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Fall 2020 Advising Guide

The course list for Fall 2020 is shown below. While the list of courses is mostly self-explanatory, a couple of items are noteworthy. First, pay attention to the subfield of the course as you create your schedule. All political science majors must take a course in each subfield during their college career. Second, classes marked with an asterisk have a topic, which are listed below the course list.


Fall 2020 Course List

Course Title Faculty Day Time Room Subfield
POL 110-01 American Government Garlick M-Th 12:30-1:50 SSB 225 American
POL 110-02 American Government Garlick M-Th 2:00-3:20 SSB 225 American
POL 110-03 American Government Willse M-Th 9:30-10:50 SSB 223 American
POL 110-04 American Government Willse M-Th 11:00-12:20 SSB 223 American
POL 110-05 American Government Healey M 5:30-8:20 SSB 225 American
POL 110-06 American Government Arndt T-F 2:00-3:20 SSB 225 American
POL 130-01 International Relations Cho M-Th 3:30-4:50 SSB 223 International
POL 130-02 International Relations Arndt T-F 3:30-4:50 SSB 225 International
POL 150-01 Comparative Politics Holom T 5:30-8:20 SSB 223 Comparative
POL 150-02 Comparative Politics Chartock M-Th 2:00-3:20 SSB 223 Comparative
POL 200-01 Political Analysis Bowen T,W,F T/F 8:00-9:20
W 9:00-9:50
T/F SSB 225
W SSB 021
POL 250-01 Politics & Society in Developing Countries Lowi T-Fr 2:00-3:20 SSB 223 Comparative
POL 275-01 Western Political Philosophy Jovanoski M-Th 9:30-10:50 SSB 225 Political Theory
POL 305-01 American Public Policy Willse M-Th 2:00-3:20 SCIE C113 American
POL 323-01 Law and Society Dumas T-F 9:30-10:50 SSB 225 American
POL 323-02 Law and Society Dumas T-F 2:00-3:20 SSB 325 American
POL 330-01 American Foreign Policy Cho M-Th 12:30-1:50 SSB 223 International
POL 351-01 Politics of the European Union Toloudis M-Th 11:00-12:20 SSB 225
POL 357-01 Middle East Politics Lowi T-F 9:30-10:50 BLIS 228 Comparative
POL 365-01/HIS 366-01 Origins of the US Constitution Brindle T 5:30-8:20 SSB 225 Political Theory
POL 370-01 Topics in Political Science: Environmental Policy * Potter T-F 11:00-12:20 SSB 225
POL 390-01 Tutorial in Political Science: Judicial Politics * Dumas T-F 11:00-12:20 SSB 241
POL 390-02 Tutorial in Political Science: Politics of Social Inclusion Policy * Chartock M 9:30-12:20 SSB 241
POL 395-01 Group Research in Political Science * Chartock Th 9:30-12:20 SSB 241
POL 498-01 Seminar in Political Science: Political Communications * Garlick M-Th 9:30-10:50 SSB 131

Course Descriptions

Major Requirements and Program Planner


Special Topics & Seminars


POL 370: Environmental Policy

Dr. Brian Potter

Environmental problems are not new but seem to be taking greater importance in people’s lives. To a large degree, society’s ability to address such issues depends on the policy choices chosen by different governing institutions. What environmental issues demand government attention, how do governments and bureaucracies approach them, and with what degree of success? The course consists of four sections: tools of environmental analysis (such as cost-benefit analysis, environmental impact reports, regulation, subsidies/taxation, and property rights); the dynamics of environmental policymaking in the United States; some comparisons to other countries; and global environmental policies. With a focus on environmental issues, the course offers analytical tools and case studies to understand the making of public policy.


POL 390-01: Judicial Politics

Dr. Tao Dumas

This tutorial prepares students to conduct independent research related to the study of law and courts with an emphasis on judicial selection and decision-making.  Judicial politics scholars examine how judicial institutions and external pressures and constraints impact judges’ behaviors and legal outcomes.  Students will become familiar with existing judicial politics scholarship related to various levels of courts and social science research design and techniques.  At the end of the course, students should be able to select a research topic, survey and summarize existing literature related to the research question, model and define their own contribution to the field, use appropriate empirical methods, and evaluate the contribution of their original research.


POL 390-02: Politics of Social Inclusion Policy

Dr. Sarah Chartock

This course examines the origins and outcomes of policies that affect marginalized populations. While so often political actors and observers discuss political, social and economic vulnerability, much less frequently do we witness the passage and implementation of policies that aim to ameliorate so called social exclusion. This course examines why such rare policies get passed when they do, why they are sometimes successfully carried out (while other times fail to be implemented), and the variety of outcomes that arise out of their passage.


POL 395-01: Group Research in Political Science

Dr. Sarah Chartock

(Enrollment requires the permission of instructor)

This Political Science small group research course is less like a traditional course and more like a research team or lab, in which six exceptional students work on the active scholarship of the professor. Students will engage with recent scholarship on areas related to the project and will collect and analyze data that helps update the project’s empirical findings. At the end of the course, students will have in-depth experiential knowledge of what the qualitative social science research process looks like when the outcome is scholarly work meant for publication.


POL 498-01: Political Communications

Dr. Alex Garlick

This Senior Topics Seminar covers political communication. The course will address how media institutions affect citizen and legislative political behavior in the modern United States and Western Europe. Students will propose and conduct a rigorous independent research project. As a 400-level course, this is a writing-intensive course with a strong oral presentation component.


Course Descriptions


POL 110: American Government

Examines the strengths and weaknesses, problems and promise of representative democracy in the United States. Surveys the relationships of citizens to Congress, the president and the courts through political parties,
elections, interest groups, and the media. Considers the constitutional framework of government and the rights of the individual against governmental intrusion.

POL 130: International Relations

An examination of contemporary patterns of international interaction and their historic roots with attention to competing theoretical perspectives. Topics studied include foreign policy, international law and organization, and international political economy.

POL 150: Comparative Politics

Introduces students to some of the most important concepts, themes and approaches in the comparative study of politics. Comparative Politics is the study of the domestic or internal politics of particular countries. By comparing the processes, institutions and other political phenomena of one country in relation to others, those engaged in the study of comparative politics isolate the primary causes and consequences of these political phenomena and are thus able to create and test theories of politics around the world.

POL 200: Political Analysis

The course familiarizes students with the basic statistical, conceptual, and technical skills needed for research in political science. Topics include research design, hypothesis testing, statistical methodology common in the social sciences, and practical experience examining and analyzing quantitative data. This course provides students hands-on training with Stata, a commonly used statistical software package. Should normally be completed by the end of the sophomore year prior to taking POL 390.

POL 250: Politics & Society in Developing Countries

Examines political trends, patterns, and variations in the developing world, drawing examples from countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Primary questions include colonialism’s impact the future political, economic and social development, strong versus weak states and regimes, and role of identity politics in these countries. The latter part of the course examines politics in four specific countries: Brazil, India, Nigeria and South Korea.

POL 275: Western Political Philosophy

Selected political questions that have intrigued Western society from time immemorial and theoretical solutions presented by some of the great political philosophers from classical Greece to the modern era.

POL 305: American Public Policy

An examination of the policy-making process, the important domestic policies that have resulted, and the evaluation of these policies. The course covers substantive issues of contemporary public policy in such areas as the environment, health care, welfare, the economy, crime, education, and regulation. The course also trains students in the methods of policy analysis with a focus on designing research projects to estimate the causal effects of public policies

POL 323: Law & Society

An examination of what law is, the sources of law, and the impact of law on society and the individual.  Examines internal aspects of the legal system, such as legal reasoning and the structure of the legal profession, as well as external factors such as the economic system and social structure, in order to illustrate the dynamic relationship between law and the society in which it exists.

POL 330: US Foreign Policy

Examines the formulation and execution of American foreign policy in the context of American politics and of the United States’ historic role in the world; some themes considered include the domestic sources of foreign policy and the conditions under which the United States uses force abroad.

POL 351: Politics of the European Union

This course explores the historical foundations, consequences, and scope of European political and economic integration since 1948. We will examine the historical trajectory that the European Union has followed over the past 70 years, how national political considerations have shaped the direction and pace of European integration, the variety of policies that the EU implements, and some of the ways that the EU has impacted the policies and economies of its member states. We will also consider the challenges faced by the European Union: the dilemmas generated by the single currency, the ongoing refugee crisis, and the potential fragmentation of the Union.

POL 357: Middle East Politics

An examination of the politics of Middle Eastern and North African states from a comparative historical perspective.  The principal focus is on the challenges and constraints that Middle Eastern societies have faced in their efforts to create modern nation-states.  Topics include imperialist intervention in the region, post-Colonial state-building experiences, and the role of Islam in domestic politics.

POL 365: Origins of the US Constitution

An examination of the political theories, people, social and economic forces, events, and political context that influenced the framing and ratification of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.