Political Science Course Descriptions
Biology for the informed citizen. This course is a survey of the basic concepts of biology underlying the complex issues we face every day ranging from life at the cellular level to the health of our planet as a whole. Whether making personal healthcare decisions or voting for sound environmental policies, everyone needs a solid foundation in the science of biology.
Topics covered include the scientific method; cell structure and function; genetics; biotechnology; evolution; biodiversity of plants, animals and microbes; population ecology; ecosystems, and current issues in biology; laboratory included.
CHM 109 - General Chemistry I
Foundations of chemistry for Science majors. Topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, phases of matter, chemical energetics, molecular geometry; includes laboratory.
Co-requisite: MTH 102 or equivalent placement.
ECN 207 - Principles of Microeconomics
A basic study of the decision making behavior of individuals, households, firms, industries, and other economic units regarding resource allocation. Students will explore how markets function to coordinate the economic activities of different economic units.
Topics include scarcity, opportunity cost, demand and supply, consumption, production, market structures, and profit maximization.
ENV 115 - Environmental Science
Study the complex relationships between the Earth, the atmosphere, and living things, with a critical evaluation of human impacts on natural processes. This is an interdisciplinary class that builds from topics that include meteorology, oceanography, biology, chemistry, physics, and economics. Discover the science behind real world problems facing society and emerging solutions to those problems. Includes laboratory.
Not open to students with Credit for ENV 110 and 112 and 114.
GEO 125 - World Geography
An introduction to the academic discipline of geography; a comprehensive study of representative world regions. Interdisciplinary in content (culture, history, politics, economics, etc.), geographic in focus. This course fulfills the diversity, global, and multicultural requirement.
MTH 140 - Introduction to Statistics
An introduction to the basic concepts and computations used in statistical analysis as well as their application to problems in other disciplines, especially biology, business, education, and social sciences. Topics include the description of data graphically and numerically, the collection of data via samples and experiments, and the process of drawing inferences or conclusions from data.
The laboratory component of the course emphasizes conceptual understanding, interpretation of statistical quantities, and written/oral communication and will require the use of mathematical software.
Prerequisite: MTH 102 or placement.
POL 100 - Ideas, Ideals & Ideologies
Reading and research in the humanities and political science designed to give students the general ideas and specific concepts essential to success in the major of political science.
POL 101 - The Great Issues of Politics
Introduction to the study of politics and government; survey of the discipline, the structure of the United States system of government and the major issues of political science including: the theory and function of government and the political process, public law, international politics, comparative government and foreign relations, and political development. Emphasis is on issues, approaches, methodologies, democracy and citizenship.
POL 230 - The Law, Society & Policy
An introduction to the notion of law, its function in society, its place in a political system. Examination of the relationship of law to economic, social and political reality; the role of the judicial process in policymaking. Consideration is given to Common Law and Civil Code legal systems; substantive and procedural aspects of civil and criminal law with emphasis on understanding the nature of the law.
POL 231 - The History of the Constitution of the United States of America
An examination of the nature, scope, and history of U. S. government as embodied in the U. S. Constitution. Special emphasis on the constitutional limits to and extent of federal power as developed since 1787 through the history of leading constitutional Supreme Court decisions: judicial review, federalism, commerce and taxation, the contract clause, due process, equal protection, and civil liberties.
Prerequisites: POL 101 or POL/CRJ 230. Not open to students with Credit in POL/CRJ 261.
POL 236 - The Judicial Process
Treatment of the workings and problems of the U.S. judicial system with emphasis on the structure and function of the federal and state court systems; criminal procedure and pertinent legal aspects of corrections.
POL 279A - CORE: Environmental Values & Policymaking
This course explores how the “common good” might be considered a way of judging government’s actions with respect to the natural environment. Some environmentalists wonder if conventional thinking—even democracy itself—is up to the challenge. Course will illustrate real-world technical complexities and uncertainties, and the existence of competing worthy (and costly) common objectives besides environmental protection, stand in the way of any easy solutions to environmental problems.
This course is necessarily interdisciplinary since neither nature nor policymaking is organized by academic departments.
Pre- or co-requisite: ENG 102 or ENG 111. Not open to students with Credit in POL 258.
POL 279B - CORE: Political Philosophy & Western Tradition
Consideration of past and present attempts to develop a comprehensive understanding of politics: Plato-Aquinas, Machiavelli-Hegel, Marx-present.
Pre- or co-requisite: ENG 102 or ENG 111. Not open to students with Credit in POL/PHL 348D.
POL 279C - CORE: American Political Thought & the Common Good
A study of the concept of nature as used in Anglo-American thought and how these usages influence an understanding of the natural, social, and political environments of the United States. Special emphasis given to American political theory, its illustration through the 19th century American landscape movement, and the inability of U.S. thinkers to appreciate the common good.
Not open to students with Credit in POL/HST/ART 335 or POL 348F.
POL 290 - Politics & Government: Process & Issues
An overview of Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court; consideration of the political process and the ideas that inform, modify, and alter the United States political system. Emphasis on citizenship, political culture, socialization, public opinion, voting patterns, political parties and competing ideologies. Not open to students who have taken POL 268.
POL 348C - Interpreting Civilization
Comparative considerations of the religious, artistic, literary, historical-political-economic-governmental components of world civilizations through selected areas of study.
Prerequisites: ENG 101-102 or 110-111.
POL 348E - A History of U.S. Foreign Relations
An exploration of the relationship between major expressions of U.S. foreign policy and the American ethos in the context of historic foreign policy challenges.
Prerequisites: ENG 101-102 or 110-111.
POL 348H - Modernism in its Time
An interdisciplinary study of the social, political, and intellectual culture of Modernism through the lens of the visual arts. Selected examples of visual art of the Western World will be studied in the context of their specific artistic movements as well as in conjunction with contemporaneous events in Western society such as the Great War, the American Depression, WWII, the Holocaust, and the dropping of the Atomic Bomb. This course partially fulfills Arts and Ideas requirement.
Prerequisites: ENG 101-102 or 110-111.
POL 352 - Research Methods
This course examines research design and measurement techniques useful for understanding social science research. The course is skill based involving students in critical evaluation of existing research relevant to their specific field of study, design of a research project, and an introduction to data analysis using SPSS.
Of particular interest are issues of problem definition and research question formulation, conceptualization and operationalization of variables, sampling, and application of various methodologies from experimental designs to evaluation research.
Prerequisites: MTH 140; junior standing or consent of the instructor.
POL 358 - Public Policy for Peace & Justice
Analysis of the public policy formation process at the national and international levels. Special emphasis is given to current policy in the areas of conflict, development, environment, human rights, immigration, and global trade. The course when taught in the May two-week term includes a one-week trip to Washington, D. C. to visit organizations and government offices involved in policy formation and advocacy.
An examination of international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Organization of American States is included.
POL 360 - Seminar: International Politics
Investigation of the major issues and concepts that inform world politics with special emphasis on developments since 1945; consideration of United States foreign policy and domestic political culture in light of World War II, the Shoah, the war in Vietnam; the development of international organization and international law. This course fulfills the diversity, global, and multicultural requirement.
POL - 365 The United States Presidency
A study of the American Presidency - often described as “the most powerful political office in the world” - and the men who have occupied it. An analysis of the continuity and change in the institution since it was created by the Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention. The historical focus will be on the emergence of the Modern Presidency during the twentieth century.
Prerequisite: POL 290.
POL 366 - The United States Congress & Policymaking
This course explores the operations of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives: the partisan organization of both houses, the voting patterns to be found there, committee structures, legislative and oversight functions, representational styles in Washington and at home, and the means available to Congress to shape economic policy, especially through tax legislation and the federal budget process.
Prerequisite: POL 290.
POL 368 - Parties & Elections
This new course is an introduction to the study of American political parties and elections. The emphasis is on national politics, with less attention to state and local parties. Interest will be in the origins and development of American party politics and in the role that parties play in American policymaking. The course will follow presidential and congressional campaigns closely.
Prerequisite: POL 290.
POL 379A - CORE: War & Peace: International Law & Organization
A study of the quest for a just international order through the development of international law and organization and their importance to an understanding of issues of war and peace.
Prerequisite: CORE 179 or appropriate transfer status; ENG 102 or ENG 111. Not open to students who completed POL 361. This course partially fulfills the Social and Behavioral Science requirement and fulfills the diversity, global, and multicultural requirement.
POL 379B - CORE: Peace & Justice: Catholic Social Teaching
The study of justice and peace through the application of the social teaching of the Catholic Church and the findings of social and political science.
Prerequisite: CORE 179 or appropriate transfer status; ENG 102 or ENG 111. Not open to students who have completed POL/THL/SJU/PJU 278. This course partially fulfills the Social and Behavioral Science requirement.
POL 379C - CORE: Causes of Collective Violence: Terrorism, Genocide, War
This is an introduction to theories of conflict and war from the inter-group to the international level. Included are causes of terrorism, ethnic conflict and genocide, revolution, and interstate war. This includes an analysis of causes of conflict at four levels: individual, small group, the nation/state, and the international system.
This course is interdisciplinary, drawing on theories from biology, psychology, sociology, economics, and political science. Case studies of contemporary conflicts are utilized to explain and test various theoretical perspectives and to examine the consequences of war.
Prerequisite: CORE 179 or appropriate transfer status; ENG 102 or ENG 111. Not open to students with Credit in POL/CRJ/SOC 347.
POL 379D - CORE: Justice, Rights, Liberty
The search for justice in terms of the development of civil rights in the United States. Readings, discussions, and debate on the concept of justice; examination of history, substance, and value of civil rights—with special attention paid to the Bill of Rights; focus on the Civil Rights Movement (race and gender) as a case study.
Prerequisite: CORE 179 or appropriate transfer status; ENG 102 or ENG 111. This course
fulfills the Arts requirement (HST) or partially fulfills the Social and Behavioral
Science requirement (POL/CRJ). Not open to students with Credit in POL/CRJ 232. This
course fulfills the diversity, global, and multicultural requirement.
POL 379E - Justice, Art, Politics
An interdisciplinary study of the influences politics has on art and the question of how art and politics inform the human search for truth through an investigation of artistic masterworks from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century. Selected images of masterworks will be discussed and annotated.
Prerequisites: ENG 101-102 or 110-111; or consent of instructor. This course partially fulfills Arts and Ideas requirement.
POL 479 - CORE: Courage & Prudence in Modern Politics
This capstone course will consider in depth 18th and 20th century examples of political courage and prudence or their absence. Along with justice and moderation, a consideration of these virtues was traditionally considered part of any adequate political analysis. Contemporary political science substitutes terms like character and leadership while tending to focus more on interests and incentives.
The classic questions are thereby evaded, but new ones emerge. Through the analysis of specific cases, the seminar will invite students to compare and contrast traditional and modern points of view and the distinct questions they bring to the fore. In that way the seminar aims to deepen students’ understanding of political science as the “architectonic science” among allied disciplines.
Prerequisite: Completion of junior core seminar.
POL 1/2/3/485 - Special Topics
Intensive reading and class discussion of selected topics in political science not covered in regular courses.
POL 2/3/486 - Independent Study
Intensive reading or special research projects for students with advanced standing. Includes Honors Program research.
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor, academic advisor, division chairperson.
POL 497 - Internship 3
Supervised internship of 50 hours of activity for each hour of Credit in an approved agency setting. Placements are arranged in cooperation with the student and agency representative. Regularly scheduled seminar meetings with academic advisor are required. Opportunities to study in Washington D.C. should be discussed with an advisor.
Prerequisites: junior standing and four courses in area of concentration; successful completion of application requirements for internship. No more than 8 hours of internship Credit allowed.
POL 498 - Seminar: Political Theory & Ideology
An analysis of issues of sexism, gender, racism, ethnocentrism and diversity in their historical and contemporary contexts: consideration of influential contemporary theories and problems.
rerequisite: Open only to seniors. This course fulfills the diversity, global, and multicultural requirement.
SCE 000 - Senior Comprehensive Examination