Political Science

Return to Political Science | Courses Index

[1] Courses in Political Science (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. The course will be offered every semester. The method of instruction is lecture and discussion.

1330 UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS Part of the lower-division UCA core either as an American history and government elective or as a social science elective, a requirement for the Political Science major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors), and a prerequisite for most political science courses. An introduction to the principles and problems of American government, governing institutions, and political processes. Lecture and discussion. Fall, spring, summer. ACTS: PLSC2003 ]

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 and international political economy. 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 and minor, and is a core requirement for the International Studies major and minor. Fall, spring.

2305 INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY A required course for majors and minors in public administration and political science but open to other students with an interest in the topic. This course introduces students to the public policy making process, the American public policy environment, the theory and practice of public administration, and the role of public administrators in the public policy process. Fall, spring.

2312 STATISTICAL METHODS FOR POLITICAL ANALYSIS An introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics, hypothesis testing, and displaying of data in various formats. This course or Political Science Applications in GIS (PSCI 2322) is a core requirement for the Political Science major and minor, and for the International Studies major and minor. Fall, spring.

2315 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL THEORY An introduction to the major themes and methods of normative political theory. PSCI 2315 is a core, required course for the Political Science major and minor, but is open to all interested students. Fall, spring.

2320 INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS A study of the concepts and methods of comparative politics. Special emphasis is given to comparing the types and forms of political systems and the political processes they undergo. A requirement for the Political Science and International Studies major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors). Fall, spring.

2322 POLITICAL SCIENCE APPLICATIONS IN GIS This course or Statistical Methods for Political Analysis (PSCI 2312) is a core course for a major or minor in Political Science, International Studies, and Public Administration. This computer lab-oriented course introduces the student to the spatial analysis in political science using a short lecture and lab exercise format. A lower-division course for majors and minors. Fall.

3300 STATE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS This course introduces students to the political processes and administrative procedures of state governments. Because state governments are "laboratories of democracy," the course will take a comparative approach and discuss the similarities and differences among states with respect to institutional structures, laws and regulations, political cultures, histories, demographics, and economics. A requirement for the Public Administration major and minor and elective for the Political Science major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors). This course covers the American Politics subfield. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Fall.

3305 UNITED NATIONS AND 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 and security; disarmament and arms control; human rights; humanitarian assistance and refugees; and economic and social development. This course is an elective for the Political Science major and minor in the International Relations subfield and International Studies major and minor (International Politics and Diplomacy concentration). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2300, or consent of instructor. Fall (odd year).

3313 RESEARCH DESIGN An elective for the Political Science major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors). An in-depth examination of strategies available for performing social science research. Includes experimental, quasi-experimental, non-experimental, and survey research designs. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Fall or spring (on demand).

3315 INTERNATIONAL LAW AND 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 state 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 and minor in the International Relations subfield and International Studies major and minor (International Politics & Diplomacy concentration). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2300, or consent of instructor. Fall (even years).

3320 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY An introduction to environmental policy at the federal and state levels. The creation and implementation of environmental policy will be analyzed. An elective for the Political Science major and minor in the Public Policy subfield and the public administration major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2305, or consent of instructor. On demand.

3330 POLITICAL PARTIES AND 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 and minor in the American Politics subfield. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Spring (on demand).

3336 LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS A study of local governments in the U.S. and Arkansas including cities, counties, special districts, and school districts. The following challenges are examined: taxing, spending, revenue-sharing, education, policy, crime, and welfare. An elective for the Political Science major and minor in the American Politics subfield and the Public Administration major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors). Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Offered every other year.

3340 GOVERNMENTS AND POLITICS OF EUROPE AND RUSSIA  A comparative study of the governments and political systems of selected countries in Western European, Eastern Europe, and Russia since the end of the Cold War. This course is an elective for the Political Science major and minor in the Comparative Politics subfield and the International Studies major and minor (Regional Studies concentration). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2320, or consent of instructor. Summer (on demand).

3350 INTEREST GROUPS AND 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 and minor in the American Politics subfield. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Fall or spring (on demand).

3361 PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS A study of the public policy process in the United States, with focus on various theories of public policy and specific policy areas. An elective for the Political Science major and minor in the Public Policy subfield and a core requirement for the Public Administration major and minor. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2305, or consent of instructor. Spring.

3365 PUBLIC MANAGEMENT A required course for majors and minors in Public Administration. An elective for Political Science students. The primary purpose of this course is to teach students about public organizations, the real world challenges facing public managers in administering government operations, the roles that public managers play in the development and implementation of public policies, and the specific functions that they undertake (planning, organizing, leading, decision-making). This course covers the Public Administration subfield. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2305, or consent of instructor. Spring.

3370 POLITICAL THEORY I  A study of the history of Western political thought from ancient Greece to the Renaissance. This course is an elective for the Political Science major and minor in the Political Theory subfield.  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2315. Fall.

3371 POLITICAL THEORY II A study of the development of western political thought from the Reneissance to the Industrial Revolution. This course is an elective the Political Science major and minor in the Political Theory subfield. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2315. Spring.

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 and minor in the American Politics subfield. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Spring (on demand).

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 and minor in the American Politics subfield. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Fall (on demand).

3382 POLITICS OF DEVELOPING NATIONS This course focuses on the causes and consequences of political and economic development in the "Third World." An elective for the Political Science major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors) in the Comparative Politics subfield. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2320, or consent of instructor. Taught every third semester.

4300 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW A study of the Constitution of the United States, focusing on the work of the United 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 and minor in the American Politics subfield. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Fall.

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 in the American Politics subfield. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Spring.

4305 THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DEVELOPMENT This course focuses on the causes and consequences of policital, social, and economic development in the developing world. An elective for the Political Science major and minor Ubut not limited to majors and minors) in the Comparative Politics subfield. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2320, or consent of instructor. Taught every third semester.

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 the Political Science major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors) in the Political Theory subfield. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2315. On demand.

4310 INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY AND GLOBALIZATION  A study of the theories of international political economy and globalization. The dynamics of the global economy and the role of 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 and minor in the International Relations subfield and the International Studies major and minor (International Political Economy and Development concentration). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2300, or consent of instructor. Spring (even years).

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 and minor and the International Relations subfield and the International Studies major and minor (International Politics & Diplomacy and Regional Studies concentration). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2300, or consent of instructor. Spring (odd years).

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 and minor in the American Politics subfield, and is a core requirement for the Presidential Studies minor. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. Fall, Spring.

4320 REVOLUTION AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE This course focuses on the causes and consequences of mass political violence including revolutions, civil wars, and coups d'etat. An elective for the Political Science major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors) in the Comparative Politics subfield. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2320, or consent of instructor. On demand.

4325 MEXICAN POLITICS AND US-MEXICAN RELATIONS This course focuses on the study of the government and politics of Mexico and the relationship between Mexico and the United States. An elective for the Political Science major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors) in the Comparative Politics subfield. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2320, or consent of instructor. Taught every third semester.

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 and minor in the Comparative Politics subfield and the International Studies major and minor (International Political Economy and Development concentration). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2320, or consent of instructor. Fall (even years).

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 and minor in the Political Theory subfield. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330 and 2315. Fall (odd years).

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

4335 THE AMERICAN CONGRESS A study of the U.S. Congress 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 and minor in the  American Politics subfield and the Public Administration major.. Prerequisite: PSCI 1330. On demand.

4340 SEMINAR SELECTED TOPICS An elective for the PSCI major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors). Investigation of a significant issue or field of study in political science. Prerequisite: Junior, senior, or approved graduate standing with the prerequisites varying according to the topic and degree of specialization required. Lecture and discussion. On demand.

4345 GOVERNMENTS AND POLITICS OF AFRICA A broad study of African traditional and modern political institutions as well as a specific examination of selected cases.This course is an elective for the Political Science major and minor in the Comparative Politics subfield and the Interational Studies major and minor (Regional Studies concentration). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2320, or consent of instructor. Spring (odd years).

4348 GOVERNMENTS AND 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. The course is an elective for the Political Science major and minor in the Comparative Politics subfield and the International Studies major and minor (Regional Studies concentration). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2320, or consent of instructor. Fall (odd years).

4350 PUBLIC POLICY AND PROGRAM EVALUATION An elective course for majors and minors in political science and public administration (but not limited to majors and minors). The primary purpose of this course is designned to provide an overview to field of policy and program evaluation. Program evaluation is a crucial aspect of the policymaking process with the examination of whether (and how) existing policies and/or programs work. Combines lecture and discussion methods. This course covers the Public Policy subfield. Prerequsites: PSCI 1330, 2305, of consent of instructor. Fall, even years.

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. An elective for the Political Science major and minor in the Public Administration subfield and the Public Administration major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors).  Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2305, or consent of instructor. On demand.

4375 INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS A study of the administrative, political, legal, and fiscal relationships among federal, state, and local government in the United States. An elective for the Political Science major and minor in the Public Administration subfield and the Public Administration major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2305, or consent of instructor. Fall (odd years).

4385 SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION An elective course for majors and minors in public administration, political science, and international studies. This course will explore topics in public administration including Administrative Law, Comparative Public Administration, Public Personnel Administration, and Non-Profit/NGO Administration. This course covers the Public Administration subfield. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2305, or consent of instructor. On demand.

4386 SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC POLICY An elective course for majors and minors in political science and public administration (but not limited to majors and minors). This course will provide an in-depth examination of substantive public policy areas such as education, health care, community development, social welfare, among others. Combines lecture and discussion methods. This course covers the Public Policy subfield. Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2305, or consent of instructor.  On demand.

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 and minor in the International Relations subfield and the International Studies major and minor (International Politics & Diplomacy concentration).   Prerequisite: PSCI 1330, 2300, or consent of instructor. Spring (even years).

4390 INTERNSHIP IN POLITICAL SCIENCE This course provides a structured, supervised work experience in a public agency, a political campaign, or the office of an elected official. Each internship is unique to the needs of the student and the participating employer, but each student will complete between 120 and 150 hours of work during the semester. The activities and work hours will be determined by the student and the employer prior to the first day of the internship. An elective for the political science major and minor, this internship will count as the upper-division elective in one of the issue areas; the determination of the appropriate issue area will be made by the chair and the internship coordinator. The student must consult the internship coordinator before the start of the internship for approval. Prequisite: Junior or senior standing. Fall, spring, summer.

4391 GOVERNMENT BUDGETING  A study of the political and administrative aspects of government budgeting including a discussion of the budget process at each level of government and the key political and administrative actors making budget policy. An elective for the Political Science major and minor in the Public Administration subfield and the Public Administration major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors). Prerequisites: PSCI 1330, 2305, or consent of instructor. Fall (even years).

4395 INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT AND 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 and minor in the International Relations subfield and the International Studies major and minor (International Politics & Dislomacy concentration). Prerequisites, PSCI 1330, 2300, or consent of instructor. Summer (on demand).

4610 INTERNSHIP IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION An elective for the PSCI major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors). This course provides a structured, supervised learning experience in a government or public-related agency. Prerequisite: Completion of major requirements. Fall, spring.

4199, 4299, 4399, 4499 STUDIES IN POLITICAL SCIENCE An elective for the PSCI major and minor (but not limited to majors and minors). 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. Students may arrange more than one independent study, subject to college and university rules. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and department chair. On demand.