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Political Science Course Listings

Note: Not all courses are taught each semester. For a listing of courses currently being taught, check the Schedule of Classes.

Introductory Courses

Each of the following introductory courses is intended to acquaint the student with a particular segment of political science. Each will fulfill 3 credits of the Broad Exposure/Stage 2, Group B requirement or the Distribution Requirement in the social sciences, although only one of these courses may be used for that purpose. POLSC 11000 serves as an introduction to American Politics and POLSC 11500 serves as an introduction to International Relations.

200-Level Core Field Courses

These core courses are foundational courses for their respective fields of Political Theory and Comparative Politics.

Writing Corequisites and Prerequisites

Virtually all political science courses require significant expository writing. To ensure that students are ready for these courses, they should be enrolled in ENGL 12000 (or its equivalent) or have successfully completed the course. For all 10000-level courses, ENGL 12000 (or its equivalent) is a prerequisite or corequisite; for all higher level (20000-, 30000- and 40000-level) courses, ENGL 12000 (or its equivalent) is a prerequisite.

Students matriculated fall 2001 or later must take 3 courses with a significant writing component as part of the General Education Requirement at Hunter College. At least 1 of these courses must be from GER Stage 3. Political science courses that meet the writing requirement have a (W) designation below. All 20000- and 30000-level political science courses satisfy the Focused Exposure/Stage 3, Group B requirement.

Political Theory

Political Theory involves the critical study of political ideas, particularly those that entail ethical issues and/or the basis for social and political order. Political theory explores these ideas both analytically and historically. Most intermediate courses detail the history of political thought. Advanced courses are more varied - they may examine selected political ideas, new currents in political thought, or individual political theorists whose work holds great significance. Political theory in the department also includes courses on empirical and statistical methods used to study political phenomena.

American Politics

American Politics focuses on the study of the framework of politics (including the Constitution and constitutional law); national institutions such as the presidency or the courts; political processes and behavior, notably elections and public opinion; and urban politics and subnational government in the United States. Courses at the more advanced level explore theoretical debates about such matters as state-society relations in the United States and current issues in American politics. Internships are a popular choice among students who concentrate in American politics.

Comparative Politics

How valid is any general statement about politics? Through the study of countries other than our own, we have the opportunity to ask about the degree to which political phenomena occur in different nations or in different types of political systems. Intermediate courses suggest comparisons within particular regions of the world such as Latin America or Western Europe. Advanced courses stress current scholarly debates and controversies.

International Relations

Courses in international politics or relations (sometimes referred to as IR) examine relations among nation-states, the sources of conflict, and the prospects for stability and order. We offer courses on international security issues, international institutions (organization and law), international political economy, and the foreign policy of the United States and other nations. Advanced seminars look in depth at theoretical issues surrounding international relations and at current topics in international politics.

Non-Field Courses

These courses do not satisfy the field distribution requirement for the major. Credits still count towards the major, unless otherwise indicated.