POLS501 Political Philosophy (3 semester hours)

This course takes the student into the exciting world of ideas that have always captivated mankind and inspired the great advances in Western civilization. The course examines some eternal questions: On what philosophical precepts does the rule of law depend? What are the philosophical justifications for respect for the individual? What legal and moral implications arise from these precepts? How should we behave? How should we govern ourselves and each other? Through reading, studying, and reflecting upon the works of the great philosophers ranging from Socrates to Marx and beyond, the class will enter into these “great conversations” and examine how political philosophers throughout time have relevance to the modern world.

POLS510 The U.S. Presidency, Congress, & Bureaucracy (3 semester hours)

The course covers a combination of theories and applications that will provide the student with basic tools required to understand, navigate, and communicate with the three administrative elements of the federal government. The emphasis of the course is based on a study of composing, legislating, implementing, and enforcing public policy set against a background of both historical and current elements.

POLS511 Political Parties and Interest Group Behavior (3 semester hours)

This course examines the organization and behavior of political parties and interest groups within the American political system. The course emphasizes the extent to which these organizations operate differently across the national, state, and local levels of government.

POLS512 Diversity in American Politics (3 semester hours)

This course is a study of diverse groups as political players in society -- their history as outsiders, strategies for gaining political power, the evolution of public policies that affect the lives and opportunities of these groups mainly in the United States. In this course, students will explore core political constructs such as governance, policy making, participation, conflict, and attitudes through the lens of gender, race and ethnicity. The course focuses primarily upon the experiences of several groups: African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, women, and gays and lesbians. The goal of this course is to provide students with the necessary theoretical and methodological foundations needed to understand and analyze gender, racial, and ethnic politics in the United States.

POLS620 Legislatures and Legislative Behavior (3 semester hours)

This course focuses on legislative structure and decision-making. Through reading, studying, and reflecting upon legislatures, legislators, and legislative processes, students will examine the U.S. legislative structure and conduct an analysis of comparative legislative behavior.

POLS630 The Presidency: Institution and Performance (3 semester hours)

This course offers a perspective on the U.S. presidency that examines the institutional development while assessing the leadership behavior of office holders from George Washington through the present. Through reading, studying, and reflecting upon Presidential administrations and Presidential leadership styles, students will examine the development of the presidency and the role of the President in U.S. government and abroad.

POLS640 Judicial Politics, Process, and Policy Making (3 semester hours)

This course introduces students to the role of the judiciary in American politics and policymaking and explores the questions asked and the methods employed by political scientists studying courts and the legal system. An equally important objective of this course is to familiarize students with the seminal works in judicial research, with particular emphasis on Supreme Court cases. Students will study the judicial process in the United States from a variety of perspectives in order to examine the role of law and courts in the larger political arena and social environment.

POLS650 Federalism: The American Governance Process (3 semester hours)

This course focuses on the political, legal, financial, and administrative relationships among national, state, and local governmental units. Topics include the nature of federal and other political systems and the issues presented in each system at all levels; the evolution of the American federal system from its origins through present day; intergovernmental cooperation and conflict; and the various theory and concepts associated with a breakdown of responsibilities among federal, state, and local governments.

POLS690 Independent Study: Political Science (3 semester hours)

An opportunity for political science and international peace and conflict resolution students to pursue an independent research project or examine a specific area of their academic discipline under the mentorship of a single professor. Students must complete 24 credits of study before taking this course. Participation is at the discretion of the faculty member. Students will typically produce a major research paper (50+ pages); there will be no examination. Prerequisite: University approval and Upper Level standing. Prior to registering, students should first contact the professor with whom they wish to mentor their independent study, coordinate an agreement on the grading requirements, and then NOTIFY their academic advisor with the name of their professor.

POLS697 Portfolio and Critical Reflection Paper Capstone in Political Science (3 semester hours)

The course is tailored specifically to political science master’s program. The capstone course may be taken only after the completion of all other coursework. Students must successfully complete this requirement before the award of a degree. Students must apply for graduation and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to be able to register for the course. The portfolio will consist of artifacts demonstrating competency in each of the program objectives. Students are expected to retain these artifacts as they progress through their program to prepare for this course. The portfolio contains a substantive analysis that contextualizes each artifact, articulates how the artifact demonstrates mastery of the learning outcome, and evaluates the student’s intellectual growth through the program.

POLS698 Comprehensive Examination in Political Science (0 semester hours)

The comprehensive final examination is for students in the Master of Arts in Political Science program. The "Comprehensive Exam" is tailored specifically to each program and must be taken after students have completed 36 hours of study (i.e. during the semester following the final course) and must be successfully completed before the award of a degree. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a structured and self-paced review of key concepts, theories, and knowledge skill sets in the field of political science. Preparation for a comprehensive examination, however, is the student’s responsibility.

POLS699 Political Science Capstone (3 semester hours)

The Master’s Capstone includes a thesis, or a major research project that is a capstone to the Political Science graduate program. NOTE: This course may not be taken until all other courses are COMPLETED and student has a 3.0 GPA.THIS COURSE IS 16 WEEKS.