Political Science Courses

POLS 102 - American Government

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, students are introduced to the fundamentals of the United States national government, with emphasis on how political, social and human values are expressed in the American 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 ideology, political culture, political parties, electoral systems, and political participation. Special attention is given to the challenges facing select countries in different regions of the world including poverty, development, and the environment.

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)

This course surveys the way states interact within a complex international system. It covers both the theoretical foundations as well as the actual working of the international system by examining topics such as international security, conflict and conflict resolution, diplomacy, the environment, international law, human rights and humanitarianism, and terrorism and asymmetrical warfare.

POLS 210 - Model United Nations

(Credits: 1.00 - 3.00)

This course aims at acclimatizing students with the basic techniques of diplomacy and consensus-building through which interests are articulated, conflicts resolved, and decisions made in the United Nations. It starts with an introduction to the Charter, the basic structure and functions of the UN and its specialized agencies, as well as various issues that the organization is currently focused on. This culminates into a simulation of either the Security Council or General Assembly of the UN in St. Louis, at which students represent various assigned countries.

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, as well as the moral, psychological and security implications of their use.

POLS 220 - International Human Rights

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, students will examine the historical and moral bases of human rights, as well as various national and international efforts to construct norms, treaties, and enforcement measures in order to protect fundamental liberties of people(s) all over the world. Students will analyze the role of human rights in the context of international relations and examine various types of 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. Students will track developments in international, regional, and state law and policy to understand the emergence of an international anti-trafficking regime. The class will evaluate the successes and failures of such a regime and identify areas that can be developed. Students 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 - Environmental Politics

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is designed to introduce students to historical and contemporary issues in environmental politics and policy in the U.S. It also teaches them the various policy initiatives that have been put in place to respond to those problems. Finally, it takes a broader view of key environmental issues such as climate change, population, sustainability, etc., by examining them from a global perspective.

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)

This course explores the nexus between politics and economics in a globalized context. In addition to examining various theories of political economy, students will analyze topics such as global trade and finance, development, and globalization. Special attention is given to the challenges facing the global economy as well as proposals for reform.

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.