Course Descriptions —Political Science

PSC1500 International Relations 4 semester hours
This course is an issue-based introduction to international relations, foreign policy and international systems. Students strive to understand many of the most pressing and important problems in the world—foreign aid, global warming, drug trafficking and so on—through the best theories and evidence that political science can offer. Why do many of these problems seem so intractable? Which ones are most likely to be solved? Which actors are most likely to find a solution? To provide a common framework for analysis of these issues, the course provides an overview of collective action theory, coupled with a realistic assessment of the limitations of international cooperation.

PSC2110 Introduction to U.S. Government 4 semester hours
In this course, students survey historical and contemporary theories, concepts and issues that define the U.S. political system. Students examine the central ideas and debates that influenced the founders’ perspectives about politics and government, as well as the design of the U.S. political system. The legacy, application and debates concerning U.S. citizens’ civil liberties and civil rights are also explored. Moreover, students examine competing perspectives concerning the role of political parties, organized interest groups, the mass media and public opinion within the U.S. political system.
Meets General Education “Knowing Ourselves and Others” Group B requirement ( for students entering Aurora University prior to Summer 2014).

PSC2200 Introduction to Political Theory 4 semester hours
This course examines political philosophy in the Western world—the study of how to evaluate and organize human societies. It offers an overview of the major thinkers and ideas in this field, beginning with the ancient Greeks and ending with some major 20th century figures. Topics discussed include the relationship between human nature and politics, competing conceptions of the ideal society, the relationship between government and religion, reason and emotion, selfishness and altruism, civil disobedience and revolution.

PSC3140 Political Participation and the Electoral Process 4 semester hours
Examines the process by which leaders are selected and interests are identified. Topics include public opinion and behavior, the media in elections, the electoral process, candidate nominations and campaigns, organization and activities of political parties and interest groups. Contemporary issues will also be examined.
Prerequisite: PSC2110.

PSC/CRJ3180 Constitutional Law and the Judicial System 4 semester hours
The case method is utilized to analyze the principles of the American Constitution. Topics include presidential, congressional and Supreme Court power, equal protection of the law and race, gender, sexual orientation, implied fundamental rights to abortion choice and education, free speech and religion, and modern constitutional theories.
Prerequisite: PSC2110.

PSC/LTS3200 Contemporary Latin American Politics 4 semester hours
Cross-listed with LTS3200. For description, see LTS3200.

PSC/HIST3250 Illinois History and Government 2 semester hours
Cross-listed with HIST3250. For description, see HIST3250

PSC/SOC3400 Social Problems and Public Policies 4 semester hours
Cross-listed with SOC3400. For description, see SOC3400.

PSC/SOC3480 Globalization and Social Change 4 semester hours
Cross-listed with SOC3480. For description, see SOC3480.

PSC3500 Comparative Political Systems 4 semester hours
This course provides the analytical knowledge and practical skills to understand comparative politics worldwide. It addresses a wide range of policy-relevant issues What are the key features of democracies and autocracies, and how can regimes in South Africa, Nigeria and Iran be classified? What is the appropriate balance of powers between the President and the Congress in Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico? How do government structures shape the delivery of economic and welfare policies in India and China? The course covers these questions and many others by utilizing the methods and techniques of comparative politics. The orientation is problem and reform focused.
Prerequisite: PSC1500 or PSC2110.

PSC/SOC3600 Theory and Methods of Social Scientific Analysis 4 semester hours
This course provides an overview of the methods used to devise, design and perform social science research. Following a brief overview of the nature and philosophy of science, quantitative, qualitative and rational choice approaches are explored, as students generate their own social science research questions and create appropriate research designs.
Prerequisite: PSC3500 or PSC/CRJ3180.
Highly Recommended: MTH2320.

PSC/SOC3610 Politics of European Integration 4 semester hours
In this course, students examine a range of theoretical perspectives that help them explain the ideas behind European integration, the history of integration, and the institutions established to govern the European Union (EU). They read the classics of integration theory, but also examine the EU as an instance of more common political phenomena, including state formation and domestic politics. For the research papers, students conduct analyses of a particular aspect of the process of European integration or analyses of EU politics in a specific issue area.
Prerequisite: PSC1500.

PSC3650 Issues in Political Economy 4 semester hours
The course outlines the major theories that attempt to explain and analyze the relationship between politics and economics in contemporary nations. It allows students to understand the intricate connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena and provides a fuller understanding of the working of states, markets and societies.
Prerequisite: PSC1500.

PSC/SOC/BIO3700 Politics of Global Health and Medicine 4 semester hours
Cross-listed with SOC3700 and BIO3700. For description, see SOC3700.

PSC/SOC4500 Human Rights and Social Justice 4 semester hours
Cross-listed with SOC4500. For description, see SOC4500.

PSC/PHL4650 Classical Political Philosophy 4 semester hours
Cross-listed with PHL4650. For description, see PHL4650.

PSC/PHL4660 Modern Political Philosophy 4 semester hours
Cross-listed with PHL4660. For description, see PHL4660.

PSC4700 Senior Thesis Seminar 4 semester hours
All students writing a senior thesis are required to participate in a colloquium/seminar that is designed to help students carry out their senior thesis research and offer feedback on their progress. Students may select their own research topic for the senior thesis but this topic needs to be approved by the faculty teaching the course. Students write a senior thesis based on their research and the final grade for the course is the grade the faculty issues for the completed thesis.
Prerequisite: PSC3600.
Highly Recommended: ENG 2010.