Political Science (PS)

Course usage information

PS-CPE   Public Policy Comprehensive ExamCredits: None   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Public Policy Comprehensive Exam. This is a pass/fail course. PS-510, PS-515, PS-516, and PS-518.

Course usage information

PS-510   Policy AnalysisCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): TPS

An overview of the field of public policy studies with particular attention paid to the role of the policy analyst in the field of public policy. This course provides a solid foundation for the study of public policy analysis by concentrating on the five stages of the policy process, including agenda setting, policy formulation, budgeting, policy implementation, and policy evaluation.

Course usage information

PS-514   Public Opinion and PollingCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Students are taught how to use social science research methods to critique and create polling surveys. Particular attention is paid to the data collection and sample design, survey research methods, questionnaire development, and data collection and analysis. Students are taught how to evaluate the quality of survey research methods. Students will also be expected to design, implement, and analyze an original polling survey.

Course usage information

PS-515   Public Policy Research DesignCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Introduces students to the different research techniques widely practiced in the field of public policy. Students will learn about the research process, from conceptualization to operationalization and measurement. Students examine the importance of writing the literature review and articulating the research question; explore various research designs such as experiments, survey research, and other methods for collecting data. Other issues such as sampling, validity, and reliability are addressed. Class discussions, exercises, readings, and other materials will equip students with the skills to design a piece of policy research to, for example, assess policy proposals, and programs.

Course usage information

PS-516   Research MethodsCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Introduces students to widely used analytical and data presentation techniques in the field of public policy. Students will explore descriptive and inferential statistics. Using Excel and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, students learn how to build a data set, how to acquire secondary data, and how to clean and analyze data. Students will learn about distributions and how to interpret findings. Determining whether research findings are capable of making inferences is examined through regression analysis. Data presentation techniques are addressed to strengthen the skills of students to translate quantitative information to a broad audience.

Course usage information

PS-518   Theory, Policy, EthicsCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Seeks to enable students to develop a critical understanding of the moral and political values that come into play in public policy. Topics include the tensions between ethics and politics in the tradition of political theory as well as how they feature in contemporary public policy debates in American and global politics. Students gain an understanding of the role of ethics as a matter of social justice as well as ethical issues and dilemmas in professional ethics.

Course usage information

PS-522   History of Urbanization in AmericaCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Provides an interdisciplinary study of the history of urbanization and industrialization in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. Using the themes of community, technology, public policy, and immigration, students will examine the development and changes in the social, physical, political, and economic urban landscape. Also listed as HS-522.

Course usage information

PS-524   Public Opinion and the MediaCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

An examination of the shifting nature of public opinion, the agenda-setting role of mass media, and the survey methods that are employed to determine public opinion. The practices, values, and traditions of journalism that impact public opinion. Experience with the conduct of a survey and analysis of case studies.

Course usage information

PS-525   Political CommunicationCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

The study of traditional and contemporary theories of rhetoric as applied in research and analysis of political campaigns. The rhetorical creation, maintenance, application, and legitimization of symbolic power. A survey of analytic models of political communication and application of the models to case studies. The role of the political communication specialist. Practicum in political communication strategies and techniques. Also listed as CO-525.

Course usage information

PS-530   Environmental PolicyCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

A survey of the process by which environmental politics, planning, and public policy is conducted in the United States and around the world. We will examine the nature and scope of environmental, energy, and natural resource problems; contrasting perspectives on their severity and policy implications; the goals and strategies of the environmental movement and public opinion on the environment; scientific, economic, political, and institutional forces that shape policymaking and implementation; approaches to environmental policy analysis; and selected issues in environmental policy in the global community. In addition to the covering of certain ecological science terms, the interplay between international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and traditional states and the ways in which these actors seek diplomatic solutions to environmental problems is also covered.

Course usage information

PS-533   The History of Public Policy in the United StatesCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): HSUS

The objective is to survey major issues in domestic public policy. The emphasis is on changes in the process of policy formation in both the public and private sectors. Also listed as HS-533.

Course usage information

PS-553   Gender, Family, and PolicyCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Examines how policies affect a diverse spectrum of families based on class, race, gender, sexuality, age, and nationality. It begins with a historical perspective on how families have developed because of historical factors such as changing economy and technology. It also examines how social structures such as race, class, gender, and sexuality have shaped families. It then focuses on current issues facing families and the policies that regulate those issues, such as the balance between work and family, welfare, reproductive issues, violence, healthcare, and educational issues. A comparative approach will be taken to examine policies both in the U.S. and within other countries. Also discussed will be family activism aimed at affecting policy in the U.S.

Course usage information

PS-563   Global Policies and IssuesCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Adopting an interdisciplinary perspective, this course looks at the positive and negative effects of globalization. It also explores the national and international aspects of major global policies and issues that shape the interdependent world of the twenty-first century.

Course usage information

PS-566   Comparative Public PolicyCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

In the world in which terrorism and chaos threaten to upset the policy-making capabilities of state governments, it is vital that we understand the different ways that nations formulate and implement public policy. Through an extensive investigation of policy analysis across a broad spectrum of states, the student will be able to better understand the reasons for policy decisions around the world. Democratic governments will be compared and contrasted to non-democratic governments in an attempt to provide greater insight and answer questions of health, economic, environmental, and foreign policies.

Course usage information

PS-583   The Causes of WarCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

A critical analysis of the general and recurring problems of war in human life; the course probes the direct and indirect causes of war by employing various analytical methods developed in political science as well as in sister disciplines of the social sciences.

Course usage information

PS-585   American Foreign PolicyCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Examines, analyzes, and evaluates the many dimensions and issues of American foreign policy since 1945. It provides an interpretative framework within which the sources of American action abroad may be understood. Combines descriptive and explanatory material with empirical evidence and makes a serious effort to distinguish facts from inferences, hypotheses, and opinions. The post-Cold War and post-9/11 worlds are assessed, with a focus on American goals, capabilities, and relationships around the world.

Course usage information

PS-595   Political Science PracticumCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

An opportunity to apply classroom theory in practice through actual work experience. Students have the opportunity to apply the theories and concepts of public policy to actual work settings.

Course usage information

PS-597   PortfolioCredits: None   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Enables students to complete their portfolios for the Master of Arts in Public Policy (MAPP). The portfolio displays academic and professional development and learning gained from the MAPP program and related experiences. The portfolio contains collections of academic and professional goal statements, term papers, reflective essays and artifacts gathered in various classes and colloquiums and connected work.

Course usage information

PS-598   Special Topics/Special ProjectsCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Offered occasionally to match the interest of the students' and the professor teaching the course. The instruction will follow classroom lectures and discussions on the topic. The exact nature of the topic covered in any given semester is indicated on the student's transcript. Permission of program director required.

Course usage information

PS-599   Readings and ResearchCredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

An independent research study based on relevant research and the writing of a substantial paper designed and executed by the student in consultation with a supervising professor. The subject matter should cover public policy and related areas.

Course usage information

PS-618   Social Work AdministrationCredits: 3   

Term Offered: Fall Term

Course Type(s): TPS

Designed to deepen the student's knowledge of the information and skills needed to organize and manage a modern human service not-for-profit organization. Except for those in private practice, most social workers function within an organization or agency environment - very often in the not-for-profit sector. Within five years, many holding MSW degrees will hold management positions in those organizations. Allows students to gain some preparation for this future possibility, while at the same time providing them with the tools to understand administrative processes in their organizations. Also listed as SW-618.

Course usage information

PS-692   Public Policy Master's ThesisCredits: 3   

Prerequisites: PS-515 and PS-516.

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Students have the option of completing the comprehensive exam or thesis to satisfy the program requirements. With the thesis, students design and implement an original research project. Students will select and work with a first and second reader from among graduate program or affiliated faculty. The thesis involves writing the literature review, developing data collection instruments, data collection and presentation of results. Results are presented at a thesis defense organized by the program director.