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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: POLS301 Course ID: 4755 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course focuses on providing students a study of ethics as it relates to government. Students will be presented with readings, case studies, and insightful information that will provide them the opportunity to analyze topics that will enable student discussions pertaining to ethical dilemmas in politics.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 08/29/21 Summer 2021 Session B 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1 Explain from where ethics and politics originate.

CO-2 Assess the usefulness of the terms “good” and “evil” in terms of theory and practice.

CO-3 Analyze the importance of acting with good intentions.

CO-4 Evaluate the sacrifice of a few citizens for the well-being of the community.

CO-5 Create a set of criteria for the right of states to kill people.

CO-6 Critique attempts to separate religion into public and private spheres.

CO-7 Compare and contrast the cases for and against open borders.

CO-8 Evaluate if non-humans are part of the ethical world.

Grades for this course will be based upon three grading instruments: discussions (5), exams (2), and a research paper (1). There are five graded discussion questions and three optional discussions that are provided in the Discussions. A rubric explaining grading criteria is included in each of the graded ones. The Mid-term and Final Exams will be comprised of two essay questions each. Exam rubrics are included in the course. Please pay close attention to exam submission instructions. There’s also a research paper described in the assignments section.

Forums, Procedures, and Requirements

For the benefit of the discussions, please make sure that throughout the course, everyone respects one another, and let's keep the discussion focused on the factual political process/aspects of the topics and not on the emotional aspects. Political, religious and/or any other type of personal opinions are not necessary to successfully complete this class.

Instead, a careful and detailed exploration/discussion of all sides of an issue is an essential part of this course. Please take the time to research all sides of the issue, and provide at least two possible solutions to the issue being discussed in each weekly forum within your main forum response post. Comments and/or posts simply arguing personal political or religious opinions will not meet course objectives. Moreover, any corrections and/or directions to the students will only be provided by the instructor. Having said that, for this course's discussions let's concentrate on the weekly topics. Furthermore, for all the discussions in this class there are links to discussion expectations and grading rubrics.

The exams and research paper are found under Assignments along with due dates, rubrics, and instructions.

- Please remember to submit your assignment as an uploaded MS Word document via the assignment section in order to be graded. Assignments will be checked by Turnitin for plagiarism. Confirmed instances of plagiarism may receive a zero for the paper and be reported to the university.

4- Please include a paper heading in all your assignments and exams (not forums) that includes: name, date, assignment title, course number, instructor's name, and university.

5- Ensure your posts directly answer the questions being asked. An opening thesis statement will ensure that and give your post a clear direction.

6- Even though your posts can take a clear position on issues, explore all sides of the issues including pros and cons. Exploring a single perspective, being biased and/or not realizing/discussing the pros and cons of all sides of an issue will result in a lower grade. Remember all sides have valid ideas and also not so valid ones; that is why the topic is an issue; therefore, it is key for us as students of political science to contemplate all the different views in order to come up with possible solutions to the issue. During the course, I will act as the 'Devil's Advocate' and provide the opposite view/counter arguments to your work, in order to provide you all with a view of all sides of the topic. Remember we are here to learn and learning occurs when we expand our own ideas through the exploration of different points of view.

Regarding our forums, the following are some points that will help you navigate the forums throughout the course:

1- Course forum participation is a requirement to pass the course.

2- Concentrate your responses along the lines of the political process.

3- If I ask you a follow-up question to something you have written, I expect you to address that question in a subsequent reply. Ignoring an instructor’s question online isn’t all that different than ignoring an instructor’s question in a face to face class.

4 - Feedback is provided first and the grades will be posted by no later than the following week, usually by the following Friday.

Students are encouraged to use the APUS online library as well as scholastic websites. Research using,, general purpose dictionaries, and wiki sources, such as Wikipedia, is highly discouraged, and instructors may not accept those sources as credible.

Please be sure that you have completed and proofread your work before posting it. You will not be able to delete or edit your work once you've submitted it, similar to the way exams and papers will not be returned for corrections after they have been submitted.

  1. Lesson notes
  2. Web resources and assigned readings.
  3. Students also must have a computer with access to the Internet, per APUS guidelines, with Microsoft Office installed. If for some reason you do not have Office, please download's productivity suite, which is compatible with it.
  4. See the eReserve list of references for this course at the APUS Library:
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.