POSC 120 American Government
A basic introductory course in American federal government which emphasizes its structure and operation. Special attention is given to the executive, legislative, and judicial processes.
POSC 239 Research Methods
Helps the student answer (in the affirmative) the question, "Is political science a science?" Students will learn how to generate and test hypotheses through creating and executing research designs. Survey research, experimentation, content analysis, participant observation, and other methodologies will be studied. Although no prior knowledge of statistics is necessary, Math 120 and/or Math 121 are helpful. This class is especially recommended for prospective graduate students in the social sciences.
POSC 390 Campaigns and Elections
The purpose of this seminar is to examine and analyze the role of the political campaign in the American political system. We will look at key aspects of campaigns – candidates; money; polling; advertising; and media – as we read current research on the state of campaigning in the United States. Since this seminar occurs during an election season, students should expect to actively engage with current events, relating course topics to what they are observing in the day-to-day campaigns of the midterm elections. Political pundits and commentators generate a tremendous amount of analysis, commentary, and predictions about American elections; however, in this class we will move beyond these types of comments and attempt to understand how voters decide and how campaigns persuade.
POSC 244 Public Opinion
Examines the origins, nature, and impact of public opinion in the United States. The ways that the public's attitudes are shaped and used by interest groups, politicians, and the mass media will be discussed. Methods of measuring public opinion, with special attention to polling, will be studied. Prerequisite: 120, or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and QR graduation requirement.
POSC 245 Pol Parties & Interest Groups
A study of the functions, structures, and operations of American political parties and interest groups. Special attention is given to the techniques of running a campaign for office, to the role of the media in superseding American parties, and to the interactions of government with the two largest "interest groups": business and labor. Prerequisite: 120, or permission of the instructor.
POSC 550 Independent Research