Political science, then, is the study of the theory and practice of politics at the local, state, national, and international levels. The discipline concerns itself with the analysis of political activity and behavior, with a focus on relationships among individuals, institutions of government, and nongovernmental entities. Political science is composed of four main subfields (political philosophy, American politics, comparative politics, international relations).
Questions Commonly Pursued by Political Scientists in the Four Major Subfields
- What form of political community is best suited to human nature?
- How should we understand the rights and duties of both governments and their citizens?
- What is the proper function of government and who should rule?
- How should political ideals such as liberty, justice, rights, and equality be defined?
- How do Super PACs, tax-exempt organizations, and the influence of dark money shape election outcomes?
- To what extent is executive authority limited by the actions of the other branches of government?
- How is the role of party organizations in the delegate selection process changing in the face of evolving interest group and media practices?
- Is the U.S. political system adequately representative in an age of growing inequality, the proliferation of interest group activity, and the escalation of money-driven politics?
- What causes war and conflict?
- How do states maintain order and peace in an anarchic international system?
- What is the nature and role of power in relationships between states?
- Do democracies promote peace?
- What political arrangements and policies promote socioeconomic development?
- When does democracy prevail, and how can we improve democracy?
- Why do some countries experience ethnic conflict, and what can be done to stop it?
- How do governments and citizens work to prevent environmental degradation and promote sustainable development?
- How do interest groups, NGOs, and nonprofit organizations engage in politics and influence policy?
The requirements for a major in political science are 40 credits:
|PSC 121 – 4 Credits||Thinking About Politics: An introduction to Political Science|
|PSC 211 – 4 Credits||U.S. Political System|
|PSC 241 – 4 Credits||International Politics|
|PSC 256 – 4 Credits||Comparative Politics|
12 credits from the list of elective credits
|PSC 111 – 4 Credits||Hot Topics in Political Science|
|PSC 175 – 1 Credit||Careers and Vocations in Political Science|
|PSC 305 – 4 Credits||Global Political Islam|
|PSC 311 – 4 Credits||Methods and Techniques of Political Analysis|
|PSC 325 – 4 Credits||Russian Politics|
|PSC 328 – 4 Credits||The Politics of Development|
|PSC 332 – 4 Credits||U.S.-China Relations|
|PSC 338 – 4 Credits||Chinese Politics|
|PSC 350 – 4 Credits
|Environmental Policy and Politics|
|PSC 352 – 4 Credits||U.S. Foreign Policy|
|PSC 355 – 4 Credits
|Petroleum, Politics, and Planet|
|PSC 360 – 4 Credits||International Security|
|PSC 362 – 4 Credits||Constitutional Law|
|PSC 363 – 4 Credits||Constitutional Law II|
|PSC 365 – 4 Credits
|Global Sustainability Issues|
|PSC 380 – 0-4 Credits||Special Topics|
|PSC 381 – 4 Credits||Political Parties and Interest Groups|
|PSC 386 – 4 Credits
|Modern Spain, A Critical Look|
|PSC 393 – 4 Credits||Public Policy|
|PSC 402 – 4 Credits||Jurisprudence|
|PSC 433 – 4 Credits||American Presidency|
|PSC 411 – 4 Credits||Political Philosophy|
|PSC 441 – 4 Credits||Ethics and International Relations|
12 additional elective political science credits are required.
These credits may include course credits taken from the list of elective courses itemized above, internship credits (maximum of 4 per co-op or internship experience), transfer elective credits, Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS) courses approved by the department chair, and Advanced Placement credits, as well as from the following list of credits:
|Other Credit-Bearing Experiences|
|PSC 250 – 2 Credits||Pre-May Seminar|
|PSC 300 – 4 Credits||May Seminar|
|PSC 390 – 1-8 Credits||Cooperative Education (up to 4 credits per co-op or internship experience)|
|PSC 480 – 1-4 Credits||Independent Study|
|PSC 487 – 1-4 Credits||Directed Research|
The requirements for a minor in political science are 20 credits:
|PSC 111 – 4 Credits
PSC 211 – 4 Credits
|Hot Topics in Political Science
U.S. Political System
16 credits in other political science courses