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POLS510 - The U.S. Presidency, Congress, & Bureaucracy

Course Details

Course Code: POLS510 Course ID: 2729 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

The course covers a combination of theories and applications that will provide the student with basic tools required to understand, navigate, and communicate with the three administrative elements of the federal government. The emphasis of the course is based on a study of composing, legislating, implementing, and enforcing public policy set against a background of both historical and current elements.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/31/18 - 05/31/19 06/03/19 - 07/28/19 Spring 2019 Session D 8 Week session
02/25/19 - 08/02/19 08/05/19 - 09/29/19 Summer 2019 Session I 8 Week session
04/29/19 - 10/04/19 10/07/19 - 12/01/19 Fall 2019 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

1: Evaluate the constitutional roles of the executive branch and Congress in making policy.

2: Assess the roles of interest groups, parties, and media in the exercise of presidential power.

3: Analyze the factors that affect presidential leadership.

4: Assess the constitutional and historical context of Congress’ lawmaking functions.

5: Critique the congressional budgeting process.

6: Analyze how individual members of Congress exert power and influence.

7: Evaluate the “open systems” model regarding governmental agencies.

8: Assess the effectiveness of various approaches to controlling bureaucracy.

Requirement Percent

Forum Discussions (8) 60

Research Paper 20

Final Exam 20


There are two books for the course:
-Michael Nelson, editor, The Presidency and the Political System, tenth edition. CQ Press, 2013 ISBN: 978-1452240435
-Steven S. Smith, Jason M. Roberts, and Ryan J. Vander Wielen, The American Congress, eighth edition. Cambridge University Press, 2013 ISBN: 978-1107618244

Other course materials for POLS 510 are provided online. You may access course materials through the APUS Online Library. To access readings: sign into APUS. Go to Online Library. Under the Book/E-Book Page section, click on the Open Source (free) E-book link. Scroll down to the E-Books Sites--Public Domain/Open Source Collections on the Open Web section. Click on the Online Books Page link. Based on what is given (i.e., title, serial number, author, etc.), enter the information, and click on the URL. If you have any difficulty, please let me know.

Also, please be certain to look at the “Lessons” section. The “concepts” section contains a list of important terms to know from the readings.

The Political Science Department uses the Chicago Manual of Style format as its standard. A guide to Chicago Manual of Style format is provided in the APUS online library:

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Links provided inside the classroom in the Lessons section.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.