Political Science


Political Science is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. There are several fields within the political science discipline, all having equal relevance: public administration and public policy, American government and institutions, comparative government and international relations, and political theory. The political science program provides a foundation for the student interested in further graduate work, as well as a career in government service, law, or criminal justice. 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):

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):

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):

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

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).