PSC Courses

PSC100 - U.S. National Politics (3 cr.)

A survey of the constitutional, political, and social bases of the American political system. Structure and functions of the leading institutions - presidency, bureaucracy, congress, courts - of the national government. Political issues and ways in which governmental decisions are made. (Fall, Spring, Summer). Liberal arts.

PSC120 - Comparative Politics (3 cr.)

This course surveys the government and politics in a global, comparative perspective. It studies how people govern themselves in different nation states. It introduces key concepts and frameworks with which to identify the structure and process of policy making and to evaluate the government output in selected nations. It hopefully enables students to judge the functions and performance of American government in a broad, transnational perspective. (Fall/Spring). Liberal arts.

PSC220 - International Relations (3 cr.)

An overview of the study of international relations. The primary focus is the major theoretical approaches used to study international politics, while surveying the main topic areas within international relations. Major topics covered include the different levels of analysis used to study international politics, the state and non-state actors, the role of international law and institutions, war and national security, the international economy, and international environmental issues. (Fall - Spring). Liberal arts.

PSC231 - History of Political Ideas (3 cr.)

An examination of core political ideas such as government, power, legitimacy, the state, sovereignty, justice, citizenship, equality, rights, interests, and the common good through selections drawn from important works of political thought that span some 2,500 years, from the ancient Greeks (Plato) to the eve of the French Revolution (Rousseau). A study of how each inventor of political ideas (e.g. Aristotle, Machiavelli) wrestles within their own time and place, with the most basic questions which human beings can ask about society - perennial questions about institutions and relations of power that never lose their relevance. (Fall or Spring). Liberal arts.

PSC240 - State and Local Government (3 cr.)

An introduction to the nature and the function of state, county, and municipal governments in the United States and the political environment in which they operate. The constitutional bases and evolutionary changes of these governments are studied in the context of both political behavior and the processes of governmental decision-making. Particular emphasis on New York State government and local governments within New York. (Fall - Spring, Winter, Summer). Liberal arts.

PSC282 - Political Ideals and Ideologies (3 cr.)

A study of political ideals such as order, liberty, equality, and justice as well as an examination of systems of interrelated political beliefs--political ideologies such as liberalism, socialism, anarchism, conservatism, feminism, environmentalism, and fundamentalism. Analyses the impact of politically relevant beliefs upon our understanding of complex political realities and our desire to rationalize to ourselves and justify to others the political choices that we make. (Fall - Spring). Liberal arts.

PSC290 - Introduction to Law (3 cr.)

An introduction to the law, courts, and politics. Topics include legal history, jurisprudence, judicial powers, and judicial review. The course is focused on judicial decision making and the role of case law in the political and legal system. For global perspective, U.S. law is compared to the civil law system as well as international law. (Fall/Spring). Liberal arts.

PSC311 - Quantitative Political Analysis (3 cr.)

An introduction to quantitative analytical methods as applied to the study of politics and public policy. Data gathering, descriptive and inferential statistics, tests of hypotheses, and basic mathematical modeling are covered. (Fall - Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: three PSC credits (MAT161 recommended).

PSC319 - National Security in the 21st Century (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the threats and challenges faced by governments as they attempt to provide for national security in the current international environment. The central topics of this course are the security issues of greatest concern today: the proliferation of dangerous military technology, particularly nuclear weapons, international terrorism, and how "rogue" and failed states contribute to both threats. The course will also explore the potential security threats of the near future, such as environmental change, resource competition, demographic change, and the spread of disease. (Every three to four semesters). Liberal arts. Prerequisites: PSC220 or six credits of political science.

PSC320 - Ethnic Politics (3 cr.)

Examines polyethnic societies ranging from USA and Canada to Nigeria and Sri Lanka where effective control of economic and political life is closely related to patterns of dominance-subordination. Comparative study of how politics and government in polyethnic politics in the developed as well as developing worlds impact upon ethnic identity and relations of power among ethnocultural communities. (Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisites: PSC120 or PSC220 or junior standing.

PSC321 - Latin American Politics (3 cr.)

This course is an overview of the politics of Central and South America with particular emphasis on selected states such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, and Mexico. A principal focus is the historical, social, cultural, and political dynamics influencing democracy, development, and social change in Latin American states. Also includes regional relations with an emphasis on the impact of U.S. policies and intervention on Latin American states and societies. (Fall, Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisites: LAS111 or PSC120 or six PSC credits.

PSC323 - Japanese Politics and Diplomacy (3 cr.)

Japan is the most advanced and democratic Asian nation with growing postindustrial and postmodern syndromes. This course studies how the Japanese govern themselves and interact with the international community. Elite governance is the central theme of public policymaking analysis such as national defense and socioeconomic prosperity. This course also studies Japan's interactions with other Asian nations and the West. Game theory helps students to understand Japan's foreign policy and its role in globalization and postmodernization. (Fall). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: ENG101 or POI.

PSC325 - Canadian Politics (3 cr.)

Study of the Canadian Political System - its major structures and their functions, its policy processes and selected strengths and weaknesses of political structures and policy processes noted; proposals for reform evaluated in the light of how effectively political conflicts are managed if not resolved. (Fall, Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: three PSC credits or three CAS credits or POI.

PSC327 - European Politics (3 cr.)

A comparative political analysis of government and politics in European industrial democracies (i.e., France and the United Kingdom) as well as formerly totalitarian socialist nations undergoing political democratization and market economic reforms (e.g., Russia) within their respective contexts of history, economics, and political culture. Comparisons and contrasts between the composition and functions of selected democratic as well as democratizing European political systems as well as an overview of the supranational institutions of the European Union. (Fall). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC120 or POI.

PSC334 - War (3 cr.)

This course explores the topic of war using political, social, and philosophical perspectives. The main topics covered include the various types of war, including interstate war, civil war, and terrorism; the causes of war; how societies mobilize to wage war; and the effects war has on society; and the ethics of waging war. (Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC220, six credits of political science, or junior status.

PSC335 - Politics of the World Economy (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the politics of international economic relations, in terms of both the politics of foreign economic policy and the interaction between states negotiating economic relations. The principal focus of the course is on how exposure to the international economy affects states, and in return how demands for specific policies from domestic interest groups affects how states interact with each other. Major topics include trade, capital flows, the role of international institutions and laws, the politics of development, the environment, and globalization. (Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC220 or six credits of political science.

PSC343 - U.S. Congress and Presidency (3 cr.)

Selection, organization, processes, and personalities of our national legislature and executive. Constitutional powers, inter-branch relations, and economic and foreign policymaking. (Spring, Fall). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: three PSC credits.

PSC344 - U.S. Political Parties and Interest Groups (3 cr.)

A study of the nature of political parties and interest groups, and their impact on elections, government, public policy, and political change. The similarities and differences between parties and interest groups as intermediary organizations linking citizens and government. (Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC100.

PSC345 - U.S. Public Opinion and Voting Behavior (3 cr.)

Individual political thinking and polling trends nationwide and in New York State. Political candidates and the processes of party nomination and general election. Demographic and attitudinal foundations of voting choices in U.S. and N.Y. elections. (Fall). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC100.

PSC348 - Gender Politics (3 cr.)

A study of the theoretical, legal, and political roots of feminism in the United States, comparing different feminist ideologies and their impacts on 20th century feminism. Specific questions about the role of women in modern society and about gender-related policy implications are addressed. Constitutional rights of women and the political mobilization of women are covered as well. (Fall). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: three PSC credits and/or three GWS credits.

PSC354 - Topics in U.S. Politics (1 to 3 cr.)

Course content varies based on current U.S. politics topics of sufficient importance to merit a semester's attention. Topics may be general (e.g., "Money and Politics") or specific (e.g., "Congressional Redistricting as a Political Process"). Course may be repeated for credit when topics vary. (occasional). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: six PSC credits.

PSC355 - Topics in Law (1 to 3 cr.)

Course content varies based on current law topics of sufficient importance to merit a semester's attention. Topics may be general (e.g., "The Politics of Judicial Selection in the U.S.") or specific (e.g., "Civil Liberties in a Time of Terrorism"). Course may be repeated for credit when topics vary. (occasional). Liberal arts. Prerequisites: six PSC credits.

PSC356 - Topics in Public Policy (3 cr.)

Course content varies based on current public policy topics of sufficient importance to merit a semester's attention. Topics may be general (e.g., "Shifts in Policy after Realigning Elections") or specific (e.g., "What Will the Department of Homeland Security Do?). Course may be repeated for credit when topics vary. (occasional). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: six PSC credits.

PSC357 - Topics in World Affairs (1 to 3 cr.)

Course content varies based on current World Affairs topics of sufficient importance to merit a semester's attention. Topics may be general (e.g., "War and Ethics) or specific (e.g., "International Responses to Global Warming"). Course may be repeated for credit when topic varies. (occasional). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: six PSC credits.

PSC358 - Political Movements (3 cr.)

This course looks at political movements, broadly defined, and largely in the United States. A movement is a spontaneous "grassroots," issue-based political activity that takes place outside the traditional framework for political participation. The course focuses on the relationship between political movements and public policy - particularly sudden, non-incremental shifts in policy. Several important movements are examined as is their impact on politics and policy. (Fall). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC100.

PSC380 - Public Policy and Administration (3 cr.)

Analytical treatment of types of public policy and of the models and theories of the policy making process at the national level. Particular emphasis on the implementation and evaluation of policies by the federal bureaucracy. Secondary emphasis on the budgetary process. Several important policy areas are discussed and analyzed within the framework of the models and theories. (Fall, Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC100.

PSC381 - U.S. Political Economy (3 cr.)

This course provides an assessment of the relationships among government, politics, and the economy, and is accessible to the student without an economics background. A modest amount of macroeconomic theory and a historical overview of the development of economic policies in the United States and globally combine to provide a basis from which to examine contemporary economic issues. (Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC100.

PSC382 - Courts, Judges & Politics (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the U.S. judiciary at all levels of U.S. government. Topics include the judicial role in a constitutional republic, judicial selection and tenure, judicial organization and jurisdiction, judicial power and judicial restraint, judicial interaction with other political actors and with the public, the roles of attorneys and jurors in the American legal process, alternatives to judicial dispute resolution, judicial process, judicial policy making, and judicial impact and importance. (Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC100 or PSC290.

PSC383 - Domestic Policy (3 cr.)

The course is an examination of the major strategic areas of U.S. Domestic Policy. These include: the economic and budgetary issues, public health, education, social welfare, and environment and criminal justice policies, and the cultural wars in social regulations. The course looks at the history of these areas from their emergence as policy concerns, through the growing role of the federal government, to their current status. There is also a comparison between the ways these issues are handled politically in the U.S. compared with other modern democracies. (Fall). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC100 (PSC380 recommended).

PSC390 - U.S. Constitutional Law (3 cr.)

An exploration of the origins and evolution of the U.S. Constitution from its adoption in 1787 to the present. Emphasis is on the role of judicial interpretation as the principal means by which the constitution is altered and the particular role of the U.S. Supreme Court in that process. Emphasis is on judicial doctrines related to issues of separation of powers, federalism, and constitutionally based rights and liberties. (Fall). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC100 or POI.

PSC391 - U.S. Civil Liberties (3 cr.)

An examination of the crucial role of the U.S. Supreme Court as definer and defender of constitutionally based civil rights and liberties. Particular emphasis is on the U.S. Bill of Rights and the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Legal and extra-legal influences on constitutional interpretation are assessed including the impact of judicial philosophy and ideology on constitutional interpretation. The Court's role in the U.S. governmental structure and its interactions with other political/legal actors is also assessed. Students read landmark Supreme Court decisions in civil rights and liberties cases. (Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: PSC100 or POI.

PSC393 - Global Law (3 cr.)

This course analyzes conflict resolution of global issues through political and judicial means. It identifies global issues such as human rights, environmental, economic, military-political problems of transboundary scope, and reviews international agreements and decisions of international and domestic tribunals. It also examines impacts and ramifications of global issues in terms of the dichotomy between zero-and positive-sum games. (Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: ENG101.

PSC399 - Independent Study (1 to 15 cr.)

Project individually arranged by student and faculty sponsor. Requires completion of the Independent Study form and approval by the Faculty Sponsor, Academic Advisor, Department Chair and Academic Dean. (Fall).

PSC451 - Seminar on Elections (3 cr.)

An assessment of the role of elections in democratic societies: voting systems, issues of suffrage, party and mass media roles. Electoral patterns including sectionalism, realignment, incumbency and interparty competition. Approved AWR. (Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisite: senior standing or POI.

PSC452 - Seminar on U.S. Foreign Policy (3 cr.)

An examination of the formulation and execution of U.S. Foreign Policy, past, present and future with particular emphasis on the Post Cold War world. Objectives and Instruments of U.S. Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy process and Procedure. Domestic and international politics of U.S. Foreign Policy. Contemporary Issues. An overarching theme is U.S. power in world affairs, its sources, limits, magnitude, utility and ethics. Meets Writing Across the Curriculum requirement for Political Science majors. (Fall). Liberal arts. Approved AWR. Prerequisite: senior standing or POI.

PSC453 - Seminar on Political Persuasion (3 cr.)

This course examines rhetoric, symbolism, and imagery as elements of political persuasion as well as secrecy, censorship, and propaganda as elements of the manipulation of public opinion. A fundamental question in this course is how the use of these various elements affects the degree to which a society is democratic or autocratic. Governmental and political communications are covered along with popular culture. (Fall). Liberals arts. Approved AWR. Prerequisite: senior standing or POI.

PSC489 - Washington Internship Institute (3 to 15 cr.)

(Fall & Spring).

PSC495 - Undergraduate Research (1 to 3 cr.)

Research project arranged by student and faculty sponsor. Formal application process. May be repeated no more than once. (Fall). Prerequisite: POI.

PSC496 - Instructional Practicum (1 to 3 cr.)

Supervised tutoring and classroom instructional assistance in an introductory political science course (PSC100, PSC120, PSC220, PSC231, PSC311). Student and professor must specify exact duties by contract. Cannot be repeated. Graded on a pass/fail basis. (Fall - Spring). Liberal arts. Prerequisites: POI and 12 credits of PSC including a minimum grade of B in the course to be taught.

PSC498 - Internship (1 to 15 cr.)

Advanced field work under academic supervision. Participation in the work of government offices, political campaigns, interest groups, law offices. Full credit internships (15 credit hours per semester) have accompanying seminars. Internship credit does not replace course work requirements of PSC. Formal application process. (Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter). Prerequisites: variable.

PSC499 - Independent Study (1 to 15 cr.)

Individual work with a professor on any topic germane to political science. Independent studies cannot be used for courses that are offered normally. Formal application process. (Spring, Summer, Fall). Prerequisite: junior standing and POI

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