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Course Descriptions

POL 102 International Relations
An introduction to relations between countries and in examination of the main conceptual approaches to understanding international conflict and cooperation. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1. (3)

POL 103 Comparative Politics
An introduction to the workings of politics inside countries other than the United States and an examination of the main conceptual approaches to understanding authority, institutions, and political change. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-1. (3)

POL 104 American Government
An introductory survey and analysis of the political processes that describe the operations of the federal, state, and local branches of government. Intergovernmental relations are examined. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: ETH, SS-1. (3)

POL 130 Politics of Environmental Issues
A survey of environmental and natural resource policy and politics. Examines the ways governments use policies to address natural resource and environmental issues at the local, regional, and international levels, and the underlying ideological and institutional factors that shape environmental policy debates. (3)

POL 210 Western Political Concepts I
An introduction to political theory focusing on political thought from ancient to early modern times and on the fundamental conceptions of political theory. (3)

POL 211 Western Political Concepts II
A study of various political theories and ideologies from early modern to contemporary times. Topics include liberalism, conservatism, and political ideologies. (3)

POL 250 Research and Writing
An introduction to the sources and methods used in political research and writing. Prerequisite: EN 102. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: INQ, WI. (3)

POL 300 State and Urban Politics
A survey of the structure of state and urban political units and institutions. An examination of their policy and decision-making processes and an investigation of state-federal relations. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 104 or POL 305, or permission of the instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)

POL 305 American Policy Process
An introduction to the political dynamics of forming national public policy in the United States. For students with a basic understanding of American government institutions, the course uses case studies to focus on several different areas of policy. Prerequisite for non-Politics majors: POL 104. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: INQ, SS-2. (3)

POL 307 Race and Politics
This course examines race and politics in the United States. The course will analyze the role of minority groups, including African Americans, Latino Americans and Asian Americans, in the political arena. Moreover, we will look at issues of immigration, affirmative action and education as they impact minority groups in the US. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 104 or POL 305, and any WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)

POL 310 Political Parties and Interest Groups
An analysis of group theory in a democratic society. The course examines the influence of interest groups in American politics at the federal and state levels. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in POL 104 or POL 305, and a grade of C or better in POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: ETH, SS-2. (3)

POL 312 Media and Politics
This course examines the political dynamics between the news media and politics. The course is designed to provide a deeper understanding of media outlets, journalists, viewers, and their relationship with the government. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 104 or POL 305, and any WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)

POL 315 The Presidency
A survey of the historical development and the constitutional powers of the office. The course analyzes the principal roles in national and world politics played by modern presidents. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in POL 104 or POL 305, and a grade of C or better in POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: ETH, SS-2. (3)

POL 320 The Congress
A review of the history of Congress and a description of its functions, its structure, and the legislative process. The course examines current and historical issues that relate to the proper role of Congress in the American scheme of government. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in POL 104 or POL 305, and a grade of C or better in POL 250 or its equivalent, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)

POL 325 Voting Behavior
A study of the voting behavior of the American electorate and its representatives and the causes of that behavior. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in POL 104 or POL 305, and a grade of C or better in POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. (3)

POL 330 Judicial Politics
This course examines the judicial system and its larger impact on US political life. The course addresses the main actors, trial courts, appellate courts and the court system’s role in a representative democracy. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 104 or POL 305, and any WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: SS-2. (3)

POL 332 American Foreign Policy
A history of the policies of the United States toward other governments and an analysis of the principal factors to be considered in formulating and executing American foreign policy. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in POL 102 and POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. (3)

POL 335 American Constitutional Law I
An introduction to the federal judiciary in American government and a survey of the principal decisions of constitutional law that have influenced the development of the American polity. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in POL 104 or POL 305, or permission of instructor. (3)

POL 336 American Constitutional Law II
A survey of the principal court decisions concerning individual rights under the United States Constitution. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in POL 250 or its equivalent and POL 335, or permission of instructor. (3)

POL 355 Advanced International Relations Theory
An in-depth examination of theories that seek to explain patterns in international relations, from ancient times to the contemporary era, with applications to contemporary international politics. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 102, a grade of C or better in POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-2, WI. (3)

POL 360 Strategy and Power in World Politics
An examination of basic game theory, covering problems of threats, assurances, and cooperation, combined with an in-depth analysis of the strategies selected historical and contemporary leaders have used to achieve their objectives. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 102 or POL 103, a grade of C or better in POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-2. (3)

POL 380 Politics of Latin America
Examines the systems of government of countries in Latin America – including Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America – and their relations with each other and with major countries outside the region. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 102 or POL 103, a grade of C or better in POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-2, WI. (3)

POL 381 Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa
Examines the systems of government of countries in Africa south of the Sahara – including but not limited to the DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda – and their relations with each other and with major countries outside the region. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 102 or POL 103, a grade of C or better in POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-2, WI. (3)

POL 382 Politics of Western Europe
Examines the systems of government of countries in Western Europe – including but not limited to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom – and their relations with each other and with major countries outside the region. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 102 or POL 103, a grade of C or better in POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-2, WI. (3)

POL 385 Politics of South Asia
Examines the systems of government of countries in South Asia – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka – and their relations with each other and with major countries outside the region. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 102 or POL 103, a grade of C or better in POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-2, WI. (3)

POL 386 Politics of East Asia
Examines the systems of government of countries in East Asia – including China (PRC), Mongolia, North and South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan – and their relations with each other and with major countries outside the region. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in POL 102 or POL 103, a grade of C or better in POL 250 or any other WI course, or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: GP, SS-2, WI. (3)

POL 400 Internship
Senior students may register for an internship with cooperating public service agencies in the greater Washington area. Prerequisite: permission of the dean of Arts and Sciences. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: EXP. (3-6)

POL 405 Political Ideologies
A study of ideology as a particular form of political thought. The course examines the origins of ideology, its distinguishing characteristics, and various examples of ideology. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in POL 210 or POL 211, and a grade of C or better in POL 250 or its equivalent, or permission of instructor. (3)

POL 420 Senior Seminar
Provides an opportunity for majors to explore more thoroughly a subject previously studied in the Politics curriculum. The focus of each seminar is a student paper demonstrating appropriate skill in research and writing on political topics. Offered spring semester only. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in POL 250 or its equivalent, or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: EN 102. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: INQ, WI. (3)

POL 421 Project
An investigation of a selected topic in the emphasis discipline. The project is intended to demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research and present the results in writing of commendable quality. Prerequisite: permission of the dean of Arts and Sciences. (3)