Political Science

POS 110      American Public Policy (4)

An introduction to the major features of the policy making process in the United States.  Emphasis on the structures and institutions of the American political system and the role of citizens in political process.  Examination of democratic theory and political philosophy in the American context. Meets new General Education Social Science requirement or 2023 General Education Social Sciences.

POS 262      Online Politics (4)

The emergence of the Internet, and especially the Web, as a significant factor in American and global life has challenged traditional views of communication and politics.  In this course, we use some core concepts of political communication, information design and technology, and deliberative democracy to examine the role of information technologies in candidate and issue campaigning, online voting, protest and advocacy movements, law-making and electronic governance.  Students will be required to engage as participant-observers of a Web-based political activity using a methodological approach appropriate to their analysis.    Meets the General Education Social Sciences requirement.

POS 252      The Politics of Life and Death (4)

Examines the nature of political debate and policy-making in the United States on issues related to human life.  Four issues will be examined:  assisted reproduction, human cloning, abortion, and assisted suicide.  For each of the issues, we will review the scientific and philosophical context, assess the actions of the legislative, judicial, executive and administrative branches of the national and state governments, and explore the nature of public discourse.  This course assumes an interest in and understanding of American politics and political institutions.  Though not a prerequisite, completion of an introductory course in American politics is recommended prior to enrollment. Meets new General Education Social Science requirement.

POS 340      Elections and Political Behavior (4)

An exploration into the roots and consequences of political behavior with a focus on the “average” citizen.  Topics include the formation and importance of political values, the dimensions of political participation, and the implications of empirical evidence for electoral strategy and contemporary democratic theory. Meets new General Education Social Science requirement.

POS 342      Constitutional Law (4)

An examination of the Constitution of the United States and its interpretation by the judiciary, with an emphasis on the activities of the Supreme Court.  Analysis of issues concerning the separation of powers, federal-state relationships, economic regulation, and political and civil rights. Meets new General Education Social Science requirement.

POS 400      Topics in Political Science (4)

An in‑depth examination of a current topic in political science. Examples might include political psychology, media and politics, political ethics, and presidential elections. May be taken more than once as topics change.

POS 491      Independent Study (Variable 1‑4)

Extensive study and research on a particular topic of student interest under the supervision of a faculty member.  The student is required to submit a written proposal which includes a description of the project, its duration, educational goals, method of evaluation, and number of credits to be earned. Prerequisites: Matriculated students only, permission of instructor and dean of subject area.

POS 492      Political Science Internship (Variable 1-4)

Internship is designed to provide practical work in a position related to political science or public policy, and to compare and contrast real-world experience with scholarly assessment of political actors or behavior.  Students either work on or off campus.  Minimum of 45 hours of contact time per credit required.  Prerequisite:  Permission of faculty member; approval of internship agreement. Only S/U grades are awarded for this course.