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Undergraduate Minor in
Political Science

Courses

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

  • American politics
  • political theory
  • political 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 World Campus student, you have the opportunity to learn when and where it's most convenient for you.

Required Courses (select 18 credits)

Students are required to choose at least one course from each course list: American politics, international relations, comparative politics, and theory/methodology.

American Politics

  • 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

    This course explores the historical and contemporary struggles of particular groups within American society to expand their rights.

  • 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

    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

Political Theory

  • 3
    credits

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

  • 3
    credits

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

Political Methodology

  • 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

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

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 , PLSC 3 , or PLSC 14

Comparative Politics

  • 3
    credits

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

  • 3
    credits

    This course introduces students to the politics and governing institutions of European countries through a historical and comparative perspective.

  • 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

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

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 3 or PLSC 200N

International Relations

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

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 , PLSC 3 , or PLSC 14

  • 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

    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

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.