenship, political parties and representation as illustrated in various political systems. Special emphasis on current elections, political movements and challenges to the political order.

A survey of national-state system; forces affecting international relations; sources of conflict in world politics, and their solution by power politics and international cooperation. An historical view of theoretical frameworks and diplomatic history along with a survey of contemporary topics including: globalization, state-building, public diplomacy and engagement in issues of religious and political freedom and human rights.

Historical development of the office of the presidency; formal and informal powers of the president in executive, legislative, judicial, military, diplomatic and political areas. Studies in contemporary and historic presidential biography and critical issues.

A study of selected works of ancient and medieval political philosophy. Emphasis on such writers as Plato, Aristotle, Hebrew Scripture, Early Church Fathers and Augustine. Careful reading in primary sources, class discussion and written interpretation.

A study of selected works of Renaissance and modern political philosophy. Emphasis on such writers as Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Nietzsche and others. Careful reading in primary sources, class discussion and written interpretation.

Analysis of the history, philosophy, organization and functioning of America's political parties. The mechanics of the electoral process including issue formation and campaign strategy, organization development, redistricting, polling, campaign financing.

Growth and development of American foreign relation from the Revolution to the present. Analysis of the conduct of foreign relations, its objectives and limitations.

The mechanical rules, procedures and customs in the making of laws in American government.

An overview of historical developments and current trends in international cooperation. Emphasis on League of Nations and United Nations history, structure, functions and assessment. A survey of current trends in global trade, development, international regulation and dispute resolution, NGO's and informal networks influencing the global political economy.

An examination of the principles of the American Constitutional system looking primarily at U.S. Supreme Court decisions and the historical development of Constitutional Law. Attention also given to the judicial branch and its role in American government and politics, particularly its continuing interpretation of the U.S. Constitution as the framework for American democracy.

Research and writing for Political Science majors (Political Science or Public Administration concentration). In-depth research of original sources and/or empirical studies, culminating in the development of a research paper. Special studies in public administration for majors utilizing the techniques of problem solving, research and effective communication and writing.

Specialized study in political science in such areas as American government, the U.S. Constitution, legislation, state and local government, foreign affairs, international relations, the Arab- Israel conflict, political theory, comparative governments, the American presidency, the citizen and the law, political parties, law and public administration.

Function of law in protecting the public's interest in preserving the environment. Environmental laws, administrative action, freedom of information, air and water quality, noise pollution, solid waste, pesticides, land use, zoning, energy and agency decision making.

First semester of a year-long independent research project for political science majors culminating in an honors thesis. First semester: reading and research under supervision.

Second semester of a year-long independent research project for political science majors culminating in an honors thesis. Drafting and writing final paper.


Concentrations

Public Administration

Fundamentals of public administration; overview of the concepts, nature and scope of the field. Role of government in modern society and the nature of public business.

An analysis of public policy process and the political context of its formation. Systematic review of the diverse financial systems in making and implementing public policy.

Function of law in protecting the public's interest in preserving the environment. Environmental laws, administrative action, freedom of information, air and water quality, noise pollution, solid waste, pesticides, land use, zoning, energy and agency decision making.

Government personnel systems, merit concepts, classification, compensation, training, examinations, organizations, labor relations and collective bargaining.

Provides an opportunity to complete an internship and a research project in a public agency. Project consists of identification and analysis, with guidance, of a chosen area in public organization.