Political Science (POL) Courses

Descriptions of courses offered in the Political Science Department under the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences

POL 2013 American Government and Politics

Three hours

A study of the origins, institutions, and policies of national, state, and local government in the United States. The course promotes better citizenship through understanding and appreciation of American self-government. A Biblical assessment of the various aspects of American government is offered.

Offered each semester

POL 2093 Honors: American Government and Politics

Three hours

A study of the origins, institutions, and policies of the national government in the United States, incorporating Biblical assessments of various facets of the American system of government. Students formulate their own political views as informed by the principles and practices presented in course readings and class discussion. The course promotes better citizenship through understanding and appreciation of American self-government. Prerequisite: admission to Honors Program or Honors Committee approval.

Offered fall semester (even-numbered years)

POL 2163 Irish Politics and Society

Three hours

A study of contemporary political and social development in Ireland, with special attention given to the political-religious conflict in Northern Ireland. Focus is on the application of Christian principles of peacemaking to political and social conflict. Activities include academic course work, guest lectures by Irish political leaders, and visits to important political/social sites in Ireland.

Offered summer, Irish Studies Program

POL 2213 Comparative Politics

Three hours

A comparative study of major political systems focusing on the principles, institutions, and customs that constitute the various regimes of the world. Meets the Global Studies requirement of the Core Curriculum.

Offered spring semester (odd-numbered years)

POL 2393 Research Methods and Design

Three hours

An introduction to the research process in Political Science. Explores key debates over research methods and techniques, including casual inference, hypothesis testing, case studies, quantitative versus qualitative research and more. Students produce and defend an original research design that could be developed into a full-fledged research project.

Offered fall semester (odd-numbered years)

POL 3003 Political Philosophy

Three hours

A study of ancient and modern political philosophies, utilizing primary texts. The course addresses the place of political philosophy in the broader field of philosophy, emphasizing a worldview approach as a means of understanding human existence. Topics include nature, reason, freedom, justice, political rights, property, law, religion, will, passions, power, customs, and community. (Same as RPH 3013.) Meets the Philosophy requirement of the Core Curriculum. Prerequisites: EGL 1023 and HST 1013 or HST 1023 (or Honors counterparts).

Offered each semester

POL 3093 Honors: Political Philosophy

Three hours

A study of ancient and modern political philosophies that incorporates Biblical assessments of political themes and Christian critiques of classical and modern political thought. Students formulate their own political views as informed by the principles and practices presented in course readings and class discussion. (Same as RPH 3093.) Meets the Philosophy requirement of the Core Curriculum. Prerequisites: EGL 1023 and HST 1013 or HST 1023 (or Honors counterparts), and  admission to Honors Program or Honors Committee approval.

Offered spring semester (even-numbered years)

POL 3143 The American Presidency

Three hours

A study of the American presidency focusing on its origin, development, and modern practice. The executive branch is examined in the context of its relationship to the other two branches of the national government and its general role in the federal constitution, as well as its evolution over time. Prerequisite: POL 2013 (or Honors counterpart).

Offered spring semester (even-numbered years)

POL 3163 Law, Courts, and Politics

Three hours

An examination of the relationship between law, courts, and politics in American society. Students will become familiar with competing theories on the origins of law, and how these theories explain contemporary understandings of law. Students also study the American legal system and profession, the structure and limits of the federal and state courts, and consider the intersection of law, politics, and society in specific substantive areas. Prerequisite: POL 2013 (or Honors counterpart).

Offered spring semester (odd-numbered years)

POL 3173 Congress and the Legislative Process

Three hours

A study of the structure and development of the United States Congress. Attention is paid to Congress’ enumerated powers as articulated in the Constitution, the institutional evolution of the legislative branch, the behavior of representatives and senators, and more. Possible assignments include legislative simulations and an in-depth research project. Prerequisite: POL 2013 (or Honors counterpart).

Offered fall semester (odd-numbered years)

POL 3213 Religion and Politics

Three hours

An exploration of the intersection of religion and politics in the United States. Topics include distinctions between religious traditions as they pertain to political behavior, the role of religious interest groups in American politics, church-state disputes and controversies, and increasing secularization in the United States.

Offered spring semester (odd-numbered years)

POL 3353 International Relations

Three hours

An examination of the development of international relations and international organizations and how Christians have responded to the issues of war and peace. Prerequisites: HST 1013 or HST 1023, and POL 2013 (or Honors counterparts).

Offered spring semester (even-numbered years)

POL 3423 Selected Topics: American Politics

Three hours

This course considers a specific topic related to American politics and society. Prerequisite: POL 2013 (or Honors counterpart).

Offered fall semester (even-numbered years)

POL 4243 Constitutional Law

Three hours

A seminar on the origin, development, and contemporary practice of American constitutionalism as expressed through interpretations of the U.S. Constitution by the U.S. Supreme Court. Topics addressed include the institutional structure of federal government, checks and balances, federalism, the commerce power, the Bill of Rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment. Prerequisites: POL 2013 (or Honors counterpart) and junior standing.

Offered fall semester (even-numbered years)

POL 4253 Politics and Race in America

Three hours

A study of race in America politics. Topics include the role of race in American politics and institutions over time, race and political behavior, race and the law, and more. Students are challenged to think about these issues from a Christian perspective.

Offered fall semester (odd-numbered years)

POL 4313 Christianity and the Law

Three hours

An examination of how Christian principles have influenced law in the West, both historically and in the present day. Students will also gain insights into how faith can be integrated into their legal or political careers, be it in advocacy, law, or other areas of social and/or public service. Prerequisite: junior standing.

Offered spring semester (odd-numbered years)

POL 4511, 4512, 4513 Independent Study in Political Science

One to three hours

Special topics in political science are considered.

Offered upon sufficient request

POL 4613 Research Seminar

Three hours

An overview of political science as a discipline, covering different approaches to political science research. Students research a topic of interest to them in political science, culminating with a paper and presentation to the JBU community. Students also consider possible career paths in political science, and reflect on what it means to be a Christian citizen in a fallen world. Prerequisites: POL 2393 and nine additional hours of Political Science.

Offered spring semester (even-numbered years)

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