Courses

Undergraduate Courses

PSC 1100       American Government
Constitutional development; national institutions, federalism, civil rights and liberties; instruments of popular control. Prerequisite for PSC 2100-level and 5100-level courses and PSC 6900.
Attributes: Core Social Science, Political Science, Social Science Elective

PSC 1200       International Relations
Theories and concepts in the study of international relations; important and enduring questions in world affairs; trends and changes in the post-Cold War and post-9/11 world. Prerequisite for PSC 2200-level and 5200-level courses and PSC 6900.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science, Social Science Elective

PSC 1300       Comparative Politics
Political dynamics of various countries and regions. Regime types and political institutions. Politics of inclusion and  exclusion. Sources of political change and continuity. Prerequisite for PSC 2300-level and 5300-level courses and PSC 6900.

Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science

PSC 1400       Political Theory
A survey of early and modern political thought and its relevance to contemporary politics. Prerequisite for PSC 2400-level and 5100-level courses and PSC 6900
Attributes
: Political Science

PSC 1900       Research Seminar
Elements required for writing a research paper on a problem in political science, including using the library, evaluating and properly citing sources, understanding appropriate research methods, and writing and re-drafting a research paper. Prerequisite for PSC 6900.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science, A&S Research Requirement
Restrictions
: Must be a Political Science major

PSC 2110       U.S. State and Local Government
Constitutions, institutions, instruments of popular control and intergovernmental relations.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100

PSC 2120       U.S. Congress
Congressional functions, structures and procedures; distribution of power; elections; representation, parties, committees and the legislative process. Relations with the president, executive bureaucracy, judiciary and interest groups. Congress’ role in the economy, budgeting, domestic policy and national security policy.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100

PSC 2125       U.S. Presidency
The nature, functions, and development of the American presidency, including relations between the president and other Washington actors, the public and the press.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100

PSC 2130       U.S. Judiciary
Historical overview of the Supreme Court; competing perspectives on judicial behavior; and patterns in the relationship between the Court and other branches of the federal government.
Attributes
: Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100

PSC 2140       U.S. Constitutional Law I: Powers and Structures
Major Supreme Court cases concerning the powers of Congress and the president, federalism, commerce taxing, and voting.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100

PSC 2145       U.S. Constitutional Law II: Rights and Liberties
Major Supreme Court decisions, 1789 to the present, concerning provisions of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment; emphasis on constitutional “literacy,” or the ability to read Court decisions and write about them.
Attributes
: Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100

PSC 2150       U.S. Political Parties and Elections
The place of parties in national politics; the nature, organization, and functions of political parties; suffrage requirements and election methods; the activities of organized interests.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100

PSC 2180       U.S. National Security Policy
Development of strategic thought in the United States, arms control and disarmament, intelligence, technology, alliance policy, role of civilian and military branches of government, and related topics.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100

PSC 2190       U.S. Public Opinion and Political Behavior
The normative and empirical roles of public opinion and civic involvement in American democracy; conceptual and measurement issues, individual-level and societal factors influencing public opinion and political behavior.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100

PSC 2210       Globalization
Transformation of international politics through diffusion of ideas, technology, migration, capital and markets. Globalization, diffusion, and interactions of ideas, technology and capital. Effects on domestic and international politics, economics, society.
Attributes
: Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1200

PSC 2220       International Law
The rules and principles of international law based on a study of treaties, diplomatic practice, and cases dealt with by international and national courts.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1200

PSC 2230       International Organization
The development of international organization, the U.N., its principles, structure, and accomplishments; regional organizations; prospects for the future.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1200

PSC 2240       International Political Economy
Interactions between domestic, comparative and international politics and economics. Institutions, ideas and power dynamics in trade, finance, and development. The movement of labor, goods, services, and capital across national boundaries.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1200

PSC 2260       War and Conflict
Causes of interstate war, laws and norms of war, nuclear proliferation and deterrence, terrorism, civil war, territorial disputes, religion and conflict, and humanitarian and military intervention and peacekeeping.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1200

PSC 2310       Nationalism
National identity and consciousness; origin and development of nations and states; role and effects of nationalism in modern politics, culture, society, and economy.
Attributes
: Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1200

PSC 2330       East Asian Politics
Northeast Asian countries' political and economic development after World War II.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Diversity Requirement 3, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1300

PSC 2340       Politics of the Arab World
Political change in the principal Arab States with emphasis on the diverse forms of rule and political movements. The impact of colonial rule and socioeconomic changes on political life, leadership, social structure, political culture, and modernization.
Attributes
: Arab and Islamic Studies, Core Social Science, Diversity Requirement 3, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1300

PSC 2350       African Politics
Politics and societies of contemporary Africa. Colonialism and its legacies. Postcolonial regimes; authoritarianism, neo-patrimonialism and "big man" rule; political reform and democratization. Theories of conflict and conflict resolution. Economic development: International and domestic explanations of poverty and underdevelopment; the HIV crisis, foreign aid, debt and debt relief, and economic reform and renewed growth.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Diversity Requirement 3, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1300

PSC 2360       Latin American Politics
Politics and societies of contemporary Latin America. Legacies of social revolution and authoritarian rule; democratic transition and consolidation; market reforms and their consequences. Democratic representation; the resurgence of the political left; identity politics (race/ethnicity, inclusion and exclusion). US-Latin American relations: immigration, trade, energy, and security policies.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Diversity Requirement 3, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1300

PSC 2370       Third World Politics
Political systems of the developing world, including ideologies, the role of the military, nation building, gender issues, religion, ethnic conflict and additional topics.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Diversity Requirement 3, Political Science
Prerequisites: PSC 1300

PSC 2380       European Politics
European political institutions, changes in party systems, and impact of European integration/globalization on domestic economies.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Diversity Requirement 3, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1300

PSC 2390       Indian and South Asian Politics
The historical development of India and Pakistan; their contemporary problems and conduct of foreign relations with the great powers.
Attributes
: Arab and Islamic Studies, Core Social Science, Diversity Requirement 3, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1300

PSC 2410       Early Political Theories
The relevance of the classics of political thought for understanding modern politics from the Greeks to the modern era.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1400

PSC 2420       Modern Political Theories
The structure of modern political thought and developments of twentieth century political thought as an aid to understanding our age.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1400

PSC 3110       Politics of Immigration (U.S.)
The varied perspectives of public, private, and nonprofit leaders on the nature of American citizenship from the founding era to the 21st century. How the meaning of American citizenship shapes political life through legislation, advocacy and social service provision.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science

PSC 3120       Political Communication (U.S.)
The role, behavior and influence of communications in American politics.
Attributes: Core Social Science, Political Science

PSC 3130       Women and Politics in the U.S.
Why women traditionally have been marginal to political life; the efforts of women in the past and today to change that fact; the problems that must be solved before women can translate their numerical strength into political power.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Diversity Requirement 2, Gender and Women’s Studies, Political Science

PSC 3140       Race, Ethnicity and Politics in the U.S.
The importance of race and ethnicity in American politics, and the politics (historical, legal, attitudinal, and behavioral) of four of the United States' principal racial and ethnic minority groups: blacks (African-Americans), Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Diversity Requirement 1, Political Science

PSC 3150       Political Psychology
The interplay between politics and psychology; principles, terminology, and methods of psychological theories to understand how people think and feel about politics and how politics affects their thinking.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science

PSC 3210       American Foreign Policy
The institutions, processes, and ideas which shape contemporary American foreign policy; the major problem areas.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science

PSC 3220       Middle East International Relations
Intra-regional and international problems facing the Middle East: the struggle for independence; the impact of the Cold War; the protracted conflict between Israelis and Arabs; and the tensions in the oil-rich Persian Gulf.
Attributes
: Arab and Islamic Studies, Core Social Science, Diversity Requirement 3, Political Science

PSC 3230       Development and Aid
Development and the role of official development assistance. Includes aid effectiveness, modalities, impact of globalization, conflation of aid with strategic purpose, and rising influence of non-traditional donors, such as China and oil-exporting countries.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science

PSC 3240       East Asian Political Economy
Interactions between domestic and international actors in Asia; role of political regimes, institutions and firms; dynamic processes of trade and financial sector liberalization and economic crisis.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science

PSC 3250       Genocide and Mass Killing
Definitions of genocide and mass killing, causes of genocide and mass killing, contexts in which violence occurs, dynamics of violence, variations in violence, individual motivations of perpetrators, rescue and resistance, obstacles and opportunities for intervention and prevention, tribunals and truth commissions.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science

PSC 3320       Russian Politics
The contemporary Russian political system; political transformation from the Communist system which preceded it.
Attributes
: Political Science, Russian Area Studies

PSC 3330       British Politics
Development of the British state; the powers of Parliament and other institutions; the British welfare state, public opinion, and policing; questions of union and devolution; major current topics in British politics.
Attributes
: Political Science

PSC 3410       Theories of War and Peace
The relevance of the classics of political thought for understanding modern politics from the Greeks to the modern era.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science

PSC 3420       American Political Thought
The founding of the American Republic; nature of the federal union, factions, popular sovereignty, the extended republic, representation, separation of powers, and checks and balances.
Attributes
: Political Science

PSC 3440       Politics and Religion
The nature of religious and political identity; the possibility and desirability of keeping them apart; the relationship between religion and politics in a free society; religious pluralism, its requirements and consequences; the prospects for “civil religion.”
Attributes
: Political Science

PSC 4175       Topics in American Government
Topical courses in American Government offered on an occasional basis.
Attributes
: Political Science

PSC 4275       Topics in International Relations
Topical courses in International Relations offered on an occasional basis.
Attributes
: Political Science

PSC 4375       Topics in Comparative Politics
Topical courses in Comparative Politics offered on an occasional basis.
Attributes
: Political Science

PSC 4475       Topics in Political Theory
Topical courses in Political Theory offered on an occasional basis.
Attributes
: Political Science

PSC 5110       Independent Study in American Politics
Readings, research, and writing on topics in American government under faculty supervision. Permission of instructor and department chair required.
Attributes
: Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100

PSC 5210       Independent Study in International Relations
Readings, research, and writing on topics in International Relations under faculty supervision. Permission of instructor and department chair required.
Attributes
: Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1200

PSC 5310       Independent Study in Comparative Politics
Readings, research, and writing on topics in Comparative Politics under faculty supervision. Permission of instructor and department chair required.
Attributes
: Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1300

PSC 5410       Independent Study in Political Theory
Readings, research, and writing on topics in Political Theory under faculty supervision. Permission of instructor and department chair required.
Attributes: Political Science
Prerequisites
: PSC 1400

PSC 6160       Washington Minimester
A three-week program of seminars in Washington, D.C. with public officials, staff members, party leaders, and interest group representatives. Held annually in mid-May. Enrolls the previous fall. Limit: 15 students. Permission of instructor required.
Attributes
: Core Social Science, Political Science

PSC 6503       Internship Elective
Internship.  Limit of 3 credits toward PSC major.
Attributes
: Political Science

PSC 6900       Political Science Senior Seminar
Capstone seminar on specialized topics in political science.
Attributes
: Political Science
Restrictions
: Must be a Political Science major
Prerequisites
: PSC 1100 and PSC 1200 and PSC 1300 and PSC 1400 and PSC 1900

Graduate Courses

PSC 7000       Research Concepts and Approaches
Tools needed to think critically about questions of political science; various research methods employed by political scientists; skills necessary to write cogent essays and conduct original research.

PSC 7175       Topics in American Government
Topical courses in American Government offered on an occasional basis.

PSC 7275       Topics in International Relations
Topical courses in International Relations offered on an occasional basis.

PSC 7375       Topics in Comparative Politics
Topical courses in Comparative Politics offered on an occasional basis.

PSC 7475       Topics in Political Theory
Topical courses in Political Theory offered on an occasional basis.

PSC 8110       U.S. Congress
The contemporary House and Senate; elections, structures, functions, procedures, theories and controversies examined through current scholarship; relations with the president and executive branch.

PSC 8120       U.S. Presidency
Nature, functions and evolution of the American presidency; competing definitions and intrepretations of the power of the office; special attention to recent presidents. 

PSC 8130       U.S. Constitutional Interpretation
A review of key decisions in American Constitutional law, with particular attention to adopted modes of argumentation.

PSC 8140       Race and Ethnicity
Influence of race and ethnicity on American political attitudes and behaviors; nature and consequences of race and ethnicity in American politics; group identities and political decision-making.

PSC 8160       Political Communication
Role, behavior and influence of communications in American politics.

PSC 8165       Cyberpolitics
The Internet as a political tool; social media and politics; how the Internet enables individuals to build virtual and real-world communities, shape media narratives, and bring about political outcomes.

PSC 8170       Public Opinion
Underpinnings of public opinion; opinion formation, stability and change; effects of public opinion on political participation; media influences on public opinion; equality and representation in a democratic society.

PSC 8180       National Security Policy
How and why the United States defended itself with conventional, covert, and nuclear strategies during the Cold War and post-Cold War eras.

PSC 8185       U.S. Intelligence
Issues, history, laws and bureaucratic concerns pertaining to U.S. intelligence.

PSC 8190       American Party Politics
Organization and function of American political parties as contestants for political power and architects of public policy; political party realignment; parties and campaigns; the party in the electorate and the party in government.

PSC 8210       Globalization
Links between Globalization and anti-Americanism, new security threats, income inequality, rise in NGOs, immigration, retrenchment in welfare politics.

PSC 8220       International Law
The development of international law, including legal principles, theoretical approaches, major treaties and disputes; application to contemporary issues. 

PSC 8230       International Organization
Institutions, processes, and politics of the United Nations and regional international organizations. 

PSC 8255       Genocide and Mass Killing
Conceptual, analytical and theoretical approaches to genocide and mass killing; causes of violence; contexts in which violence occurs; variations in violence; perpetrators' motivations; intervention and prevention; trials and tribunals; the politics of memory. 

PSC 8260       International Security
Theories of international relations, focusing on causes of interstate war. Laws and norms of war; terrorism and counterterrorism; civil war and insurgency; religion and conflict; violence against civilians; humanitarian intervention and peacekeeping; cyber-security. 

PSC 8265       Global Inequality
Theories, trends, regional variations, economic growth, democracy, culture, state roles, political mobilization and structural constraints in explaining inequality across countries; comparative and aggregate quantitative analysis; in-depth selected country studies.

PSC 8270       International Political Economy
Mercantilism, classical liberalism, imperialism, world systems theory, international trade and finance, multinational corporations, foreign aid, development, integration. 

PSC 8305       Democratization
The role of political elites, institutions, socio-economic development, religion, and culture in promoting or hindering democracy in different parts of the world.

PSC 8310       Comparative Political Economy
The interaction between states and markets in developing and advanced industrial countries; theories of economic development; varieties of capitalism and the rise of state capitalism; post-communist transitions; causes and consequences of development and underdevelopment.

PSC 8315       Comparative Civil Liberties
Laws and practices regarding civil liberties in countries around the world; legal and political frameworks that define and protect or limit rights; police powers; freedom of speech; racial discrimination; the source and protection of rights.

PSC 8320       Russian Politics
Russian political system in transition from authoritarian rule; historical and ideological roots of the Soviet system and initial efforts to reform it; the collapse of communism in Russia and the emergency of a new system.

PSC 8330       African Politics
Patterns of political change in Africa; problems of political and economic development, national integration, and interregional cooperation; linkages between internal and external affairs.

PSC 8340       Middle East Politics
Political patterns and crosscutting influences in political identity in the Arab world, Israel and Iran. The interaction of secular nationalism and political Islam. Political thinkers and political movements.

PSC 8360       Latin American Politics
Politically important groups, movements, institutions and ideologies in Latin American nations. Competing theories about the political roles of the military, church, bureaucracy, parties, unions, economic elites and branches of government. 

PSC 8370       Third World Politics
Political systems of the developing world; nation- and state-building; constitutional and legal development; the role of the military; refugees; gender issues; religion and ethnic conflict.

PSC 8380       European Politics
The impact of European integration and globalization on domestic political economies (labor relations, welfare spending and Keynesianism); the rise of Green parties and right-wing populists; long-term political development (causes of interwar fascism, social democracy and liberalism). 

PSC 8390       South Asian Politics
Political institutions and theories governing the relations of the states and citizens of South Asia, notably India and Pakistan.

PSC 8440       Religion and Politics
Relationship between civic and religious identity in Western and non-Western societies; the role of shared values and goals in a liberal democracy.

PSC 8450       The American Founding
Issues about the nature of the federal union, sovereignty, majority faction, the extended republic, representation, branches of government, separation of powers, checks and balances, slavery, popular government and civic responsibility during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 and the ratification debates over the Constitution.

PSC 8455       Lincoln/Douglas Debates
The political understanding and statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas; examination of the theoretical and practical concerns of political leadership in a free society; issues of equality, sovereignty, liberty, and justice.

PSC 9078       Thesis Research Problems
Required for students on research track. Objectives are to address problems of research and question formulation and conceptualization; apply foundational research skills, techniques, broad survey of methodological and data techniques and appropriate applications; development of thesis proposal and research design.

PSC 9079       Thesis Direction
Directed thesis research.
Prerequisite
: PSC 9078

PSC 9080       Thesis Continuation
Continuing thesis research.  0 credits

PSC 9800       Reading/Research in Political Science
An individual student with a specific interest which cannot be satisfied by a regular course is allowed to work on a tutorial basis with a particular professor. Permission of instructor required.

PSC 9801       Reading/Research in Political Science
An individual student with a specific interest which cannot be satisfied by a regular course is allowed to work on a tutorial basis with a particular professor. Permission of instructor required.