Senior Comprehensive Exam (cr)
Introduction to American Government (3) (F) This course is an introduction to the American system that emphasizes: the Constitution, federalism, political socialization, political parties and interest groups, and the balance of the three branches of government. Included is a survey of state and local government issues as well as the fundamentals of financing American government. The course highlights the processes of civic education and of electoral consent. (PC)
Foundations of American Constitutionalism (3) (D) This course will examine the nature and purposes of constitutional government in the United States, placing American constitutionalism in the context of the history of American political thought. Then the course will consider historical and philosophical aspects of debates over significant issues that impacted the development of the American constitutional framework.
Catholic and Contemporary Engagement with American Constitutionalism (3) (D) In the first half of the course, students will read important Catholic thinkers on constitutionalism, America, and religious liberty. In the second half of the course, students will read essays and articles on contemporary political and moral debates surrounding life, human dignity, religious liberty, race relations, the family, and property.
American 20th Century Political History (3) (B) This course examines the history, politics, culture, and economics of The American Century. Students will explore events and personalities through contemporaneous newspaper and broadcast media stories, as well as modern scholarly references. The course seeks to answer these questions: Why did these events occur; who or what caused them; what harm or benefits resulted and how have these lessons given America the wisdom to choose better in the 21st century? (HI, PC)
Comparative World Government & Politics (3) (S) This course examines the processes by which the politics and cultures of states affect the organization of their civil systems, especially those based on popular consent. It emphasizes comparisons and contrasts between politically and economically stable, industrialized nations, and those developing nations with unstable economies and often autocratic regimes. (PC, GP)
Research Methods (4) (S) This course is an intensive offering that combines research and analytical skills for use in political science. The course includes research design, hypothesis testing, data collection and analysis, quantitative and qualitative methods, and practical applications of these concepts. (SM, WC)
Public Policy Analysis (3) (S) This course introduces the concepts and techniques of identifying, specifying and implementing public policy strategies designed to remedy contemporary American problems for which government action is the presume, preferred solution. Case studies and problems will include applications at the local, state, and federal levels. (WC)
European Politics (3) (S) This course provides a critical and analytical evaluation of the political systems within the European Union. The course examines the dynamics of the electoral processes within those countries and the ability of those governments to provide coherent and effective policies. It will also scrutinize the pattern of military and other economic alliances of which European nations are a part.
The American Presidency (3) (F) This course examines contemporary theories of the President as policy-maker, internationalist and political figure. An historic survey of trends within presidential studies provides context for a review of the recent scholarly literature. The course provides an overview of the electoral processes by which presidents are elected and persist through the maintenance of public opinion and alliances with the Congress. (PC)
The American Congress (3) (S) This course begins with an historic review of the Congress, its methods and its dynamics, arising from its Constitutionally-mandated duties. The Congress is examined as the most politically sensitive branch of government and the one presumed to be most responsive to public opinion. Special attention is devoted to the very active period since 1945 during which much legislation, oversight, and reform occurred. The course also explores interrelationships among members of Congress and its own leaders, the President, interest groups, federal agencies, political parties and the judiciary.
American Foreign Policy (3) This course examines the principles and practices of the United States' participation in international life. Beginning with an examination of American institutions (and those individuals who have developed and led them), the course explores how ideas, events, and decisions have shaped American policies and how these policies have, in turn, shaped the international realm. Special attention will be paid to the era following the Second World War (up to the present).
Film and Politics (4) (F) This course examines how films tell political stories, frame political issues, and advocate political outcomes. There are two major questions this course will address: How fairly have films told the stories they depict and what effects have these films had on politics? A major component of the course will be an examination of film as a communications medium, including techniques, aesthetics, originality, artistry, and economics. The other essential component is the political dimension of the messages that films convey, including trends in issue advocacy and characterizations of American institutions, such as the Congress and the Presidency. (PC, WC)
American Constitutional Development (3) (S) This course begins with a study of the background and the principles of the American constitutional system. Particular attention is paid to the development of the Constitution and its historical antecedents, as well as the evolutionary interpretation of its meaning by the U.S. Supreme Court. Landmark cases illustrate the gradual rise in prominence of the Supreme Court and its present status as a co-equal branch of the American government. (HI, PC)
Fundamental Freedoms: First Amendment (3) (S) This course provides an analysis of the Supreme Court's interpretation of the religion, speech, press, and association clauses of the First Amendment. The course considers both historical development of legal doctrine in these areas and contemporary issues and the application of doctrine. The course aims to provide a substantive body of knowledge, including the capacity for students to analyze legal arguments and evaluate contemporary issues.
Civil Rights: Fourteenth Amendment (3) (S) This course provides an analysis of the Supreme Court's interpretation of privileges or immunities, due process, and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The course considers both historical development of legal doctrine in these areas and contemporary issues and the application of doctrine. The course aims to provide a substantive body of knowledge, including the capacity for students to analyze legal arguments and evaluate contemporary issues.
Development of Political Thought (3) (F) This course traces the growth of fundamental concepts that underlie all forms of government, such as justice, authority, freedom, liberty, and the duties of citizens. The course includes a survey of ancient and contemporary authors whose work arises from both religious and the secular traditions. Political philosophy and ideology provide the context within which students will analyze modern forms of government. (PC, PI)
This course presents a chance to study the major themes of American political thought throughout our history, focusing on the Founding and Lincoln's rededication of the country to those founding principles. The texts read are the foundational texts for the American government. In the second half of the semester, students read texts from the third great challenge to the principles articulated in the American founding-the Progressive Movement, which held that Americans had outgrown the Constitution and limited government. Students will see a consistency between contemporary debates and those at the Founding. (PI)
Applied Politics (3) (D) This course provides credit for a supervised, structured experience within the political arena. It may take the form of involvement in campaigns, elections or some aspect of party politics or of advocacy work within an interest group. A written report must be filed with the department relating to the student's experience. This course is open to majors and only with advance permission of the department chair.
International Relations (3) (S) This course provides a contemporary view of the political and economic dynamic that characterizes the growing global community. A special emphasis is set on the effects of regional alliances, such as the European Union and the broader impact that these alliances create. The course surveys the effects of civil wars, nationalistic movements and economic disparity as predictive of governmental stability and consequent international imperatives. (PC)
Interest Group Politics (3) (F) This course explores the structure and roles that interest groups serve in the American political system. Varied groups are scrutinized, including their origins, funding systems and methods for developing and advocating a public policy agenda. Special emphasis is placed on the often competitive and occasionally collaborative relationships these groups sustain with the Congress, judiciary, President, administrative agencies and state governments.
Political Parties and Elections (3) (F) This course presents the outstanding features of the American party system with particular attention directed toward the organization and functions of American political parties. Consideration is given to the formation of public opinion and of selected problems in the composition of the American electorate as well as the federal and state laws that govern elections and campaigns.
Public Administration (3) (S) This course aims at contributing to an understanding of American institutions through a study of the structure, mission and management of federal, state and local bureaucracies. Special emphasis is placed on budgeting and program functions as well as evaluation methods. The course focuses on central program areas such as human services, capital projects and public safety. A necessary feature will be a survey of government revenue sources and their historic and long-term sufficiency. (OC, PC)
Policy Implementation in State and Local Governments (3) (S) This course offers an effective understanding of the role of these principal American governmental institutions. The focus of this course will be an examination of the effectiveness of these units in providing their traditional services, such as education, police protection and other human services. Special consideration will be given to inter-governmental relationships, especially when states are required or expected to manage programs that had been shifted from federal jurisdiction. The course offers a significant examination of budgeting, both revenue and expenses, in governmental units throughout the federal system.
Internship Internship is the name given to a supervised, practical academic experience as well as appropriate service or experiential learning opportunities. The course is an elective open to majors, with the consent of the department chair.
Directed and Honors Research (1-3) (D) This course provides honors or research-oriented students to pursue specialized topics with supervision and collaboration of a member of the department faculty. Topics may be multi-disciplinary or of unusual complexity and will require a major work product. This course is open to majors, with consent of the department chair.
Capstone Senior Seminar (3) (F) This course is required of all political science majors and restricted to those with senior standing. The course operates as a comprehensive review of all coursework and it features a major research project.