Political Science (POLS)

POLS 101. Introduction to Political Science. (3 Credits)

This course is an analysis of the structure and operation of American political system, along with a comparison of the characteristics of liberal democracy with those of such competing ideologies as nationalism, communism, socialism, anarchism, and fascism.

POLS 135. Voices in Democracy. (3 Credits)

This course introduces the student to the study of American government, its structure, processes and actors. Students will examine the operations of the federal government as well as the roles of state and local governments. Also, the course will examine the role of the media and of public interest groups in American politics, as well as the nature of the electoral process.

POLS 201. American Government. (3 Credits)

This course studies the basic foundations and underlying principles of American national, state and local government.

POLS 255. Presidency. (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to the history, theory, and practice of the office of the U.S. presidency. Activities will help students appreciate how the presidency has evolved, explore the powers and limitations of the contemporary presidency, and recommend improvements and modifications to the office. The course is suggested as an advanced level course for students who have taken POLS 201 (American Government), though it is not a prerequisite.

POLS 285. American Politics and Health Care Policy. (3 Credits)

In this course students will learn the fundamentals of the American political system as well as its origins. They will compare a federal political system to unitary and confederal systems in terms of policy outcomes and variation. Students will engage in research, both individually and in small groups, with the purpose of assessing the current state of health in the United States and formulating practical policy ideas to improve it. Students will contribute their individual data to a data pool for common use. The group projects include researching and leading a panel discussion as well as a debate in class. The final exam will require students to do further individual research on specific health policy problems and to formulate their own practical policy suggestions.

POLS 300. Comparative Politics. (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to central concepts of comparative politics, including power, state formation, political economy, political culture, nationalism and identity, democratization, and globalization. Prerequisites for Political Science majors and minors: POLS 101 and POLS 201.
Prerequisites: POLS 101 and 201.

POLS 310. International Relations. (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of international politics and international organization, particularly the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
Prerequisite: POLS 101.

POLS 340. U.S. National Security Policy. (3 Credits)

This course will examine the problems and issues regarding United States National Security Policy. There will be a brief overview of national security theory and philosophy. Next, a large section of the course will deal with the principal actors and institutions involved in making and creating a national security policy. Lastly, there will be a thematic look at the threats and concerns that United States national security has dealt with and must continue to deal with. The instructor will call upon his experience as a diplomat for the Department of State and the U.S. Space Force to enhance the classroom. Time will also be spent on career options in national security.

POLS 359. Constitutional Law. (3 Credits)

This course analyzes individual rights and responsibilities as developed by the United States Supreme Court in its interpretation of the United States Constitution.

POLS 361. Civil Rights & Civil Liberties. (3 Credits)

This course explores the philosophical and historical development of the concepts of civil rights and civil liberties, the role American society has played and continues to play in protecting human rights through government institutions, particularly the judiciary, and the current state of rights protections within the U.S. 

POLS 410. Faith and Politics. (3 Credits)

This course examines the relationship between religion and politics in the United States and how Christians may respond to and be a part of the public square. Prerequisites for Political Science minors: POLS 101 and POLS 201.
Prerequisites: POLS 101 and 201.

POLS 480. Internship/Fieldwork. (1-6 Credits)

This course provides opportunities for students to work and gain experience in a variety of political contexts. Students may intern at the local, state, national, or international level, including a Washington, D.C., semester.
Prerequisites: POLS 101 and 201.

POLS 490. Senior Seminar. (3 Credits)

This course provides opportunity for students to work with special schools or topics in the fields of sociology, psychology, economics, political science and education. Individual research or group projects will be required. Enrollment for this course is during the spring of the senior year.
Prerequisites: PSY 101, 350 and MATH 205 and (POLS 492 or PSY 485).

POLS 491. Special Topics in Politics. (3 Credits)

Special Topics in Politics allows in-depth study of an area of politics and government of mutual interest to staff and students. This course may be taken more than once as long as there is substantially different content in each course. Prerequisites: POLS 101 and POLS 201 for Political Science majors and minors; or permission of the instructor.
Prerequisites: POLS 101 and 201.

POLS 492. Research Proposal. (1 Credit)

This course focuses on preparing the senior seminar research project. Students are required to submit a formal research proposal; university approval of the proposal will be required. Enrollment for this course is during fall of the senior year.
Prerequisite: PSY 350.