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Political Science Undergraduate Program

Interim Chairperson: Dr. Keith Boeckelman
Office: Morgan Hall 422
Telephone: (309) 298-1055 
Fax: (309) 298-1739
E-mail: DD-Wiley@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/politicalscience

Faculty: Albarracin, Anderson, Auger, Baldi, Boeckelman, Day, Deitz, Hardy, LaFrance, Lee, Ogbaharya, Placide, Taylor.

Political science is both an ancient discipline and one of the most recent social sciences. Political scientists study political institutions, the political behavior of individuals and groups, the formulation and execution of public policy, the relations among states, and also enduring moral issues, such as what is justice and how leaders should be chosen.

The political science major prepares the student for a wide range of careers, including: administration of national, state, and local government agencies; preparation for admission to law school; urban and regional planning; political journalism; the conduct and analysis of foreign policy; and preparation for graduate study in political science. The departmental adviser has career guides for students interested in law school, graduate study in political science, graduate study in public policy, public administration, foreign affairs, and politics.

GradTrac is available to Political Science majors – General, American Government, International Relations/Comparative Politics, and Public Administration/Public Policy.  See more information about GradTrac

Honors Curriculum - Academically qualified students in this department are welcome to complete an honors curriculum in University Honors, Upper Division Honors, or Lower Division Honors. All Honors students must complete the one-hour honors colloquium (G H 299). Lower Division Honors includes General Honors coursework. Upper Division Honors includes honors work in the major. University Honors combines Upper and Lower Division Honors. For more information about honors curricula visit the Centennial Honors College website at www.wiu.edu/Honors 

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Arts - Political Science

All students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science must complete I, II, and III.A., III.B., III.C., or III.D. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h. A maximum of 6 s.h. of POLS 402 may be counted towards the political science major.

  1. University General Education and College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Requirements:  60 s.h.
  2. Core Courses:  18 s.h.
    POLS 122*, 228*, 267*, 284, 300 or 302, 492†
  3. Options of Study (select A, B, C, or D)
    1. Political Science-General
      1. Directed Electives
        1. At least one course from POLS 381, 382, 383, 389:  3 s.h.
          If more than one course is taken, it counts as a department elective.
        2. At least one course chosen from POLS 317, 318, 319:  3 s.h.
          If more than one course is taken, it counts as a department elective.
      2. Department Electives:  12 s.h.
      3. Any Minor  minimum:  16 s.h.
      4. Open Electives:  14 s.h.
    2. American Government
      1. Directed Electives
        1. At least one course chosen from POLS 381, 382, 383, 389:  3 s.h.
          If more than one course is taken, it counts as a department elective.
        2. At least two courses chosen from POLS 317, 318, 319:  6 s.h.
          If more than two courses are taken, they count as open electives.
        3. Three courses chosen from POLS 223, 308, 311, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 328,
          335, 350, 352, 370, 395, 402, 410, 411, 448, 454, 456:  9 s.h.
      2. Any Minor minimum:  16 s.h.
      3. Open Electives:  14 s.h.
    3. International Relations/Comparative Politics
      1. Directed Electives
        1. At least one course chosen from POLS 381, 382, 383, 389:  3 s.h.
          If more than one course is taken, it counts as an open elective.
        2. Students must take at least one course from the International Relations courses listed below and at least one course from the Comparative Politics courses listed. Students should then select 3 additional courses from the lists below:  15 s.h.
          International Relations: POLS 331, 332, 334, 338, 353, 440, 446
          Comparative Politics: POLS 320, 322, 327, 329, 347, 400, 465, 468
      2. Any Minor - minimum:  16 s.h.
      3. Open Electives:  14 s.h.
    4. Public Administration/Public Policy
      1. Directed Electives
        1. Select POLS 300 or 302 (whichever was not taken as a core course):  3 s.h.
        2. At least one course chosen from POLS 381, 382, 383, 389:  3 s.h.
          If more than one course is taken, it counts as a department elective.
        3. Three courses chosen from POLS 223, 393, 400, 402, 410, 490, 493, 494:  9 s.h.
      2. Department Electives:  3 s.h.
      3. Any Minor - minimum:  16 s.h.
      4. Open Electives:  14 s.h.
    *Two of POLS 122, 228, 267 may count toward the University General Education requirement.
    †POLS 492 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) graduation requirement.

Minors

Minor in Political Science (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science):  18 s.h.

  1. Core: POLS 122:  9 s.h.  
    One course chosen among POLS 381, 382, 383, 388, 389
    One course chosen among POLS 228, 267, 284, 300
  2. Political Science Electives:  9 s.h.
    At least 6 s.h. of POLS electives must be from courses numbered 300 or above. 

Minor in Public Administration (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science):  18 s.h.

  1. POLS 122, 300:  6 s.h. 
  2. Political Science Electives selected among the following courses:  12 s.h.  
    POLS 302, 393, 402 (maximum of 3 s.h.), 490, 493, 494
    One course may be selected from the following:
    POLS 223, 370, 401 (maximum of 3 s.h.)

Minor in International Relations (Bachelor of Arts or Sciences):  18 s.h.

  1. POLS 101 OR 122, AND 228:  6 s.h. 
  2. Political Science Electives - select at least two courses from the following:  12 s.h. 
    POLS 331, 332, 338, 353, 440, 446, 451
    In addition, two courses may be chosen from POLS 267, 322, 327, 329

Course Descriptions

POLITICAL SCIENCE (POLS)

(American Government and Politics)

122  American Government and Politics. (3)  (General Education/Social Sciences)  Development, organization, powers, limitation, and practical problems of the governmental and political system of the United States. This course meets the state requirement that all candidates for graduation pass an examination on the Federal and Illinois State constitutions. 
IAI: S5 900.

223  State Government and Politics. (3)  The role of state and local governments within the American federal system. 
IAI: S5 902.

311  (cross-listed with AAS 311)  Race and Ethnicity in American Politics. (3)  This course examines how racial and ethnic minority groups shape, and are shaped by, American politics and society. It focuses primarily on the politics of specific racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States. Not open to students with credit in AAS 311. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

315  Illinois Government and Politics. (3)  A comprehensive study of Illinois government. Special attention to constitutional developments and the organization and functioning of the government. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or 223, or permission of instructor.

316  Executive-Legislative Relations. (3)  An examination of the relationship between the executive branch and Congress including topics such as vetoes, divided government, and the role of the bureaucracy in the lawmaking process. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

317  The Congress. (3)  The role of the national legislature in its relationship to the structure of American government and the legislative process. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

318  The Presidency. (3)  Analysis of the powers of the President and the relationship of the office to the legislative and judicial branches. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

319  The Judiciary. (3)  Functions and role of the federal court system and the judicial process. Emphasis on decision-making, judges, the legal profession, and administration of the courts. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

328  Politics and the Media. (3)  This course will explore the power and limits of the media in American politics as well as the ways in which the media defines the Anews.@ Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

350  Political Campaigns and Elections. (3)  Development of a practical understanding and skill in politics and campaigns through classroom instruction and participation in campaigning. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

352  Voting Behavior and Public Opinion. (3)  Examines theories and current controversies of American electoral politics, explores the nature and content of public opinion, and analyzes their influence on elected officials. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or 122 or permission on instructor.

370  Urban Government and Politics. (3)  Organization and functions of the government of cities: urban politics, problems, and policies.Prerequisite: POLS 122 or 300 or permission of instructor.

395  Politics and Religion in America. (3)  The impact of religion in contemporary American political life, focusing on constitutional issues, electoral politics, and, more generally, the interaction between politics and religion. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or 122 or permission of instructor.

410  Constitutional Law: Government Organization and Powers. (3)  An examination of constitutional law in the United States with special emphasis on cases dealing with the framework, powers, and functions of the federal system. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

411  Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. (3)  An examination of U.S. Constitutional law, with special emphasis upon civil liberties and civil rights cases. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

448  The Supreme Court. (3)  An examination of the role of the Supreme Court in the federal judiciary and in the U.S. political system.Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

454  Interest Group Politics. (3)  The study of interest group politics in the United States including theories of group development and maintenance, their roles in American politics, their methods of influence, and their effect on government behavior. Prerequisites: POLS 122 and at least junior status or permission of instructor.

456  Political Parties. (3)  A study of political parties in the United States including theories of the two-party system, the changing nature and function of modern parties, the roles of third parties, and the effect of parties on the political system. Prerequisites: POLS 122 and at least junior status or permission of instructor.

(Comparative Government and Politics)

267  Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics. (3)  (General Education/Social Sciences)  An introduction to important analytical concepts in comparative politics, the major types of political systems, and major components of the political process.IAI: S5 905.

322  Political Systems of Europe. (3)  Contemporary politics in old and new European democracies. How national policies and national identities converge or conflict in an increasingly integrated Europe. Prerequisite: POLS 267 or permission of instructor.

327  (formerly PolS 325)  (cross-listed with AAS 325)  Political Systems of Africa. (3)  This course examines the nature of institutions and political rule in Africa before and after independence. Key topics include the colonial inheritance, ethnicity and social characteristics of African societies, and the nature and role of political institutions. Not open to students with credit in AAS 325. Prerequisite: POLS 267 or permission of instructor.

329  Political Systems of Latin America. (3)  (General Education/Multicultural Studies)  An examination of the political institutions and political processes of selected Latin American states including Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Prerequisite: POLS 267 or permission of instructor.

400  Comparative Public Policy. (3)  The course will examine the public policy process and public policy outcomes using a comparative perspective. It will analyze different policy areas in diverse contexts—e.g. industrial and developing countries—and in selected cases in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Prerequisite: POLS 300 or 302 or permission of instructor.

(International Relations)

228  Fundamentals of International Relations. (3)  (General Education/Social Sciences)  An introduction to both the major concepts and approaches in the study of international relations, and to the contemporary international system, its components, and its problems. 
IAI: S5 904.

331  United States Foreign Policy. (3)  The role of the United States in the family of nations. The apparatus, materials, and methods of foreign policy. The significance of foreign policy as part of the political system of the United States. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or 228, or permission of instructor.

332  United States Defense Policy and National Security. (3)  The organization and role of the National Security Council, Defense Department, military establishment, and CIA. Topics include military technology, warfare, deterrence, arms control, and the defense budget. Prerequisites: POLS 122 or 228, or permission of instructor.

334  Politics of the Global Economy. (3)  Political analysis of theories and operation of the modern international economy, including international institutions and transnational corporations, the globalization of finance and production, and issues of dominance and dependence. Prerequisite: POLS 228 or permission of instructor.

338  The United Nations and International Organization. (3)  A study of world and regional organization as reflections of world politics, as instruments of foreign policies, and as forces for change and order. Prerequisite: POLS 228 or permission of instructor.

440  International Security & Arms Control. (3)  Systematic analysis of the disarmament efforts of nations; role of international organizations; problems of national security and inspection; economic and political implications. Prerequisite: POLS 228 or permission of instructor.

446  Conflict Resolution and International Peacekeeping. (3)  Study of the history and practice of international peacekeeping operations. Emphasis on international organizations and the feasibility of conflict resolution and collective security. Prerequisites: POLS 122 and 228.

(Political Theory)

200  Introduction to Political Thought. (3) (General Education/Social Sciences)  Survey of political theorists from Socrates to present with special emphasis on the themes of justice, community, equity, liberty and freedom.

381  Classical Political Theory. (3)  The development of Western political philosophy from Plato to Machiavelli with particular emphasis on justice and the good society. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or 122, or permission of instructor.

382  Modern Political Theory. (3)  A study of modern and contemporary political theories from Machiavelli to the present with particular emphasis on such concepts as justice, liberty, freedom and equality. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or 122, or permission of instructor.

383  American Political Thought. (3)  Introduction to political theory in the United States designed to present a balanced picture of the origins and development of American political ideas from colonial times to the present. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or 122, or permission of instructor.

389  Politics and Ethics. (3)  The course will focus on the ethics of the process of decision making by public officials in a representative democracy. The course also will examine the ethical issues raised by public policies on abortion, affirmative action, and the environment.Prerequisite: POLS 122.

(Public Administration)

300  Introduction to Public Administration. (3)  Policy development and implementation by governmental agencies; the exercise of discretion by administrative bodies, their responsibility to elected public officials, and their responsiveness to societal demands.Prerequisite: POLS 101 or 122, or permission of instructor.

302  Introduction to Public Policy. (3)  A comprehensive study of public policymaking and systematic description, explanation, and evaluation of the processes in which public policies are developed, legitimized, funded, implemented, and evaluated in terms of their social impact. Prerequisites: POLS 101 or 122 or permission of instructor.

393  Environmental Politics. (3)  A study of the political, legal, administrative, and regulatory aspects of controlling pollution, protecting environmental quality, and managing natural resources. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or permission of instructor.

490  Bureaucracy and Public Policy. (3)  The role of the public bureaucracy in the policy-making and policy-formation process. Legislative and judicial policy-making are contrasted with administrative policy-making. Prerequisite: POLS 300 or 302 or permission of instructor.

493  Seminar in Organization Theory and Behavior. (3)  Review of classical and modern theories of administration. Goals and expectations of high echelon administrators. Treatment of authority relationships in formal organizations. Prerequisite: POLS 300 or 302 or permission of instructor.

494  Public Budgeting Systems. (3)  Financial and budgetary processes and problems of public agencies at various governmental levels. Includes types and functions of budgets. Systematic program evaluation and budgetary allocation questions are emphasized. Prerequisite: POLS 300 or 302 or permission of instructor.

(General and Special Courses)

101  Introduction to Political Science. (3)  (General Education/Social Sciences)  Designed to acquaint the beginning student with the scope and methods of political science and with basic elements of democratic theory. 
IAI: S5 903.

226  Introduction to Law and Society. (3)  Introduces the student to a variety of disciplinary perspectives of law and society. Focuses broadly on the origins and functions of the law including such topics as the Roman and Common Law and the law as an agent of social control and dispute resolution.

284  Political Research and Analysis. (3)  Designed to acquaint the student with the relationship between political theory and data. Relevant data bases in political science (e.g., political socialization, voting behavior) are used to explore and test hypotheses in political science. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or 122, or permission of instructor.

298  Individual Studies. (1–3)  Special projects in political science carried out under the supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisites: at least one other course in political science and permission of instructor.

301  Politics and Cinema. (3)  An examination of films which deal with political themes such as racism, war, and revolution. The course includes a weekly viewing of a film and a discussion section of 75 minutes. See class schedule for listing of discussion sections. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or 122 or permission of instructor.

308  Political Psychology. (3)  A study of the psychological underpinnings of political behavior to better understand how individuals make sense of and react to the political world. Prerequisite: POLS 122 or PSY 100 or permission of instructor.

335  (cross-listed with WS 335) Women and Politics. (3) (General Education/Multicultural Studies)  An examination of the changing role of women in American politics. Focus on women as participants in politics, public policies of concern to women, and feminist theories of political change. Not open to students with credit in WS 335. Prerequisite: POLS 101 or 122 or permission of instructor.

353  Terrorism and Political Conflict. (3)  An examination of the political and ideological sources of modern terrorism and the evolving implications for international and domestic politics. Prerequisite: POLS 228 or permission of instructor.

401  Independent Study. (1–6, repeatable to 6)  Individual study and research in any subfield of political science. Prerequisites: at least sophomore standing and permission of instructor and adviser.

402  Internship in Public Affairs. (1–12, repeatable to 12)  Actual work assignments in public or private agencies involving specific projects in any of the following areas: administrative organization or reorganization. A maximum of 6 s.h. may be counted towards the political science major. Prerequisite: permission of internship coordinator.

432  (cross-listed with SOC 432)  Survey Research. (3)  An overview of how to design, conduct, and present the results of social surveys. The course includes a familiarization with data preparation for computer processing and an introduction to using computer software statistical packages. Not open to students with credit in SOC 432. Prerequisite: any university level statistics course or consent of instructor.

465  Genocide in Our Time. (3)  Case studies of recent genocides with examples from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Examination of the perspectives of social scientists, victims, perpetrators, and witnesses. Prerequisite: POLS 228 or 267, or permission of instructor.

479  Practicum in Survey Research Methods. (3)  Students will work one-on-one with a faculty member on a research project in survey research. This is the capstone course for the Survey Research Methods minor, bringing together the theory and practice of survey research methods. Prerequisites: Successful completion of POLS 284, POLS/SOC 432, and at least 12 s.h. in the Survey Research Methods minor.

492  Senior Seminar in Political Science. (3)  Survey of major concepts and theories of political science. Students will read important works from the discipline and will write a research paper. Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course. Prerequisites: senior political science major, ENG 280, and permission of political science adviser.