Political Science Courses

POLS 102 - American Government

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course students are introduced to the fundamentals of federal, state, and local government in the United States, with emphasis on how political, social and human values are expressed in our political system. Students will examine both the institutions and participants crucial to democratic government in the United States.

POLS 201 - Comparative Politics

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is a survey of the different systems countries use to govern themselves. In addition to examining specific governments, students will analyze topics such as political freedoms, economic development, and national identity. Special attention is given to challenges facing different regions of the world including poverty, war, health care, and human rights.

POLS 203 - An Introduction to Legal Systems

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course students are introduced to law and legal systems with emphasis on how the principles and applications of civil and criminal law affect citizens. Areas of focus include family law, juvenile proceedings, and business and consumer law.

POLS 205 - Selected Topics

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course students will explore and reflect on issues underlying political events and the current political environment. Recent offerings have included the politics of race and ethnicity, and international terrorism.

POLS 206 - International Relations

(Credits: 3.00)

Students will examine how nations interact in a complex, interdependent world. Topics include globalization, diplomacy, security, conflict resolution, economics, international law, human rights, terrorism, and the environment.

POLS 210 - Model United Nations

(Credits: 1.00 - 3.00)

In this course, students will study the history, organization and structure of the United Nations, and the history, economy, government and foreign policy of a particular country. Students will meet once a week for one hour and participate as a club in University and community events. Course may be taken more than once for a total of four credits.

POLS 212 - Women in American Politics

(Credits: 3.00)

Students will explore the origins and history of women's roles as voters, candidates, activists and officeholders in U.S. politics and government. In addition, the course addresses issues that may affect men and women differently, including education, health care and reproduction, service in the military, and family law.

POLS 215 - International Security and Weapons of Mass Destruction

(Credits: 3.00)

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) play a pivotal role in how we define, understand and promote international security. In this course, students will examine the history, development and proliferation of these devastating weapons; the moral, physical and psychological implications of using them; and their impact on security around the globe.

POLS 220 - International Human Rights

(Credits: 3.00)

Students will examine the history and moral bases of human rights, international efforts to construct norms, treaties, and enforcement measures. Students will analyze the role of human rights in the context of international relations and current human rights violations including human trafficking, torture and genocide.

POLS 221 - Human Trafficking Law, Policy and Politics

(Credits: 3.00)

This course will study the issues of human trafficking and contemporary slavery. We will track developments in international, regional, and state law and policy to understand the emergence of an international anti-trafficking regime. We will evaluate the successes and failures of such a regime and identify areas it can be developed. We will then turn to look at specific cases of trafficking and slavery, examining how individuals interact with law and policy taking into account global structural conditions that sustain trafficking, slavery, and other forms of transnational crime. This course may be used toward an advanced core certificate. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or department approval.

POLS 303 - The Law in American Politics

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, students will study the American judicial system and its role in U.S. politics. Students will explore the structure of the federal court system and the political battles from Wisconsin and the Midwest to Washington. Students also will examine the roles of participants in the judicial system, including judges, lawyers, interest groups and the public.

POLS 304 - Political Battles from Wisconsin to Washington

(Credits: 3.00)

Congress is crucial to U.S. democracy since it represents the will of the people. In this course, students will examine the U.S. Congress as an institution and its roles in lawmaking and representation, incorporating both state and federal influences on this body.

POLS 305 - Justice and Power

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, students explore the foundations of politics by studying the fundamental works of political philosophy. Special attention is paid to understanding the foundations of American political thought.

POLS 306 - Political Parties and Interest Groups

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, students examine the variety of ways in which people participate in the political system, including through voting and lobbying, the important roles of political parties and interest groups, as well as unconventional forms of participation such as protests and civil disobedience.

POLS 307 - The Presidency

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is a study of the American presidency. Students will examine the historical development of the presidency as an institution. The class also addresses the relationship between the presidency and other branches of government. In addition, students will analyze presidential decision making through case studies of individual presidents, and consider the influence of the U.S. president domestically and internationally. This is also listed under HS 307.

POLS 312 - Geopolitics

(Credits: 3.00)

This is a study of the relationship between political phenomena and the physical and cultural environment. This is also listed under GE 312.

POLS 314 - Latin American Politics

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, students will survey the governments and politics of the nations of Latin America. Topics include the impact of the drug trade, foreign policy, European colonization, revolution, economic development, the military in politics, and human rights. Students will choose a country of interest and follow its current events throughout the semester.

POLS 315 - China and East Asian Politics

(Credits: 3.00)

Students will examine the governments and politics of China and East Asian countries. Students will analyze the different forms of government in these countries, as well as their economic development and foreign policy. Special attention will be given to nuclear proliferation, struggles for democracy, and human rights.

POLS 316 - Middle Eastern Politics

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is an introduction to the politics of the Middle East. Students will examine the central issues of the region including influences on regional conflict, the relationship between Islam and government, and different forms of government. Special attention is given to the rights of women and minority groups.

POLS 320 - Global Political Economy

(Credits: 3.00)

Students will be introduced to the pivotal importance of economics and the interdisciplinary complexity of international affairs. Students will explore the interaction of politics and economics against a diverse historical and theoretical backdrop. Special attention is paid to contemporary political and economic issues, particularly from the perspective of decision makers, both private and governmental, who play important roles in the international system.

POLS 340 - Constitutional History

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, students will explore the foundations of American liberty and related political institutions. Students will study the influence of the U.S. Constitution on society throughout American history. Students will examine the political and cultural environment of the founding, the crafting and development of the Constitution, and the role of the courts in interpreting and shaping our understanding of the Constitution. This course is also listed under HS 340.

POLS 341 - U.S. Foreign Policy

(Credits: 3.00)

The course includes an analysis of the historical development of foreign policy in the United States. In addition, the course focuses on important players in the foreign policy process, including government leaders, news media, and the public. Special attention is devoted to key foreign policy issues including the Cold War, weapons of mass destruction, human rights, and international terrorism. This is also listed under HS 341. This course may be used toward an advanced core certificate. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or department consent.

POLS 400 - Independent Study

(Credits: 1.00 - 3.00)

This includes practica and internships to be arranged with the department adviser.

POLS 401 - Seminar

(Credits: 3.00)

As a culminating experience, this course requires students to craft a formal academic research paper. Students will choose a topic of interest, review the relevant literature, and develop a research design to contribute to further understanding of the topic. Students will conduct original research and present their findings to faculty, students and family members. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

POLS 402 - Political Internship

(Credits: 3.00)

The primary purpose of the internship is to assist students in preparing for the next step in their professional development. The internship allows students to gain valuable experience while sampling potential career opportunities and building relationships with members of their communities. Students will work individually with a faculty adviser to design an internship tailored to the students' needs and interests. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.