These are the course descriptions of the classes typically taught in Political Science.
POS 100: Introduction to Political Science
One way to think about politics is it is the determination of who gets what, when, and how. In this course, we will study the workings of politics and the different ways to look at and understand the world. Using the various methods of political inquiry, we will explore the field of political science and the many interpretations of what politics is. By doing so, you will gain a better appreciation of the forces and processes at work in the political arenas around you, as well as gaining analytical tools to understand these forces with. It is the goal of this course to help you gain the tools necessary to be an active participant in directing and shaping the political processes around you.
POS 110: American Government
What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States of America? Can ordinary citizens make a difference? This course presents students with an introduction to American government. In doing so, we will attempt to answer these and other questions. We will examine the theoretical foundations of our system of government, explore the workings of its myriad actors and agencies, and highlight the many ways and means to both create and block change in policy that affects every one of us. It is the goal of this course to help you gain the tools necessary to be an active participant in directing and shaping this public policy.
POS 113: United States and Arizona Social Studies
Introduction to the United States and Arizona from the integrated social science perspectives of history, geography, and government. This course was developed as a part of the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher College (MLTC) Teaching Foundations Project — a Department of Education supported endeavor to generate more relevant curriculum for aspiring elementary teachers. In addition to providing discipline-specific perspectives in geography, government and history, the course culminating activities foster students learning how to integrate these different social science perspectives in the context of a larger project.
POS 115: Issues in American Politics
This course examines several issues that our nation is currently debating. The objective of this course is to teach you how to carry on an intelligent and informed conversation with others about political issues. This involves knowing where to find information, knowing how to assess it, and then being able to clearly communicate your thoughts so you can maximize your impact on the outcome of these debates. This class will be different from most classes you will take in college. There will be no final exam or midterm, and while I will lecture on political issues occasionally, class will be taught for the most part by you. In this class you will have an opportunity to communicate your ideas and opinions, and you will learn how to do this effectively so as to be able to affect the way your community operates.
POS120: World Politics
Our world has undergone sweeping changes in the past twenty years. The end of the Cold War, the attacks on September 11, multiple wars in the Middle East, a global financial crisis, a global pandemic, and an America that seems more reluctant to demonstrate global leadership. Some global actors are seeking to take advantage of our weakness, others seek to reengage us in a leadership role. There is no shortage of crises, and there are also great improvements being made that are often overlooked by the media. The future is uncertain and many of the old institutions and practices have failed to respond to the COVID pandemic without US participation. Russia and China seem eager to fill the vacuum left by US withdrawal. These issues highlight the importance of being able to understand the world. What are the opportunities as well as the risks of globalization? Is there a global community? Is mutual gain possible in a world divided by arms? Why do nations go to war, and how can wars end? This course will explore how the world got to be the way it is and what might happen in the future. Through readings, essays, and activities, you will gain a better understanding of the issues and dynamics of international relations. It is the goal of this course to provide you with the intellectual tools you will need to take part in the conversation on the future of the world and your role in it.
POS 125: Issues in World Politics
So many of the challenges we face today − pandemics, natural disasters, and economic uncertainty to name a few − are global in nature. POS 125 will take a deep dive into topics like the future of food, energy revolutions, migration, and the environment. This Understanding Global Issues class will examine both the pitfalls and promises of where we’ve been and where we are going. Research and writing projects in this interdisciplinary course will allow students to get creative and to explore some of their own interests.
POS 140: Comparative Government
Overview and evaluation of the sub-field of comparative politics. Covers various national governments from around the world: their structure, system, method of governance. Examines methods of assessing these governments. Prerequisites: None.
POS 180: United Nations Study
This course will provide introduce you to the United Nations and the role it plays in the modern world. It will also prepare you to participate in a collegiate Model United Nations conference. Your experience at this conference will help you develop skills that will help your success in future endeavors, including being able to write clearly and concisely, conduct detailed research, speak persuasively in public, and build consensus between differing views. Past participants have gone on to use these skills in upper division college courses, student government, governmental internships, graduate studies, law school, and private business. Learn more about Model UN.
POS 210: Political Ideologies
Survey of twentieth century nondemocratic ideologies and movements with emphasis on Marx, Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin and Mao.
POS 220: US and Arizona Constitution
What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States of America? What does it mean to be a resident of Arizona? How can we understand the politics behind decisions at the state and local level? Can ordinary citizens make a difference? In this course, we will examine the theoretical foundations of our system of government, and highlight the many ways and means to both create and block change in policy that affects every one of us. It is the goal of this course to help you gain the tools necessary to be an active participant in directing and shaping the public policy debates that occur at the state and federal levels.Most students who take this course do so to complete their educational certification requirements. Accordingly, I have focused the course on the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA) objectives and the State Social Studies Standards. You don’t need to be an educator to take this class, but if you are, this should prove helpful.
POS 221: Arizona Constitution
Examination of the Constitution of the State of Arizona. Equivalent to the second part of POS220. May not enroll in POS220 and POS221 concurrently.
POS 222: US Constitution
Examination of the United States Constitution. Equivalent to the first part of POS220. May not enroll in POS220 and POS222 concurrently.
POS 223: Civil Rights
This course will look at the theoretical and constitutional foundation of civil rights and rights claims in America. We will explore the history of civil rights movements, and the strategies they followed. The courts have been the primary pathway for securing rights, so we will also be looking at how judicial review operates and explore the key court cases that nationalized the Bill of Rights and established our current understanding of the meaning of our civil rights and liberties at the present.
POS 281AB: Internship in Political Science
If you are considering a career in public service, you should do an internship your sophomore year to make sure this career choice is right for you. Contact Dr. Brian Dille, the internship director, to discuss intern opportunities in your chosen field.
POS 282AA: Volunteerism for Political Science: A Service Learning Experience
Service-learning field experience within government agencies, political organizations, citizen advocacy groups, and human service organizations/agency. Students will work with the Office of Community & Civic Engagement to select their service site.
POS 285: Political Issues and Public Policy
This course presents students with an introduction to how public policy is made, and how citizen advocates can impact policy decisions. We will examine the theoretical foundations of our system of government, explore the workings of its myriad actors and agencies, and highlight the many ways and means to both create and block change in policy that affects every one of us. It is the goal of this course to help you gain the tools necessary to be an active participant in directing and shaping public policy.
This course is also part of the District Student Public Policy Forum (SPPF) program. You must be part of that program to take this class. The District has offered this program for several years now, and its alumni have gone on to take important roles in Arizona's communities and its politics. The Spring program culminates in an all-expense paid trip to Washington DC in February to meet with federal policy makers.
POS 298: Special Projects
If you have a specific topic you want to explore in a rigorous way, this independent study course will enable you to research and write about it at a professional level. If you think you might pursue graduate work in political science after graduating with your B.A., this course will help you develop the skills you will need. You need permission from Dr. Brian Dille to register for this course.