Courses

The 18 credits of course work include at least one course in each of the following political science areas:

  • American Politics
  • Theory/Methodology
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations 

Six of these 18 credits must be at the 400 level. A grade of "C" or better is required in all courses that you take to fulfill requirements for the minor.

Convenient and Flexible

Each course is taught using a blend of web technology, print, and other media to maximize flexibility while maintaining teacher and student interaction. As a Penn State online student, you have the opportunity to learn when and where it's most convenient for you.

Course List - Undergraduate Minor in Political Science

Choose at least one course from each of the following four areas:

American Politics
Title Abbreviation Description Credits

Introduction to American National Government

 

PL SC 001 Introduction to development and nature of American political culture, constitutional/structural arrangements, electoral/policy processes; sources of conflict and consensus. 3 credits

Rights in America

PL SC 110 This course explores the historical and contemporary struggles of particular groups within American society to expand their rights. 3 credits

Analyzing Public Policy in the American State

 

PL SC 404

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 001, PL SC 309 (concurrent)

3 credits

Politics and the Media

 

PL SC 468

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 001 or PL SC 003

3 credits

American Constitutional Law

 

PL SC 471

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 001

3 credits

The American Legal Process

 

PL SC 472

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 001

3 credits

American Judicial Behavior

 

PL SC 473

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 001

3 credits

Congress and the Presidency

 

PL SC 480W

This course examines states, markets, power, production, and the relations between the various transnational agents who act in these areas.

Prerequisite: PL SC 001

3 credits

Policy Making and Evaluation

 

PL SC 490

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 001    

3 credits

 

International Relations
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
International Relations PL SC 014 Characteristics of modern nation-states and forces governing their international relations; nationalism; imperialism; diplomacy; current problems of war and peace. 3 credits
Strategy and Politics PL SC 410

This course examines political behavior using social choice theory and game theory.    

Prerequisite: PL SC 001, PL SC 003, or PL SC 014

3 credits
International Political Economy PL SC 412

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 I B 303

3 credits
International Relations Theory PL SC 418W

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 014

3 credits
The Politics of Terrorism PL SC 439

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

Prerequisite: CRIMJ 100 or PL SC 014 or permission of program

3 credits
American Foreign Policy PL SC 442

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 014

3 credits

International Relations of the Middle East

PL SC 467

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 014 or HIST 181

3 credits

 

Comparative Politics
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Introduction to Comparative Politics PL SC 003 Introduction to study of comparative government and politics: normative/ empirical theories; government functions in modern societies; representative structures and processes. 3 credits
Comparative Politics--Western Europe PL SC 020 Comparative analysis of political cultures, interest groups, parties, and decision-making processes in principal Western European political systems. 3 credits
Society and Cultures in Modern Israel PL SC 060 An introduction to the society and cultures of the State of Israel from 1948 to the present. 3 credits
Governments and Politics of Western Europe PL SC 455

Comparative analysis of political and governmental structures of major West European nations; main functions and processes of such structures.

Prerequisite: PL SC 003 or PL SC 020 

3 credits
Politics and Institutions of Latin-American Nations PL SC 456

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 003 or PL SC 020

3 credits

 

Theory/Methodology
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Contemporary Political Ideologies PL SC 007 Critical analysis of contemporary political ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, anarchism, fascism, feminism, and environmentalism. 3 credits
Scientific Study of Politics PL SC 10 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 Political Theory PL SC 017 Introduction to basic issues in political theory through analysis of selected major political thinkers. 3 credits
Introduction to Political Research PL SC 308

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

Prerequisite: any 3 credits in political science

3 credits
Quantitative Political Analysis PL SC 309

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

Prerequisite: any 3 credits in political science

3 credits

Analyzing Public Policy in the American States

PL SC 404

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

Prerequisite: PL SC 001, PL SC 309 (concurrent)

3 credits
Strategy and Politics PL SC 410

This course examines political behavior using social choice theory and game theory. 

Prerequisite: PL SC 001, PL SC 003, or PL SC 014

3 credits

Analysis of Electoral Politics 

PL SC 429

The new politics, its technology, and the strategic perspectives that underlie it.

Prerequisite: PL SC 001 and PL SC 309

3 credits
Congress and the Presidency PL SC 480W

This course examines states, markets, power, production, and the relations between the various transnational agents who act in these areas.

Prerequisite: PL SC 001

3 credits

 

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.