POLT - Political Science


Course Descriptions

POLT 1000 Topics in Politics (3)

Introduces the study of contemporary politics, focusing on understanding current events or enduring themes (power, war, justice, etc.) of politics. Students practice oral skills or writing needed to effectively engage in political discourse and communication. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 1050 Introduction to International Relations (3)

This course examines how state and non-state actors confront contemporary global problems. It also introduces students to the subfields of international relations: international security, international political economy, foreign policy, international relations theory, international organizations and international law.

POLT 1060 Introduction to American Politics (3)

Presents the basic concepts, structures, and functions of the United States political system and an analysis of the role of individuals in the practice of American politics.

POLT 1070 Introduction to Political Theory (3)

Introduces philosophical issues and concepts of political thought from antiquity to the present through examination, from different perspectives, of democracy, sovereignty and authority, justice, liberty, and the relationship between the individual and the state. Cross-listed with PHIL 2300.

POLT 1080 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)

This course is an introduction to the systematic and analytical study of states/societies in the world using the comparative method. Students learn to compare countries on such topics as state legitimacy and capacity, ethnic conflicts, political ideologies and institu-tions, economic poverty and development, political violence, the impact of globalization, and environmental problems.

POLT 1550 Introduction to Political Argumentation and Debate (3)

Introduces students to the basic principles of debate, emphasizing the development of research, critical thinking, and oral presentation skills. Students research one or more contemporary public policy issues and are expected to attend and participate in campus debates on those issues. The course is open to students of all majors.

POLT 1750 State and Local Government (3)

Studies the politics, organization, and activities of state and local governments in the United States.

POLT 2050 Contemporary American Politics (3)

Examines various issues and processes in American politics, with the subject matter varying from semester to semester. May be repeated once for credit if content differs.

POLT 2060 Politics and Gender (3)

Interdisciplinary examination of women in the public sphere. Draws on studies in history, political science, sociology, and psychology in order to understand more fully the role of women in politics and society.

POLT 2070 Politics of Race and Ethnicity (3)

Interdisciplinary examination of race relations and associated political issues. May be broadly focused on a variety of racial relations or on two or more historical contexts, or may adopt a more specific focus: e.g., black/white relations within the context of history and politics in the United States.

POLT 2100 Model U.N. (0-3)

Studies the structure, operations, and politics of the United Nations. Attention will focus on current U.N. issues, and students will be required to participate in classroom simulations. Students will attend the Collegiate Midwest Model U.N. and represent a country as U.N. delegates.

POLT 2250 Politics in the Industrialized World (3)

Examines the politics of those countries customarily considered part of the affluent north. Topics may include evolution of political party systems, the evolution of communist systems, environmental and peace movements, economic integration of countries, planning and market mechanisms, trade policies, ethnic conflicts, governmental influence in collective bargaining systems, the welfare state, and tax revolts. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 2400 Introduction to Law (3)

(Cross-listed with LEGL 2400) Overview of the history and functioning of the American legal system. Covers such topics as the substantive law of torts, contracts, and criminal procedure and terminology, the court system, and the nature of legal reasoning.

POLT 2500 Interdisciplinary Approach to Politics (3)

Integrates the contributions of other disciplines--history, psychology, sociology, economics, literature, media, philosophy--into the study of politics and the role politics plays in the nongovernmental arena. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 2550 The Politics of the Developing World (3)

Focuses on how the majority of the world's people, those living in the poorest nations, are governed. Topics include colonialism and neocolonialism, tradition and modernity, dependency, and the nature of contemporary revolution in the Third World. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 2600 Research Methods and Approaches in Political Science (3)

Introduces the student to the research methods, models, and frameworks of contemporary political analysis. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

POLT 2610 Reading Course: Introductory (1-6)

Content and methodology are at an introductory level. Prerequisites: permission of instructor and filing of official form. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 3010 American Constitutional Law (3)

Studies central constitutional principles, with emphasis on constitutional formation, judicial power, federalism, legislative powers, and executive powers. Examines major Supreme Court cases. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in the department or permission of the instructor.

POLT 3020 Civil Liberties and the Law (3)

Focuses on the liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Examines First Amendment protections for speech, press, and religion. Explores the significant changes in approach to due process and equal protection of law. Emphasizes case law and political analysis of judicial decision making. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in the department or permission of the instructor.

POLT 3310 Conduct of Foreign Policy (3)

Examines the techniques and problems of foreign policy decision making in the contemporary nation-state system. Prerequisite: POLT 1050 or POLT 1060.

POLT 3320 American National Institutions (3)

Offers an in-depth study of one of the following topics: the presidency, Congress, political parties and elections, and judicial politics. The topic varies from semester to semester and may be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: POLT 1060 or permission of the instructor.

POLT 3330 Judicial Politics (3)

The central focus of this course is the American judicial system and the relationship between the judicial branch of government and its political environment. It may include an examination of the roles of judges, lawyers, and interest groups in the process of judicial policy making; the structure and function of the courts in the federal system; political jurisprudence, the politics of judicial selection, and judicial decision making and strategies. Prerequisite: POLT 1060 or POLT 2400.

POLT 3400 Comparative Politics (3)

Examines political institutions and issues in two or more political systems, or focuses in-depth on the politics of a country or geographic area. Prerequisite: POLT 1080, POLT 2250, POLT 2500, POLT 2550, or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 3550 Competitive Political Argumentation and Debate (3)

Prepares members of the debate team for participation in intercollegiate debate. Students research and debate topics selected by the College Educational Debate Association. Students are required to attend regional and national debate tournaments. Prerequisites: POLT 1550 and permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit.

POLT 3590 Theories of Human Rights (3)

Examines the historical development of theories of human rights and their relation to civil liberties, international law, social organization, and different conceptions of community, individualism, and the state. Also examines the most significant human rights documents in their historical context. May focus on specific cases and questions of current concern. Prerequisite: POLT 1070, PHIL 2300, or GNST 1600. Cross-listed with PHIL 3590.

POLT 3650 Internship (1-15)

Students are placed in private or public service organizations. Such experience is designed to augment a student's knowledge of political organization, policy formation, decision making, paralegal practices, and related areas. A total of 6 credit hours of internship may be used to satisfy departmental degree requirements, with a maximum of 3 credit hours counting as upper-level coursework. Prerequisites: junior standing and permission of department chair; specific Prerequisites will vary according to topic.

POLT 4000 Research Requirement (0)

Required of all political science majors in conjunction with a designated 3000-level or 4000-level course. Recognizes successful completion of the departmental research requirement.

POLT 4100 Advanced Studies in International Politics (3-4)

Allows students to pursue advanced studies in international politics or one of its subfields. Specific subject matter varies from semester to semester. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of political science (international or comparative focus) or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 4200 Advanced Studies in Political Theory (3-4)

Allows students to pursue in-depth study in political theory. Specific subject matter varies from semester to semester. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of political science, including a prior course in political theory, or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 4300 Advanced Studies in American Politics (3-4)

Allows students to pursue advanced studies in a variety of subfields of American politics. Specific topics vary from semester to semester. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of political science, including a prior course in American politics, or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 4350 Advanced Studies in Judicial Politics (3)

Allows students to pursue advanced studies in the subfield of judicial politics. Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. Requires students to complete a research paper in the area. May be repeated if content differs. Prerequisite: POLT 1060 or POLT 2400.

POLT 4400 Advanced Studies in Comparative Politics (3-4)

Allows students to do advanced-level work in comparative politics. Specific topics vary from semester to semester. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of political science, including a prior course in comparative politics, or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 4600 Political Science Seminar

Offered periodically when specific expertise is available. Topics of interest to students of contemporary politics are studied. Prerequisite: usually senior standing or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit if con-tent differs.

POLT 4610 Reading Course: Advanced (1-6)

Prerequisites: permission of instructor and filing of official form. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 4620 Overview (0-1)

Designed to improve students' skills in analysis and oral communication within the disciplines of history and political science. Consists of a series of informal discussions with department faculty, culminating in a formal oral examination. Subject matter varies yearly. Prerequisites: senior standing and major in history, political science, or international relations.

POLT 4700 Senior Thesis (4)

Allows senior students to pursue significant independent research/ writing projects in political science (including legal studies). Prerequisites: senior standing and approval of department chair

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