Political Science Course Descriptions

PSCI 1300 - INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE: A survey of the discipline of political science designed to introduce students to important theories, concepts, issues, in the study of political behavior, phenomena, and processes. The course will cover the major subfields of political science, including political theory, research methods, American government, comparative politics, public administration, public policy, and international relations.  This course is part of the General Education program as a Behavioral & Social Sciences elective. (Fall and Spring)

PSCI 1330 [PLSC 2003]* - UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT & POLITICS: An introduction to the principles and problems of American government, governing institutions, and political processes.  This course is a part of the General Education program as either an American History & Government or a Behavioral & Social Sciences elective, is a core requirement for the Public Administration major, is a prerequisite for the Presidential Studies minor, is a prerequisite for all upper-division Political Science courses, and is a core requirement for the International Studies major.  (Fall, Spring, and Summer)

* The corresponding Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS) index number for PSCI 1330 is PLSC 2003.

PSCI 2300 - INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: A study of the interactions and behaviors of state and non-state actors in the international system, with particular emphasis on the concepts and theories related to the subfields of international security, international political economy, and globalization.  This course is part of the General Education program as a Behavioral & Social Sciences elective, is recommended for all upper-division international relations courses, is a prerequisite for the Presidential Studies minor, is a core requirement for the Political Science major/minor, and is a core requirement for the International Studies major/minor.  (Fall and Spring)

PSCI 2312 - STATISTICAL METHODS FOR POLITICAL ANALYSIS: An introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics, hypothesis testing, and displaying of data in various formats. This course is a core requirement for the Political Science major, an elective for the Political Science minor, and is a core requirement for the International Studies major/minor.  (Fall and Spring)

PSCI 2320 - INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS: A study of the concepts and methods of comparative politics, with a special emphasis on comparing how the types and forms of political systems develop and adapt to changing circumstances.  This course is a core requirement for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  (Fall and Spring)

PSCI 2322 - POLITICAL SCIENCE APPLICATIONS IN GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS): This computer lab-oriented course introduces the student to the spatial analysis in the discipline of political science. A short lecture and lab exercise format are employed to develop understanding of and practically apply the fundamental concepts of GIS and its use in political science. A research project applying spatial analysis to a political problem is required.  This course (or Statistical Methods for Political Analysis) satisfies the methodology requirement for a major in Political Science, International Studies, and Public Administration. (Fall and Spring)

PSCI 2340 - STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT: A survey of state and local government with particular reference to the changing problems faced by these units of government.  This course is a core requirement for the Political Science major and minor, and is a core requirement for the Public Administration major.  (Fall and Spring)

PSCI 3305 - UNITED NATIONS & INTERNATIONAL POLITICS: A study of the history, establishment, charter, structure, and decision-making processes of the United Nations.  Students will critically analyze the role of the UN in the international system during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods, specifically in the areas of international peace & security; disarmament & arms control; human rights; humanitarian assistance & refugees; and economic & social development.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2300.  (Fall, odd years)

PSCI 3315 - INTERNATIONAL LAW & ORGANIZATIONS: A study of the origins and roles of international law and international organizations in the international system beginning in the 19th century.  Special emphasis is placed on the extent to which aspects of international law and international organizations influence or constrain the behaviors and interactions of states and non-state actors in the international system.  As a result of this course, students will be able to critically analyze the effectiveness of specific aspects of international law and international organizations in the international system since the end of the Second World War.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2300.  (Fall, even years)

PSCI 3320 - ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY & REGULATION: An introduction to environmental policy at the federal and state levels in the United States.  The changing relationships between science, technology, economics and culture, as well as the formation and implementation of environmental policy, will be analyzed.  The history of environmental regulation and the evolving distribution of policy-making and enforcement authority are also considered.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and is an elective for the Public Administration major.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  (Fall, even years)

PSCI 3330 - POLITICAL PARTIES & ELECTORAL PROBLEMS: A study of the history, organization, and operation of political parties in the United States, with emphasis on electoral behavior.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  (Spring, on demand)

PSCI 3340 - GOVERNMENTS & POLITICS OF EUROPE AND RUSSIA: A comparative study of the governments and political systems of selected countries in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Russia since the end of the Cold War.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2320.  (Summer, on demand)

PSCI 3350 - INTEREST GROUPS & MONEY IN POLITICS: A study of the roles and practices of organized interest groups in the American political process, from the financing of candidates for public office through the influencing of decision-makers and of public policy.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  (Spring or Fall, on demand)

PSCI 3360 - PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: An introduction to the concepts, structures and procedures of the bureaucratic process.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor, and is a core requirement for the Public Administration major.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. (Fall)

PSCI 3361 - PUBLIC POLICY: A study of the public policy process in the United States, with focus on various theories of public policy and specific policy areas.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor, and is a core requirement for the Public Administration major.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. (Spring)

PSCI 3370 - POLITICAL THEORY I: A study of Western political thought from the early Greeks to the nineteenth century.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. (Fall)

PSCI 3371 - POLITICAL THEORY II: A descriptive analysis of the normative and empirical aspects of political thought from the nineteenth century to the present.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. (Spring)

PSCI 3372 - POLITICAL BEHAVIOR: A study of the various techniques of empirical research in political science with particular emphasis on the analysis of public opinion, electoral behavior, and other forms of political behavior.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330. (Spring, on demand)

PSCI 3375 - THE AMERICAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM: An examination of the legal system in the United States, with emphasis upon the structure of federal and state courts, court procedure, the role of lawyers and judges, and the political impact of court decisions.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. (Fall, on demand)

PSCI 3382 - POLITICS OF DEVELOPING NATIONS: A study of "Third World" governments and politics with analysis of current trends and developments, including the relationship between Western countries and those of the "Third World."  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended:  PSCI 2300 or PSCI 2320.  (Fall, odd years)

PSCI 4300 - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: A study of the Constitution of the United States, focusing on the work of the Unites States Supreme Court and the effects of its decisions upon the political system of the United States.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  (Fall)

PSCI 4301 - CIVIL LIBERTIES: An examination of the historical background, judicial decisions and contemporary social criticisms regarding civil liberties, with a focus on the Bill of Rights.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major and minor. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  (Spring)

PSCI 4305 - THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DEVELOPMENT: A study of the causes and consequences of political and economic development in the "Third World."  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2300 or PSCI 2320.  (Spring, odd years)

PSCI 4307 - POLITICAL ETHICS: This course is a thorough study of the relationship between politics and ethics, with an emphasis on understanding the moral and political challenges of public office holders. The course is an elective for majors and minors in political science but it is open to other students with an interest in the topic. Political Ethics satisfies credit hour requirements for the Theory/Methods Issue Area for the major and minor. Combines lecture and discussion methods. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. (Fall and Spring, on demand)

PSCI 4310 - INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY & GLOBALIZATION: A study of the theories of international political economy and globalization.  The dynamics of the global economy and the role of the international financial institutions, such as the WTO, IMF, and the World Bank Group will be examined.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2300 or PSCI 2320.  (Spring, even years)

PSCI 4312 - CHINA & INTERNATIONAL POLITICS: A study of China's position and interactions in the contemporary international political system, including an emphasis on Chinese foreign policy and China's relations with the United States, European Union, Russia, Japan, and other major global actors. This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and the International Studies major/minor. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Recommended: PSCI 2300. (Spring, odd years)

PSCI 4315 - THE POLITICS OF PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION: A study of the process by which US presidential candidates are nominated by their parties and then elected, and the constitutional devices (federation, electoral college) that shape the process. Campaign organization, finance, and strategy are thoroughly examined, as is electoral behavior in presidential elections.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor, and is a core requirement for the Presidential Studies minor. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  (Fall or Spring)

PSCI 4320 - REVOLUTION & POLITICAL VIOLENCE: A study of the causes and consequences of mass political violence including revolutions, civil wars, and coups d' etat.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2300 or PSCI 2320. (Fall, even years)

PSCI 4325 - MEXICAN POLITICS & U.S.-MEXICAN RELATIONS: A study of the government and politics of Mexico and the relationship between Mexico and the United States.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2320.  (Spring, even years)

PSCI 4328 - DYNAMICS OF DEMOCRATIZATION: A comparative approach to the study of democratization including the origins and causes of democracy, the problems of democratic transition, and the conditions for democratic stability and development. The course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2300 or PSCI 2320.  (Fall, even years)

PSCI 4331 - AMERICAN POLITICAL THEORY: An examination of the major theoretical ideas and issues of American political thought from the colonial period to the present.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  (Fall, odd years)

PSCI 4334 - THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: A study of the U.S. Presidency, nomination, election, responsibilities and powers, and principles of contemporary executive-legislative relationships.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor, is a core requirement for the Presidential Studies minor, and is an elective for the Public Administration major.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. (Fall, on demand)

PSCI 4335 - THE AMERICAN CONGRESS: A study of the U.S. Congress and Arkansas state legislature, examining how people are nominated and run for these legislative offices, how the legislative branch is organized, and legislative procedures.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and Public Administration major.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. (Fall or Spring, on demand)

PSCI 4336 - CITY GOVERNMENTS & POLITICS: An examination of large and small city governments in the U.S. and Arkansas.  Government institutions that make local policies are examined, as are the following problem areas: taxing, spending, revenue-sharing, education, policy, crime, and welfare.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and Public Administration major.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. (Spring, odd years)

PSCI 4340 - SEMINAR IN SELECTED TOPICS: Investigation of a significant issue or field of study in political science.  Depending on the topic, this course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: Junior, Senior, or approved graduate standing with the prerequisites varying according to the topic and degree of specialization required. (Fall, Spring, and Summer, on demand)

PSCI 4345 - GOVERNMENTS & POLITICS OF AFRICA: A broad study of African traditional and modern political institutions as well as a specific examination of selected cases.  Lecture and discussion.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2320.  (Spring, odd years)

PSCI 4348 - GOVERNMENTS & POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST: A comparative approach to the study of governments and politics of the Middle East, including the region's pre-colonial and modern political institutions, political culture, and democratization process.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2320.  (Fall, odd years)

PSCI 4351 - COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL PLANNING: A study of the concepts and techniques of community and regional planning, with emphasis on the analysis of the community power structure.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and Public Administration major.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. (Spring, even years)

PSCI 4375 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS: A study of the relationships among federal, state, and local government in the United States.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor, and is a core requirement for the Public Administration major.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  (Spring)

PSCI 4388 - AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY: A study of the foreign policy of the United States since the end of World War II, with emphasis on the goals and instruments of U.S. foreign policy, as well as the individual, societal, governmental, interstate, and global influences on U.S. foreign policy decisions.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2300.  (Spring, even years)

PSCI 4390 - INTERNSHIP IN POLITICAL SCIENCE: This course involves full-time or part-time employment for an agency of the federal, state or local government; political party or political campaign; or non-governmental (non-profit) organization in Arkansas or elsewhere.  Students who are interested in a political science internship should contact the Internship Coordinator in the Department of Political Science at least one semester prior to the start of the internship.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  (Fall and Spring, on demand)

PSCI 4391 - GOVERNMENT BUDGETING: An examination of the administrative and political aspects of budgeting. Attempts to integrate the process of budgeting with the formulations of public policy alternatives.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor, and is a core requirement for the Public Administration major.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330 and PSCI 3360. (Fall)

PSCI 4395 -  INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: A study of the concepts and theories of crisis, conflict, and war, as well as the techniques and theories of conflict management.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: PSCI 1330.  Recommended: PSCI 2300.  (Summer, on demand)

PSCI 4610 - INTERNSHIP IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: A structured, supervised learning experience in a government or public-related agency. This courses is a core requirement for the Public Administration major.  Prerequisite: Completion of major requirements. (Fall and Spring, on demand)

PSCI 4199, 4299, 4399, & 4499 - STUDIES IN POLITICAL SCIENCE: Independent studies course in political science designed to meet the individual needs of a student. Credit from one to four hours may be earned in one semester. The work is chosen by the student and his tutor with the approval of the department chair.  This course is an elective for the Political Science major/minor and International Studies major/minor.  Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and department chair. (Fall and Spring, on demand)