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 260. Engineering Ethics in Theory and Practice. 3 Credits.
This course is designed to give the student an introduction to ethics, ethical reasoning and ethically informed decision making as a practicing professional. Developing moral reasoning skills is essential for future engineers. The course provides a study of the basic foundations of ethics and then moves to apply ethical insights to concrete problems. F,SS.
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 309. American Indian Politics and Contemporary Issues. 3 Credits.
This course will spotlight the distinctive status of American Indian tribal governments in the American political system and the most pressing contemporary issues facing tribal nations, communities, and people. Students will consider how European colonization of the Americas and indigenous nations, followed by evolving interpretations of the legal and political doctrines of tribal sovereignty and eras of federal Indian policy, influence the identity and authority of federally acknowledged tribes. We will learn about the location, demographics, and governance structure of tribal nations and their relation to the U.S. Constitution as well as to federal and state law, policy, and officials. Students will identify, analyze, and evaluate pressing contemporary political, legal, socioeconomic, and cultural issues facing tribes and reservation communities. Special emphasis will be placed on learning about the most dynamic, transformative, and at times controversial public policy in tribes' recent history: "Indian gaming," or tribal casinos owned and operated by tribal governments throughout the United States, including their origins and influence on reservation communities, economies, and tribal-state-federal-local intergovernmental relations. S.
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 330. Contemporary Politics. 3 Credits.
An intensive examination of current political issues on a national and international level. The course addresses a broad definition of politics to include economic, scientific, social and cultural issues and considers how those issues are contested at the present time. F, even 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 355. Utopian Political Thought. 3 Credits.
An introduction to utopian and anti-utopian ideas in political theory with emphasis on the political causes and purposes of utopia, the position of race, gender, religion and technology in utopian and anti-utopian thought, utopian ideals in action, and the possibilities for utopia in contemporary times. Works by More, Orwell, Huxley and Atwood, among others, are examined. S, odd years.
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 9.00 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 6.00 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 or POLS 116. S.
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 or POLS 116. F.
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.
The capstone experience and development is intended to serve as a culminating experience in the Nonprofit Leadership Program. The course encourages students to draw on courses and co-curricular experiences throughout the curriculum to create and develop a portfolio. This course will prepare students to use skills they have developed through the program to develop a community project that addresses social issues within our community. At the conclusion of this course, students with have demonstrated skills commensurate with the core competencies and displayed a level of knowledge necessary for effectively managing a nonprofit organization as a competent leaders. Prerequisite: POLS 200. S.
POLS 480. Administrative Internship. 1-3 Credits.
On-the-job training in a governmental or non-profit organization 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. Repeatable to 3.00 credits. S/U grading. On demand.
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.