Political Science

253.535.7646 www.plu.edu/political-science/ pols@plu.edu
Michael Artime, Ph.D., Chair

Prerequisites, when required, are listed in the individual course descriptions. Prior consultation with the instructor of any advanced course is invited. Students wishing to pursue a major or minor in political science are requested to declare the major or minor with the department chair as soon as possible. All political science courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better.

Residency

A minimum of 12 semester hours for the major and 8 semester hours for the minor must be taken in residence at PLU.

Bachelor of Arts Degree

Majors should plan their course of study in consultation with their departmental advisor.

Major in Political Science
36 semester hours

  • Required Courses
    20 semester hours

    • POLS 151, POLS 251, POLS 301, GLST 325, and POLS 499
  • Public Policy Requirement
    4 semester hours

    • One 300-level course designated as a public policy course indicating that it explores the art and science of policymaking at the state, local, and national level. Courses that qualify are: POLS 345, 346, 354, 370.
  • Research and Writing Requirement
    4 semester hours

    • One 300-level course designated as an “intensive writing course” indicating that it has a substantial research/writing component. Courses that qualify are: POLS 345, 354, 361, 365, 372, 373, GLST 331 and 357.
  • Electives
    8 semester hours

    • Any POLS course or GLST 210, 331, 357, 431, or NORD 322.

Concurrent Attainment

No more than 8 semester hours taken to satisfy other major or minor requirements may also be applied to the political science major. No more than 4 such semester hours may also be applied to the political science minor.

Minors

Minor programs should be planned in consultation with the departmental chair or a designated adviser.

  • Minor in Political Science
    Minimum of 20 semester hours, including POLS 151
  • Minor in Pre-Law
    20 semester hours

    • Foundations in the Law (4 semester hours)
      • BUSA 303: Business Law & Ethics
      • POLS 370: Prisons & Prisoners
      • POLS 371: Judicial Process
      • POLS 372: Constitutional Law
      • POLS 373: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties
      • RELI 361: Church History Studies
    • Analytical Reasoning (4 semester hours)
      • ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics
      • ECON 102: Principles of Macroeconomics
      • MATH 107: Mathematical Explorations (or higher level mathematics course)
        • Math placement or High School Math will not be accepted as a substitute
    • Ethics (4 semester hours)
      • HIST 248: Innovation, Ethics, and Society
      • PHIL 125: Ethics & the Good Life
      • PHIL 128: Politics & the Good Society
      • PHIL 229: Human Rights
      • RELI 226: Christian Ethics
    • Communication (4 semester hours)
      • COMA 212: Public Speaking
      • COMA 306: Persuasion
      • ENGL 323: Writing in Professional and Public Settings
      • ENGL 393: The English Language
      • PPAP 301: The Book in Society
      • PPAP 302: Publishing Procedures
    • Close Reading (4 semester hours)
      • Any 300-level course with an LT designation
      • ENGL 400: Studies in Criticism & Theory
      • HIST 254: History of Hanford
      • HIST 305: Slavery in the Americas
      • HIST 346: Innovation & Technology
      • HIST 351: History of the West and Northwest
      • HIST 362: Christians in Nazi Germany
      • RELI 211: Religion and Literature of the Hebrew Bible
      • RELI 220: Early Christianity
      • RELI 221: Medieval Christianity
      • RELI 331: New Testament Studies

Pre-Law Advising
For information, see Pre-Professional Programs section of the catalog

  • Minor in Public Affairs
    24 semester hours, including POLS 345 (required) and 20 hours from economics, political science, sociology & criminal justice, or statistics

This minor offers an interdisciplinary study designed to support many major programs whose content has implications for public affairs and is particularly useful to students contemplating careers in public service or graduate study in public administration, public affairs, and related programs.

At least five additional courses from three of the following groups (courses which are taken as part of a major program may not also count toward the public affairs minor):

  • Political Science
    8 semester hours, if this group is selected
    • POLS 151: American Government
    • POLS 354: State and Local Government
  • Economics
    Minimum of 8 semester hours if this group is selected
    • ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics
    • ECON 102: Principles of Macroeconomics
    • ECON 325: Industrial Organization and Public Policy
  • Sociology & Criminal Justice
    Minimum of 4 semester hours if this group is selected
    • SOCI 240: Social Problems
    • SOCI 413: Criminological Theories
  • Statistics
    4 semester hours, if this minor is selected
    • STAT 231: Introductory Statistics

On approval by the public affairs advisor, up to 8 semester hours may be earned through participation in an internship program as a substitute for courses listed above (except POLS 345). Internship opportunities are offered through several departments, and through the Cooperative Education Program, and provide students with actual work experience in diverse public and private agencies. Students interested in internships are urged to consult with their academic advisors and with intern faculty advisors at an early date.

Students interested in the public affairs minor should declare the minor in the Department of Political Science and consult with the department’s public affairs advisor.

  • Minor in Conflict Resolution
    20 semester hours, including:

    • POLS/GLST 331, POLS 332; COMA 340, 441, and 4 elective hours from POLS/GLST 210 or COMA 304 or another course selected in consultation with the minor’s faculty coordinator.

Political Science (POLS) - Undergraduate Courses

POLS 151 : American Government - SO

A survey of the constitutional foundations of the American political system and of institutions, processes, and practices relating to participation, decision-making, and public policy in American national government. (4)

POLS 231 : Current International Issues - SO

A survey course in international relations with emphasis on current events. (4)

POLS 251 : Introduction to Political Science

This course is designed for political science majors and is an introduction to the discipline of Political Science. Throughout the semester we will learn about the various subfields of the discipline and contributions that the discipline has made to our understanding of American politics. Prerequisite: POLS 151. (4)

POLS 287 : Special Topics in Political Science

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. Prerequisite: POLS 151. (1 to 4)

POLS 288 : Special Topics in Political Science

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. Prerequisite: POLS 151. (1 to 4)

POLS 289 : Special Topics in Political Science

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. Prerequisite: POLS 151. (1 to 4)

POLS 291 : Directed Study

To provide individual undergraduate students with introductory study not available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as DS: followed by the specific title designated by the student. (1 to 4)

POLS 301 : Political Science Methods

How does political science approach analysis of the political world? This course covers the approaches borrowed and developed by the discipline, research design, and qualitative methods to conduct research. Upon completion, students should be able to critique, understand, and conduct research about politics. Prerequisite: POLS 251. (4)

POLS 345 : Government and Public Policy - SO

An integrated approach to the nature of public policy, with emphasis on substantive problems, the development of policy responses by political institutions, and the impacts of policies. Intensive writing course. (4)

POLS 346 : Environmental Politics and Policy - SO

An examination of environmental problems from political perspectives, including international and domestic political contexts and methods of evaluating policies. (4)

POLS 354 : State and Local Government - SO

Governmental structures, processes, and policy at state, local, and regional levels of the American system. (4)

POLS 361 : Political Parties and Elections - SO

Study of party and electoral systems with particular emphasis on American parties and elections. Examination of party roles in elections and government; party financing; interest groups and political action committees; and voting behavior. Intensive writing course. Prerequisite: POLS 251. (4)

POLS 365 : Race and Ethnic Politics - A, SO

An interdisciplinary examination of the way racial and ethnic conflict shapes and structures American political, social, and economic life focused on the best path toward democratic equality. Discussions center on the literature that examines the integration of disenfranchised ethno-racial groups into in U.S. society, addressing the contemporary implications of changing demographics on institutions of power and on democracy in the U.S. (Intensive writing course). Prerequisite: POLS 251. (4)

POLS 370 : Prisons & Prisoners

This course is an examination of the era of mass incarceration in the United States. We will explore the racial, economic, and gender dynamics of this issue as well as various alternatives to the current system. This course meets an elective requirement or a public policy requirement for the Political Science major or minor. (4)

POLS 371 : Judicial Process - SO

An examination of legal processes in various adjudicatory settings. Primary attention given to judicial processes focusing on American civil and criminal law. Prerequisite: POLS 251. (4)

POLS 372 : Constitutional Law - SO

The constitutional basis of governmental powers in the United States with special emphasis given to judicial review, separation of powers, federalism, interstate commerce, and political and constitutional restrictions on governmental power. Intensive writing course. Prerequisite: POLS 251. (4)

POLS 373 : Civil Rights and Civil Liberties - SO

The constitutional basis of rights and liberties in the United States with special emphasis given to freedom of expression and association, religious freedom, rights in criminal proceedings, due process, and equal protection. Intensive writing course. Prerequisite: POLS 251. (4)

POLS 387 : Special Topics in Political Science

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

POLS 388 : Special Topics in Political Science

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

POLS 389 : Special Topics in Political Science

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

POLS 450 : Internship in Politics

Internship in the political dimensions of non-governmental organizations. By departmental consent only. Prerequisite: POLS 251. (1 to 8)

POLS 464 : Internship in the Legislative Process

An opportunity to study the process from the inside by working directly with legislative participants at the national, state or local level. By department consent only. (Internships with the Washington State Legislature are open only to juniors and seniors with at least one year at PLU.) Prerequisite: POLS 251. (1 to 12)

POLS 487 : Special Topics in Political Science

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. POLS 151 strongly advised before taking upper division courses for POLS majors. (1 to 4)

POLS 488 : Special Topics in Political Science

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. POLS 151 strongly advised before taking upper division courses for POLS majors. (1 to 4)

POLS 489 : Special Topics in Political Science

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. POLS 151 strongly advised before taking upper division courses for POLS majors. (1 to 4)

POLS 491 : Independent Studies

To provide individual undergraduate students with advanced study not available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as IS: followed by the specific title designated by the student. By department consent only. (1 to 4)

POLS 495 : Internship

To permit undergraduate students to relate theory and practice in a work situation. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as Intern: followed by the specific title designated by the instructor in consultation with the student. (1 to 12)

POLS 499 : Capstone: Senior Seminar - SR

Intensive study into topics, concepts, issues, and methods of inquiry in political science. Emphasis on student research, writing, and presentation. By departmental consent only. Prerequisite: POLS 301 & completion of the Public Policy Requirement (4 credits from POLS 345, 346, 354, or 370). (4)