In addition to the institutional and general education level learning objectives, the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of Political Science, graduates in this degree program will be able to:
- Investigate the fundamental theories and philosophies of government, governance, economy, and civil society and apply them to contemporary political systems.
- Examine the political elements of representative democracy and compare and contrast those elements with other political systems.
- Describe the three institutions of government that create and implement federal policy.
- Analyze the historical evolution and contemporary manifestations of the federal system and its intergovernmental implications.
- Explain the evolution of interest groups in the United States and their various roles assumed in both historical and modern democratic processes.
- Explain the perspectives of political parties and their impact on federal, state, and local government.
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Total Credits - 121 Hours
Comparative Political Systems
Introduces major theoretical approaches to the comparative study of politics. The student applies these approaches to government institutions, the policy-making process, political participation, economic structures and social change for both state and non-state actors.
Information Literacy for Global Citizenship
Information Literacy for Global Citizenship builds students’ information literacy skills in the
international relations/global studies context. Students analyze scholarly sources in the
discipline, identifying the types of issues and questions scholars pursue, the discursive
conventions they employ, and their methods of engaging in dialogue with and citing sources.
After identifying their own discipline specific research question, students select and
use appropriate research tools, developing complex search strategies that help them to find
relevant scholarly information on their topics. They evaluate sources and
information to determine their authority, reliability, timeliness as well as the quality and
underlying assumptions of the arguments presented. They synthesize the
information they’ve found with their own ideas, effectively integrating source material into their
papers and citing that material appropriately. Finally, the course asks students to reflect upon the
ways in which the information literacy skills they’ve acquired provide a foundation for both
global citizenship and lifelong learning.
American Government I
This is the first course in a two-course sequence in American Government. The course is designed to convey basic facts about the structure and functioning of the American political system. The philosophical foundation of the U.S. Constitution is explored and the federalist construct is examined. The functions of the three separate branches of government and their roles in policy making are a major focus.
American Government II
This is the second course in a two-course sequence in American Government. The course is designed to provide research tools and writing skills that will build on the academic knowledge acquired in POLS210. The student will investigate issues in American government in greater detail through use of Internet-based research, seminar discussions, and point papers. (Prerequisite: POLS210).
Pre Reqs: American Government I(POLS210)
This course offers an overview of Western political thought from the Ancient Greeks to contemporary political theorists. It follows the rise of secularism and modernity through an Enlightenment tradition of social contract theory, shaping debates on human nature, equality, liberty, rights, and justice as the basis for civil society and democratic governance. This course is an essential foundation for the political science major.
Political Parties and Interest Groups
This course is a study of the various roles of political parties and interest groups in the American democratic process. Issues covered include the ideological differences among parties, the role of third party candidates, mobilization of voting blocks, the formation and types of interest groups, and political agenda development.
State, Local, and Community Politics
Comparative analysis of state and local political systems in the United States. Emphasis is placed on the contemporary role of states and localities in the development and implementation of public policies. Additionally, there is an examination of the role of grass roots social movements in shaping local politics.
Analyzes the formulation and execution of public policy in America. Includes study of decision-making theory, bureaucratic politics and other models that seek to explain how policy is made. Issues explored include social, environmental, economic, homeland security, defense, and foreign policy. Additional issue areas may be covered depending on contemporary significance.
Political Sociology examines the broad social bases of politics and identifies how politics and actions by government can influence the fate of nations and their citizens. These influences include, but are not limited to, power and authority, economic policy, equality, forms of political rule, access to the political process, and the roles of political parties. PREREQ: SOCI111
Pre Reqs: Introduction to Sociology(SOCI111)
U.S. Intelligence Community
RECOMMENDED AS SECOND PROGRAM COURSE.
This course surveys the U.S. Intelligence Community, with an emphasis on its current structure. Students review the members of the community and distinguish their key roles and missions. Students also assess the impact of the post-9/11 restructuring of the intelligence community.
With states as the level of analysis, this course examines their political, economic, and social condition which allows an understanding of threats to the state and their vulnerabilities. This course provides students with analytic procedures to assess a state’s military capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of their political and economic systems, and challenges presented by their social systems.
International Relations I
An overview of the field of international and global politics. The nation state, factors of power, collective security, international trade, regional and international organization, sources of conflict and convergence are addressed.
Examines the role of and interrelationship of international organizations, nation-states, and non-state actors in the global system. North-South and East-West relations are discussed in terms of specific global issues: crisis management, conflict resolution, human rights, refugee problems, international finance, developmental assistance, world trade, and globalization.
A detailed study of the history, theories, and practices of global development initiatives with particular concentration in the prevailing views and practices of the 1960’s-contemporary times. A look at development in light of broader political constructs that influence the development of nations.
National and Transnational Justice
This course provides an overview of many transitional and transnational justice approaches. Beginning with Nuremberg through to the International Criminal Courts, students will gain a thorough understanding of the global justice endeavors and their connection to human security.
International Civil Order
This course will explore the role of international civilian police in peacekeeping operations in establishing a rule of law sufficient to support an emerging democratic society and a sustainable peace. Emphasis will be placed on exploring civilian police relationships with other actors in theater and on understanding public order maintenance through the lenses of peace building, justice and reconciliation.
Completion of this course will make students eligible to obtain a certificate of completion from the United Nation's Peace Operations Training Institute. It is up to the student to go to the POTI website to find how to obtain the POTI certificate.
This course is an introduction to Constitutional Law, the Supreme Court, and other aspects of the legal system using the case analysis approach. Its concentration is on the study and analysis of United States Constitution. It emphasizes an in-depth study of the Bill of Rights, specifically those rights pertaining to Civil Liberties. Topics include: the historical events that led to the development of the Constitution; principles governing the operation of the Constitution and the role of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Judiciary; characteristics and powers of the three branches of government; development of due process and individual protections to include right to speech, freedom of religion, right to bear arms, right to vote, and right to counsel.
This course provides a systematic analysis and overview of the management of public organizations. The functions, operations, processes and tools of public management are examined to ensure the student has a broad understanding of the field and its role in American civic life. The overall theme of the course focuses on the need for results oriented management that improves the performance of public organizations.
The course introduces the basic principles and application of micro and macro economics in the public sector as government interacts with the private sector. Analysis broadly includes supply and demand, operation of markets, consumer and enterprise behavior, competition and monopoly, income distribution, discrimination, and alternate approaches to ensure social economic well-being. Core principles within the framework of national income, national security planning and objectives, unemployment, inflation, economic growth, depression, prosperity, international economics, economic development, alternative approaches to economics, and current issues and controversies are also examined. The overarching intent of the course is to help students understand public policy issues from an economic perspective.
Ancient Western Philosophy
This course examines themes in the thought of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoic, Epicurean, and neo-Platonist philosophers of the ancient world. It enables the student to enter the “great conversation” of western civilization as well as debate the fundamental questions that surround science, religion, self-awareness, ethics, and politics. (Prerequisite: PHIL101).
Pre Reqs: Introduction to Philosophy(PHIL101)
Contemporary Issues in Philosophy
This course is an examination of specific topics in philosophy that are of central interest and interdisciplinary in nature. Topics are selected with reference to the areas of technology, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, as well as ethics, social, and political philosophy. Topics include but are not limited to homosexuality, abortion, drugs, civil disobedience, capital punishment, and the rights of the individual versus the rights of society.
Pre Reqs: Introduction to Philosophy(PHIL101)
This course follows the development of the European philosophical tradition through the age of religious upheaval, secular enlightenment, and scientific and democratic revolutions. The key themes addressed in the course include the social contract theory, toleration, freedom of thought, and the enlightenment ideal. (Pre-requisite: PHIL101).
Pre Reqs: Introduction to Philosophy(PHIL101)
Modern & Post-Modern Philosophy
This course is the contemporary discussion of philosophic thought. It addresses the leading thinkers and theories of the past two centuries and includes but is not limited to Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Arendt.
Pre Reqs: Introduction to Philosophy(PHIL101)
This course examines distinct cultures and ethnicities in the United States and the impact of a multicultural system on political governance and social relationships. Through structured discussions, selected readings, and written assignments, students expand on theoretical arguments through an analysis of concepts such as race, class, and gender in American ethnic studies.
Comparative Politics Parliamentary Democracy
This course compares British Parliamentary Democracy to the American Constitutional Democracy. The government and politics of the British parliamentary system will be compared and contrasted with the constitutional democracy of the United States. Students will learn about the development of British parliamentary democracy in comparison to the growth and development of democracy in the United States.
Comparative Politics Communism
This course is about the government and politics of communism, in theory and practice, with emphasis on China, in contrast with the theory and practice of democracy in the United States. Students will learn about the development of communist theory, about political life in communist China, and about China’s political institutions. Students will also learn about the development of representative democracy in America and about the comparative merits of both systems of government.
Comparative Politics Theocracy
This course compares the government and politics of theocracy, focusing on the Iranian republic, with the government and politics of constitutional democracy in the United States. Students will learn about the development of the Iranian theocratic state, the growth of democracy in the United States, and the constitutions of these two countries.
Special Topics in Political Science
This course allows the students to examine an emergent issue or event in this field of study. The course will be taught in a structured seminar format. Students are required to complete a Research Paper.
Foundations of Online Learning
This course is designed to provide a solid foundation for undergraduate study in the online environment. Students will be introduced to learning theory, the tools available in the online classroom and campus, and online research. Identification of personal learning style allows students to improve their study/learning techniques and prepares them to succeed in college level courses. Students will be introduced to formatting and citation styles. APUS policy and procedure is addressed. There is an emphasis on written communication to assist students in the transition to the online environment.
Students should take SOCI111 for SOC GEN ED option as it is a prerequisite for SOCI311 in the CORE.
Senior Seminar in Political Science
Analyses of specific issues addressed at the national level that would include a review of American political institutions and decision-making; policymaking in the economic, social, and security arenas; instruments of foreign and defense policy; federalism and democratic political theories; and the electoral process. This capstone course will provide students with the opportunity to complete an approved academic research exercise that demonstrates their knowledge of their selected field of study.This is a capstone course to be taken after all other Political Science courses have been satisfactorily completed. Student must have SENIOR standing to register.
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.