DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE (PSC)
Chairperson: Professor Richard Fording,
Office: 309 ten Hoor Hall
The department offers programs leading to the
master of arts (MA), master of public administration (MPA), and doctor of
philosophy (PhD) degrees. Much more detailed information relating to the
degrees offered by the Department of Political Science is contained in the
Handbook at the web site of the Political Science Department.
Students and prospective students should consult as well as this catalog.
Master of Arts
Applicants for admission to the MA program must submit scores from
the Graduate Record Examination general test.
Additional information is in
Admission Criteria section of this catalog.
Plans I and II. MA students may follow either Plan I,
requiring 30 semester hours of coursework, a written comprehensive
examination, a thesis, and an oral examination in defense of the
thesis; or Plan II, requiring 36 hours of coursework and a written
Course requirements. Under either plan, students must take
courses in three of five fields, including a core seminar in each.
The available fields are American politics, comparative politics,
international relations, public policy and administration, and
Students select one major field and two minor fields. Plan I
students take 9 hours in the major field and 6 in each of two minor
fields; Plan II students take 12 hours in the major field and 6 in
each of two minor fields.
The core seminars are PSC 610 Core Seminar in
American Politics, PSC 631 Seminar in
PSC 642 Concepts and Theories of
Political Theory Seminar, and PSC 565 Survey
of Public Administration. All students must complete
Research Design and PSC 522 Quantitative
Methods in Political Science I (or approved substitutes).
Comprehensive examination. The written comprehensive
examination will cover the student's major field and will require
integration of material across courses.
After passing the written examination, a student following Plan I
should prepare a thesis prospectus, which should describe the
substance and methods of the thesis research, outline the thesis
itself, and provide a preliminary bibliography. Once the prospectus
has been approved, the chairperson will formally appoint a committee
of three faculty members to supervise the thesis. The student must
take a final oral examination to defend the thesis and show
competence in the field in which it lies. Except in unusual
circumstances, the final oral examination must be taken during the
fall or spring semester and before final course examinations begin.
After the examination, the student must
submit the thesis electronically in accordance with procedures laid
out in this Catalog.
Detailed information on requirements is in the
Degree Requirements section of this catalog.
Master of Public Administration
The MPA is a professional degree program designed primarily for
those who plan a career in federal, state, or local government.
Applicants for admission to the MPA program must submit scores
from the Graduate Record Examination general test. Scores from the
Miller Analogies Test may be submitted as supplementary information,
but not as a substitute for the GRE. Additional information is in
the "Academic Policies" section of this catalog.
Plans I and II. MPA students may follow either Plan I, requiring
30 hours of coursework, a written comprehensive examination, a
thesis, and an oral examination in defense of the thesis; or Plan
II, requiring 36 hours of coursework and a written comprehensive
examination. Students following Plan II may receive up to 6 hours of
credit for an internship, and students following Plan I may receive
up to 3 hours.
Course requirements. MPA students must complete at least
three of the following four courses: PSC 565 Survey of Public
Administration, PSC 662 Organization Theory,
PSC 667 Public
Budgeting, and PSC 562 Public Personnel Administration. Including
the preceding, at least 18 hours must be taken from the courses
listed under "Public Policy and Administration." Student must also
complete PSC 522 Quantitative Methods in Political Science I.
information on requirements is in the
Degree Requirements section of this catalog.
Doctor of Philosophy
Admission to the PhD program requires either a bachelor's or a master's
degree. Applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination
Major and minor fields. PhD students must choose and develop
competence in one major
field, a secondary field, and a third field
(see fields listed above under MA Course Requirements).
In exceptional cases, a student may choose
their third field
outside the department,
with special permission from the graduate studies committee.
Plan of Study is
available at the Graduate School website. All doctoral students
must have a completed Plan of Study approved by the Graduate School
no later than the semester during which the student will complete 30
semester hours of UA and/or transfer credit for the doctoral
degree. Otherwise, a “hold” may be placed on future registrations.
Course requirements. The student's plan of study for the PhD
degree must be approved by the department and the Graduate School by
the time the student completes 30 graduate semester hours of UA
and/or transfer course work. PhD students must complete at least
hours of graduate coursework. At least 18 hours must be taken
within the student's major field,
least 12 hours must be taken within the secondary field, and at
least 9 hours must be taken in the third field.
hours may be transferred from other institutions, with the
permission of the graduate studies committee
with some limits on the number of courses per field that can be
Students must take the core seminars in their fields (see the list
under "MA Course Requirements" above).
In addition, all students must complete 9 hours of methods courses,
Methods in Political Science I, and
PSC 621 Quantitative
Methods in Political Science II.
Students interested in pursuing a topic in greater depth than the
standard course offerings allow may take up to 12 hours of PSC
Reading and PSC
Research, with up to 6 hours in
major field and three hours in each of the secondary and third
Language requirement. A
foreign language is required of PhD students if appropriate to the
student's research interests. The appropriateness of the foreign
language requirement shall be determined by the relevant faculty in
the student's primary field of interest prior to the student's
completion of 18 hours in residence in the PhD program.
Students may, with approval of the Graduate Studies Committee,
substitute foreign language for the PSC 621 requirement.
Comprehensive examination. Before
writing a dissertation, but only after completing at least two full
years of graduate study and
completing all course requirements,
PhD students must take and pass written comprehensive examinations
major and secondary fields. Students
whose written results are weak but fall short of failing will be
required to pass an oral exam. Exams
will be given during fall and spring semesters only.
who have fulfilled the course requirements and passed the
comprehensive examination become PhD candidates after the Graduate
School approves the student’s formal application to candidacy for
the doctoral degree.
must complete no less than 24 hours of dissertation credit (699).
As soon as possible after satisfying the requirements for candidacy,
each student should submit three copies of a dissertation prospectus
to the department chairperson, who will establish a dissertation
committee of five faculty members, with at least three from the
Department of Political Science and at least one from another
department. The prospectus should contain the same information as an
MA thesis prospectus (see above).
The department chairperson will decide whether to approve the
prospectus, on the recommendation of the dissertation committee.
Once the prospectus has been approved, the student may begin work on
the dissertation itself, under the supervision of his or her
dissertation committee. When finished, the student must take a final
oral examination to defend
and demonstrate competence in the field in which it lies. The
examination, conducted by the dissertation committee, must
ordinarily be held during the fall or spring semester. Following a
successful defense, the student must
submit the thesis electronically in accordance with procedures laid
out in this Catalog.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
PSC 511 Public Opinion. Three hours.
The formation, distribution, structure, properties, and techniques of measuring
public opinions in the United States.
PSC 512 Urban and Metropolitan Government. Three hours.
An examination of the implications of urban growth, the organization of urban
and metropolitan areas, and the political forces operating at this level.
PSC 566 Urban Policy. Three hours.
An examination of urban political structure and its influence upon selected
areas of public policy in contemporary urban society.
PSC 611 American Political Behavior. Three hours.
Research and methodology in the areas of social and psychological factors
related to voting, party preference, and ideology.
PSC 612 Judicial Politics. Three hours.
Examines the role of the courts in political systems with primary emphasis on
the United States Supreme Court.
PSC 614 State Politics. Three hours.
An investigation of electoral, executive, legislative, bureaucratic, and
judicial politics in American states.
PSC 615 American National Government Executive and Legislative Institutions.
An examination of the structure, operation, and politics of national government
executive and legislative institutions.
PSC 616 Topics in American Politics. Three hours.
An examination of selected problems in American politics. Content varies.
Comparative Political Systems
PSC 531 Political Development. Three hours.
An examination of the political processes in the developing world, especially of
the stress of change and impact of economic development on political life.
PSC 533 Communism, Europe 1945–89. Three hours.
The interaction of Marxist theory and practice in various national settings,
with attention to the differential evolution of Communist regimes and parties.
PSC 543 Comparative Public Policy. Three hours.
An examination of the actors and processes involved in making public policy,
with an emphasis on the question of what kinds of governments are responsive to
PSC 631 Seminar in Comparative Politics. Three hours.
A survey of the theoretical literature in the field of comparative politics.
PSC 632 Topics in Comparative Politics. Three hours.
An examination of selected problems in comparative politics.
PSC 633 Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics. Three hours.
An examination of highly developed modern authoritarianism in the Soviet Union,
dynamics of systemic evolution and failure, as well as patterns and sources of
democratization and nondemocratic politics in Russia and the newly independent
PSC 634 Politics of Advanced Industrialized Democracies. Three hours.
An examination of the government and politics of the advanced industrialized
democracies, including Western Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, and New
Zealand. Precise content varies.
PSC 635 Politics of the European Union. Three hours.
A survey of the literature on European integration. Theories of integration,
including neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism, will be examined. Topics
will include EU institutions, political parties and the EU, democracy within the
EU, and EU policies.
PSC 637 Postcommunism. Three hours.
Examination of the processes of transition from communist political systems in
comparative perspective. Attention to democratization and the revival of
authoritarianism in East Central Europe and Eurasia.
PSC 513 American Foreign Policy. Three hours.
An examination of the forces and processes affecting United States ' foreign
relations. Attention is also given to the content and problems of contemporary
American foreign policy.
PSC 514 American Defense Policy. Three hours.
An investigation of the processes involved in making American defense and
security policy and the substance of that policy.
PSC 542 International Conflict. Three hours.
An examination of the various kinds of violent conflict in which nation-states
PSC 544 International Organization. Three hours.
This course details the essential structures, actors, land processes in
international organizations, by examining both governmental and non-governmental
organizations and their roles in the areas of global security, economy, and
PSC 641 Issues in International Relations. Three hours.
An examination of major problem areas in the international system and their
effects. Content varies.
PSC 642 Concepts and Theories of International Relations. Three hours.
A survey of contemporary theoretical approaches to the study of international
relations, providing an overview of traditional and behavioral orientations.
PSC 643 International Political Economy. Three hours.
This course considers mercantilist, liberal, and socialist theories of political
economy. Topics include international trade and the monetary system, the
consequences of interdependence for interstate conflict, the operation of
multinational corporations, and economic development.
PSC 644 Interstate Conflict. Three hours.
This is an examination of the causes of interstate war and the conditions that
promote peace and security. Realist and liberal theories of war are contrasted.
Historical and formal analyses are considered, but emphasis is on the use of
quantitative methods of analysis.
PSC 521 Research Design. Three hours.
Includes but is not limited to the role of theory, development of hypotheses,
modes of observation and analysis, and testing of hypotheses.
PSC 522 Quantitative Methods in Political Science I. Three hours.
Introduction to statistical techniques, including univariate and bivariate
descriptive statistics and their application within the field of political
PSC 523 Survey Research Methods. Three hours.
Examination of the theory and practice of various types of surveys and different
parts of the survey research process (e.g., sampling, questionnaire design,
interviewing, and data reduction).
PSC 621 Quantitative Methods in Political Science II. Three hours.
Prerequisites: PSC 521 and PSC 522, or equivalents.
Data analysis and statistical applications in political research, including data
processing, inferential statistics, correlation and regression, multivariate
analysis, and other multidimensional techniques.
PSC 622 Seminar in Political Science Methodology. Three hours.
May be repeated for up to 6 hours of credit. Topics vary and may range from case
studies and historical analysis to mathematical modeling and computer
PSC 552 American Political Thought. Three hours.
Investigates the origin and direction of the U.S. political ideology, including
liberalism, civic republicanism, and debates condemning American exceptionalism.
PSC 650 Ancient Political Thought. Three hours.
A consideration of classic thinkers including Thucydides, the Pre-Socratics,
Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine. Attention will also be given to how more recent
theorists have dealt with the ancients.
PSC 651 Modern Political Thought. Three hours.
An examination of key political theorists from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
Assigned works may vary but typically include those by Machiavelli, Hobbes,
Locke, Rousseau, J. S. Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche.
PSC 653 Topics in Political Theory. Three hours.
An examination of selected political theorists. Content varies.
PSC 654 Twentieth-Century Political Thought: Political Judgment. Three hours.
This course asks what political judgment is and whether or not we have lost our
capacity for it. Readings include the works of Arendt, Marcuse, Oakeshott, and
Public Policy and Administration
PSC 561 Administrative Regulation. Three hours.
The impact of legal powers and procedures of administrative agencies on public
policy. Analysis of regulatory powers in American governments.
PSC 562 Public Personnel Administration. Three hours.
A study of the American public personnel system, with an emphasis on the
political setting of government employment, equal opportunity and affirmative
action, and collective bargaining.
PSC 565 Survey of Public Administration. Three hours.
Introduction to the scope, theory, and substantive issues of public
PSC 613 Intergovernmental Relations. Three hours.
A study of intergovernmental relationships in selected policy areas, with
attention given to grant-in-aid programs and other devices of cooperative
PSC 661 The Environment of Public Administration. Three hours.
An analysis of the physical, technological, legal, and political environments of
PSC 662 Organization Theory. Three hours.
An analysis of the theories of organization and management that examines models,
reviews current administrative philosophy, and presents contemporary trends in
organization and management.
PSC 663 Selected Problems in Public Administration. Three hours.
May be repeated up to a maximum of 6 hours of credit. In-depth analysis of a
policy issue or administrative problem. Specific topics vary.
PSC 664 Problems of Public Policy. Three hours.
Focuses on issue and policy analysis, with attention to formal and informal
processes of policy development and program implementation.
PSC 665 Urban Administration. Three hours.
An examination of major urban problems and the administrative approach to
solving these problems.
PSC 666 Political Economy and Public Policy. Three hours. An examination of the
political economy/public choice approach to the study of public policy.
PSC 667 Public Budgeting. Three hours.
Problems of financial management in governmental units: revenue sources,
budgeting, financial management, and control.
PSC 500 Department Seminar I. Five hours.
Once-monthly information sessions required of new political science
PSC 501 Department Seminar II. Five hours.
A continuation of PSC 500.
PSC 595 Directed Reading. One to three hours.
PSC 598 Individual Research. One to three hours.
PSC 599 Thesis Research. Variable credit.
PSC 679 Internship and Supervised Research. Three to six hours.
Field work and research opportunities to be supervised by
PSC 699 Dissertation Research. Variable credit. Three-hour minimum.