B.A. in Political Science

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  • Course description

    Villanova students in the College of Arts and Sciences usually choose their major during their sophomore year. As a sophomore, you are completing most of your core requirements and are now choosing a field in which you will gain an expertise.

    Once you choose Political Science as your major, you will be assigned an advisor who will assist you during the registration process each semester. In addition to meeting with your advisor, we encourage you to visit with faculty with whom you have studied to discuss your interest in politics as well as your future plans.

    We also encourage you to attend lectures, roundtable discussions, and other events the Department sponsors during the academic year. These events enrich the intellectual life of the major.

    What a Political Science Major Will Do
    • It will prepare you for graduate professional training.
    • It will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to be a politically engaged citizen-leader.
    • It will prepare you for a career of your choice .

    Course work
    PSC 1100 - Introduction to American Government
    Constitutional Development; national institutions; federalism; civil rights and liberties; instruments of popular control.

    PSC 1200 - Introduction to International Relations
    Factors in relations between states; the nature, elements, and role of power; problems faced by the modern state system.

    PSC 1875 - Topics in Political Science
    Selected introductory topics of special interest in political science.

    PSC 1900 - Research Seminar
    Covers elements required for writing research paper on a problem in political science, including using the library, evaluating and properly citing sources, understanding appropriate research methods, and writing and redrafting a research paper.  College policy requires that majors take this course as a sophomore or junior.  Those who take research seminars in other social sciences may be excused from taking this PSC course.

    Area 1: American Government and Public Law

    PSC 2000 - State and Local Government
    Constitutions, institutions, instruments of popular control, and intergovernmental relations.

    PSC 2100 - City and Suburb
    Politics and problems in metropolitan areas of the United States.

    PSC 2200 - American Party Politics
    The place of parties in national politics; the nature, organization, and functions of political parties; suffrage requirements and election methods; the activities of organized interests.

    PSC 2250 Congress
    How national politics unfolds in the U.S. Congress, focusing on decision ¬making and voting, leadership roles, committee politics, relations with the other branches, elections, and congressional reform.

    PSC 2275 - U. S. Presidency
    The nature, functions, and development of the American presidency, including relations between the president and other Washington actors, the public and the press.

    PSC 2300 - American Foreign Policy
    The institutions, processes, and ideas which shape contemporary American foreign policy;the major problem areas.

    PSC 2400 - National Security Policy
    Development of strategic thought in the United States, arms control and disarmament, intelligence, technology, alliance policy, role of civilian and military branches of government, and related topics.

    PSC 2500 - Washington Minimester
    A three week series of seminars in Washington, D.C. with public officials, staff members, party leaders, and interest group representatives. See and study the workings of our government at first hand. Offered during the month of May.

    PSC 2600 - Public Policy
    Theories of public policy making, national public policies, and contemporary issues.

    PSC 2625 - Environmental Policy
    Environmental policy issues regarding publicly-owned resources, energy generation and consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, trade agreements, international lending, economic growth and sustainable development, agrochemical use, and nuclear and hazardous waste transport and disposal are issued of significant concern to the United States and the international community.

    PSC 2700 - Women and Politics
    Why women traditionally have been marginal to political life; the efforts of women in the past and today to change that fact; the problems that must be solved before women can translate their numerical strength into political power.

    PSC 2750 - Black Politics
    Analysis of black American politics, including ideology, electoral participation, movement politics, and public policy.

    PSC 2775 - Political Econ of Black America
    The interplay between race and economics over time; Features the principles, terminology and methods of standard economics and Black political economy.

    PSC 2800 - Public Administration
    Administrative politics, law, and ethics, organizational theory, and technical fields, such as budgeting, planning, and personnel.

    PSC -2875 - Topics in American Government
    Selected topics of special interest in American Government and Public Law.

    PSC 2900 - Political Communication
    The role, behavior and influence of communications in American politics.

    PSC 2993 - Internship (3 credits)
    Work experience in politics. (Prerequisite: PSC 1100)

    PSC 2996 - Internship (6 credits)
    Work experience in politics. (Prerequisite: PSC 1100)

    PSC 3100 - Government and Business
    The relations between government and business; the conduct of federal business enterprises, antitrust enforcement, and the functional capacity of the Federal Trade Commission, the independent regulatory commission.

    PSC 3200 - The Supreme Court and Criminal Justice
    An Examination of the important Supreme Court decisions in the area of criminal justice.

    PSC 3300 - Constitutional Law and Development
    Major Supreme Court cases concerning the powers of Congress and the president, federalism, commerce, taxing, and voting.

    PSC 3400 - The Supreme Court and the First Amendment
    Major Supreme Court decisions involving freedoms of speech, press, religion, church-state, and assembly.

    PSC 3500 - The Supreme Court and Equality
    An examination of the important Supreme Court decisions in the area of racial and gender equality.

    PSC 3600 - Criminal Justice System
    The political phenomena of crime, nature of law, police, courts, correction, community crime prevention, and the procedures of local, state, and national agencies as political issues.

    PSC 3800 - Environmental Law
    The manner in which our society protects or fails to protect the environment through law and environmental regulation. The relative efficacy, costs, and benefits of various types of this regulation.

    Area 2: Comparative Politics and International Relations

    PSC 4000 - European Politics
    Surveys the different political institutions, changes in party systems and impact of European
    integration/globalization on domestic economies.

    PSC 4100 - Political Movements
    Compares civil rights, labor, fascist, environmental and women’s movements in their political and historical context.

    PSC 4200 - South Asia
    This historical development of India and Pakistan; their contemporary problems and conduct of foreign relations with the great powers.

    PSC 4401 - Russia
    An introduction to the contemporary Russian political system emphasizing its transformation from the Communist system which preceded it.

    PSC - 4500 Contemporary East Asian Politics
    Historical and cultural factors explaining Chinese and Japanese political behavior and modern institutions.

    PSC - 4700 Africa
    Cultural pluralism, African socialism, terrorism, politico-legal and socioeconomic development, and other problems of contemporary African states. The impact of colonial rule and socioeconomic changes on political life.

    PSC 4750 - Latin America
    Comparison of the political systems of Latin American countries. The role of the military, the church, elites, political parties, constitutions and social and economic factors which have shaped the development of the region.

    PSC 4875 - Topics in International Relations
    Selected Topics of special interest in Comparative Government and International Relations.

    PSC 4900 - The Arab States
    Political change in the principal Arab States with emphasis on the diverse forms of rule and political movements. The impact of colonial rule and socioeconomic changes on political life, leadership, social structure, political culture, and modernization.

    PSC 4950 - Ireland
    Irish government and politics and their socioeconomic context. The impact of lreland's increasing association with other European countries and the special problems associated with Northern Ireland.

    PSC 5000 - International Law
    The rules and principles of international law based on a study of treaties, diplomatic practice, and cases dealt with by international and national courts.

    PSC 5100 - International Organization
    The development of international organization, the U.N., its principles, structure, and accomplishments; regional organizations; prospects for the future.

    PSC 5225 - U.S. Foreign Policy Issues
    Contemporary foreign policy issues facing the United States; elements of continuity and change; implementation and consequences.

    PSC 5300 - Democratization in Europe
    Development of liberal democracy in turn of century Western Europe and end of century Eastern Europe.

    PSC 5351 - Russian Foreign Policy
    The development of Russian foreign policy in the post-Soviet period, historical roots; relations with the United States, Europe, the Far East and the developing countries; diplomatic; economic and military instruments of Russian policy.

    PSC 5500 - Africa in World Politics
    Political and economic problems in Africa south of the Sahara; problems of South Africa - past, present, and future; the interaction of states in regional organizations; Pan-Africanism; response of the outside world to African nationalism.

    PSC 5600 - Human Rights
    Transnational case studies of human rights; the nature and significance of human values in relation to the political process, law, and ideology.

    PSC 5700 - Oil/Power in Middle East
    International oil policy; economic and political systems of the oil producing states in the Arabian Peninsula, Persian Gulf, and the adjoining states, i.e. the Soviet Union, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The foreign policies of the super powers and the regional states.

    PSC 5800 - Politics of International Economics
    The politics international trade, economic interdependence, foreign aid, monetary relations, North-South relations, and national development.

    PSC 5850 - East Asia’s Political Economy
    Themes include interactions between markets and capitalist systems, political regimes, financial sector
    liberalization, trade, entrepreneurship, and regionalism. Special focus on the conditions leading to the
    region's recent financial crises

    PSC 58750 - India
    India’s emerging power will play a major role in influencing Asian and global politics in the coming decades.  The interrelated themes of India’s economy, democracy, role of the state, civil society, and development policy in contemporary times will be covered.

    PSC 5900 - Middle Eastern International Relations
    Intra-regional and international problems facing the Middle East: the struggle for independence; the impact of the Cold War; the protracted conflict between Israelis and Arabs; and the tensions in the oil-rich Persian Gulf.

    PSC 5950 - Russia and the Islamic States
    Four sets of Islamic states: (1) 21 autonomous states within the Russian Federation, about half of which are Turkic and Muslim; (2) Central Asia; (3) Islamic states on the periphery of the former Soviet Union; and (4) in the Middle East.

    Area 3: Political Theory and Behavior

    PSC 6000 - Early Political Theories
    The relevance of the classics of political thought for understanding modern politics from the Greeks to the modern era.

    PSC 6100 - Modern Political Theories
    The structure of modern political thought and developments of twentieth century political thought as an aid to understanding our age.

    PSC 6120 - Principles of Politics
    An analytical, rather than historical, approach to the principles of politics. Justice, liberty, equality, purpose of the state, constitutionalism, political prudence, separation of powers, etc.

    PSC 6130 - Theories of War and Peace
    The major political theories about war and peace, and the importance of ideas of justice for them in ancient, non-Western, modern and contemporary theories.

    PSC 6140 - Religion and Politics
    The relation of religion and politics found in either classical, modern, or contemporary literature from the Western or non-Western, American or Latin American experience.

    PS 6150 - Politics and Literature
    Politics in classical and modern literature. Sophocles, Thucydides, Plutarch, Shakespeare, Twain, Melville, Austen, Huxley, Orwell.

    PSC 6225 - The American Founding
    Issues about the nature of the federal union, sovereignty, majority faction, the extended republic, representation, the branches of government, separation of powers, checks and balances, slavery, popular government and civic responsibility during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 and the Ratification Debates over the Constitution.

    PSC 6250 - Jurisprudence
    The nature and origin of law from historical and/or analytical perspectives.

    PSC 6275 - The Lincoln/Douglas Debates
    Examination of the theoretical and practical political concerns of political leadership in a free society, with emphasis on the political understanding and statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Attention to the issues of equality, sovereignty, liberty, and justice.

    PSC 6175 - American Statesmanship
    Examine the lives, characters, and political thought of American Statesmen using biographical material and primary sources.

    PSC 6650 - Using Political Science: A Hands-on Approach
    Research methods, no prior knowledge expected. Design and conduct study of political and social attitudes in the Villanova community, probability and random sampling, research design, hypothesis testing and intelligent use of statistics, tests of significance, and basic data analysis.

    PSC 6800 - Political Violence
    The nature of political violence and conflict emphasizing the human perspective. Origins and causes of political violence; socio-psychological explanations. Manifestations include terrorism, rebellion, revolution, and war.

    PSC 6875 - Topics in Political Theory
    Selected topics of special interest in political theory and behavior.

    Other Courses

    PSC 6900 - Senior Seminar
    Individual research and report on contemporary problems in political science.  PSC majors take this course in their senior year.

    PSC 6950 - Independent Study
    Individual students with specific interests work on a tutorial basis with an appropriate professor.

Other programs related to Political Science

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