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Bachelor of Science in
Political Science

Courses

The online Bachelor of Science in Political Science is a liberal arts program requiring 120 credits for completion. Admission to the major requires a grade of "C" or better in MATH 110 or MATH 140 and a grade of B or better in PLSC 309. These courses must be completed by the end of the semester during which the admission-to-major process occurs.

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in this major.

Prescribed Courses (select 16 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    This course introduces students to both the scientific study of politics and the way that study advances our understanding of political actors, events, processes, and institutions.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to conceptualization, research design, and measurement in political research.

    • Prerequisite

      any 3 credits in political science

  • 3
    credits

    Data analysis and statistical applications in political research, including data processing, inferential statistics, contingency analysis, correlation and regression, and multivariate analysis.

    • Prerequisite

      any 3 credits in political science

    • 3
      credits

      Fundamentals of computational thinking, including reasoning about problems at multiple levels of abstraction, and analyzing code for its behavior, efficiency, and correctness.

      • Prerequisite

        2 entrance units in mathematics

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Introduction to programming techniques design and implementation of algorithms. Structured programming. Problem-solving techniques. Introduction to a high-level language, including arrays, procedures, and recursion

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 110 or prerequisite or concurrent MATH 140

    • 4
      credits

      Functions, graphs, derivatives, integrals, techniques of differentiation and integration, exponentials, improper integrals, applications.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 022 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination

    • or:
      4
      credits

      Functions, limits; analytic geometry; derivatives, differentials, applications; integrals, applications.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 22 and MATH 26 or MATH 26 and satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination or MATH 40 or MATH 41 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination.

Additional Courses (select 9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    This course examines the American democracy by looking at the dynamic interaction between the founding ideals of the United States government, the institutions established by the Constitution, and the ongoing contest for power within and through those institutions.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to study of comparative government and politics: normative/empirical theories; government functions in modern societies; representative structures and processes.

  • 3
    credits

    Critical analysis of contemporary political ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, anarchism, fascism, feminism, and environmentalism.

  • 3
    credits

    Characteristics of modern nation-states and forces governing their international relations; nationalism; imperialism; diplomacy; current problems of war and peace.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to basic issues in political theory through analysis of selected major political thinkers.

Additional Courses — Data Intensive (select 9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides students with the tools to empirically evaluate policy proposals and outcomes in the American states.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 and PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    This course engages students in the empirical study of electoral politics in the United States.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 and PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    This course engages students in the empirical study of public opinion.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 and PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    This course engages students in the empirical study of law and the courts.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 001 and PLSC 309

PLSC 400-Level Courses (select 9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    The transnational politics of trade, investment, aid, raw materials, and the environment; nation-states, multinational corporations, and the U.N.

    • Prerequisite

      ECON 102, ECON 104, or IB 303

  • 3
    credits

    A survey of traditional and contemporary conceptual frameworks and theoretical approaches for the analysis of international relations.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of political terrorism as a violent alternative for peaceful change and traditional warfare in the nuclear age.

    • Prerequisite

      CRIMJ 100 or PLSC 14 or permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    Principles of American foreign policy; processes of policy formulation; roles of the President, Congress, the State Department, and other government agencies.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14

  • 3
    credits

    Social forces and processes, governmental institutions, foreign policies of major states of Latin America.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 3 or PLSC 200N

  • 3
    credits

    The international relations of the Middle East, stressing national security policies of regional and outside actors, and major contemporary conflicts.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14 or HIST 181

  • 3
    credits

    An examination of how politics and public policy affect and are shaped by the news media, as a political institution, in America.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 or PLSC 3

  • 3
    credits

    The origins of judicial review, landmark decisions of the Supreme Court, and their impact on the American form of government.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of the roles, procedures, and policies characterizing the American legal system.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

  • 3
    credits

    Analyzes behavior of judges and other participants in the legal process; examines how and why courts function as policymaking bodies.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

  • 3
    credits

    Basic characteristics and processes of the national legislature and executive; roles and interaction of these institutions in the policy process.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

  • 3
    credits

    Advanced analysis of public policy, emphasizing policy evaluation and the factors that determine policy success and failure.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

Methodology (select 9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to various methods of analyzing strategic behavior using social choice and game theories.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 , PLSC 3 , or PLSC 14

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of variance for single and multifactor designs; response surface methodology.

    • Prerequisite

      STAT 200 or PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to linear and multiple regression; correlation; choice of models, stepwise regression, nonlinear regression.

    • Prerequisite

      STAT 200 or PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    Identification of models for empirical data collected over time; use of models in forecasting.

    • Prerequisite

      STAT 462

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to design and analysis of sample surveys, including questionnaire design, data collection, sampling methods, and ratio and regression estimation.

    • Prerequisite

      STAT 200 or PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    Descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, power, estimation, confidence intervals, regression, one- and 2-way ANOVA, Chi-square tests, diagnostics.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 309 and department and graduate school approval required.

  • 4
    credits

    Models and measures of vital processes (fertility, mortality, migration) and their effects on growth and age structure of human populations.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 309 and department and graduate school approval required.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides an overview of key demographic data sets, and promotes familiarity with, and appropriate use of, these data.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 309 and department and graduate school approval required.

Capstone Experience (select 3 credits)

Complete this requirement during semester 7 or 8.

  • 3
    credits

    Approved experience, related to student career objectives, in agencies external to University.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides students with the tools to empirically evaluate policy proposals and outcomes in the American states.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 and PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    This course engages students in the empirical study of electoral politics in the United States.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 and PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    This course engages students in the empirical study of public opinion.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 and PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    This course engages students in the empirical study of law and the courts.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 001 and PLSC 309

  • 1–12
    credits

    Supervised student activities on research projects identified on an individual or small-group basis.

    • Credits

      Maximum of 12 credits

  • 1–18
    credits

    Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

Supporting and Related Area Courses (select 12 credits)

Select 12 credits from department approved list of courses. Students can take a range of courses across disciplines or concentrate their selection to complete a minor in a supporting field.

  • ECON courses at the 300-level and above
  • GEOG courses at the 300-level and above
  • HIST courses at the 400-level and above
  • PLSC courses at the 300-level and above
  • PSYCH courses at the 400-level and above
  • SOC courses at the 400-level and abov
  • 3
    credits

    Nature and theories of law; the Supreme Court and press freedom; legal problems of the mass media.

  • 3
    credits

    Structure and functions of American and other mass communications systems and their relationship to political and economic systems.

    • Prerequisite

      ECON 102

  • 3
    credits

    Ethical problems in the practice of journalism; principal public criticisms of news media; case study approach.

  • 3
    credits

    The role of international media in communication among and between nations and peoples.

    • Prerequisite

      Select 1 of the following:

      COMM 100 or COMM 110 or COMM 118 or COMM 150 or COMM 180 or COMM 251 or COMM 260W or COMM 320 or COMM 370

  • 3
    credits

    Theories and strategies important for conceptualizing, developing, and managing conflict negotiation, mediation, and third-party intervention.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the nature and functions of communication in organizations, with emphasis on concepts, tools, and skills for effective management of communication.

    • Prerequisite

      CAS 202 or CAS 252

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the literature on gender research in the discipline of human communication.

  • 3
    credits

    History and criticism of public discourse; intensive analysis of selected public addresses and social movements.

    • Prerequisite

      6 credits of CAS

  • 3
    credits

    Relates organizational and public policy management approaches to police, courts, and correctional institutions.

  • 3
    credits

    Interdisciplinary analysis of security and loss prevention; its administration, role in crime control and prevention, and relationship to criminal justice.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides knowledge about government organizations charged with American border security, guiding laws, and policies.

    • Prerequisite

      6th semester standing

  • 3
    credits

    Ethical behavior in the criminal justice system.

    • Prerequisite

      CRIMJ 100 or permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    Integrates information technology and gender studies. Overview issues and socio-cultural shaping of gender in the IT field.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to how the World Wide Web utilizes emerging technologies. Students acquire a conceptual understanding of constructing websites.

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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