Political Science (POLS)
POLS 115. American Government I. 3 Credits.
An introduction to political science through the study of the American political system: The Constitution; the political processes; the structure, powers and procedures of the Presidency, Congress, and the Judiciary. F,S.
POLS 116. State and Local Government. 3 Credits.
Structure, function and problems of state and local government; executive, legislative, and judicial processes; federalism and metropolitan government. F,S.
POLS 120. Global Perspectives. 3 Credits.
This course is designed to help students think critically about global awareness, diversity, and multiculturalism. This course will provide a foundation for students to later complete a designated global engagement experience. The course explores globalization and its consequences and builds a foundation for students to be informed and globally engaged citizens. F.
POLS 200. Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector. 3 Credits.
Historically, nonprofit institutions have filled the gaps in commerce left by government and the for-profit organizations, with the intention of serving populations with special needs. The range of nonprofit services are far reaching, serving groups with diverse public purpose such as charitable organizations, religious institutions, museums, professional associations, and philanthropic foundations. This course will introduce and examine how nonprofits operate, the various roles they play on the local, national, and international levels, and the structures and processes of organizational governance. The course will utilize readings, class discussion, and written assignments to expand awareness of the scope and number of nonprofits in the US, examine the inner working of the nonprofit sector, and give the student a foundation for further study of these topics. The College of Arts and Sciences is deleting the course from their curriculum independently of this action. F,S.
POLS 215. Politics and Diversity. 3 Credits.
Diversity is considered with the context of the American political system. Students will explore the cultural basis of group identity and how this translates into political engagement. The implications of group political participation will be considered in terms of competing models of democracy as well as the impact collective action has had on public policy. S.
POLS 220. International Politics. 3 Credits.
An introduction to international politics with emphasis on the international system, the major actors, the struggle for power, and the struggle for order. S.
POLS 225. Comparative Politics. 3 Credits.
An introduction to comparative politics with emphasis on the democratic systems of Europe. F.
POLS 250. Introduction to Public Administration. 3 Credits.
Introduction to the development of public administration in the United States and to the concepts and methods used in its practice. The political aspects of the public bureaucracy and contemporary issues are also highlighted. Prerequisite: POLS 115. F.
POLS 300. Introduction Research Methods. 3 Credits.
General consideration of research methods and data analysis in political science and the social sciences. F.
POLS 305. American Constitution-Governmental Powers. 3 Credits.
American Constitution studied in light of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and interpretations; focus on government powers, federal relationships, and economic regulation. F.
POLS 306. American Constitution-Civil Liberties. 3 Credits.
Analyzes U.S. Supreme Court decisions and interpretations which focus on civil liberties; equal protections, due process, First Amendment rights. Prerequisite: POLS 115. S.
POLS 308. Intergovernmental Relations. 3 Credits.
Analyzes the growing interrelationship of federal, state and local governments with emphasis on financial aspects.
POLS 310. Introduction to Political Thought. 3 Credits.
Political thought from classical times to the 19th century with emphasis on issues raised in the works of Plato, Aristotle, St. Agustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx and Nietzsche. F.
POLS 318. American Political Thought. 3 Credits.
A historical analysis of the major thinkers and of the streams of thought which molded the political life and institutions of the United States from the Puritans to the present. F.
POLS 320. Foreign Policies. 3 Credits.
Examination of the roles of major powers in the international system, with emphasis on the foreign policies of the United States and other major powers. S.
POLS 321. International Human Rights. 3 Credits.
Examination of factors that contribute to human rights violations and domestic, multilateral and bilateral efforts to combat such violations with emphasis placed on the changing nature of the international system of states.
POLS 322. Internal Conflict and Political Stability. 3 Credits.
Examination of the internal challenges to the political stability of states, including a diverse range of topics such as the causes of civil war, ethnic violence, and terrorism. Other topics include insurgency and counter insurgency and the role of the international community in stabilizing internal conflicts through intervention, peacekeeping, and mediation. F, even years.
POLS 324. Chinese Politics. 3 Credits.
The course evaluates the politics of China following two underlying themes: assessing the changes that have taken place in China since the death of Mao and China's place of prominence on the global stage. Focus is placed on Chinese politics since the economic reforms in the 1970s and the political implications of these reforms. The course also evaluates Chinese public policy with regard to critical issues facing China today. S, odd years.
POLS 325. Politics of the Modern Middle East. 3 Credits.
The Middle East and North Africa are crucial areas to the world's economy and security. The mere threat of disrupted shipping lanes between the Persian Gulf and the world is sufficient to spark discussions of a war between global and regional powers. Western governments have been dealing with a rise in global terror incidents originating from this region since the mid-1900s from both secular and religious organizations. Despite recent efforts to focus American foreign policy towards the Pacific Rim, the Middle East continues to draw U.S. resources and attention. Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) attacks on western targets and interests have re-embroiled the Western military forces into the region in the past few years. It is therefore critical that students interested in international relations, policy, or security understand this tumultuous region. Comprehending the Middle East and North Africa's political history is pivotal for comprehending the myriad of forces that drive current actors in the region. To that end, we will focus on the comparative politics of different Middle Eastern states and how outcomes differed from state to state in the region. The ultimate goal, though, is to understand how the people of the Middle East and North Africa have understood, developed, and rejected their national identities. This course does not require students possess prior knowledge of the Arab World or a formal background in political science theory. Students of all backgrounds interested in the region are welcome and encouraged to attend. The course hints at theories within comparative politics, such as rational choice theory, institutionalism and path dependency, political culture, and modernization theory. However, the frequency of regime change events in the Middle East will require students to learn about theories of social transformation (e.g. revolution) in this course, albeit in a less strict manner than formal theoretical courses. Given the sheer size of the Middle East and its history, this course will be taught through thematic vehicles using case examples rather than requiring the memorization of each individual country's political trajectory. On demand.
POLS 326. Terrorism and Its Context. 3 Credits.
This is a class about spectacular political violence and its societal context. We will deal with classic debates in terrorism such as "is there a meaningful distinction between an insurgency and a terrorist campaign?", "does ideology motivate people in the absence of other motivating factors to commit terror attacks?," and "what is terrorism?" From the FLN in Algeria to the LTTE in Sri Lanka, this class will span the world and provide you with a global perspective on international terror with French-speaking Maghreb Arab insurgencies and violent Buddhist movements. We will discuss the social psychology of martyrdom, resistance movements, political institutionalization, and the difference between military and political solutions to terror campaigns. The fundamental teaching mechanism for this class is discussion and critical thinking. With every reading, you should be asking yourself: "do I find this compelling? If so, why? Is there something that the author is omitting (a case example or implication from his or her argument) that could strengthen his or her argument?" Similarly, when you find an article uncompelling, you need to ask yourself "why do I find this uncompelling? Is there some implication to the argument that is unconvincing? Is there something the author is omitting (a case example or implication from his or her argument) that weakens his or her argument?" It is not sufficient to have a feeling about something. You need to have a rationale and you need to defend that rationale. At the same time, you should read texts charitably. On demand.
POLS 328. Legislative Processes. 3 Credits.
Emphasis will be placed on the structure, functions, and duties of Congress, as well as congressional elections, patterns of congressional leadership, policy successes and failures, and the relationship between Congress and the federal courts and Congress and the U.S. Presidency. S, even years.
POLS 329. Presidential Institutions and Management. 3 Credits.
This course focuses on the intersection of politics and management with the executive branch. Special emphasis is placed on the roles of institutions and critical executive branch actors such as the President in the management and execution of public policy. S, odd years.
POLS 351. Women and Politics. 3 Credits.
Role of women in politics, including selection of women for political offices, the political attitudes and behavior of women; and the development of public policy initiatives as they affect or are likely to affect women. S,SS.
POLS 361. Nonprofit Management (Undergrad). 3 Credits.
This course is an overview of the management of nonprofit organizations. Content includes the history and legal foundation of nonprofits, leadership, marketing, management of employees and volunteers, and operations management. F, even years.
POLS 393. Problems in Political Science. 1-3 Credits.
Students study special topics under the direction and supervision of a member of the staff. Repeatable when topics vary. Repeatable to 9 credits. On demand.
POLS 397. Cooperative Education. 1-2 Credits.
Compensated on-the-job experience in various areas of political science. Prerequisites: GPA of 3.0, 12 hours in POLS, course related to cooperative experience, and permission of department. Repeatable to 6 credits. S/U grading. On demand.
POLS 404. Urban Politics and Administration. 3 Credits.
Analysis of the socio-economic context of urban America and its impact on politics, policy, and administration. Prerequisite: POLS 115. S.
POLS 405. Political Behavior. 3 Credits.
A review of the role of the public in a democracy focusing on the formation and content of public opinion, the means of communicating that opinion to government, and the impact of that opinion on policy. Prerequisite: POLS 115. F.
POLS 432. Public Policy Making Process. 3 Credits.
Two-thirds of the class is devoted to understanding the stages of the policy process: (1) Problem Identification and Agenda Setting; (2) Policy Formulation; (3) Policy Adoption; (4) Policy Implementation; and (5) Policy Evaluation. The last third applies the model to substantive policy areas such as health, environment, education. Prerequisite: POLS 115. S.
POLS 437. Administrative Processes. 3 Credits.
Explanation of theoretical and practical aspects of personnel and financial management in the public sector. F, even years.
POLS 450. Capstone Experience and Development. 3 Credits.
In this course, students will create and organize an NLP Portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of documents (statements, letters, records, papers, syllabi, etc.) and materials assembled to demonstrate and exhibit a student's skills. There are ten Core Program Competencies embedded in program experiences, the competencies embody the knowledge, skills, and character that NLP students must develop in order to perform as effective nonprofit professionals. As part of the course, students will also attend the Alliance Management/Leadership Institute (AMI), presented by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. Prerequisite: POLS 200. S.
POLS 480. Administrative Internship. 1-3 Credits.
On-the-job training in a governmental position with final report and analysis of the agency by the intern. Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Prerequisites: GPA of 3.0, 12 hours in POLS, course related to cooperative experience, and permission of department. S/U grading. F,S.
POLS 489. Senior Honors Thesis. 1-15 Credits.
POLS 491. Readings in Political Science. 1-3 Credits.
Selected readings with oral and written reports. Consent of instructor required prior to enrollment. Prerequisites: GPA of 3.0 or higher , 12 hours in Pols, course related to readings, and consent of department. F,S.
POLS 493. Professional Project Public Administration. 3 Credits.
An independent study where students will independently develop a paper under supervision, which demonstrates the ability to use the knowledge and skills of public administration to address public administration issues. Prerequisite: Senior standing. S.
POLS 495. Senior Colloquium in Political Science and Public Administration. 3 Credits.
A capstone course in Political Science designed to integrate the subareas of the discipline. The development of the discipline, its great thinkers, and current directions will be examined. This course is designed for majors only. Prerequisite: Senior standing and 21 hours of POLS credit or consent of the instructor. S.
POLS 497. Senior Tutorial. 2 Credits.
A course which requires mentoring introductory students in Political Science. Further, students will undertake supervised independent research culminating in a major paper. Prerequisite: Senior standing or consent of instructor. Corequisites: POLS 432 and POLS 495. S.
POLS 500. Research Methods. 3 Credits.
A statistics course or consent of instructor. This course will first focus on various approaches to analyzing political phenomena with the goal of developing students' ability to think analytically and to distinguish between empirical and normative analysis. The course will then introduce techniques of empirical research including research design, measurement, data gathering, and data analysis. Prerequisite: A statistics course or consent of instructor.
POLS 501. Political and Public Policy Analysis. 3 Credits.
This course focuses on the use of empirical data both to develop empirical theory and to make policy choices. Topics to be discussed include hypothesis testing, public choice, and policy evaluation. Students will be required to complete an original research project. Prerequisite: POLS 500 or consent of instructor.
POLS 502. Problems in State and Local Governments. 3 Credits.
Directed in-depth inquiry into contemporary structural and policy problems of state and local governments. During the course, each student will prepare a research paper relevant to a current problem suitable for publication and distribution to an identifiable body of public officials and citizens for problem-solving purposes. On demand.
POLS 503. Government and Business. 3 Credits.
This course is designed to make students aware of the interrelationship of business and government in our society and the importance of this interrelationship in an era of globalization. It introduces public and business administration students to the role of government in advancing, as well as regulating, business. Further it discusses ways that business can and does influence government decisions. It also looks at the ethical responsibilities of business and government in our society. A component of the course involves travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with political officials, e.g., the Congressional delegation; Legislative staff; government regulatory agencies, e.g., the Federal Communications Commission; government advocacy agencies, e.g., Department of Commerce; and national and international business representatives, e.g., Cargill.
POLS 508. Legislative and Executive Processes. 3 Credits.
Description, analysis, and evaluation of the structures, processes, procedures, and positions of the legislative and executive offices in government. On demand.
POLS 531. Foundations of Public Administration. 3 Credits.
An extensive overview of Public Administration stressing the basic concepts and trends in the discipline as well as the classic scholars. F.
POLS 532. Public Policy. 3 Credits.
A discussion of the initiation, formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of American public policy. Various policy areas such as agriculture, education, environment, and welfare will be analyzed.
POLS 533. Administrative Ethics in the Public Sector. 3 Credits.
This course examines the challenges faced by public administrators in establishing personal standards of conduct in the administrative environment. Issues such as moral versus political accountability, social justice and whistle blowing are among the topics that will be explored in this course.
POLS 535. Public Organizations. 3 Credits.
Description and analysis of bureaucratic organizations with particular emphasis on concepts and characteristics common to public bureaucracies.
POLS 536. Public Personnel Administration. 3 Credits.
This course is designed to help managers in all positions of an organization to understand the fundamental nature of public personnel administration, also known as human resource management. Topics to be covered include basic functions such as position classification, wage and salary administration, and performance appraisal. Attention will be given to contemporary issues such as sexual harassment, affirmative action, privacy, and unionization.
POLS 537. Program Evaluation. 3 Credits.
This course introduces students to the theories and concepts of program evaluation used to analyze the effectiveness of public programs and enhance decision-making. Students will be introduced to the principal theories and techniques in the field and develop understanding of the benefits and trade-offs of each. In addition, students will develop practical skills through the development of a detailed evaluation design and plan for implementation. S.
POLS 538. Public Budgeting and Financial Administration. 3 Credits.
This course will encompass the normative and descriptive budgetary questions in public administration. Orthodox, prevailing, and alternative budget theories are presented in generalized and applied settings.
POLS 539. Administrative Law. 3 Credits.
Study of the legal dimension of public administration. Study of requirements for rule making and adjudication and of judicial review of administrative decisions.
POLS 551. Health Administration and Organization. 3 Credits.
The evolution of health systems and their organizational challenges of administration from human resources to management in times of scarce resources are explored. Specific attention is devoted to Financial Management, Managerial and Fund Accounting, Medicare, Medicaid, Fiscal Intermediaries and Managed Care, and Organizations in Decline.
POLS 552. Health Policy. 3 Credits.
This course examines historic and contemporary trends in health care delivery in the United States. Emphasis is placed on addressing health care cost-containment issues; access to health care and, recent efforts to invoke broadly based systemic reforms of the U.S. health care system.
POLS 561. Creation and Management of Social Enterprises. 3 Credits.
This course provides an overview of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises, including nonprofit. The course covers methods and techniques of social entrepreneurship, including organizational strategy, design, management, strategic planning, and leadership for social enterprises; legal foundations of social enterprises in the U.S.; and methods of social enterprise program evaluation. F, odd years.
POLS 562. Political Advocacy and Social Entrepreneurship. 3 Credits.
This course examines the use of social enterprises, including nonprofit, to achieve political, economic, and social change. Course coverage includes the use of social enterprises as vehicles for social transformation, development and execution of advocacy campaigns for social enterprises, the role of social enterprises within democracies, and the potential for social enterprises to address and overcome problems of collective action. S, even years.
POLS 580. Administrative Internship. 1-3 Credits.
Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Students are employed on full-time or part-time basis in onthe-job learning situations in federal, state, or local government. Students are required to make an analytical report on some facet of their work. Prerequisite: Instructor consent.
POLS 591. Readings in Political Science and Public Administration. 1-3 Credits.
Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Selected readings with oral and written reports. Prerequisite: Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Repeatable to 3 credits.
POLS 593. Problems in Political Science and Public Administration. 1-3 Credits.
Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Students study special topics under the direction and supervision of a member of the staff. Prerequisite: Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Repeatable to 6 credits.
POLS 595. Professional Development in Public Administration. 1 Credit.
Specific issues will vary but topics will focus on the latest issues, trends, and problems facing administrators, especially those in public and not-for-profit agencies. Repeatable to 3 credits. Repeatable to 3 credits.
POLS 599. Master of Public Administration Capstone. 1 Credit.
Seminar course intended to assist students in strengthening and further developing essential skills of research and formal presentation (written and oral) for both academic and professional audiences. Students will apply these skills to the completion of their individual Independent Study Project, providing an opportunity to draw upon knowledge and skills from across the program 's curriculum, and to synthesize these elements in the creation of a unique piece of rigorous professional policy analysis. Enrollment is restricted to MPA degree students who have presented a satisfactory Independent Study proposal to their review committee at the conclusion of the previous fall semester. Prerequisite: POLS 997. S.
POLS 996. Continuing Enrollment. 1-12 Credits.
Repeatable. S/U grading.
POLS 997. Independent Study. 3 Credits.
Seminar course that assists students in the process of developing, researching, composing, and presenting an Independent Study or Policy Paper on a public administration or public policy topic of their choosing, in consultation with one or more faculty advisors. Focused on familiarizing students with the craft of research writing and presentation and enabling them to communicate these findings clearly and effectively to a variety of audiences, orally and in writing. At the conclusion of the course, students will have completed and formally presented a full Policy Paper proposal and will have submitted a plan and timeline for project completion. Prerequisites: POLS 500 and POLS 501 or instructor consent; may be repeated once with approval of MPA Program Director if student received a grade of D or F for the course. Repeatable to 3 credits. F.
POLS 998. Thesis. 1-4 Credits.