Political Science / Courses

POL-100 American Political Systems (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year
An introduction to American government and politics with an emphasis on the basic constitutional structure of the government and on the political institutions that surround it. Attention given to current political events and issues.

POL-200 Law and Society (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
An introduction to the nature and function of law, to the structure and operation of the court systems of the United States and to the legal professions. Also considers current legal controversies.

POL-203 American Public Policy (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
A study of public policies and their ethical implications.. Models and methods used by policy analysts will be studied.

POL-204 Comparative Politics (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
An introduction to the theory and practice of government in major contrasting political systems. Liberal democratic, authoritarian and developing systems are considered.

POL-205 Political Ideas Seminar (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
Selected readings from original sources in the area of modern and contemporary political philosophy. Topics covered include various ideologies, ideal government, liberty, equality, individualism, and the role of women in the public sphere. Emphasis is on writing and speaking skills. Also offered as PHI-205. Prerequisite: ENG-111.

POL-207 Campaigns, Elections, and Polling (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
This course is an in-depth examination of campaigns and elections. Students will learn how successful campaigns are run, how elections are conducted, as well as assisting with the composition and conducting of the Meredith Poll. Topics of the poll will vary.

POL-210 International Politics (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
An introduction to world politics. A survey of current issues and trends in major regions and the principles of interactions among nations, blocks, international organizations, and multinational corporations.

POL-282 The Modern Middle East (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year
This course will address cultural, social and political issues in the Middle East since the late 19th and into the 21st century. Topics covered will include imperialism, nationalism, the creation of modern states, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Iranian Revolution, the politics of oil, U.S. - Middle East relations, and the emergence of activist Islamic groups. Also offered as HIS-282.

POL-301 Civil Liberties (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
The law and practice of constitutional interpretation with a focus on civil liberties and the bill of rights. The case method and intensive discussion are used to introduce the process of legal reasoning and disciplined analytic thinking.

POL-302 Civil Rights Law (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
This course is an examination of the development of United States civil rights law in the areas of gender and race. Students will read Supreme Court opinions and analyze how these decisions might be applied to modern racial and gender issues. The case method and intensive discussion are used to introduce the process of legal reasoning and disciplined analytic thinking.

POL-305 Public Administration (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
An introduction to the field of public administration. The executive branch of American government will be examined. Methods, theories, and skills of administration in the public sector will be studied.

POL-306 Nonprofit Administration (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
This course will introduce students to the role that non‐profit organizations play in American life and how they intersect with government. Students will also learn about topics affecting how non‐profits are managed, including: leadership, budgeting, fundraising, and advocacy. This course offers a theoretical and practical overview of the sector.

POL-310 Women and Politics (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
This course will examine the role women play in politics and the participation of women in government as voters, elected and appointed officials, and party leaders. Topics of discussion will include women in political theory, the history of women in American politics, and current gender issues.

POL-320 International Political Economy (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
This course examines the politics of international economic relations between countries and in the world as a whole. The course orients students with the basic underpinnings of international economic policymaking and the basic theoretical paradigms of the field of international political economy. Specific topics of discussion include the politics of international trade, the effect of globalization on the U.S. economy and political system, the role of multinational corporations and nongovernmental organizations in global politics, relations between the developed and developing worlds, and the rise of regional economic blocs.

POL-330 Modern US Foreign Policy (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
A study of global issues involving the United States vis-a-vis Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, and Asia. May be taken for credit in political science or history. Also offered as HIS-330.

POL-331 Environmental Politics & Policy (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
This course will examine the politics and policy of environmental issues both in the United States and globally. We will study the forces and constraints that shape policy at local, state and national levels of government. We will also examine the issues and problems of the global environment and international policy being developed to address those issues. Students will examine and assess proposed solutions to the problems.

POL-334 Research Design and Methods (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year
This course provides a broad overview of the nature of inquiry in political science and is intended to give students an understanding of how to do empirical research. Students will finish the course knowing how philosophy of science, research design, and statistical and causal inference are understood in the discipline of political science. To be taken during semester before POL-498/9.

POL-340 State & Local Political Systems (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
This course provides a survey of politics and policy at the state and local levels of government. Institutions, processes, and behaviors of governments and political participants will be studied. The federal system will be examined from the viewpoint of states and localities.

POL-351 Political Leadership (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
What does it take to be an effective political leader? How can you become a political leader—at the local, state, or even national level? This course examines theories of effective political leadership. It also helps students develop the attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary for contemporary political leaders.

POL-365 Grant Management (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
This course will provide students with knowledge of the complete foundation grant-writing and management process, from researching potential funders and cultivating relationships, to developing and writing proposals, to stewarding awarded grants through evaluation and reporting. Students will gain an understanding of the role of and strategies behind foundation funding in philanthropy, as well as hands-on grant-writing skills.

POL-366 Fundraising (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
This course examines the theory, goals, and ethics behind fundraising activities and how to use them to build effective fundraising programs. Students will consider a variety of fundraising strategies and gain practical fundraising experience.

POL-367 Lobbying and Advocacy (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
The course will cover the history and current practices of legislative lobbying and public issue advocacy. The students will learn to prepare legislation and lobby for its passage, as well as how to move public opinion through advocacy. Students will learn how to build effective political coalitions and conduct policy campaigns.

POL-370 Topics in Model United Nations (1.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
This course will introduce students to the origins, function, structure and issues facing the contemporary International Organizations such as the United Nations and prepare a student delegation to participate in a simulation such as a Model United Nations conference, a Model Arab League conference, or an online world politics simulation among other venues. Participation in the conference or simulation is a requirement for the course. Students will earn 3 credits the first time they complete the course. The course may be repeated for 1–2 hours of credit.


POL-380 Political Science Internship (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year
This course exposes students to the workplace environments in which political scientists and practical politicians function; puts “flesh on the bones” of the theory of political science that students learn in the classroom; demonstrate how the ideals of political science sometimes inform and sometimes are transformed by actual practices in the field.

LEG-400 Legal Survey (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year
An overview of the legal principles and procedures in major areas of the law, including civil procedure, torts, criminal law, contracts, real property, domestic law, wills and estates, and corporations. Open to juniors and seniors only. Permission from the Director of the Paralegal Program is required to enroll.

LEG-401 Legal Research (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year
Legal bibliography and research methods. Included are court reports, statutes and digests; legal encyclopedias, treatises and periodicals; computer research; legal citation form; Shepard's citations; introduction to legal writing. Open to juniors and seniors only. Permission of the Director of the Paralegal Program is required to enroll. Prerequisite: LEG-400.

POL-401 Moot Court (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
This course will prepare students to participate in moot court competitions, which simulate the experience of arguing a constitutional law case before the Supreme Court. Students will gain hands-on experience in legal research, critical thinking, and effective argument. Prerequisites: POL-301 or POL-302 recommended.

POL-480 Enhanced Fieldwork (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year
This course is a capstone experience for the Political Science majors and is an opportunity for them to use their political science training to understand the interplay between theory and methods and the actual world of political organization and movements. Students will complete a placement with a community or government agency involved in a political campaign or other activity, as approved by the instructor. All students will utilize political science theories, literature, methods and data to explore the phenomena they encounter in their fieldwork. Findings of the semester long project will be presented to political science faculty, students, and the broader Meredith Community.
Prerequisite: POL-380 or permission of instructor.

POL-498 Honors Thesis in Political Studies (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
A research and seminar course required of Honors Scholars and Teaching Fellows in which each student will formulate and execute an original research project that will culminate in a paper and an oral presentation. The director of the research project must approve a preliminary research proposal during the semester before the student takes this course, as must the appropriate director(s) of Honors and/or Teaching Fellows. The project must meet Honors and Teaching Fellows requirements as well as those of the History and Political Science Department. This course substitutes for the POL-499 requirement. Prerequisites: Students must complete one WI course and POL-334 or LEG-401, or permission of instructor. A student who completes the POL-498 Research Seminar as a prerequisite may undertake a second elective POL-498 or POL-499 research project on her own with an individual faculty director without attending the seminar a second time.

POL-499 Senior Research (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
A research and seminar course required of all majors not in Honors or Teaching Fellows, in which each student will formulate and execute an original research project that will culminate in a paper. The director of the research project must approve a preliminary research proposal during the semester before the student takes this course. Prerequisites: Students must complete one WI course and POL-334 or LEG-401, or permission of instructor. A student who completes the POL-499 Research Seminar as a prerequisite may undertake a second elective POL- 499 research project on her own with an individual faculty director without attending the seminar a second time.

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Dan Fountain, Department Head
226 Joyner Hall
(919) 760-8507
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