Political Science

Political science is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of government and politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior.

Political science majors develop excellent critical thinking and communication skills as well as an understanding of history and culture and current events. Courses will introduce political concepts, political behavior, policy issues, and governmental institutions.

There are several fields within the political science discipline, all having equal relevance: public administration, public policy, American government, comparative government, international relations, and political theory. You will have the opportunity to take classes in many of these areas.

Because political science deals with current events and sophisticated statistical analysis, it is always a cutting-edge area of study. Whether students are analyzing voting patterns in a presidential campaign or the pros and cons of different systems of government, political science is timely, fascinating, and perpetually changing.

The political science program provides a foundation for the student interested in further graduate work, as well as a career in government service, journalism, law, criminal justice, or any number of other fields. A pre-professional program for students interested in a law career also is offered.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (30 hours total)

Of the 30 hours required for the political science major, 6 may be taken in related disciplines with permission from political science faculty. Requires a “C” average in political science courses taken for the Major in Political Science.

Required Political Science Core (6 hours):

Course                                                    Title                                                                           Hours Required

PSCI 2133                                             Comparative Government                                                     3

PSCI 2343                                             Government of the United States                                           3

 

Plus Required Political Science Electives (choose 24 hours):

PSCI 1133                                             Introduction to the Criminal Justice System                            3

PSCI 2143                                             Introduction to Law and the Legal System                             3

PSCI 2880                                             Special Topics*                                                                   1-3

PSCI 2900                                             Workshop*                                                                        1-3

PSCI 2990                                             Tutorial*                                                                            1-3

PSCI 3103                                             State and Local Government                                                  3

PSCI 3213                                             Interest Groups and Political Parties                                       3

PSCI 3233                                             Introduction to Political Theory                                              3

PSCI 3433                                             Contemporary Political Thought                                             3

PSCI 3553                                             Political Propaganda                                                             3

PSCI 3643                                             International Relations                                                         3

PSCI 3653                                             The Presidency and Congress                                               3

PSCI 3753                                             Public Administration                                                           3

PSCI 3803                                             Public Policy                                                                       3

PSCI 4113                                             Civil Rights and Liberties                                                      3

PSCI 4213                                             American Foreign Policy                                                       3

PSCI 4423                                             United States Constitutional Law                                           3

PSCI 4533                                             Seminar*                                                                           3

PSCI 4880                                             Special Topics*                                                                   1-3

PSCI 4900                                             Workshop*                                                                         1-3

PSCI 4990                                             Tutorial*                                                                             1-3

*may be repeated for total of 6 hrs.

 

Minor in Political Science
Required Political Science Core (6 hours):

Course                                                    Title                                                                           Hours Required

PSCI 2133                                             Comparative Government                                                      3

PSCI 2343                                             Government of the United States                                            3

Remaining 12 hours will be selected with approval of political science advisor. Requires a “C” average in political science coursed taken for the Minor in Political Science.

 

The Pre-Law Program

There is no single course of study at any institution of higher learning that might properly be designated as pre-law. Law schools generally look for a well-balanced liberal arts background and the ability to think rationally and logically. Since law necessarily relates to government, and knowledge of accounting and elementary business practices is generally necessary in a law career, the following program is offered to USAO students as one possible approach to law school preparation. Other approaches may be planned with the pre-law advisor.

Required Pre-Law Core (30 hours):

Course                                                    Title                                                                           Hours Required

PSCI 2133                                             Comparative Government                                                      3

PSCI 2343                                             Government of the United States                                            3

 

Plus Required political science electives (24 hours)

(With permission from the political science instructor, 6 hours may be taken in related disciplines.)

Recommended: 12 hours in business, English, psychology, economics, communication, sociology, and history.

 

COURSE LISTINGS in POLITICAL SCIENCE (PSCI)

1133       INTRODUCTION TO THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
              Survey of the various components of the criminal justice system with special emphasis on the role of law
              enforcement. 3 hours

2133       COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT
              Required of all political science majors:  introduction to government as an institution presented in the form of a
              comparative analysis of the various techniques, purposes, and ends of government. 3 hours.

2143       INTRODUCTION TO LAW AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM
              Study of legal principles and case law in the context of the United States legal system. 3 hours.

2343       GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES
              Survey of the Constitution of the United States, civil rights, instruments of popular control, organization, powers
              and procedures of national government. 3 hours.

2880       SPECIAL TOPICS
              Special topics in political science. 1-3 hours (may be repeated for total of 6 hours).

2900       WORKSHOP
              Guided study in political science under faculty supervision; various topics and methods of instruction.  1-3 hours
              (may be repeated for total of 6 hours with change in title and topic).

2990       TUTORIAL
              Independent study in political science under faculty supervision.  1-3 hours (may be repeated for total of 6 hours
              with change in title and content).

3103       STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
              Organization, structure, functions, and administration of state and local governments. 3 hours

3213       INTEREST GROUPS AND POLITICAL PARTIES
              Examination of the organization and functions of interest groups and political parties in the American political
              system. 3 hours

3234       INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL THEORY
              Analytical and historical study of the classes of political philosophy from The Republic of Plato through Social
              Contract of Rousseau. 3 hours

3433       CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THOUGHT
              Survey of conflicting theories of 19th and 20th centuries and their effect on the modern world. 3 hours

3553       POLITICAL PROPAGANDA
              A survey of the history of political propaganda, which analyzes the use of manufactured images in the age of
              mass media. 3 hours

3643       INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
              Systematic relations between states, the growth and description of national power balance, and emergence of
              institutions aiming at a peaceful settlement of disputes. 3 hours

3653       THE PRESIDENCY AND CONGRESS
              A study of the history and development, structures, processes, and interactions of these two basic institutions of
              American government. 3 hours

3753       PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
              A study of the means by which policies are put into effect. Problems of bureaucratic organization and of personnel
              management are emphasized, with special references to federal government. 3 hours

3803       PUBLIC POLICY
              Contemporary issues in public policy: substantive issues, such as education and macroeconomic policy, as well as
              various methods of policy analysis. 3 hours

4113       CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES
              A study of the history and development of civil rights and liberties in the United States with international
              comparisons. The emphasis is on U.S. Supreme Court cases. 3 hours    

4213       AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY
              Problems involved in pursuing American national interests on world level and means of formulating policy; critical
              examination of principal American decisions in the field since World War II. 3 hours

4423       UNITED STATES CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
              Analysis of the evolution of Constitution in light of amendments, judicial interpretation, and legislative
              elaboration. Prerequisite: PSCI 2343. 3 hours

4533       SEMINAR
              Methods of political science research, writing, and preparation of research papers on assigned topics. 3 hours
              (may be repeated for total of 6 hours).

4880       SPECIAL TOPICS
              Special topics in political science. 1-3 hours (may be repeated for total of 6 hours).

4900       WORKSHOP
              Related topics and problems in political science. 1-3 hours (may be repeated for total of 6 hours with change in
              title and content).

4990       TUTORIAL
              Independent study in political science under faculty supervision. 1-3 hours (may be repeated for total of 6 hours
              with change in title and content).