Department of Government and Justice Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
Graduate Courses in Political Science (PS)
Additional offerings by the department include courses in Criminal Justice (CJ) and Public Administration (PA)
Phillip Ardoin, Department Chair
Political Science (PS)
PS 5001. Scope and Methods (3).F. This course is designed to introduce students to both qualitative and quantitative research design and methods in political science. Topics will include approaches to political science, constructing research questions, literature reviews, critical reviews, hypothesis development and testing, survey design, experiments, case studies, and some introductory statistics. The course will also introduce students to the various fields in political science.
PS 5002. Research Methods and Statistics (3).S. This course is designed to introduce students to the nature, language, and statistical methods used by social scientists to conduct research in the field of political science. The course will stress both theory and application, and it will examine not only how data is gathered and analyzed by political scientists to explain human behavior, but also each step of the research process. Students will be exposed to sampling, survey research and a variety of other methods of obtaining and analyzing data. In the lab component of this course, students will have the opportunity to learn how to use computer software (mainly SPSS for Windows) to organize and analyze data and how to interpret and present the results of statistical analysis.
PS 5010. Seminar in Political Philosophy (3).S. The seminar will provide an overview and critique of the literature in the field of political philosophy from the Enlightenment to the present.
PS 5020. Pro-Seminar in International Relations (3).F. Alternate years. The seminar will provide an overview and critique of the literature in the field on international relations.
PS 5030. Seminar in American Government and Politics (3).F. Special investigation of selected topics in American government and politics. Topics will vary from year to year. Barring duplication of content, a student may repeat the course for a total of six credit hours.
PS 5040. Pro-Seminar in Comparative Politics (3).F. Alternate years. The seminar will provide an overview and critique of the literature in the field of comparative politics.
PS 5050. Seminar in Public Law and Judicial Behavior (3).S. Alternate years. An examination of the multiple roles of law and the judicial system in the formulation and execution of public policy, to include the role of the judiciary in politics and government with emphasis on variables affecting judicial decision making. (Same as CJ 5050.)
PS 5070. Seminar in Media and Politics (3).On Demand. An examination of the large role played by the media in American and international politics. An examination of the large role played by the media in elections, state and local government, the judicial branch, Congress, the presidency, international affairs, and the individual political socialization process.
PS 5100. Seminar in Congressional Politics (3).F. Alternate years. Designed as an introduction to the major research on the U.S. Congress, students will critically examine theories of representation, congressional decision-making, the role of various institutional structures, and inter-branch relations. Topics will vary from year to year. Barring duplication of content, a student may repeat the course for a total of six credit hours.
PS 5110. Campaigns and Elections (3).S. Alternate years. An examination of the theoretical approaches used to study American campaigns and elections. The course will examine research on public opinion, voting behavior, campaign strategies, turnout, and electoral outcomes at the local, state and national levels of government.
PS 5120. Readings and Research in International Relations (3).On Demand. The course explores the problems and issues confronting international politics, new theoretical perspectives, and trends in the field of international relations. Topics may vary from semester to semester.
PS 5125. Readings and Research in Comparative Politics (3).On Demand. The course explores the problems and issues in various political systems, new theoretical perspectives of studying politics, and trends in the field of comparative politics. Topics may vary from semester to semester.
PS 5130. Appalachian Political Perspectives (3).F. Alternate odd-numbered years. An examination of the political process in the Appalachian region. The fundamental political problems, the interrelationships of Appalachia and its people with the larger American political system, political culture, and economy.
PS 5135. Readings and Research in American Politics (3).On Demand. This course examines research and contemporary issues regarding the American electoral process and the key institutions of American National Government. Topics will vary from year to year. Barring duplication of content, a student may repeat the course for a total of six credit hours.
PS 5145. American Political Parties and Interest Groups (3).S. Alternate years. An examination of the history, formation, and maintenance of American political parties and interest groups. Existing literature and the theoretical importance of these intermediaries in the political process will be evaluated. The roles of parties and interest groups as organizations, the roles they play in electoral politics, how they mobilize voters, and their roles in government will be examined.
PS 5150. Seminar in Public Policy (3).F.Alternate Years. An examination of the theories associated with the policy process including problem identification, agenda setting, decision-making, formulation, legitimation, implementation, and evaluation. The course will focus on policy change and it will also focus on substantive policy areas such as environmental and social policy.
PS 5155. Seminar in Political Behavior (3).On Demand. This course will examine numerous topics in political behavior, such as individual and mass participation, belief systems, public opinion, civic engagement, party identification, political psychology, tolerance, political socialization, and voting and elections. The course will also assess the means by which scholars have evaluated questions on the nature of political behavior and the conclusions they have drawn.
PS 5170. Advanced Political Psychology (3).On Demand. This course will explore how cognitive and social psychology can be applied to the behavior of individuals and groups in American politics. To this end, it will cover theories of attitude change, information processing, ideology, emotions, intergroup relations, authoritarianism, and identity. The goal of the course is to encourage students to think critically about the material and gain an appreciation for interdisciplinary research.
PS 5330. Problems in State and Local Government (3).S. Research on selected topics in American state and local government. The topics may vary from year to year.
PS 5400. Washington at Work (3).On Demand. This course is designed to combine an academic perspective of the actors and institutions in our nation's capitol with a hands-on exploration of Washington, D.C. and it will include both classroom teaching and a week in Washington, D.C. Requirements for the course will include classroom instruction, required readings, quizzes, and a research paper
PS 5500. Independent Study (1-3).F;S.
PS 5530-5549. Selected Topics (1-4).On Demand.
PS 5550. Law and Society (3).S. An examination of the relationship between the values and culture of a society and the laws which it adopts; how law interacts with and responds to change in social values as seen by the courts through selected cases. (Same as CJ 5550.) [Dual-listed with PS 4550.]
PS 5640. Studies in Regional Political Patterns (1-3).On Demand. An examination of selected regions of the world which have common historical and cultural patterns influencing their political styles and capabilities. Topics may vary from semester to semester. [Dual-listed with PS 4640.]
PS 5661. Court Administration (3).On Demand. This course is designed to familiarize students with the need for, and approaches to, more effective management of federal and state courts. Topics include court reform, court unification, caseload management, alternative dispute resolution, personnel management and training, and audio-visual applications in the courts, among others. (Same as CJ 5661.) [Dual-listed with PS 4661.]
PS 5670. Advanced Environmental Politics (3).S. This course examines the role that politics and government play in dealing with environmental issues. Its focus is primarily on the U.S. approach to environmental protection, but some attention will be devoted to international environmental relationships such as the Kyoto Protocol. The course will cover the history of environmental policy, the legal and institutional arrangements for environmental protection, major environmental controversies and global environmental concerns.
PS 5675. Readings and Research in Environmental Policy (3).On Demand. This course examines research and contemporary issues within environmental policy. Special topics include, but are not limited to: international environmental policy, environment and development, environmental justice, climate politics, resource governance, and others. Barring duplication of content, a student may repeat the course for a total of six credit hours.
PS 5680. Organized Crime (3).F. Alternate years. This course will provide an examination and analysis of views on the phenomena of organized crime and efforts to control it. Attention will be paid to criminal organizations in the United States, their beginnings in other cultural and ethnic backgrounds and their relations with criminal organizations around the world. In today's world, criminal organizations in other countries and their activities have a major impact on crime in the United States. Therefore, a comparative approach to the subject must be used. (Same as CJ 5680). [Dual-listed with PS 4680.]
PS 5710. American Political Thought (3).On Demand. A survey of the diverse political ideas represented in the American state from the colonial period to the present. Special emphasis is given to the political problems that emerge with the process of industrialization and the movement into a postindustrial economy. [Dual-listed with PS 4710.]
PS 5721. Human Rights (3).On Demand. The course surveys the major literature in the field of international human rights. It investigates the questions of ethics, morality and the practice of human rights globally and attempts to address why the issue of international human rights has come to the fore in international politics. [Dual-listed with PS 4721.]
PS 5722. U.S. Foreign Policy (3).F. Alternate years. Investigates U.S. foreign policy from differing perspectives, focusing in on the historical record and contemporary issues.
PS 5723. International Political Economy (3). F. Alternate years. An examination of the relationship between political and economic activity, the way actors use one to manipulate the other, and the normative choices involved in doing so. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. [Dual-listed with PS 4723.]
PS 5741. European Governments and Politics (3).S. Alternate years. An examination of patterns of governmental organization and socioeconomic policy outcomes in the democracies of Europe as a basis for comparative analysis. Major issues confronting the democracies will be studies for possible options and comparisons of policy. [Dual-listed with PS 4741.]
PS 5742. Politics of Developing Nations (3).F. Alternate years. Focuses on the efforts of a majority of the world's governments to meet the twin challenges of participatory politics and of the Global market economy. [Dual-listed with PS 4742.]
PS 5743. The European Union (3).S. Alternate years. The emergence of the European Union is one of the major events in European history. The course explores the genesis and evolution of the idea of European integration and chronicles its organizational development in the post WWII era. Emphasis is placed on the politics of integration and the emergence of the Union as a major participant in world events. [Dual-listed with PS 4743.]
PS 5744. Middle East Politics (3).S. An examination of the political, cultural, economic and social patterns of the Middle East. [Dual-listed with PS 4744.]
PS 5745. African Politics (3).On Demand. The course begins with the historical context of African politics. Then, it explores the problems of governance following independence and discusses the contemporary debate between two contending schools of thought in African politics and development: Afro-optimism and Afro-pessimism. It examines Africa's relations with developing and developed countries as well. [Dual-listed with PS 4745.]
PS 5748. Latin American Politics (3).S. Alternate years. Examines Latin American politics in detail covering historical context, political actors, and current issues in Latin America. [Dual-listed with PS 4748.]
PS 5800. Directed Research (3).On Demand. Directed research on a topic selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. Student is expected to write a major research paper on this topic. May not be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: PS 5000/CJ 5000.
PS 5900. Internship in Public Affairs (3-9).F;S. Field work in government, community, professional offices and agencies and involvement in problem solving in these offices and agencies. Graded on an S/U basis.
PS 5989. Graduate Research (1-9).F;S. This course is designed to provide access to University facilities for continuing graduate research at the master's and specialist's levels. Graded on an S/U basis. PS 5989 does not count toward a degree.
PS 5998. Thesis Preparation (3).F;S. The purpose of this course is to offer the student who chooses to write a thesis the opportunity to initiate a literature search, review research strategies, develop hypotheses for testing, and prepare a thesis proposal for review by the thesis committee. Graded on an S/U basis. (PS 5998 is a prerequisite to PS 5999.)
PS 5999. Thesis (3).F;S. Graded on an SP/UP basis until the thesis has been successfully defended and received final approval, at which time all grades will be changed to S. Prerequisite: PS 5998.