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Political Science Course Descriptions

POLS110M - American Government (3-0-3)

This course is an introduction to the basic structures of the political process in the United States. It explains political activity with a focus on the national level, but may include details about the state and local levels. Specific topics include an analysis of the Constitution, the powers of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches, federalism, the bureaucracy, and the media. Campaigns, elections, political parties and interest groups will also be discussed. Prerequisite: placement into ENGL110M

POLS115M - State and Local Government (3-0-3)

This course explores the structure and function of state and local government in the United States, with an emphasis on their roles as partners with the federal government in a system of cooperative federalism. This course places a special emphasis on how the peculiar features of the American political system shape the ability of state and local governments to cope with issues of pressing public policy concern, such as educational quality, racial discrimination, poverty, criminal justice, and environmental protection. Additionally, state political culture, campaigns and elections, political parties, constitutional provisions, and state government branches (legislative, executive, and judicial) will be discussed. Prerequisite: ENGL110M with a grade of “C” or better.

POLS210M - Introduction to Political Science (3-0-3)

This course is an introduction to the field of political science. Political philosophy, political ideologies, nationalism, cultures, and institutions will be discussed as well as public opinion, political parties, interest groups, international relations concepts and theories, and voting behavior. Throughout the course, the concepts of power and legitimacy, elitism and pluralism will guide discussion. American and comparative examples will be utilized. Prerequisite: ENGL110M with a grade of “C” or better

POLS215M - Topics in Political Science (3-0-3)

This course will vary by semester. Political Science topics will be chosen to reflect faculty and/or student interest and will then focus on an in-depth coverage of that topic. All courses will focus on one or more subject areas: political philosophies, the nature of political order and power, individual rights and liberties, forms of government, and human conflict. Additionally, the course will focus on broad political themes and concepts such as: the public good, political authority, law, justice, and freedom. Critical thinking, speaking and writing skills will be emphasized, as well as the ability to analyze political texts and other sources. Prerequisite: ENGL110M with a grade of “C” or better.

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