Enhance your understanding of political structures, behaviors, and public policy with these undergraduate political science courses. Through your studies, you will explore the essential elements of the political process, examine the functions and purpose of campaigns and elections, and analyze political theories central to the study of comparative politics. These classes, the core of Ashford University’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government program, include a capstone in which you will create an original research report or proposal on a topic that demonstrates an understanding of political science concepts and the ability to apply that knowledge.
Political Science Class Descriptions and Credit Information
POL 111 Introduction to Political Science
This course is an introduction to the complexity and nuance of Political Science. It explores the political and social dynamics of choice, action, and consequence that underlie and support all political phenomena. Specifically, this course focuses on the why and how of politics rather than the what, in order to provide students with useful, current, and relevant conceptual and theoretical tools for enhancing their critical thinking skills.
POL 201 American National Government
A survey of government at the national level. Emphasis is placed on the constitutional basis of American government, federalism, the sources and forms of political behavior, the operation of the three branches of government, and the making of national policy.
POL 255 Introduction to International Relations
This course in International Relations is an introductory study of the interactions and interconnectivity of the countries of the world. The course emphasizes the need to think critically about international politics and foreign policy. Consequently, this course focuses topically on how and why wars begin, balances of power between states, international institutions, collective security, international communications, human rights, globalization, regime types, international trade, environmental change, imperialism, injustice, inequality, and other issues relevant to the changing world.
POL 303 The American Constitution
This course is a study of the Constitution of the United States and its role in American history and government. The study covers the drafting and ratification of the Constitution, its subsequent amendment and interpretation, and its contemporary role in American politics and government.
POL 310 Environmental Policies
Examines political, social, and economic policies and their impact on the global environment. Also explores ways in which policy decisions can serve to protect the environment.
POL 319 State & Local Government
This course examines the structure and processes of state and local governments and their related current problems and issues. There is a focus on the effect of Federalism and its effect on States.
POL 325 Congress & the Presidency
This course examines the notion of shared governance as it applies to two central institutions of the American national government, Congress and the Presidency. Students have an opportunity to learn more about the history, structure, and functions of each institution but there is much emphasis placed on the relationship between Congress and the Presidency. Topics include leadership, policymaking, tensions within each institution and between the different institutions, and a focus on a variety of public policy areas.
POL 353 Comparative Politics
This course introduces the basic concepts and theories of comparative politics through an analysis of selected political systems and governments from various regions and societies across the world. Topical analysis in the course includes an emphasis on key political institutions, political culture, ideology, globalization, conflict and stability, various state and non-state actors, and on issues associated with economic development and underdevelopment.
POL 355 International Relations
The course in international relations is the study of relations between different nations of the world with an emphasis on understanding the political implications of international security matters and the international political economy. The topical emphasis on nationalism, diplomacy, conflict, international organizations and actors, human rights, political economy, and key global issues offers insights into the principles of identity, cooperation, and the use of power in an international context.
POL 411 Political Behavior
Students will study political behavior as it relates to campaigns and elections in the United States.
Selected course themes include political communication, participation, voting, and elections.
POL 470 Introduction to Political Analysis
This course introduces the preliminary processes needed to research and write presentable and professional Political Science papers. Practical, hands-on experience and in-class exercises will walk students through the research process and enable them to create expert research products. Specifically, this course focuses on how to choose a research topic, conduct a thorough literature review, make critical research design decisions, collect and analyze relevant data, and skillfully document and present the results of the research.
POL 480 Methodology in Political Science
This course completes the process of learning how to conduct political analysis and critically assess statistical research. In this course, students will learn how to measure political science events and actions, identify and assess pertinent variables, design valid hypothesis testing techniques, control for alternative hypotheses, and interpret data in various formats, including graphs, statistical tables, and charts. Students will utilize pragmatic, relevant Political Science-related exercises to enhance and refine their political science analysis skills. Prerequisite: POL 470.
POL 497 Political Science Capstone
In this final course, students will demonstrate mastery of program outcomes in Political Science and Government by applying the scientific method and research analysis to create a professional research paper examining a current and relevant political issue. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the General Education Capstone course.