Political Science

Program Description

The Political Science Department is committed to providing its majors a rigorous and relevant education in the fundamentals of political inquiry necessary to informed citizenship. The Department provides its students with a strong grounding in each of the major sub-fields of Political Science – American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Thought – as well as with the analytic tools and theoretical approaches needed to be successful in their careers.

The approach of the Department reflects not only our Lasallian mission to provide a distinctive value laden liberal education but also our commitment to giving students the kind of education that will benefit them in graduate school, law school and throughout their career.

We believe that it is important to equip students not only to understand the world, but also to help students think critically to make choices in pursuit of "the good life." Therefore, we emphasize high academic standards and encourage students to grapple with original texts and data to improve their analytic ability.

We educate our students to express themselves through a variety of formats, but particularly through the written word. For this reason, all Political Science major required courses have a minimum academic writing requirement. And we encourage our students to become independent thinkers and to pursue their own lines of research, especially through their capstone Senior Seminar course. Each year the Department retains electronic copies of the best seminar papers as models for subsequent classes. And each spring the author of the "best" seminar paper receives a trophy as the Joseph V. Brogan Senior Seminar Award and has her/his name engraved on a plaque in the main hallway.

Why take this major?

The approach of the Department is unique, reflecting not only our Lasallian mission, but also our commitment to giving students the kind of education that will benefit them in graduate school, law school, and throughout their career. As a political science major, students will not only receive a top-notch education in line with the Lasallian mission, but also numerous opportunities to learn through internships and political activism. In our program internships are encouraged. Students find themselves well-prepared and their internships often lead to career opportunities after graduation We also have an outstanding record of graduate and law school placement.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will possess a basic knowledge in all four sub-areas of political science: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations & Political Theory.
  • Students Examine How Their Personal, Professional, Religious or Spiritual Values Inform Their Disciplinary Worldviews (ILO 2)
  • Students Generate and Evaluate Quantitative Conclusions (ILO 3)
  • Students Use Written Communication Effectively Accordingly to the Expectations and Conventions of their Disciplines (ILO 8)
  • Students Explain How Cultural Perspectives Impact Their Disciplines (ILO 11)

Program Contact Information

Michael Boyle, Chair

365 Hayman Hall

boylem@lasalle.edu

(215) 991-2993

Degree Earned

B.A.

Number of Courses Required for Graduation

Major: 14

Total: 38-40

Number of Credits Required for Graduation

Major: 42

Total: 120

GPA Required for Graduation

Major: 2.0

Cumulative: 2.0

Progress Chart

Level One - Core Courses

12 courses and 2 modules required

Universal Required Courses (4 Courses)

Students must complete the following 4 courses.

ILO 8.1: Written Communication

ENG 110 - College Writing I: Persuasion

ILO 5.1: Information Literacy

ENG 210 - College Writing II: Research

ILO 1.1: Understanding Diverse Perspectives

FYS 130 - First-Year Academic Seminar **

NOTE. The following students use Level 2 Capstone Experience in Major instead of FYS 130: Honors, BUSCA, Core-to-Core, Transfer, and Non-Traditional/Evening.

ILO 2.1: Reflective Thinking and Valuing

REL 100 - Religion Matters

Elective Core Courses (4 Courses)

Students must complete 1 course in each of the following 4 ILOs.

ILO 3.1a: Scientific Reasoning

Choose course within ILO

ILO 3.1b: Quantitative Reasoning

Choose course within ILO

ILO 6.1: Technological Competency

Choose course within ILO

ILO 8.1a/12.1: Oral Communication/ Collaborative Engagement

Choose course within ILO

Distinct Discipline Core Courses (4 Courses)

Students must complete 1 course in each of the following 4 ILOs. Each course must be from a different discipline. (A "discipline" is represented by the 3- or 4-letter prefix attached to each course.)

ILO 4.1: Critical Analysis and Reasoning

Choose course within ILO**

ILO 9.1: Creative and Artistic Expression

Choose course within ILO**

ILO 10.1: Ethical Understanding and Reasoning

Choose course within ILO**

ILO 11.1: Cultural and Global Awareness and Sensitivity

Choose course within ILO**

Universal Required Modules (2 Courses)

Students must complete the following 2 non-credit modules.
The Modules are not required for Transfer Students, Core-to-Core Students, or BUSCA Students. BUSCA students are required to take modules if/when they pursue a bachelor’s degree.

ILO 7.1a

Health Literacy Module

ILO 7.1b

Financial Literacy Module

Major Requirements

Major requirements include 4 Level Two ILO requirements, fulfilled through the major.

Students in this major must complete 38-40 courses in total in order to graduate. 14 courses will be from this major program.

Level Two (4 Courses)

Students must complete 1 course/learning experience in each of the 4 commitments.

ILO 2.2: Broader Identity (Capstone Course/Experience)

Fulfilled within major

Choose one ILO from 3.2a, 3.2b, 4.2, 5.2, 6.2, 7.2a, or 7.2b: Expanded Literacies

Fulfilled within major

ILO 8.2b: Effective Expression (Writing-Intensive Course)

Fulfilled within major

Choose on ILO from 10.2, 11.2, or 12.2: Active Responsibility

Fulfilled within major

All Other Required Courses

**Note: All Political Science majors will take both POL 120 and POL 151. Because of the distinct discipline requirement, a student may only apply one of these two courses toward the core. Majors may therefore choose one of the following two options:

    • Option A:
      • ILO 4: Choose course within ILO (to be taken in addition to POL 151)
      • ILO 9: Choose course within ILO
      • ILO 10: Choose course within ILO
      • ILO 11: POL 120
    • Option B:
      • ILO 4: POL 151
      • ILO 9: Choose course within ILO
      • ILO 10: Choose course within ILO
      • ILO 11: Choose course within ILO (to be taken in addition to POL 120)

POL 120 European Politics

POL 151 Principles of American Government

POL 171 Political Analysis
POL 221 Politics of the Developing World
POL 240 International Relations
POL 260 Ancient Political Theory
POL 341 Globalization/Decision-Making
POL 361 Modern Political Theory
POL 480 Senior Seminar
POL 481 Senior Seminar II

Free Electives

In addition to the requirements listed above, students must take enough courses to the fulfill graduation credit requirements for their School and major.

Dual Major Requirements

10 courses, including:

POL 151 Prin of American Govt

POL 171 Political Analysis

POL 120 European Politics

POL 221 Comparative Gvt Systms

POL 240 International Relations

POL 341 Globalization/Decision-Making

POL 260 Sur Pol Thought I-Foundations

POL 361 Sur Pol Thought II-Critics

2 POL Electives

Minor Requirements

Any 6 POL courses

First Year

POL 151 - Principles of American Government

POL 171 - Political Analysis

POL 120 - European Politics

POL 221 - Politics of the Developing World

Second Year

POL 240 - International Relations

POL 341 - Globalization and Decision-Making

Third Year

POL 260 - Ancient Political Thought

POL 361- Modern Political Thought

Senior Year

POL 480 - Senior Seminar

POL 481 - Senior Seminar II

And 4 electives taken in addition to this.

Course Descriptions

ECN/HIS/POL 332 - Political Economy of Africa

This course examines the political and economic conditions in SubSaharan Africa and provides a historical perspective on these conditions. Issues examined include the political and economic consequences of colonialism, post-independence political forces and economic policies, and U.S. foreign policy toward Africa.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: ECN 150

POL 120 - Governments Of Western Europe

This course is a political analysis of the constitutional principles and governmental organizations of England, France, and Germany. It is required of all political science majors. The requirements include a minimum of 10 to 12 pages of academic writing.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ILO Met: ILO 11.1 - Cultural and Global Awareness and Sensitivity

POL 151 - Principles Of American Government

This course provides an overview of the principles, institutions, and decision-making processes of American government. The course focuses on the foundations of the American constitutional order and the development of contemporary American government at the national level. Topics are approached in a critical and analytical way, seeking to understand the trade-offs inherent in particular democratic choices. Historical, comparative, and analytical methods are employed. This course is required of all political science majors and minors. The course requirements include a minimum of 10 to 12 pages of academic writing.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

How Offered: Face-to-Face, Online

ILO Met: ILO 4.1 - Critical Analysis and Reasoning

POL 171 - Political Analysis

This course surveys the theoretical foundations, approaches, and methodologies of political analysis, introducing students to the "science of politics" and providing a basic grounding in the social scientific study of political behavior and phenomena. The course equips students with the tools of inquiry (such as the description and analysis of quantitative data and the systematic use of case studies) most commonly used in the discipline of political science.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 215 - Managing The Public And Non-Profit Sectors

This course is an introduction to different concepts and aspects of public administration from a variety of theoretical viewpoints. Topics include: bureaucratic organization and leadership styles, program evaluation and productivity, budgeting, civil service, and public policy making. (Formerly titled "Public Administration.")

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 221 - Comparative Governmental Systems

This course addresses an introduction to non-traditional and non-Western political systems. Content will vary from year to year and may include topics such as Asian political systems, Latin American systems, the political structures of ancient imperial organizations, pre-colonial African tribal organizations, etc. This course is required of all political science majors. A course requirement includes 12 to 15 pages of academic writing.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

ILO Met: ILO 11.1 - Cultural and Global Awareness and Sensitivity

POL 240 - International Relations

This course provides an analysis of the basic patterns and major factors underlying international politics. Consideration of current international problems will be addressed. The course is required of all political science majors. In addition, the course requires a minimum of 12 to 15 pages of academic writing.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 260 - Survey of Political Thought I: The Foundations

This course focuses on an analysis of the major political writers from Plato to approximately 1550. Emphasis on each author's concept of the state and its function and end, as well as their solution to the problem of the reconciliation of the common good with individual freedom, will be addressed. The course is required of all political science majors. In addition, the course requires a minimum of 12 to 15 pages of academic writing.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 270, 370, 470 - Special Topics and Independent Study

As interests indicate, special programs may be introduced into the curriculum discussing highly specialized problems for group or independent study.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 301 - State And Local Government

This course is a study of the state as a partner in the federal system; the states' constitutional development; and principles underlying state governmental organization, reorganization, and functions.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 302 - American Constitutional Law I

A case study approach utilizing Supreme Court decisions provides an analysis of the governmental structure of the United States. Principal topics include: judicial review, separation of powers, federalism, extent and limit of Congressional and Presidential authority, and the commerce and fiscal clauses of the Constitution.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 303 - American Constitutional Law II

A case study approach utilizing Supreme Court decisions provides an analysis of the individual's relationship to the government under our Constitution. Principal topics include rights under the early Constitution, the incorporating process, First Amendment rights, procedural rights of the accused, and equal protection and political rights. (Strongly recommended: Constitutional Law I)

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: POL 302

POL 304 - Congress And The Legislative Process

Topics of this course address the role of Congress in the legislative process; its internal operations and external political relations, especially with the President. Comparison of the characteristics of Congress with those of state legislatures and European legislative bodies.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 305 - The President And The Executive Branch

This course examines the growth, both in size and power, of the Executive Branch of the national government. Topics covered include: the mechanics and significance of presidential elections, the institution of the presidency, presidential-congressional relations, and the limits of presidential power.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 310 - Political Parties And Elections

This course provides a view of the political problems of the United States as revealed in the major and minor political parties that have arisen during the country's history.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 311 - Women In Politics

This course is an introduction to the history and issues associated with the movement for women's political equality. Topics include: women's suffrage, equal protection and the ERA, job discrimination, and women in political campaigns and elected offices.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 314 - Mass Media And Politics

This course examines the influence of the mass media upon the American political process. Emphasis is on the role of the media in campaigns and elections.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 316 - Environmental Law And Policy

This course examines an introduction to the rise of environmentalism in the United States. Addresses the major environmental statutes from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to the Endangered Species Act, RCRA and Superfund, and also integrates case studies and collaborative learning to evaluate the impact of scientific uncertainty on environmental planning while emphasizing the difficult choices faced in developing environmental policy.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 319 - Courts, Judges, And Judging

This course offers an introduction to the development of the Common Law, tracing the rise of courts and the expanding role of judges in England and the United States from Magna Carta to the Constitution of 1789, discussing the rise of Judicial Review in the United States, and concluding with an exploration of the competing ways in which current Supreme Court Justices (Scalia, Roberts, Breyer, Ginsburg) view their role and their power in a democratic society.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 322 - The Governments Of Eastern Europe And Russia

This course is a study of the politics and government in the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations of Eastern Europe, including the rise and fall of totalitarian communism and the prospects for democratic development.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 334 - The Political Economy Of Latin America

This course begins by examining aspects of the indigenous societies prior to the arrival of Europeans in what has come to be called "Latin America." Throughout, it considers issues such as colonialism, militarism, race, gender relations, and religion that have shaped the societies, polities, and economies of nations from Mexico and the Caribbean to those of the Southern Cone. The goal of the course is to afford class members the opportunity to better understand Latin America's history as a basis for comprehending its likely future. Cross-listed with ECN 334 and HIS 334.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 341 - Globalization and International Decision Making

This course offers an analysis of the increasing functional obsolescence of the nation state under the pressures of transnational problems such as drugs, AIDS, and the environment. The emergence of regional and international organizations such as the European Community, the Organization of African States, and the Association of South East Asian Nations to meet these challenges are also addressed. The course is required of all political science majors. Formerly titled "Global Village." In addition, the course requires a minimum of 15 to 20 pages of academic writing.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: POL 240 (recommended)

POL 342 - U.S. Foreign Relations

This course is a study of the diplomatic and military instruments of American foreign relations, the formal and informal powers and processes by which policy is made, and the basic patterns of national interest and policy, both prior to World War II and into the present.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 344 - The Middle East And The World

This course offers a study of modern Middle Eastern politics, with emphasis on the origins, issues, and present stage of the Arab-Israeli conflict; an analysis of Western and Soviet foreign policies in the area, with the emphasis on America's mideast diplomacy.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 348 - 21St-Century Terrorism: Understanding the Global Threat

This course will define basic concepts related to terrorism, trace the history of terrorism since 1945, and compare and contrast various terrorist groups and their tactics, with particular emphasis on Islamic terrorist organizations, to equip students with tools for understanding and analyzing modern terrorism. Depending upon the semesters this course is taught, it may focus on different geographic areas as well as on the many variants of terrorism, including those developed since the 1979 Iranian revolution, with emphasis on state-supported terrorism and specific terrorist groups as well as the goals and tactics of terrorism and the causes of terrorism.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 361 - Survey of Political Thought II: Liberal Democracy and Its Critics

This course is an analysis of modern liberal democratic thought and the various criticisms of it from both the left and the right are topics to be addressed in this course. Emphasis is on the reading of original sources by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, J.S. Mill, Rousseau, Burke, Marx, Nietzsche, etc. This course is required of all political science majors. The course requires a minimum of 15 to 20 pages of academic writing.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: POL 260 (recommended)

POL 363 - The American Political Tradition

This course provides an inquiry into various religious and philosophical threads, from the Puritan "city on a hill" to the 1960s counter-culture, which combine to form the fabric of American political thought. Analysis of original source material is stressed.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 385 - Ethics In Government

The purpose of this course is to examine the role of ethics and the problems caused by a lack of ethics at the federal, state, and local government levels. This course will underscore the importance of ethics in government by looking at a variety of sources, ranging from Codes of Ethics to the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions, and reviewing various case studies, including Watergate and Interngate. Required of all Public Administration majors.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 460 - Political Science Internship I

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to apply their academic interest to relevant positions in the community. Placements will be provided and the students will be expected to give a comprehensive report on their experiences. Required of all public administration majors. Does not count toward the minor in political science.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Restrictions: Permission of the Chair and/or a GPA of 3.0 or better are required.

POL 461 - Political Science Internship II

With the permission of the Chair, a second semester involving a different experience may be undertaken. Does not count toward the major or minor in political science.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 480 - Seminar I

This course involves a study of methods of research and scholarly writing. Directed research and reports on individual assignments are expected. The course is open to political science majors only and constitutes a requirement for them. In addition, the course requires a minimum of 25 pages of academic writing.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Face-to-Face

POL 481 - Seminar II

This course involves supervised research and writing on a major topic. Weekly presentations and group discussions of individual papers are expected. A written thesis is to be submitted. This course requires a minimum of 25 pages of academic writing.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Restrictions: The course is open to political science majors only.

Prerequisites: POL 480