Political Science Courses (POLS)
2107 Federal and Texas Constitutions (1-0). A study of the United States and Texas Constitutions. Grading will be either pass or fail. Prerequisite: By permission only. Enrollment limited to students who have already completed a minimum of 6 SCH of Political Science courses but have not satisfied the requirement for a study of the federal and state Constitutions.
2301 Federal and State Government (3-0). A study of the constitution and organization of agencies in the United States and Texas governments integrating the study of comparable agencies on both levels. Designed to fulfill certification requirements for prospective teachers as required by Texas law.
2302 Federal and State Government (3-0). A study of the functions of the various agencies in federal, state, and local governments. Court systems, foreign affairs, taxation, finance, city and county governmental functions, and other subjects are covered.
2311 Fundamentals of Law and Politics (3-0). Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course will serve as a foundation for the study of the law, the courts, and the constitution.
2341 World Politics (3-0). This course studies the interactions between members of the international system to provide for military, economic, environmental, and social security. Concepts such as power, international law, international organizations, human rights, sustainable development, collective security, and national security are examined as well as different frameworks for interpreting these interactions and for prescribing actions for promoting security. Other issues to be explored include global economy and transnationalism.
3302 American Political Parties and Interest Groups (3-0). This course studies the development of the American political party system and organized interest groups with a focus on national and state-level organization, and their roles in campaigns, elections, public opinion, and voter mobilization. Additionally, this course will examine the influence of political parties and interest groups within our political institutions and on the policy-making process.
3303 State and Local Government (3-0). A general study of various principles and elements involved in state and local governments, with special consideration shown to federal-state relations, state constitutions, municipal charters, and administrative problems.
3305 Public Administration (3-0). A study of the fourth branch of government; its organization, personnel, finance, and methods of policy formation, with an analysis of problems accompanying an expanding bureaucracy.
3306 Non-profit Management (3-0). Public policy continues to expand beyond the public sector with non-profit organizations increasingly administering public funds and supervising programs that impact the community and society. The course will provide students with an overview of the challenges facing non-profit management from a public policy perspective. Students will learn all aspects of the non-profit management process.
3307 The U.S. Congress (3-0). This course is an analysis of the politics and legislative process of the U.S. Congress. Topics include policy-making, recruitment, party leadership, structure and influence of the committee system, and the legislative branch’s relationship with the presidency, Supreme Court, mass media, and voters.
3308 The American Presidency (3-0). An in-depth examination of the American presidency and the Chief Executive’s formal and informal roles within the American political system. Emphasis will be given to the evolution of the presidency, its power and constraints, organization of the White House, and the dynamics of the office including presidential character, governing style, and public conceptions of the office. This course will also address the effect the mass media and public opinion has had on the presidency and how the Oval Office has responded.
3309 The Supreme Court and the Judicial Process (3-0). This course will study of the United States Supreme Court as a political and legal institution and as the third branch of the federal government as established by the U.S. Constitution. It will also cover the federal and state court systems, the processes by which they operate, and the influence they have on public policy.
3311 American Political Culture (3-0). A study of the cultural context of American politics, the development and transmission of political attitudes and values, and the role of public opinion in the political process. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Sociology 3310.)
3312 Understanding Asian Politics through Cinema (3-0). This course is designed to provide students with a greater understanding of Asian society and politics through film. By examining a series of social, cultural, and political events such as the Chinese revolution, Korean War, Meiji Restoration, Pacific War through cinema, students will gain a better understanding of the complexities of the political contours that have molded contemporary Asian societies. To facilitate this process of understanding, analysis, and discussion, this course incorporates readings, movies, and documentaries.
3313 American Campaigns, Elections, and Voting Behavior (3-0). An in-depth examination of the electoral process in the United States including analysis of the theoretical and practical importance of elections in the policy-making process, the techniques of professional campaign management and American voting behavior.
3315 Political Economy of Latin America (3-0). A study of the political economy of Latin America, especially with regard to the theory and practice of how economic motives affect political decisions and how most political decisions have economic repercussions, both domestically and in Latin America. This course reviews and explores the key themes of Latin America’s relationship with the global political economy and raises questions about the nature of state action in Latin American countries.
3316 American Politics and Mass Media (3-0). This course is an overview of the influence of the mass media on the American political system. Specifically, it examines how the press defines what is newsworthy, shapes public opinion, affects the political behavior and decision-making of elected officials, and has become the “fourth branch” of government.
3317 Politics and Administrative Strategies (3-0). This course focuses on topics such as political rhetoric, strategic communications, agenda-setting, framing, priming, and selective exposure. Attention will also be given to the role of traditional and digital media in conveying political information to the public, political advertising, campaign strategies, and the management of political information during times of crisis or political scandals.
3318 Political Psychology and Behavior (3-0). This course examines the psychological aspects of American political phenomena. Topics include factors that influence political decision making, public opinion, voting behavior, and political participation and socialization.
3331 American Political Thought I (3-0). This course is a study of the thought and rhetoric of American political figures during critical moments in American history from the colonial period through the Civil War. Students will examine the relationship between the political actions they initiated.
3332 American Political Thought II (3-0). This course is a study of the thought and rhetoric of American political figures during critical moments in American history from the Civil War to the present. Students will examine the relationship between the political actions they initiated.
3335 Introduction to Political Concepts (3-0). This course will provide students with an introductory survey of the most basic and enduring concepts used throughout virtually every other area of political science, from comparative politics, through international relations to American political institutions. Concepts covered will include: Justice, Liberty, Power, Equality, Human Nature, Democracy, the Nation, the State, Ideology, Civil Society, and Globalization.
3341 Comparative Political Systems (3-0). A comparative study of modern post-industrial societies and the third world. The course content will alternate between the analysis of the major political systems in Europe and the study of developing areas such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America. (The course may be repeated once for credit when the topic varies.)
3343 Political Economy of Globalization (3-0). This course is an introduction to the politics of globalization. It provides students with analytical tools to better understand the multi-dimensions and its impact on contemporary world politics. The course also discusses the controversy surrounding the consequences of globalization.
3347 Politics of China (3-0). China is the world’s most rapidly growing economy and it has already become the second largest economy in the world. It is also the largest and most powerful communist nation in the world. China’s extraordinary success in economic reform and the potential political challenges it faces, make exploration of the world’s most populous country essential for today’s students. This course is an introduction to the politics of China. Topics include Chinese communist ideology, the institutions and processes of the Chinese political system, and the significant issues of recent political history.
3351 International Relations (3-0). A study of international relations since World War II, which examines changing global economic and political systems and important contemporary international issues.
4301 The Constitution and Constitutional Law (3-0). This course looks at the U.S. Constitution and how it has structured political life in America for more than 225 years. Students examine the principles of separation of powers and federalism, exploring the claims of the authority of each of the three “departments of power”—legislative, executive, and judicial—as well as the division of power between the national and state governments. In addition to reading the Constitution itself, students will study the relevant opinions of the Supreme Court and other insightful or authoritative commentaries on the Constitution.
4302 Constitutional Rights and Liberties (3-0). This course studies the specific limits placed on governmental power in the “bill of rights” and other sections of the Constitution, as well as the limits derived from less specific phrases in the 14th Amendment. These rights and liberties include the freedoms of religion and conscience, speech and press, the right to keep and bear arms, the rights of property, the procedural rights of the criminally accused, as well as the rights and liberties found in the ideas of “due process” and “equal protection” of the laws. The Supreme Court and its opinions are the focus of this course, but additional commentary will also be consulted.
4310 Current Issues in Public Policy (3-0). This course focuses on relevant areas of public policy in the American political system. It will examine the social, political, cultural, and economic underpinnings of public policy and how it is developed and implemented. (This course may be repeated for credit when the topic varies.)
4311 Urban Problems and Public Policy (3-0). A study of issues and research areas in selected urban problems and the development of public policy in response to these problems.
4321 Comparative Political Economy (3-0). This course is an introduction to comparative political economy with an eye to the influence of political and institutional factors on economic performance. The course will examine, among others, the following questions. (1) Why do countries differ so much in their level of economic development? and (2) Why do countries adopt distinctive economic policies?
*4331 Classical Political Philosophy (3-0). A study of Greek, Roman and medieval thinkers from Socrates to Machiavelli. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Philosophy 4331.)
*4332 Modern Political Philosophy (3-0). A study of modern political thought from Hobbs to Nietzsche. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Philosophy 4332.)
*4333 Contemporary Political Philosophy (3-0). A study of contemporary political thinkers from the beginning of the 20th Century to the present. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Philosophy 4333.)
*4334 Existentialist Approaches to Political Violence: Kierkegaard to Sartre (3-0). A survey of debate concerning political violence from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Philosophy 4334.)
4341 Political Economy of East Asia (3-0). Throughout the last half century, East Asia has attracted great scholarly attention with its extraordinary economic growth, political transformation, and the consequent security challenges. This course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of politics in the region, paying special attention to the interplay between politics and the economy.
4351 United States Foreign Policy (3-0). An examination of the processes of formulating and conducting United States foreign policy, the factors that influence foreign policy, and the objectives and instruments of such policy.
4353 International Relations of the Western Hemisphere (3-0). A study of the evolving international relations in the Western Hemisphere, especially with regard to political, economic, and security issues pertinent to U.S. foreign policy and foreign relations in the region.
4354 International Relations of Europe (3-0). A study of the evolving international relations of Europe in the post-World War II era with particular attention given to contemporary political, economic, and security issues of the region.
4361 Research in Political Science: Capstone (3-0). Research in Political Science prepares students to understand different methods of conducting research and to produce original work of their own. Students will learn current trends in the discipline and complete a substantive paper using original research and ideas.
4381 Special Topics (3-0). A course dealing with selected topics in political science. (May be repeated once for credit when topic varies.) Prerequisite: Junior standing.
4391 Research. A specialized course which may be directed reading or research for exceptional students majoring in political science.
4671 Internship in Political Science. The student will be assigned to work in a unit of government. A research paper dealing with the internship experience written under the direction of a faculty member will be required. Prerequisites: Political Science major, junior/senior status, and departmental approval.
*These courses are cross-listed with philosophy courses.