Course Descriptions



American National Government

Credit(s): 3

This course is the study of the foundation of the United States government and the evolution of constitutional principles. Special attention is given to the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the three branches of national government, powers and limits of national government, civil rights, political parties, campaigns, political participation, interest groups, media, public opinion, and select public policies. This is an essential course for students majoring in political science, pre-law, or law enforcement. Lecture: 3 hours per week


Introduction to Political Science

Credit(s): 3

This course is designed to introduce students to several areas of political science such as international relations, comparative politics, political philosophy, and research methods. Important theories and models to politics will be introduced as well as how political science study is conducted. Students typically will be required to write a literature review on a political topic of their choice and offer suggestions on how future research could be conducted. This course addresses cultural diversity by giving students an introduction into different philosophies of government and how various political systems of the world may be organized. This course is ideal for anyone interested in political science. Lecture: 3 hours per week
Recommended: ENGL-101


Political and Social Philosophy

Credit(s): 3

This course examines the most influential thinkers in the tradition of Western political philosophy. What we understand today as representative government, democracy, communism, socialism, and capitalism are the institutional manifestations of such noteworthy minds as Aristotle, Plato, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, James Madison, Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Adam Smith Alexis de Tocqueville, Karl Marx, and Chantal Delsol. Students taking this course will come to appreciate the powerful influence philosophy has had on the shape and structure of the various competing modern political traditions and ideologies. The class will conduct a thorough examination of each thinker's perspective on such issues as the ideal structure of government, the role of human nature in political theory, the relationship between freedom and authority, the role that equality, inequality, economics, and power play in politics, and the competing definitions of political legitimacy. Students taking this course will be well-equipped to defend their own positions in the contemporary debates over issues of social and political justice. Lecture: 3 hours per week
Prerequisites: ENGL-101 or have the appropriate test scores: COMPASS Writing >94, ACT English >25, SAT Verbal >570
Recommended: PHIL-101


International Politics and Problems

Credit(s): 3

This course examines the causes of war and the determinants of peace between nations. Special attention is also devoted to the future prospects or roadblocks toward global governance. Students will learn about various topics that nations face when relating to each other such as foreign policy, development, human rights, terrorism, energy, the environment, and international economic issues. The major theories of international relations and the assumptions that are important to each theory are discussed. The United Nations and other international organizations will be introduced along with the covenants and treaties that such groups administer. This course is ideal for anyone interested in global politics. Lecture: 3 hours per week


State and Local Government

Credit(s): 3

This course uses a comparative approach to examine the characteristics and qualities of both state and local governments. Emphasis is placed on how local and state governments are organized and how they operate. Additional issues that are examined from a state and local government context include federalism, the role of political parties, participation, land use, finances, and various policies that are important to government at the state and local levels. Lecture: 3 hours per week


Political Involvement Practicum

Credit(s): 1

This course offers credit for involvement and service to government, political parties or other entities that may offer a student political or legal experience. Typically, students volunteer as an intern. The goals of this practicum are to gain practical knowledge of politics and provide service to the community. Requirement include supervision by a representative of the hosting organization and an NIC political science instructor. Permission of the instructor is required and enrollment is dependent on the instructor and student finding a suitable position. Students should contact the instructor several weeks or more before enrollment, as some opportunities require specific applications and background checks. On-Site Work: Varies