Course Descriptions for Political Science

Undergraduate Courses Offered in Political Science

POLS 1101: -  American Government I (3 hours credit) An examination of the fundamental institutions and political processes of the American system of government.  Students are also given an overview of Georgia's Constitution, state politics, and state government institutions.  This course satisfies legislative requirements for the study of U.S. and Georgia constitutions.

POLS 2101: - Introduction To Political Science (3 hours credit) An introduction to Political Science as a field of inquiry. Surveys the subfields of the discipline of Political Science, including American, comparative, and international politics; political theory, public law, and public administration.

POLS 2401: - Introduction to Global Issues (3 hours credit) A survey of contemporary political issues arising both internationally and in the United States.  Discussion will focus on a number of controversial political topics currently being debated in the  United States such as electoral reform, social and welfare issues, and role of the U.S. in the world.  The course will also examine issues of a more international nature such as global security, international trade and economics, human rights, and the moral responsibilities of nation-states.

POLS 2501: - Domestic Policy Issues (3 hours credit) Building on the constitutional foundations, this course provides students with a basic understanding of the American public policy process.

POLS 3100: - Scope and Methods of Political Science (3 hours credit) An introduction to the foundations of politics as a science by examining what political scientists do and study.  It is designed to introduce students to political science research; prepare students to evaluate research critically; interpret social scientific research; and provide students with the requisite skills to initiate and conduct research.

POLS 3200: -  American State and Local Government and Politics (3 hours credit) A study of American subnational governments and politics with special emphasis upon intergovernmental relations.

POLS 3210: - The American Legislative Process (3 hours credit) A study of the legislative process in the United States, focusing primarily on Congress and the state legislatures.  Course topics will include elections for legislative offices and the interaction between the legislature and the executive branch.

POLS 3220: - The American Political Process:  Campaigns, Elections and Voters. (3 hours credit) A general overview of the American political process.  Special emphasis is placed on the role of money and the media in modern campaigns.  The course examines the rise of "candidate-centered" elections.  The study of the American voter focuses on the decline in voter turnout, the rise of the independent voter, and the influence of race on voting.

POLS 3230: - American Political Parties and Elections (3 hours credit) A study of the development of American political party systems with special emphasis on contemporary electoral activities of political parties. 

POLS 3240: - American Judicial Process and Behavior (3 hours credit) A comprehensive examination of the workings of the American judiciary, its impact and compliance at both the state and the federal levels and the complex environment within the courts function.

POLS 3250: - Introduction to Law in Anglo-American Society (3 hours credit) An examination of the historical roots of the Anglo-American legal system.  The course also examines the relationship between law and society, law and values, and between wealth and the legal order.

POLS 3260: - Jurisprudence: Theories of Law and Legal Thought (3 hours credit) An examination of major legal schools of thought.  The course looks at positive law, natural law, ideas of justice, and the concept of natural rights.

POLS 3270: - Public Opinion and Political Socialization (3 hours credit) An examination of the origins, content, and impact of public opinion.   Special emphasis is placed on the advantages and limitations of public opinion polling.  The course also examines the main agents of political socialization.   Topics of particular interest include the role of the family in political learning, racial differences in political socialization, and the influence of television on the formation of pre-adult political opinions.

POLS 3280: - Women and Politics (3 hours credit) A review of the attitudes toward and participation by women in the political arena.   The course focuses on the political factors that have encouraged or deterred women in politics in the American political system as well as in additional selected political systems. 

POLS 3290:-  The American Presidency (3 hours credit) The study of the roles, powers, and responsibilities of the President of the United States within the constitutional system and the changing nature of the presidency.

POLS 3300: - Comparative Politics (3 hours credit) A study of key concepts and theories of comparative politics.  Examines case studies from different types of political systems and regions of the world.

POLS 3400: - International Politics (3 hours credit) A study of key concepts and theories of international politics.  Examines the evolution of the contemporary international system and conflict and cooperation among nation-states.

POLS 3500: - Western Political Theory I (3 hours credit) An examination of the teachings of the classical period of political theory from early Greeks through the political writings of Thomas Aquinas.

POLS 3510: - Western Political Theory II (3 hours credit) An examination of the normative teachings of modern political theory beginning with Machiavelli up to the writings of John Stuart Mill.

POLS 3520: - Modern Political Ideologies (3 hours credit) An exploration of the dominant political ideologies that shape decisions about and understanding of political events, including but not limited to capitalism, socialism, communism, patriarchy, feminism, environmentalism, liberation theology, liberalism, populism, and nationalism. 

POLS 3530: - American Political Thought (3 hours credit) A study of the foundations of American political thought from the Puritan era to contemporary times.

POLS 3600: - Introduction to Public Administration (3 hours credit) A focus on the study of public administration processes and underlying theories within American government structures. Emphasis is on the pragmatic aspects of current government leadership and public agency management.

POLS 3610: - Public Administration and Public Policy Formation (3 hours credit) An examination of the basic problems involved in the development of public policy by government actors and institutions, with emphasis on public decision making, organizational theory, and political and administrative influences on the policy making process.

POLS 4100: - Political Science Research Paper (3 hours credit) Prerequisite:  POLS 3100  The capstone course for political science majors.  This course provides students with the tools to design a research project, and execute that project by gathering data, analyzing those data, and presenting their findings in a formal paper.  POLS 4100 is taught in an electronic classroom using appropriate software packages.  POLS 4900 may be taken as a substitute or  in addition.

POLS 4200: - American Constitutional Law I (3 hours credit) A comprehensive study of constitutional law emphasizing leading constitutional cases with respect to separation of powers, federalism, rights and liberties, and the role of law enforcement in relation to civil and criminal law.

POLS 4202: - American Constitutional Law II (3 hours credit) A comprehensive study of constitutional law emphasizing leading decisions in civil liberties  with special attention to the due process clauses, the first amendment, and the rights of the accused. 

POLS 4210: - Separation of Powers in the American Political System  (3 hours credit) An exploration of the political theory behind a separation of powers.  Primary emphasis is placed on the  relations between Congress and the President.  Topics of particular interest include the origins and impact of divided government, the role of the Supreme Court in arbitrating disputes between the branches of government, and reform proposals to bridge the separation of powers.

POLS 4220: - Administrative Law and Government (3 hours credit) An overview of the administrative law process with the focus upon the formation and execution of public policy.  Special emphasis is placed upon protecting the interests of all parties involved in the complex process of administrative law, policy formation and implementation.

POLS 4230: - Legal Research (3 hours credit) A concentration on developing the research skills necessary for a knowledge, appreciation, and ability to function effectively in the legal system.

POLS 4240: - Politics and the Supreme Court (3 hours credit) A review of landmark decisions of the Supreme Court.  This course addresses issues related to the political climate surrounding such decisions. The political ramifications of Supreme Court cases are emphasized.

POLS 4250: - Trial Advocacy [also offered as LEAS 4250] (3 hours credit) An examination of all aspects of presenting a case in trial.  Students develop effective methods for analyzing and preparing cases for presentation in trial.   Students will learn and use basic technical skills necessary as members of the University's Mock Trial Team at tournaments sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association.  May be repeated for credit up to 9 hours for political science majors, with no more than 3 credit hours applicable to the major. 

POLS 4260: - Women, Minorities, and Law (3 hours credit) An exploration of the roles of women and ethnic and racial minorities in the American legal system.  The course also examines the legal standing of women and minorities.

POLS 4300: - European Politics (3 hours credit) A study of the politics and government of Europe.  The course focuses on key political institutions and issues in major European countries, and the impact of integration on the nation-state.

POLS 4310: - Politics in Russia (3 hours credit) A comprehensive study of the Russian political system with careful attention to the Soviet communist era.  Major topics include the role of political parties, institutional changes, political culture, and leadership.

POLS 4320: - Latin American Politics (3 hours credit) A study of the politics and governments of the nation-states of Central and South America.  The course focuses on key political institutions and issues in major Latin American countries.

POLS 4330: - African Politics (3 hours credit) A study of the domestic and international politics of Africa from the pre-colonial period to the present day.

POLS 4340: - Comparative Political Leadership (3 hours credit) An application of theories of political leadership in a comparative framework.   There will be considerations of conditions leading to effective as well as to failed leadership.  Course material will include case studies of individual leaders as well as of key leadership bodies. 

POLS 4350: - Politics in Developing Nations (3 hours credit) The study of political institutions, processes and behavior within a comparative perspective.

POLS 4360: - Politics of Post-Communism (3 hours credit) An examination of the political dynamics of Eurasia.  Comparisons of emergent political systems in East Central Europe, Russia, and the newly independent nations formed out of the old Soviet Union will constitute the central focus.  A secondary emphasis will be study of the regional and international orientations of these nation-states.

POLS 4370: - Comparative Constitutional Law and Judicial Politics (3 hours credit) A cross-cultural examination of constitutional legal systems.  The course focuses on such topics as institutions, legal professionals, judicial selection, judicial decision making, and methodological issues involved in the cross-cultural study of legal processes and behavior.

POLS 4400: - International Organization and Law (3 hours credit) Readings, cases, lectures and research on the functioning of the legal structures in the international system with special emphasis on the relation between law and politics.

POLS 4410: - American Foreign Policy (3 hours credit) A study of the domestic and external pressures that guide American foreign policy planners.  Specific policies toward Russia, West Europe, China, and Latin America will receive special attention.

POLS 4420: - Global Security Policy (3 hours credit) The study of the political efforts to deal with threats to world order arising from war, nuclear proliferation, international terrorism, the environment, the economy, and related factors.

POLS 4430: - National Security Administration and   Policy (3 hours credit)An examination of the organizational dynamics, political features, and policy outcomes of the national security decision making process.  Special attention will be placed on the changing role of the National Security Council. 

POLS 4600: - Government Organization and Administrative Theory - (3 hours credit)A systematic analysis of theories or organization, management, and administration.   Special consideration will be given to institutional, behavioral, and psychological factors.

POLS 4610: - Public Personnel Administration (3 hours credit)An examination of  procedures and  problems of governmental personnel administration.  Studies of governmental agencies are encouraged to give students first-hand knowledge of governmental personnel administration.

POLS 4620: - Public Finance Administration (3 hours credit)A study of the activities involved in the collection, custody, and expenditure of public revenue, such as the assessment and collection of taxes, public borrowing and debt administration, the preparation and enactment of the budget, financial accountability and the audit.

POLS 4630: - Techniques and Processes of Public Management (3 hours credit)An exploration of public management within the structure and context of a democratic government.  The course examines the strengths and weaknesses of public management processes such as the National Performance Review, traditional public management techniques, and applied theories to assess change in Georgia laws.  It also addresses public management, leadership, decision making, analytical models, budgeting, and selected public issues.

POLS 4640: - Urban  Politics and Administration (3 hours credit)An analysis of the governmental function in urban areas.  Emphasis is placed on the management role in a political context.

POLS 4650: - Intergovernmental Relations (3 hours credit)A study of federal, state, and local governmental interactions, with an emphasis on the implications of these interactions for public management.

POLS 4660: - State Executive Politics and Management (3 hours credit)An examination of governors and other state and local officials, including both elected and appointed executives.  The interactions of these officials with the legislative and executive branches of government will be studied.  The political nature of these interactions will receive emphasis, including the governor's partisan dealings with the state legislature.

POLS 4670- Quality Management in Public Administration (3 hours credit)An examination of key current issues in public administration.  The course explores the most current literature illuminating the issues facing public administrators in today's demanding environment.

POLS 4700: - Directed Study in Political Science (3 hours credit)Directed readings in selected areas of political science with regular conferences between instructor and students.

POLS 4900: - Internship in Political Science (3 hours credit)Supervised study in a structured governmental or political environment.   Open to any student, regardless of major, meeting stated requirements in any of the available Internship Programs:  Governor's, Georgia Legislative, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, etc.  The number of credit hours granted is dependent upon the particular program, academic work, requirements, and nature of participation.   May be substituted for POLS 4100 as the capstone course for political science majors.