tracking pixel
political science and leadership studies



+ = applicable toward general education requirement
WI = writing intensive course


+PSCI 101. American Government • 3 credits
Introduction to the Constitution, presidency, congress, courts, and citizen participation in the political system. Emphasis on the connection between governmental institutions and our lives as citizens. This course satisfies requirements for a teacher's certificate in Iowa and Illinois.

+PSCI 103. Politics in Film • 3 credits
Examine the portrayal of politics in film with a focus on American politics. Compare film presentations of political issues with political science theories.

+PSCI 104. Introduction to Leadership Studies • 3 credits
Introduction to the theories, practices, and skills of leadership. Assessing leadership, applying the scientific method to address the questions What is leadership and What is a good leader? The similarities and differences between political and business leadership are also addressed.

+PSCI 110. Law and Society: An Introduction to Political Philosophy • 3 credits
Study the nature of law and its place in the development of Western political and social life. Careful attention given to American civil, criminal, and constitutional law, and with an examination of the contemporary legal profession. Foundation course for Pre-Law Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

+PSCI 120. Truth, Justice, & Politics:  An Introduction to Political Philosophy • 3 credits
Introduction to the field of political philosophy, exploring fundamental concepts such as human nature, truth, justice, virtue, citizenship, and leadership through the lens of major political philosophers. Application to issues in American political society.

+PSCI 130. Global Issues • 3 credits
Introduction to a wide range of current global issues including international conflicts, terrorism, nuclear weapons, human rights, population, poverty, trade, energy, globalization, and the environment. The worldwide implications of these issues will be considered, as well as their effects on local communities, such as the Quad Cities. Further explore how American government has responded to these issues.

+PSCI 199/299/399/WI-399. Special Topics • 3 credits
Advanced study of a topic not part of regular course offerings. Note: Only PSCI 399 counts as Writing Intensive.

+PSCI 230. Global Terrorism • 3 credits
Explore the nature of terrorism, the motivations of terrorists, and the tactics that terrorists use. Survey state-sponsored terrorist groups, as well as several leading past and current radical groups. The final weeks of the course will assess different methods of countering terrorism, ranging from law enforcement to covert action.

+PSCI 232. War and Peace s • 3 credits
Introduction to the forces shaping conflict and cooperation in world politics. Gain understanding of both the causes of war and the opportunities for conflict resolution and peace. Discussion includes: the definitions of the post-Cold War era; a variety of ethno-territorial regional conflicts; the principles and methods of building a world peace system; and conflict management methods and techniques used to de-escalate conflict.

+PSCI 301. Campaigns and Elections • 3 credits
Introduction to the American electoral process. Study the campaign organization, electioneering, and role of political parties in American Government. Address questions dominating contemporary American electoral politics, including: Is the campaign and election process broken, in need of reform? Is money buying elections? What is political leadership? What makes for a winning campaign? Does the electoral process help or hinder citizenship?  

+PSCI 304. U.S. Constitution & Civil Liberties • 3 credits
Study the U.S. Constitution and its history, design, and effect on American government and society. Explore theory and practice of constitutional interpretation as it applies to governmental powers and the rights, liberties, and duties of citizens. Prerequisites: at least one 100 level political science course.

+PSCI 305. Mock Trial • 1 credit
Preparation for Mock Trial competition. Focus on judicial procedure and the court system, legal argumentation and rhetoric, and courtroom performance. Maximum 3 credits. Prerequisites: Instructor consent required.

PSCI 306. Model United Nations • 1 credit
Preparation for model United Nations conference. Model United Nations is an annual conference at which key activities of various United Nations bodies are simulated. Open to all majors. Maximum 3 credits.

+PSCI 309. International Politics • 3 credits
Among the topics discussed in this course are how foreign policies are made and implemented, the international economy, diplomacy, international law and organization, power, interdependence, arms races, terrorism, and war. Touch upon a wide variety of topics that make up international politics.  

+WI-PSCI 310. Virtue & Political Leadership • 3 credits
Examine the role of personal and civic virtue in the maintenance of a just and flourishing society. Study important works of political philosophy and contemporary research in the field. Prerequisites: PSCI 120 or PHIL 210.

+PSCI 313. Foreign Policy of the United States • 3 credits
Improve students' understanding of the formation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy after WW II. First, explore various philosophical and theoretical frameworks of American foreign policy. Second, examine significant political, economical, social, and institutional factors (e.g., the international system, the Presidency, the Congress, the State Department, the intelligence community, the media, and the public and the interest groups) that have traditionally shaped American foreign policy. Finally, discuss the most significant contemporary issues of US foreign policy.

PSCI 316. International Law & Organizations • 3 credits
Learn about international legal institutions and the body of international law itself (the rules governing intervention and the use of armed force, uses of the oceans, expropriation of property, etc.) and understand the role of international law in affecting relationships among states and individuals. Prerequisite: 100 level PSCI course.

PSCI 319. Comparative Politics • 3 credits
Introduction to analyzing politics in countries other than the United States. Compare and contrast the structure of political institutions, the characteristics of main political actors, and types of political systems, from pluralist democracy to totalitarianism and points in between. Explore the interconnection between politics and economics with special focus on differences in the role of the state (or government) on economic development. Prerequisite: 100 level PSCI course or instructor permission.  

+PSCI 320. Natural Law, Natural Rights & the Common Good• 3 credits
Examine key theories on the existence, character, and scope of natural law and natural rights, and how they ought to inform constitutional design. Study important works of political philosophy and contemporary research in the field. Prerequisite: PSCI 210 or PHIL 210.

+PSCI 330. Topics in Political Philosophy • 3 credits
Examine key theme in the field of political philosophy. Study important works and contemporary research in the field. Prerequisite: PSCI 210 or PHIL 210.

PSCI 340. Independent Study • 1-3 credits
Directed individual research on topic. Prerequisites: Instructor consent; PSCI 351.

Internship in Pre-Law • 3 credits
Directed internship in legal profession. Prerequisite: Instructor consent.

PSCI 353. Internship in Politics • 3 credits
Directed internship in political or public service. Prerequisite: Instructor consent.

PSCI 360. Administrative Law and Regulations • 3 credits
Introduction to administrative law, regulatory power, rule-making power, and procedures of administrative agencies. The relationship between bureaucracy and the three institutions of government in the implementation of law is also examined.  Prerequisite: PSCI 101.

WI-PSCI 365. Political, Civic & Community Leadership • 3 credits
Explore the essentials of political, civic, and community service. Topics include civic literacy, citizen power, running for elected office, organizing and leading political campaigns and non-profits, and community service. Apply multidisciplinary perspectives on leadership to politics to explore the role(s) of political and civic leaders in theory and in practice.

+WI-PSCI 370. Public Administration • 3 credits
Examine the classic works of public administration to help attain a working knowledge of organizational behavior, organizational structure, management, and leadership as applied to the public sector. Explore the relationship between public management, politics, and government.

+PSCI 375. Environmental  Politics, Policy & Law • 3 credits
Using political theory, models and perspectives, examine the interactions between the environment and the government, policy, and politics we have created. Explore the political and social causes and consequences of contemporary environmental problems as well as the policy and political responses to these problems.

WI-PSCI 400. Research in Political Science  • 3 credits
Research in political science or related field employing methodology of legal studies, political thought, or empirical social science. Students complete a research project and provide constructive feedback on peers' work. International studies majors, American government teaching majors, and pre-law minors will complete a project on a topic appropriate to those fields. Prerequisite: at least one 300-level PSCI course.

SAU Course Catalog