Lower Division Courses

Lower division courses cover major concepts, theories, and tools of political analysis in each of the four major subfields of politics.

1 Introduction to Comparative Politics
A comparative survey of politics in countries and regions other than the United States. Focus is on political culture and socialization, socio-economic structure and class interests, government institutions and electoral processes, political parties, and major shifts in public policy. Themes of globalization, social justice and democratization are emphasized. Case studies vary, but may include Great Britain, Japan, Russia, Mexico and Nigeria. Satisfies Social, Historical, and Cultural Understanding and Common Good of the Core Curriculum.

2 Introduction to American Politics
Survey of the principal institutions and processes of the American political system. Topics include constitutional origins and development, political parties, elections, Congress, presidency, bureaucracy and the federal courts.

3 Introduction to Political Thought
A survey of the great political ideas and ideologies that have shaped the history of politics. Topics include core political concepts such as liberty, justice, and equality, as well as organized belief systems such as liberalism, conservatism, and socialism. Students learn to analyze and evaluate political values and to apply them to practical political problems.

4 Introduction to International Politics
In this introductory course, we will explore the different theoretical frameworks for the study of international politics, in an attempt to understand how, why, and where the national interests of some actors collide and those of other actors coalesce.