Course Descriptions

1311. Introduction to Political Science: 3 hours

A comparative inquiry into the system of ideas, values, and political realities which gives structure to contemporary life and a consideration of those significant forces which have helped shape our present world.

2302. Scope and Methods of Political Science: 3 hours

An introduction to the scope, design, and methods of political inquiry.

2311. American Government: 3 hours

A survey of the fundamental principles of American government with special emphasis on the Texas government and Constitution. This course satisfies the legislative requirements for teacher certification in Texas.

2314. Judicial Process (PLS 2314): 3 hours

A comparative introduction to the structures, processes, and politics of judicial decision-making.

3310. Civil Rights: Law and Society: 3 hours

An examination of the development of civil rights and social ideologies as reflected in racial, sexual, and ethnic discrimination law in various environments and settings. It addresses the exercise of power through law and legal changes as a mechanism of social reform.

3312. Political Theory: 3 hours

A survey of philosophy from the seventeenth century to the twentieth century with special emphasis on political thought.

3317. Political Parties and Pressure Groups: 3 hours

A study of the role of political parties in the American process of government and the techniques of pressure groups in effecting social action.

3318. Legislative Process (PLS 3318): 3 hours

A study of the composition of American legislative bodies and their lawmaking functions, methods, and procedures.

3319. Criminal Law and Justice (PLS 3319, CRJ 3319): 3 hours

Covers (1) substantive criminal law, including crimes against the person, crimes against property, crimes against the public, and defenses to criminal accusations; (2) the pre-trial, trial, and appellate processes in federal and Texas criminal cases; and (3) constitutional criminal procedure, including searches, seizures, arrests, and police interrogation.

3320. Legal Ethics (PLS 3320): 3 hours

Prerequisite: sophomore standing This course focuses on dynamic legal ethics within the paralegal profession. Emphasis is placed on ethical duties and responsibilities toward clients, third parties, and other legal and paralegal professions. Course open to all students regardless of major.

3322. American Constitutional Law I (PLS 3322): 3 hours

Prerequisite: POL 2311 The study of the U.S. Constitution, Institutional Authority, Separation of Powers and Nation-State Relations through an exploration of Supreme Court cases concerned with the relationship between the individual and the government. The cases studied are designed to explore federalism, governmental powers, substantive due process and economic liberties within the contest of Supreme Court decision-making.

3323. American Constitutional Law II (PLS 3323): 3 hours

The overall purpose of this course is to stimulate interest in civil and personal freedoms established by the United States Constitution in the Bill of Rights though critical and factual analysis of Supreme Court cases. A working knowledge of judicial interpretation and analysis of the Constitution is essential to this study.

3331. European Governments: 3 hours

An analysis of the political and governmental systems of Great Britain, France, West Germany, and Russia, contrasting the principles of parliamentary democracy with those of dictatorship.

3352. Internship: 3 hours

Prerequisite: POL 2311 and departmental approval Provides the student with practical experience in government offices (national, as in congressional district offices, state, and local in a variety of fields) and in political campaign organizations and public service organizations, as in consumer groups.

4302. Critical and Logical Reasoning: 3 hours

Prerequisite: PHI 2301, sophomore standing This course focuses on preparing students for the LSAT and for the rigors of law school through review of the LSAT component areas, writing exercises, practice sessions, and logic application analysis. The course also develops writing skills and constructs portfolios as part of the organizational directives required for success in law/graduate school.

4307. Alternative Dispute Resolution (PLS 4307): 3 hours

Methods of resolving civil disputes without litigation, including mediation and arbitration.

4320. Moot Court Workshop (3PR 4320): 3 hours

Prerequisite: POL 2314, sophomore standing A course that focuses on law in action in the form of simulated appellate court proceedings—“moot court” actions. Students discuss major constitutional issues through case briefs, a written appellate brief, and oral argument. Students are afforded the opportunity to participate in intramural and intercollegiate competitions. Open to all interested students, regardless of major, minor, or career goals.

4321. International Law (PLS 4321): 3 hours

The systematic study of the legal principles determining international order. The course emphasizes methods for settlement of disputes regarding the rights, duties, and responsibilities of sovereign states.

4322. Foreign Policy of the United States (HIS 4322): 3 hours

A study of the diplomatic relations of the United States from its pre- Revolutionary foundations to its present international posture.

4324. Trial Advocacy and Preparation (PLS 4324): 3 hours

The aim of this course is to train students in a range of performance skills such as interviewing, negotiating advocacy so that they will be better able to carry out tasks which are fundamental to the delivery of a range of basic legal services.

4351. International Relations (HIS 4351): 3 hours

The study of the political relations of the world of states with particular attention being given to recent problems of international politics.

4355. History and Politics of the Middle East (HIS 4355): 3 hours

A historical and political approach to the study of the Middle East from the Islamic era to the contemporary period.

4355H. History and Politics of the Middle East: 3 hours

This Honors component discusses at length the theory of “offensive realism” as brought forth in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by political scientist and international security scholar John J. Mearsheimer. This 2001 scholarly work illustrated various strategies that great powers use to advance their interests. Other emerging theories and issues will also be discussed, in addition to routine classroom activity. Discussions will include in depth historical and evidentiary analysis of the strategies of great global powers, based upon the theories put forth in this book and similar scholarly works.

4370H. The Power of the Presidency: 3 hours

This Honors seminar discusses the power of the executive, both in terms of the office and in terms of the office-holder. It includes active discussions of the presidency, the presidents, and the politicians surrounding the executive branch. It is a thoughtful and provocative analysis of the most powerful position of government in the world, as seen through respected political science research, literature, and scholarly comments. It is also a historical exploration of where the executive branch “has been,” and where it might be headed in the twenty-first century.

Contact Information

Department of Social Sciences
Location: Polytechnic United 
Methodist Church, Suite 217 
Phone: 817-531-4918
Fax: 817-531-6503 
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm

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