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. 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. 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. 3 credits
The American Legal Process PL SC 472 Analysis of the roles, procedures, and policies characterizing the American legal system. 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. 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. 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. 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
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 3 credits
Politics and the Media PL SC 404 This course provides students with the tools to empirically evaluate policy proposals and outcomes in the American states. 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. 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.