Major in Political Science

Students who major in political science must complete 33 hours, including

  • PLSC 201, 202, 205, and 440;
  • three hours chosen from American Politics courses:
    • PLSC 301, 304, 305, 306, 307, 309, 311, 312, 313, 314, 316, 317, or 319;
  • three hours selected from Political Theory courses:
    • PLSC 322, PLSC/PHIL 324, PLSC/PHIL 326, or PLSC/PHIL 327;
  • three hours selected from International Relations/Comparative Politics courses:
    • PLSC 331, PLSC 332, PLSC 339, PLSC/ECON 341, PLSC 342, PLSC/ECON 350, PLSC 352, PLSC 355, PLSC 361, PLSC 362, PLSC/SOC 370, PLSC 380, or PLSC 387;
  • additional hours of PLSC electives. Research projects, special projects, and internships may be counted as PLSC electives.

Minor in Political Science

The minor in political science requires completion of 18 hours, including PLSC 201, 202, and 12 additional hours of PLSC electives taught at or above the 300-level.

Major in Africana Studies

Students who minor in Africana studies must select eighteen hours from AFST 201, 458; ENGL 2205; HIST 3245/RELG 356; PLSC 301, 361; PLSC/SOC 370; PSYC/SOC 312; SOC 362, 364, 366; THEA 2103.

CO = Co-requisite, POI = Permission of Instructor, PR = Prerequisite, RE = Recommended, XL = Cross-listed

201 Introduction to Political Science (3)

Study of the nature of politics and political behavior and of the important theories respecting the nature, origin, forms, and ends of the state and of government.

202 Introduction to American Government (3)

Basic course in American politics that stresses the formation, development, organization, and action of our national government, including the origin and nature of our federal system.

205 Introduction to Political Analysis (3)

An examination of the different techniques used to conduct and evaluate political science research with an emphasis on the development of the discipline and an understanding of basic social statistics.

210 Introduction to Legal Studies (3)

(XL: PRWL 2100) This course will introduce students to the basic structure and terminology of the American legal system, substantive areas of the law, and the basic processes of legal reasoning. Special emphasis on legal reading and writing will be given throughout the course. (Spring, Alternate years)

258 Special Topics (1-6)

301 African-Americans and the Political System (3)

An overview of the African-American struggle for social, political, and legal rights; of the constraints upon the achievement of these rights; and of the major political actors involved in this struggle. Special emphasis will be given to key court decisions, legislation, and political movements affecting African-American rights and to major electoral breakthroughs in promoting African-American political empowerment. (Alternate years)

304 American Constitutional Law I (3)

This course analyzes the institutional authority of government as it is explained in the U.S. Constitution and interpreted by important Supreme Court decisions.Topics will include judicial review, nation-state relations, foreign affairs, and economic liberties. In addition, this course will also attempt to further the student’s understanding of the judicial process through insider accounts and participation in a mock trial. Finally the course material will be used to improve oral and written communication skills. (Alternate years)

305 American Constitutional Law II (3)

This course is designed to provide the student with a basic knowledge of the major constitutional issues regarding the rights of the individual in the U.S. It also explores the Constitution and the evolution of American law in such areas as freedom of expression, political participation, equal protection, right to privacy, and criminal procedure.In addition, this course will work to improve oral and written communication skills via written assignments and oral presentations. (Alternate years)

306 Parties and Political Behavior in America (3)

An analysis of political parties, the party system, interest groups, political socialization, political culture, public opinion, voting behavior, and other aspects of political behavior in the United States. (Alternate years)

307 Introduction to Public Administration (3)

An introductory survey of the principles, functions, and processes of public administration with specific emphasis on the political aspects and environment of bureaucracies and the how and why of policymaking within an administrative system. Organizational values, traditions, and objectives are analyzed. (Alternate years)

309 Introduction to Public Policy (3)

Analysis of political and organizational processes that influence the formulation and implementation of public policy. Special attention will be given to the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of various public policies. Further, the course is intended to develop some skills for the evaluation and design of policies. (Alternate years)

311 Elections and Campaign Management (3)

A study of the American electoral process and the craft of managing political campaigns. Special emphasis will be given to campaign organization, message development, fundraising, opposition research, and media relations. The course will also reflect on how campaigns fit into our conception of what it means to be a democratic society. (Alternate years)

312 Politics and the Media (3)

(PR: PLSC 201 or 202) This course examines the way in which modern mass media have altered the dynamics of democratic politics in the United States. More generally, the course will analyze the ways that the mass media influence how we think and act in the political world. Specific topics include how media influence citizenship and democratic governance, how news is made, and the impact that media have on individuals, political institutions, policy making, and the prospects of democratic deliberation. (Alternate years)

313 The American Presidency (3)

A study of the “central institution” of the American political system from these and other perspectives: personality and structure in shaping presidential character, the domestic and international presidencies, evolution of the institution and theories about its role, presidential election, and federal public administration. (Alternate years)

314 Congress and the Legislative Process (3)

A study of the United States Congress and the process by which it operates. Issues explored include the selection of members, leadership, budgeting, the role of committees, and executive legislative relations. Additionally, the differences between the House and Senate, the development of public policy, and the changing nature of the process will be explored. (Alternate years)

316 State and Local Politics (3)

This course will examine selected aspects of the theory, powers, structure, processes of and interrelationships between state and local governments in the United States. The course will also include an examination of the major factors contributing to conflict and cooperation in state and local governmental environment. (Alternate years)

317 Interest Groups and Lobbying (3)

An analysis of interest group development, maintenance, and conduct in the governmental process. This course focuses on the larger concept of advocacy in a democracy as well as strategic and tactical decisions that groups must make when attempting to influence government policy. The particular case of state legislative lobbying in South Carolina is used to explore these two objectives. (Alternate years)

319 Southern Politics (3)

An analysis of the contemporary politics and governments of the southern states. The course provides an understanding of political development in each of the former confederate states and an overview of driving political forces in the region such as the rise of the GOP, the empowerment of African-Americans, and the role of southerners in Congress and presidential selection. Attention is also given to the prominence of personality in the politics of the South. (Alternate years)

322 American Political Thought (3)

The course will examine the different ways American political thinkers and activists have envisioned democracy. Attention will be given to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as developed by Mason, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton and to the interpretation of these principles by such statesmen as Jackson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Roosevelt. Other topics will include African-American political thought, women’s rights, and the current liberal-conservative debate.

324 Classical Political Thought (3)

(XL :PHIL 324) An examination of selected political thinkers from the Greek tradition to the Renaissance with an emphasis on ideas concerning the nature of politics and the origins and ends of government.

326 Modern Political Thought (3)

(XL: PHIL 326) The course examines the political ideas and theories of such thinkers as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Mill that helped shape the modern period of politics.

327 Contemporary Political Thought (3)

(XL: PHIL 327) This course is designed to create a deeper understanding and interest in contemporary issues in political thought such as neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, nationalism, globalization, theopolitics, and Islamism.

331 International Relations (3)

This course is an analysis of international relations as a political process with emphasis on patterns of policy formulation, conflict, and cooperation. Selected case studies will be used to supplement the theoretical material.

332 American Foreign Policy (3)

A study of the conduct and content of American foreign policy since the Second World War including foreign policy formulation, operation, and case studies of implementation.

339 U.S.-Cuban Relations: Historical Perspective and Contemporary Reality (3)

(PR: Acceptance in the Semester in Cuba Program) The objective of the course is to provide students with an overview of U.S.-Cuban relations from colonial times to the present, in order to describe the main elements toward understanding the new phase of the historical conflict between the two countries that ensued after the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and continues unabated even today. The course includes an experiential component of 40 hours. Offered in Cuba in the Semester in Cuba Program.

341 International Political Economy (3)

(XL: ECON 341) This course examines the evolvement of the international trading system, international monetary and financial system, multinational corporations, international development, and the impact of globalization, with an emphasis on the interaction of political and economic factors.

342 International Organizations (3)

This course explores the history, structure, and function of international organizations and places an emphasis on the study of the United Nations (UN). Our purpose is to understand how the emergence of international organizations has shaped the modern world and the difficulties of global governance in a world of sovereign states. The course incorporates regular simulations of various organs of the UN.

350 Comparative Political Economy (3)

(PR: PLSC 201 or ECON 201 • XL: ECON 350) This course will introduce students to both the theoretical and the substantive relationship of how government policy impacts the economy. This course will cover both the developed and developing world and will examine topics such as income inequality, social protection programs, and taxation policy, in addition to other ways in which governments intervene in the marketplace.

352 Politics of Modern China and Asia (3)

With China’s phenomenal economic development since 1978, the impact of China’s emergence is increasingly felt around the world. Along with China’s rise, Japan remains an economic giant and India is rapidly catching up as a serious contender for regional economic and political supremacy. The first half of this course introduces students to China’s culture, history, politics, economy, and foreign relations, and discusses the challenges and opportunities brought by China’s rise for the United States. The second half of the course compares the politics of China, Japan, and India, and discusses the implications of their regional rivalry. (Alternate years)

355 Russia and Eastern Europe (3)

An account of the histories and political cultures and processes of Russia, of other polities of the former Soviet Union, and of European nations previously parts of the “socialist bloc.” Focus upon political and economic transformation during and since the Gorbachev era.

361 African Politics (3)

This course explores political and economic development problems in contemporary Africa. It will explore pre-colonial African society, the impact of colonialism, problems facing the modern state of Africa, the exploitation of state institutions by elites, and the challenges democracy faces in the region.

362 Modern Latin American Politics (3)

This course introduces students to Latin American politics and political economy from the 1950s to the present. It will engage not only the historical and political significance of major events, but also what effect these events have on current politics. This course focuses on two issues that have defined political interaction on the continent: democracy (and/ or the lack thereof ) and the economy (and transitions to a market economy over time).

370 Third World Underdevelopment and Politics (3)

(PR: PLSC 201 or SOC 201, or POI • XL: SOC 370) An examination of the political, economic, and social factors that have led to the present state of underdevelopment in Africa and parts of Asia, Latin America, and the Indian subcontinent. Social scientific theories of underdevelopment and the role of the political system in the process of development are analyzed. Particular attention is given to the role of government in the economy, processes of economic reform, and the corresponding effects on poverty, income distribution, and other factors related to development.

380 Politics of the European Union (3)

The course will examine the role of the 163 European Union (EU) in modern Europe, using individual nation states as case studies. The course will include a survey of the political systems, parties, and contemporary issues of European Union countries.

387 Middle East Politics (3)

This course provides a survey of various political systems in the Middle East. The emphasis is upon the evolution of the state system and its contemporary challenges.Topics include nationalism; the role of secular and religious forces; economics development; and regional dynamics and their relationship to international politics.

398 Honors Research (3-6)

440 Senior Capstone in Political Science (3)

(PR: PLSC 205) This course provides political science majors with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in political science classes over their college careers to fundamental concepts of government and political issues of the day as well as examining the relationship between the study of political science and career choice. These aims will be pursued in a two-part strategy. First, students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills that they have developed within the major by a standardized exit exam, written assignments, and oral presentations/discussions. Second, the course will expose students to the various career paths that are open to political science majors by guest lecturers and/or field trips.

442 Directed Studies (1-6)

Course designed to allow the student to pursue a topic of special interest under the direction of a member of the department. Hours and credit will be determined by the nature of the student’s program of study. A maximum of six hours of credit may be earned in directed study.

444 Internship (1-6)

446 Readings (1-3)

448 Research (1-3)

450 Seminar (1-3)

452 Special Projects (3-6)

458 Special Topics (3-6)

CO = Co-requisite, POI = Permission of Instructor, PR = Prerequisite, RE = Recommended, XL = Cross-listed

201 Introduction to Africana Studies (3)

An interdisciplinary survey of African and Africana religion, culture, science, literature, philosophy, politics, economy, and protest.

442 Directed Studies (1-6)

444 Internship (1-6)

446 Readings (1-9)

448 Research (1-9)

450 Seminar (1-9)

452 Special Projects (1-9)

458 Special Topics (3)