Department of Political Science

Course Offerings

The Department offers a wide array of courses to meet the various interests and needs of students. For the most updated information about course offerings, please consult the University course catalog and BenULive course schedule, or contact the Department.

PLSC 100 | Principles of Politics
Analyzes the political process and institutions in the United States and foreign nations. IAI SS 903. 3 semester credit hours. Political Science Core Elective.

PLSC 101 | Global Affairs
This course explores some of the major issues in contemporary world politics. The end of the Cold War and the demise of the bipolar superpower relationship have reverberated across all issues in international affairs. We will consider such international issues as military security, ethnicity and nationalism, the international economy, the environment, and regional issues. Each week's readings presents an overview of the topic for that week, discussing the changing nature and relevance of the issue in light of the momentous changes taking place in the "world order." The final week will explore the role of the US in this changing world. IAI SS 904N. Social-Scientific II Mode of Inquiry (OPE). 3 semester credit hours. Political Science Core Elective.

PLSC 102 | American Government
Satisfies both the U.S. and IL, Constitution requirements for teacher certification. IAI S5 900. PLSC 102 is no longer restricted to PLSC major and minors only. Social-Scientific II Mode of Inquiry (QPE). 3 semester credit hours. Political Science Core Elective.

PLSC 105 | Law and Politics
An analysis of law, justice, rights, court procedures, and legislation. The development of various concepts of law and individual and group rights. Credit will not be granted for both PLSC 105 and PLSC 205. Social-Scientific II Mode of Inquiry (QPE). 3 semester credit hours. Political Science Core Elective.

PLSC 201 | State and Local Government
The inter-relationships between national, state, county, and local governments. (Satisfies the Illinois Constitution requirement for teacher certification). IAI S5 902. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 205 | Judicial Process
An introductory course designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the judicial process in the United States. Credit will not be granted for both PLSC 105 and PLSC 205. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 210 | Introduction to International Relations
Analysis of the processes of interaction among nations and groups of nations within the international political system. IAI S5 904N. Political Science Core Elective. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 213 | American Foreign Policy
This course offers an overview of recent American Foreign policy and concentrates on both international and domestic pressures placed on foreign policy leaders. Students will participate in decision situations and debate policy options. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 215 | Model United Nations
The use of simulation techniques to develop an understanding of the processes and operations of the United Nations. The course culminates with the students participating in the National Model United Nations. 3 semester credit hours. Political Science Core Elective and Writing Intensive. Course repeatable. Maximum number of units allowed: 12.

PLSC 216 | Genocide:The Politics of Hate, Fear, Terror and Power
This is a survey course on genocide, one of the most controversial and deadly concepts in all of contemporary politics. We will learn how hate, fear, terror and power have repeatedly converged to produce the most deadly crime humanity has yet conceived. Genocide—against Armenians in Turkey, The Holocaust, Cambodia's Killing Fields, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Kosovo and Darfur—has been a repeated policy used by murderous regimes of many types over the last 100 years. We will study these cases and the general concept of genocide in the context of basic themes from the Political Science fields of international relations, comparative politics and foreign policy studies. No pre-existing knowledge of or exposure to any of these areas is assumed or necessary. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 217 | Revolutions and Political Violence
Analyzes theories of revolution and studies a variety of 20th century revolutions. Also considers concepts of terrorism, guerilla warfare and nonviolent revolution. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 218 | Nationalism and Terrorism
This course applies theoretical and analytical tools from the fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics in an attempt to understand the two most serious threats of global security in the post-Cold War world -nationalism and terrorism. Most of the death due to political violence in recent years has been directly or indirectly linked to nationalist movements of terrorist methods. It is critical that citizens in democratic states be informed on these matters, to understand what they are and are not, in order to be responsible citizens. PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: periodically.

PLSC 219 | International Political Economy
Examines the politics of international economics and, to a lesser extent, the economic determinants of international politics. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 220 | Comparative Politics
Concerned with identification of political trends and empirical generalizations of selected political systems. IAI S5 905. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC | 222 Russian Politics in Comparative Perspective
Analyzes the politics, economics, and social changes of post-communist states, comparing Russia's post-communist experience with that of other states in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The fundamental focus of all discussions and readings is on the requirements of and obstacles to the creation of a democratic political system. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 224 | Democracy and Democratization
Examines the theory and practice of democracy around the world, and the question of "transitions to democracy" through analysis of the problems of creating a democratic political system. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 230 | US Constitutional Law I
A study of the Constitution as a living and changing document underlying our entire system of government;the role played by the judiciary in developing Constitutional law. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 231 | Constitutional Law II
A study of the Constitution as a living and changing document underlying our entire system of government;the role played by the judiciary in developing Constitutional law. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 236 | Women in the Law
This course introduces students to basic concepts in the history and development of feminist thought while applying the knowledge to actual cases and legal situations affecting women. By examining the various controversies and problems that pervade this aspect of politics, students will achieve a greater awareness of how the American legal system helps to shape issues relating to gender. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. Social-Scientific I Mode of Inquiry (QIO). 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: spring term, even years.

PLSC 237 | Mock Trial
An overview of the mechanics of courtroom procedure. Usually taught in conjunction with the mock trial competition. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: fall and spring terms. Course repeatable. Maximum number of units allowed: 6.

PLSC 240 | CCL Public Service Fellow
Public Service Fellows register for this course as part of their requirements as a Fellow. Requirements variable, as determined by the CCL Director and communicated to Fellows upon their nomination. Typically offered: fall and spring terms. Department consent required.

PLSC 241 | Presidential and Congressional Politics
Study of the American presidency;the background, powers and relations with the other components of the political system. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 242 | Congress and Legislative Process
Concentrates on the whole spectrum of the legislative process in the United States. Features simulation of the US House. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 243 | American Political Thought
Analyzes major American political theorists and the effects their thoughts have had on structuring our governmental institutions and shaping the political values and behavior of Americans. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 244 | Democratic Citizenship
This is a seminar in which students will discuss and analyze the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and the importance and relevance of polities, government, and public policy. The course includes a service learning component. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 245 | Campaigns, Elections and Political Behavior
An analysis of individual and group political behavior within the context of the U.S. election system. Emphasis is placed on the nature of campaigns and the impact of elections on government. Class features student projects on campaign tactics and strategy. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 247 | Politics and Religion in the United States and Beyond
In this course we will examine the intersection of religion and politics from both a domestic and comparative perspective, including contemporary debates about political identities, secularization, modernization, culture, conflict and collaboration. Religious institutions will be evaluated as potential vehicles for citizen discourse and mobilization;we will also assess the broader impact of religion in the public square. Emphasis will be on domestic American politics, but many of these phenomena will also be considered from a comparative perspective. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 251 | Introduction to Public Policy
This course serves as an introduction to the policy-making process, covering the various institutions, actors and procedures involved in getting an idea for solving a policy problem adopted into lawsand implemented. The themes discussed may be relevant at the local, state or national levels, and may include, but not limited to, such matters as health, education, environmental and fiscal policy issues. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 255 | Environmental Politics
The politics of environmental protection and regulation in the United States and selected other states. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210, or Environmental Science Major. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 256 | Political Parties and Organized Interests
Cross listed with PLSC 356. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: fall term.

PLSC 260 | Politics and Film
A study of political themes as they appear in film and the use of film for political purposes. Specific topics vary. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: periodically.

PLSC 291 | Topics
A study of selected matter in the discipline of political science.Recent topics have included Politics of Western Europe, Politics of Soviet Union.Prospective topics may include Politics on Latin America, Politics of Southeast Asia, Politics of Sub-Sahara Africa and Feminist Politics. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 1-3 semester credit hours. Course repeatable. Maximum number of units allowed: 99.

PLSC 295 | Independent Study
Course work in political science in which the student in cooperation with one of the faculty members, designs the course in some area of political science of interest to the student. 3 semester credit hours. Department consent required.

PLSC 296 | Elections and Civic Responsibility
This seminar will examine the critical role citizens play in American constitutional democracy. Emphasis will be on state and federal elections in Illinois and the importance of voting rights and political participation. Students will be familiarized with Illinois election laws, voter registration requirements and the supervision of elections by state and local authorities. Guest speakers will include representatives from the DuPage Election Commission, who will outline the legal qualifications for becoming a qualified election judge and the Commission's role in guaranteeing the integrity of the electoral process.As a central requirement, of the course, students will complete the certification process to become election judges and will serve in that capacity on Election Day. Additional component: Certification to become an election judge and working a precinct on election day. 1 semester credit hour.

PLSC 297 | Internship
Federal, state, and local government institutions in the area serviced by the university offer opportunities for interested students to gain practical experience in governmental offices. Prerequisite: junioror senior standing. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 299 | Research Methods in Political Science
An analysis of the various theoretical approaches to the study of social sciences as well as discussion and completion of a scientific research design. Prerequisites: Senior Standing; a grade of "C"or better in PLSC 102, 201, 210, and 105 or 205; a grade of "C" or better in a least one 300 level PLSC elective. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 313 | American Foreign Policy
This course offers an overview of recent American Foreign policy and concentrates on both international and domestic pressures placed on foreign policy leaders. Students will participate in decision situations and debate policy options. Prerequisite: PLSC 102. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 316 | Genocide: The Politics of Hate, Fear, Terror and Power
This is a survey course on genocide, one of the most controversial and deadly concepts in all of contemporary politics. We will learn how hate, fear, terror and power have repeatedly converged to produce the most deadly crime humanity has yet conceived. Genocide—against Armenians in Turkey, The Holocaust, Cambodia's Killing Fields, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Kosovo, and Darfur—has been a repeated policy used by murderous regimes of many types over the last 100 years. We will study these cases, and the general concept of genocide, in the context of basic themes from the Political Science fields of international relations, comparative politics, and foreign policy studies. No pre-existing knowledge of or exposure to any of these areas is assumed or necessary. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 317 | Revolutions and Political Violence
Analyzes theories of revolution and studies a variety of 20th century revolutions. Also considers concepts of terrorism, guerilla warfare and nonviolent revolution. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 318 | Nationalism and Terrorism
This course applies theoretical and analytical tools from the fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics in an attempt to understand the two most serious threats of global security in the post-Cold War world -nationalism and terrorism. Most of the death due to political violence in recent years has been directly or indirectly linked to nationalist movements of terrorist methods. It is critical that citizens in democratic states be informed on these matters, to understand what they are and are not, in order to be responsible citizens. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: periodically.

PLSC 319 | International Political Economy
Examines the politics of international economics and, to a lesser extent, the economic determinants of international politics. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 322 | Russian Politics in Comparative Perspective
Analyzes the politics, economics, and social changes of post-communist states, comparing Russia's post-communist experience with that of other states in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The fundamental focus of all discussions and readings is on the requirements of and obstacles to the creation of a democratic political system. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 324 | Democracy and Democratization
Examines the theory and practice of democracy around the world, and the question of "transitions to democracy"through analysis of the problems of creating a democratic political system. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 330 | US Constitutional Law I
A study of the Constitution as a living and changing document underlying our entire system of government;the role played by the judiciary in developing Constitutional law. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 331 | Constitutional Law II
A study of the Constitution as a living and changing document underlying our entire system of government;the role played by the judiciary in developing Constitutional law. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 336 | Women in the Law
This course introduces students to basic concepts in the history and development of feminist thought while applying the knowledge to actual cases and legal situations affecting women. By examining the various controversies and problems that pervade this aspect of politics, students will achieve a greater awareness of how the American legal system helps to shape issues relating to gender. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. Social-Scientific I Mode of Inquiry (QIO). 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 341 | Presidential and Congressional Politics
Study of the American presidency: the background, powers and relations with the other components of the political system. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 342 | Congress and the Legislative Process
Concentrates on the whole spectrum of the legislative process in the United States. Features simulation of the US House. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 343 | American Political Thought
Analyzes major American political theorists and the effects their thoughts have had on structuring our governmental institutions and shaping the political values and behavior of Americans. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 344 | Democratic Citizenship
This is a seminar in which students will discuss and analyze the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and the importance and relevance of polities, government, and public policy. The course includes a service learning component. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 345 | Campaigns, Elections and Political Behavior.
An analysis of individual and group political behavior within the context of the US election system. Emphasis is placed on the nature of campaigns and the impact of elections on government. Class features student projects on campaign tactics and strategy. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 347 | Politics and Religion in the United States and Beyond
In this course we will examine the intersection of religion and politics from both a domestic and comparative perspective, including contemporary debates about political identities, secularization, modernization, culture, conflict and collaboration. Religious institutions will be evaluated as potential vehicles for citizen discourse and mobilization; we will also assess the broader impact of religion in the public square. Emphasis will be on domestic American politics, but many of these phenomena will also be considered from a comparative perspective. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 351 | Introduction to Public Policy
This course serves as an introduction to the policy-making process, covering the various institutions, actors, and procedures involved in getting an idea for solving a policy problem adopted into laws and implemented. The themes discussed may be relevant at the local, state, or national levels, and may include, but not limited to, such matters as health, education, environmental and fiscal policy issues. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 354 | Seminar on International Theories
An advanced study of the main and latest theories and issues in international relations. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 355 | Environmental Politics
The politics of environmental protection and regulation in the United States and selected other states. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210, or Environmental Science Major. 3 semester credit hours.

PLSC 356 | Political Parties and Organized Interests
Cross listed with PLSC 256. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: fall term.

PLSC 391 | Topics
A study of selected matter in the discipline of political science.Recent topics have included Politics of Western Europe, Politics of Soviet Union.Prospective topics may include Politics of LatinAmerica, Politics of Southeast Asia, Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa, US-Asian Relations, Politics of Policy change in America. Prerequisite: PLSC 102, 105, 201, 205 or 210. 3 semester credit hours. Course repeatable. Maximum number of units allowed: 12.

PLSC 392 | Political Leadership
Intensive study of the principles and practice of the politics of leadership including hands-on leadership experiences in conjunction with the professor. 3 semester credit hours. Department consent required. Course repeatable. Maximum number of units allowed: 12.

PLSC 395 | Independent Study
Course work in political science in which the student in cooperation with one of the faculty members, designs the course in some area of political science of interest to the student. 1-3 semester credit hours. Department consent required. Course repeatable. Maximum number of units allowed: 9.

PLSC 397 | Internship
Federal, state, and local government institutions in the area serviced by the university offer opportunities for interested students to gain practical experience in governmental offices. Prerequisite: sophomore, junior or senior standing. 1-12 semester credit hours. Department consent required. Course repeatable. Maximum number of units allowed: 12.

PLSC 399 | Thesis Research and Writing
Continuation of PLSC 299. Systematic integration of political theory and research. Preparation and completion of an independent undergraduate thesis. Prerequisite: PLSC 299. 3 semester credit hours. Writing Intensive Course. Department consent required.