Department of Political Science (PSC)

The department offers programs leading to the Master of Arts (MA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. Much more detailed information relating to the degrees offered by the Department of Political Science is contained in the Graduate Handbook at the department's website. Students and prospective students should also consult this catalog.

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Faculty

Chair
  • Smith, Joseph
Professors
  • Borrelli, Stephen
  • Cassel, Carol
  • DeRouen, Karl
  • Fording, Richard
  • Katsinas, Steven
  • McKnight, Utz
Associate professors
  • Caillier, James
  • Levine, Daniel
  • Miller, Ted
  • Patton, Dana
  • Royed, Terry
  • Smith, Joseph
Assistant professors
  • Bishara, Dina
  • Hale, Chris
  • Hawley, George
  • Ji, Hyunjung
  • Kerr, Nicholas
  • Linken, Allen

Courses

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Note: The MA is earned en route to the Ph.D.

PSC
500
Hours
0.5
Departmental Seminar I

Once-monthly information sessions required of new political science graduate students.

PSC
501
Hours
0.5
Departmental Seminar II

A continuation of PSC 500.

PSC
511
Hours
3
Public Opinion

The formation, distribution, structure, properties, and techniques of measuring public opinions in the United States.

PSC
515
Hours
3
US National Government Institutions

A detailed analysis of the Constitutional design, evolution and development, current structure and functioning, and policy outputs of the US Congress, Presidency and the Executive Branch, and the Supreme Court. Key political science theories, current public controversies, and reform proposals concerning these Federal institutions will be discussed.

Prerequisite(s): PSC 101 or the equivalent at the undergraduate level.
PSC
521
Hours
3
Research Design

Includes but is not limited to the role of theory, development of hypotheses, modes of observation and analysis, and testing of hypotheses.

PSC
522
Hours
3
Quant Methods PSC I

Introduction to statistical techniques, including univariate and bivariate descriptive statistics and their application within the field of political science.

PSC
542
Hours
3
Internatl Conflict

An examination of the various kinds of violent conflict in which nation-states become involved.

PSC
543
Hours
3
Comparative Pub Pol

An examination of the actors and processes involved in making public policy, with an emphasis on the question of what kinds of governments are responsive to popular demands.

PSC
552
Hours
3
American Political Thought

Investigates the origin and direction of the U.S. political ideology, including liberalism, civic republicanism, and debates condemning American exceptionalism.

PSC
561
Hours
3
Administrative Regultn

The impact of legal powers and procedures of administrative agencies on public policy. Analysis of regulatory powers in American governments.

PSC
562
Hours
3
Public Personnel Admin

A study of the American public personnel system, with an emphasis on the political setting of government employment, equal opportunity and affirmative action, and collective bargaining.

PSC
565
Hours
3
Foundations of Public Administration

Introduction to the scope, theory, and substantive issues of public administration.

PSC
595
Hours
1-6
Dir Reading & Research

No description available.

PSC
598
Hours
1-6
Dir Reading & Research

No description available.

PSC
599
Hours
1-6
Thesis Research

No description available.

PSC
610
Hours
3
Core Seminar in American Politics

This is a survey of classic or foundational research in most areas of American Politics, incorporating studies of the mass public, elites, and national-level institutions. The objectives are to help prepare students for their Comprehensive Exams in American Politics, and to provide introductions to various approaches and subject areas within American Politics that can be explored further in more advanced, focused graduate seminars. This course is required for all students taking American Politics as a graduate field.

PSC
611
Hours
3
Amer Polit Behavior

Research and methodology in the areas of social and psychological factors related to voting, party preference, and ideology.

PSC
612
Hours
3
Judicial Politics

Examines the role of the courts in political systems with primary emphasis on the United States Supreme Court.

PSC
613
Hours
3
State Politics and Policy

In this course we will examine theories and related research on state government and the policymaking process in the U.S. states. The course is divided into three parts. For approximately the first third of the semester, we will examine a fairly representative set of readings which span a broad range of political institutions through which policy is made. These institutions include the office of the governor, the state legislature, the state judicial system, and the various practices of direct democracy across the states. Part two of the course will be spent studying theories of the state policy process. We will examine a variety of theories, reflecting a broad range of forces that are thought to play a significant role in shaping state policy outcomes. As we will see, despite the complex and seemingly idiosyncratic nature of the policymaking process, state politics scholars have identified many systematic relationships between various institutional and contextual variables, and state policy outcomes. The insights that have been generated from this literature not only contribute to our understanding of state policymaking, but in many cases they shed light on debates that are relevant to scholars of American (national) politics, or in some cases, comparative politics. In the final section of the course, we will examine research in several substantive policy areas which have traditionally been considered the domain of the states. Our emphasis in this section will be broadened to include not just studies of policy adoption, but studies of policy implementation and impact as well.

PSC
614
Hours
3
Race and American Politics

Despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965) fifty years ago, and the recent election of an African American president in 2008, racial inequality persists across many dimensions of American life, including earnings, wealth, educational and occupational attainment, health and longevity, and access to political power and influence. Despite claims of a “post-racial” America, the events in Ferguson, Missouri and the recent movement that they have sparked, serve to remind us that racial inequality and its impact on race relations continue to play a central role in American politics. Today, African Americans and Latinos comprise approximately a quarter of the U.S. population. In many cities and some states, white Anglo citizens actually comprise a minority of the population, and demographic projections over the next two decades suggest that the white share of the population will continue to decline. Thus, it seems clear that race relations will remain central to understanding American politics at all levels of government in the years to come. In this course we will examine theories and related research on the role of race relations and racial stratification in American politics. The course is divided into four major sections. The first section of the course examines theories of racial prejudice. In this section we will examine some of the most important debates in the literature, including the possible existence and precise definition of a “new racism,” innovations regarding the measurement of prejudice to overcome social desirability bias, and the effects of increasing diversity on racial attitudes and race relations. In part two of the course we will examine the effects of racial attitudes on political behavior. We will examine the effects of race and prejudice on vote choice, the role of racial attitudes in the growth and success of the Republic Party in the South in recent decades, racial framing effects and the effects of the use of racial “code words” in campaigns and the mass media, and the role that racial attitudes have played in evaluations of and support for Barack Obama. In part three of the course, we turn out attention to the causes and consequences of the election of minority elected officials. What factors contribute to the success of black and Latino candidates in elections? And what difference does it make? In this section we will examine the debate over the importance of minority descriptive representation in advancing minority interests, as well as the effects of the increasing diversification of elected officials on other aspects of American politics. In the final section of the course, we will examine the importance of race in the policy process. We begin by examining theories and evidence of the influence of race relations in policy design and policy adoption. We then turn our attention to the importance of race in policy implementation and policy outcomes.

PSC
616
Hours
3
Topics In American Politics

An examination of selected problems in American politics. Content varies.

PSC
621
Hours
3
Quant Meth In PSC II

Data analysis and statistical applications in political research, including data processing, inferential statistics, correlation and regression, multivariate analysis, and other multidimensional techniques.

PSC
631
Hours
3
Sem Comparatve Politic

A survey of the theoretical literature in the field of comparative politics.

PSC
632
Hours
3
Spec Topics Comparative Pol

An examination of selected problems in comparative politics.

PSC
641
Hours
3
Issues Internatl Rel

An examination of major problem areas in the international system and their effects. Content varies.

PSC
642
Hours
3
Core Seminar in International Relations

A survey of contemporary theoretical approaches to the study of international relations, providing an overview of traditional and behavioral orientations.

PSC
643
Hours
3
International Relations Theory (I): Realism

This is the first of a series of two seminars on the core "traditions" of international theory. "Traditions" means a series of loosely connected ontological, epistemological and normative propositions: claims as to what the world is made of, how it can be understood, and what the work of scholarship could or should be. These propositions are interwoven in a variety of ways that make them hard to unravel. They are made even more so by the fact that they are intercut with a variety of different methodologies to form highly disparate research programs. Core concepts and testable propositions meld with background beliefs and lived experiences to structure our thinking in ways that can be hard to see.

PSC
645
Hours
3
International Relations Theory (II): IR-Liberalism

This is the second of a series of seminars on the core "traditions" of international theory. "Traditions" means a series of loosely connected ontological, epistemological and normative propositions: claims as to what the world is made of, how it can be understood, and what the work of scholarship should be. These propositions are interwoven in a variety of ways that make them hard to unravel. They are made even more so by the fact that they are intercut with a variety of different methodologies to form highly disparate research programs. As a result, what we think of as ‘IR-liberalism’ cannot be studied as a series of simple and testable propositions, nor as simply the extension of a consensus body of philosophical or political principles into the field of world politics.

PSC
646
Hours
3
Civil Wars

This course is an introduction to the advanced study of civil wars. We will explore: the impact, causes, duration, and outcome of civil war; the duration of peace after civil war; peacekeeping. Seminars will consist of Power Point lectures, student presentations, and discussion. Students are expected to write quality research papers that are theoretical, analytical and bring to bear empirical evidence.

PSC
647
Hours
3
Foreign Policy Decision Making

This class is an overview of the key components of Foreign Policy Decision Making (FPDM). Learning goals include understanding theories and models pertaining to FPDM as evidenced by student presentations, an exam, and a term paper. Students are expected to participate in class discussions.

PSC
651
Hours
3
Political Theory Sem

An examination of key political theorists from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Assigned works may vary but typically include those by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, J. S. Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche.

PSC
653
Hours
3
Special Topics

An examination of selected political theorists. Content varies.

PSC
662
Hours
3
Organization Theory

An analysis of the theories of organization and management that examines models, reviews current administrative philosophy, and presents contemporary trends in organization and management.

PSC
663
Hours
3
Sel Prob Public Admin

May be repeated up to a maximum of 6 hours of credit. In-depth analysis of a policy issue or administrative problem. Specific topics vary.

PSC
664
Hours
3
Public Policy Analysis

Focuses on the analysis of public policy through techniques based on economics, systems theory, and political reasoning. Explores the role of policy analysis in democratic society and addresses applications of public policy analysis to contemporary policy issues.

PSC
665
Hours
3
Local Government Administration

This course examines major local government issues and the administrative approaches to solving these problems. The focus will be on government managers and public-sector employees in localities. Topics will include the difficulties of providing human services through street level bureaucracies, local government policymaking, and how to achieve innovation. These topics will be examined in both an historical and contemporary context, with special emphasis on the impact of the political climate on the management of local government agencies. Using a case-study approach, students will learn what public managers actually do and will evaluate the effectiveness of their leadership and management strategies.

PSC
666
Hours
3
Polit Econ & Pub Pol

An examination of the political economy approach to the study of public policy.

PSC
667
Hours
3
Public Budgeting

Problems of financial management in governmental units: revenue sources, budgeting, financial management, and control.

PSC
668
Hours
3
Program Evaluation

In-depth analysis of a policy issue or administrative problem. Specific topics vary. May be repeated up to a maximum of 6 hours of credit.

PSC
679
Hours
3-6
Internship & Research

Field work and research opportunities to be supervised by departmental faculty.

PSC
699
Hours
1-12
Dissertation Research

No description available.