Preview of Courses

For a comprehensive list of courses, please refer to the current Schedule of Classes or Course Catalog. The following are the required courses and the unique course offerings in January.

JanTerm Courses 

PLSC 253. Politics of Diversity in Latin America: Race, Religion and Gender
Using film, explores the origins, organization and political implications of ethnic, religious
and gender diversity in Latin America, from colonialism through the present.

PLSC 365. Warfare: In Pursuit of Military Security
Examines war as a human activity, raising issues of civil-military relations, organizing for war, notions of a military-industrial complex, and philosophical, psychological and political aspects of war. Includes guest speakers, films, and field trips. Designed to capture the reality of combat and its costs and to familiarize students with key political, philosophical, and psychological issues of war and peace. Helps students to understand combat.

PLSC 376. Law and the Courts​​
The U.S. judicial process in selected areas of public law and criminal justice; emphasis on reforming and perfecting the system.

Required Courses

PLSC 110. American Government and Politics​
A historical and institutional examination of the founding debate. US political branches,
political behavior, and the policy process in the United States, focusing on the definition
and realization of democracy, as well as civil liberties and civil rights. Satisfies the state
teaching credential requirement in American Constitution.

PLSC 140. Comparative Politics
Compares different ways of organizing politics in developed and developing countries in various regions of the world. Primary themes include political legitimacy and authority, representation, and patterns of political change. 

PLSC 220. International Relations
Development of international politics since World War I; basic concepts and theories regarding political interaction among nation-states, emphasizing national interest and security, the exercise of power and its limits, and international conflict and cooperation.

PLSC 280. Research Methods (Political Methodology)
An examination of the major theories or models used in empirical political science—both qualitative and quantitative.

PLSC 380. Normative Political Theory 
Western political philosophy from Plato through Marx: the development of normative theory and its relevance to modern political analysis and contemporary politics; emphasis on Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Marx.

Each year the Department offer two seminars, one in the fall and one in the spring. Topics vary depending on the instructor but each seminar is limited to 12-15 students who take a leading role in discussing course material. Students will prepare their paper in the major and their senior presentation as part of the seminar.