Political Science Courses

Political Science

PLSC 106 Explorations in Politics (4)
This course explores contemporary political issues in the context of a diverse and globalized world. Issue areas explored may vary depending on political events at the time. (WCore: WCSBS, WE)
PLSC 203 Courts, Law, and Social Justice (4)
In this course, students use the tools of social science and legal analysis to understand and analyze the role of law and the courts in American society and politics. Students come away from this course with an appreciation for the role of law in American society, an ability to use the basic tools and principles of legal analysis, and a perspective on US courts that is informed by social science theory. (WCore: WCSBS)
PLSC 300 Special Topics in Political Science (1-4)
Courses may be taught as either workshops or seminars. Significant themes are explored in certain sub-disciplinary areas of political science. Recent offerings and/or suggested topics have included Conflict Management, Language and Politics, Politics of Federalism (State and Local Government), Topics in Political Thought, Political Issues Analysis, Politics of Argentina, Central Asian/Eurasian Politics, International Political Economy, and Methods of Political Analysis.
PLSC 306 Comparative Politics (4)
This course explores how different institutions have an effect on issues of representation and diversity, empowerment and engagement, and efficiency and stability.  We will analyze traditional political institutions (e.g. parliamentary, presidential and semi-presidential systems, various voting methods and different approaches to federalism).  We will also consider broader conceptions of institutions through both local, citizen-centric practices (e.g. participatory budgeting and citizens’ assemblies) and citizen behavior (e.g. social movements and acts of civil disobedience). (WCore: EWRLD)
PLSC 315 Theories of Global Politics (4)
This course explores the different theories and approaches to the study and practice of International Relations and Global Politics. It employs a critical, intercultural, and global framework that enables participants to learn and understand the growing diversity of Western, Non-Western, feminist, and ecological perspectives on planetary affairs. The overall purpose of this course is to equip participants with the various theoretical compasses needed to creatively navigate and proactively participate in the emergent global polity. (WCore: EWRLD)
PLSC 316 Issues in Global Politics (4)
This course engages with key conversations in global politics, such as those surrounding political economy, education, healthcare, diversity, ecology and security. We will explore each of these areas alongside conceptions of social justice, inclusion and equity. Through a combination of textual analysis, class speakers and civic engagement events, this course enables students to explore political issues in theory and practice. (WCore: EWRLD)
PLSC 327 Environmental Politics and Policy (4)
Focuses on continuity and change in the politics of environmentalism within the United States. Includes an in-depth look at the Environmental Protection Agency as a means of examining institutional and public policy activities in the environmental arena, an overview of environmental legislation, and a consideration of pollution prevention strategies.
PLSC 348 Congress and the Presidency (4)
An examination of the role of Congress and the presidency in government, and their effects on the entire political process. Includes a look at various approaches to the study of Congress and the presidency.
PLSC 355 Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties (4)
Analysis of key civil liberties cases and the decision-making process followed by the Supreme Court. Overview of the impact of Supreme Court decisions on the political process and of the Court as a political institution.
PLSC 359 Law, Politics, and Bureaucracy (4)
This course provides an in-depth examination of the historical, legal, and political environment within which US regulatory agencies operate. Case law and other primary source materials are used extensively.
PLSC 367 Democratic Theory & Practice (4)
This course explores issues of political representation, civility, inclusion, engagement, diversity and education at the heart of democracy. It examines texts from democratic theory alongside recent innovations in the practices and institutions of democracy around the globe.
PLSC 390 Research Methods (4)
This course endows students with the skills needed to engage in fruitful political and justice research. In order to foster research competency the course addresses Philosophy of Social Science Inquiry, Research Design, Critical Research Strategies, Qualitative Methods, and basic skills in interpreting quantitative data. (WCore: RE)
PLSC 401 Directed Studies (1–4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in political science. Requires consent of instructor and school dean. This course is repeatable for credit.
PLSC 440 Internship (1–8)
Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of program director and Career Center internship coordinator. This course is repeatable for credit.
PLSC 490 Senior Capstone (4)
A required course for all senior political studies majors. Students select, research, analyze, and discuss a topic or problem. The results of each student’s project will be written as a senior thesis and presented for a discussion in a seminar setting. Required for all majors in their senior year. (WCore: SC)