Courses & Requirements

Requirements Courses for Majors (9 Credits)

PSC 10100: American Government and Politics (3 Credits)                      

PSC 12400/10200: Political Ideas and Issues / Introduction to Political Theory (3 Credits)

PSC 10400/10300: World Politics* / Introduction to World Politics (3 Credits)               


Elective Courses (27 Credits)

Additional 27 credit PSC courses of your choice.


* Please contact the department chair if you have entered City College before fall 2023.  




Following is a comprehensive list of courses offered by the Department of Political Science.
Please check the schedule of classes for a listing of the courses offered this semester.

Core Political Science Courses

The following courses are required for Political Science majors. Although the department does not have prerequisites for its upper-level courses, we recommend that majors enroll in the core courses in each subfield before taking the high-level ones (for example, taking PSC 10200 Introduction to Political Theory before taking PSC 27400 Modern Political Thought.)



PSC 10100 American Government and Politics                                  

(Previously PSC 10100: United States Politics and Government)

An overview of American government. Analysis focuses on three major areas: the Constitution and the debates of the Founding era, America’s political institutions and processes, and the political behavior of the American public. Attention is also paid to major public policies.    3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.



PSC 10200 Introduction to Political Theory

(Previously PSC 12400: Political Ideas and Issues)

Students examine fundamental questions in Western political thought from the Ancient Greeks to the present. The course will cover such themes as justice, political legitimacy, citizenship, democracy, freedom, equality, and human rights.  3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.



PSC 10300 World Politics

(Previously PSC 10400: Introduction to World Politics)

This course analyzes patterns of contemporary world politics using the basic tools developed by students of comparative politics and international relations. It examines the rise of the international state system, the causes of conflict and cooperation, and how global actors and institutions approach topical issues such as migration, trade, human rights, civil conflict,  and climate change. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.


Elective Political Science Courses

I. United States Politics

PSC 12500 - Introduction to Public Policy                                                            

Public policy encompasses much of governmental and even non-governmental activity. This course introduces students to the problems of bounding the phenomenon of public policy and of understanding the policy process, including agenda-setting, problem-definition, policy evaluation, and public accountability. 


PSC 12600 - Introduction to the Legal Process

The basic institutions, procedures and theory of the administration of justice. Students examine typical proceedings, civil and criminal, and the operation of administrative as well as judicial tribunals. The legal process in relation to the American political system.


PSC 20700 - The Politics of Criminal and Civil Justice

The uses and limitations of law as a vehicle for achieving and securing a just political and social order. Special attention to the persistence of discrimination and inequality in the establishment and operation of legal systems.


PSC 20800 - American Political Thought                           

This course explores the ideals that established the United States and their continuing influence on the political system.  We also talk about how these ideals have changed, dealing with topics like writing a constitution, the separation of church and state, civil liberties, slavery and abolition, and modern movements for civil rights and gender equality. 


PSC 21000 Urban Politics                                          

The politics and policy problems of urban areas throughout the United States, but with an emphasis on New York City and its relationship to the state and federal governments. Several approaches to the study of urban politics are presented and contrasted.  


PSC 21200 - Constitutional Law

Survey of the historical and political role of the Supreme Court, focusing on leading decisions. These deal with central problems of judicial review and democracy, the federal system, and the scope and limits of congressional and presidential power. 


PSC 21300 - Civil Liberties

The conflicts between majority rule and minority rights in leading Supreme Court decisions. Major attention to the more recent decisions concerning freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other civil liberties, as well as social legislation and regulation of business.. 


PSC 21600 - Political Parties and Interest Groups

Interest groups and pressure politics. The rise of new groups in the political process. The nature and functions of parties under the American system of government; major and minor parties; party finance and political machines; national campaign issues and techniques. 


PSC 21700 - Mass Media and Politics

The political questions raised by the growth, methods and technology of the mass media. Includes exploration of alternative theories of communication; the development of special media-oriented social roles and events; and the relationship between mass communication, symbolic politics, and political behavior at both the individual and societal level. 


PSC 21800 - Early American Political Development      

Early American Political Development studies the institutional, intellectual, legal, and political development of the United States from the late colonial era through the time of Abraham Lincoln.  The questions at this course’s focus are: “Are we to be a nation?” and “What kind of nation are we to be?” The course examines a wide range of primary sources – including constitutions, laws, examples of political argument, and other documents – and a sampling of the best, most up-to-date scholarship. 


PSC 22000 - The Judiciary

This course is concerned with the structure and development of the judicial system in the U.S; how the court system is constituted and staffed; how legal change happens; and whether and how the courts contribute effectively to social and policy change.  The readings focus on whether law is separable from politics; how the judiciary has evolved in form and function over time, whether courts protect those whom they purport to serve, and why we look to the courts to settle political and policy questions.


PSC 22100 - The Congress

An examination of the role of legislative bodies in our political system. Organization, procedures and operations are the focus of the course. Case studies dealing with contemporary policy-making are integrated throughout the semester. 


PSC 22200 - The Presidency

Assessment of the present and possible future role of the American presidency. The development of the office, its relationship to other institutions and politics, and contemporary problems. Topics include the duties of the President as Chief Executive, legislator, shaper of foreign policy, Commander-in-Chief, party leader, and head of state.


PSC 22400 - U.S. Political Economy

This course examines the intersection between economics and politics in the United States.  The focus is on how American political and economic system have interacted and developed over more than two centuries. 


PSC 22600 - Ethnic and Racial Politics in the United States                                  

An investigation of the political activities of various minority groups and the challenges of governing a plural society. The class also explores the immigrant experience as well as religious identities. Among the specific topics covered are ethno-racial political identities, political mobilization (i.e. social movements and interest groups), political attitudes, voting behavior, and public policies affecting minority groups.


PSC 22700 - The Politics of Immigration

Provide a comparative overview of immigration as a political, economic, and social issue. It develops cumulative themes which define immigration from several perspectives, and builds to an analysis of policy options in the United States and elsewhere.


PSC 22900 - Women and Politics

This course explores the theoretical underpinnings of contemporary feminism and analyzes the changing dimensions of women’s participation in American politics. Electoral, interest group, and elite level political involvement will be discussed and comparisons made with women’s political role in other nations.


PSC 26000 - American Constitutional Development       

The most honored and fundamental principles of the American political system, and many of this country's most divisive crises, have been debated and challenged in terms of constitutional law. This seminar examines the nature and scope of the powers of the federal judiciary, Congress, the presidency, and the relationship between the federal government and the states. One goal of this seminar is to emphasize that answers to questions about the proper ways in which to organize a political system around even the most fundamental principles -- such as separation of powers, federalism, representative democracy, liberty, equality, and the rule of law -- have changed throughout this country's history. The modern constitutional regime is, in complex ways, vastly different from what the Framers of the Constitution imagined. These changes raise fascinating questions about methods of constitutional interpretation, as well as judicial and political fidelity to our constitutional regime - all of which will be covered through a review of these historical developments and the leading cases in the constitutional law canon.


PSC 26100 - The Legal Profession

This seminar will explore the legal profession in the United States as it existed in the past and as it exists in the present.  Students will learn about the structure of the profession, different practice areas, and issues regarding women and minorities.  Guest speakers will directly address life as a lawyer in their specific fields.  Students will be assigned 5 papers throughout the semester.  Students are to meet with the seminar’s writing instructor, to develop and write these papers. Open only to students participating in the Skadden, Arps program.


PSC 30200 - U.S. National Policy Making                 

This course examines the politics of public policy in the United States. It examines how America’s political institutions make public policy. Students will learn about specific policies, including Social Security, healthcare, poverty, affirmative action, criminal justice, education, environmental, immigration, tax and regulatory policy, among others. 


PSC 30300 - Power, Inequality, and U.S Social Policy

This course examines the development of the American welfare state and current conflicts and political debates about its performance and future. The course aims to improve your understanding of the history of social welfare policies in the United States and the political challenges associated with changing these policies. Typically, one policy brief of 15 pages. Two essay exams and three oral classroom presentations. 


PSC 30800 - Jurisprudence

In this seminar, we will address debates about judicial philosophy and legal reasoning, with a special focus on the law/politics distinction.  We will examine scholarship that asks how judges might be constrained in their decision-making – i.e., through precedent, deference to the elected branches, originalism, etc.  As we read work by Dworkin, Scalia, Breyer, critical legal scholars, and others, we will evaluate how the legal interpretation of the common law, statutes, and the Constitution differs from any other type of political decision, and explore what our conclusions imply for the ideology of the rule of law.  Open only to students participating in the Skadden, Arps program.  


PSC 30900 - Advanced Legal Analysis

This course is designed to prepare Skadden Scholars for the rigors of the law school curriculum. Seminar reading assignments include the leading law school casebooks for constitutional law and torts, as well as supplementary readings on legal analysis and test-taking skills.  Open only to students participating in the Skadden, Arps program.


PSC 32300 - Legislative Internships

Offers students the opportunity to participate in the New York Assembly or Senate Internship Programs, or other legislative internships that combine practical experience and academic training. Credit varies, though typically 12 credits will be awarded for those students who successfully complete the programs offered by the New York State Legislature.


PSC 32400 - Politics of Protest

The emergence, development and ultimate impact of protest movements on politics and policy, with a focus on American politics. Through an examination of several movements in the United States after World War II, the course will focus on three basic sets of questions: under what circumstances do dissident movements emerge? How do dissidents choose political tactics and strategies? And how do movements influence more conventional politics and policy? 


PSC 33200 - Politics and Washington D.C.

This course examines the roles, interactions, power, and impact of the range involved in American national politics.  The seminar exposes students to senior figures from the three branches of government as well as from the worlds of media lobbying, think tanks, and campaigns. It combines that exposure with readings and discussion of how the political process affects the possibilities for governing at the national level.  By the end of the semester, students should have a better understanding of how actors, ideas laws, and institutions interact at the national level to shape political outcomes. The course is only open to students’ participating in the semester in Washington, DC program.


II. Comparative Politics and Government

PSC 23000 - Contemporary Comparative Politics 

The basic theories to compare different types of political systems and their institutions, political economies, parties and social movements.  Specific case studies are taken from both developed and developing nations. 


PSC 23100 - Political Systems of Europe 

Political processes in European countries viewed in terms of historical influences and contemporary social structure, and in comparison with American experience. 


PSC 23600 - Political Systems of Latin American

Contemporary political systems in selected countries. Emphasis upon the cultural environments, constitutional foundations, and practices, political and administrative patterns, political instability and revolution, the role of the family, church, army, intellectual, and the relations of these governments with each other and the world.


PSC 23700 - Political Systems of Asia 

The political institutions in the Far East and developments in Southeast Asia in the framework of world politics. Analyzes selected problems affecting major power in Asia such as Japan, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, China and Russia. 


PSC 23800 - Political Systems of Africa

This course provides a broad overview of African politics. It does so in two ways. First, it gives a broad political history of the African continent from pre-colonial times until the present, with a particular emphasis on the postcolonial period. Second, it introduces students to key debates about the continent within the field of political science and in public policy more broadly. We do this through close, critical readings of key texts which have shaped perennial debates about politics in Africa.


PSC 23900 - Political Systems of the Middle East                                                                   

This course provides an overview of the recent political history of the Middle East and North Africa as well as recent theoretical and empirical social science research on the region. It examines themes and issues such as: colonialism and decolonization; the rise and fall of Arab nationalism; the role of natural resources in the region’s development; the significance of Islam in politics; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and the Arab uprisings and their aftermath, among other topics. 


PSC 24400 - The Politics of Crime and Punishment                                                             

This course examines the relationship between crime, punishment and the state through a comparative lens.  In doing so, it explores some of the diverse ways in which political leaders and their opponents have used crime and punishment to shape, extend, or resist state institutions over time. The class is comparative in nature which means material is primarily drawn from outside of the United States, though both the U.S. will be compared with the politics of other countries. 


PSC 24700 - Foreign Policy Decision Making Analysis

This course introduces the student to the theories and approaches used to assess the bilateral, regional and global strategies of a wide variety of countries.  It analyzes how decision-makers choose among various foreign policy options, the various domestic and international influences on foreign policy, and selected policies of large and small states.


PSC 30500 - Political Economy of Development    

The course adopts a comparative approach to the study of development, that is, how societies achieve prosperity and well-being. Through a political economy framework, it examines how political institutions affect economic outcomes, and how economic conditions influence politics. The course studies the relationship between democracy, inequality, and development; the role of foreign aid and natural resources in political and economic development; the legacies of colonialism; and economic theories of civil conflict, among other things. Students will become acquainted with both qualitative and quantitative research methods

PSC 35500 - Environmental Politics: Comparative and Global Perspectives             

Examines first, the rise of environmental consciousness and the key actors and institutions in environmental politics and policy making at the domestic level. Second, at the global level, course examines issues such as climate change, ozone depletion, biodiversity loss, deforestation, and the links between environment and economic development. 


III International Relations

PSC 20200 - International Political Economy

Examines the intersection between politics and economics.  Students gain an understanding of how politics shape free trade, capital markets, and globalization broadly. The class pays particular attention to theories of development as well as the role international institutions play in global economic governance.


PSC 22300 - United States Foreign Policy

This course introduces students to the foreign policy of the United States with particular attention to the period since 1945.  We will examine both the process through which foreign policy is developed and implemented – including the roles of the President, Congress and bureaucracy – and specific issues such as security, human rights, the role of military force and economic policy.


PSC 25000 - Contemporary International Politics

The course introduces students to the dynamics of international affairs and prepare them for more advance courses in the field.  Analyzes how the international system has change through history, introduces the concepts and theories used in international relations and foreign policy, discussed the role of international institution and law, and the dynamics of the international political economy.


PSC 25300 - International Law

This course focuses on the role of public international law in regulating the relations among sovereign states.  It explores the sources of international law, its relationship to domestic law, the rights and duties of states, sovereignty, territoriality, international treaties, jurisdiction, adjudication, and the role of international institutions.  It will apply these concepts to such issues as the use of force, the conduct of war, human rights, economics and the environment.


PSC 25400 - International Organization

The course focuses on theoretical approaches to international organization and global governance, including: the purposes, structure and processes of the United Nations as well as major regional and international organizations; the role of nongovernmental organizations; and institutional performance in areas such as security, economic and human development, human rights, governance, and the environment.    


PSC 25500 - Model United Nations Internship

Simulation of the United Nations in class and at local level, leading to a national exercise, held partly at the U.N., which brings together college students from around the country, from Canada, Puerto Rico and Japan.  Should be taken simultaneously with, or after, PSC 25400. Open to other students only by permission of instructor.


PSC 25600 - Contemporary World Conflict                                                             

The world in the late 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century has witnessed several major conflicts locally, nationally and globally. Militarism, poverty, and socio-economic inequality, women's subordination and oppression, racial and ethnic discrimination, human rights violation, nationalism, religious fundamentalism, terrorism, globalization and environmental degradation constitute some of the more important factors generating the conflicts in question. This course attempts to do three things: (a) clarify the meaning of the term "conflict" and discuss the various means by which conflict management and resolution are achieved; (b) examine the nature and development of multi-factor conflicts in such selected situations as Northern Ireland, South Africa, the former Yugoslavia (especially Bosnia), Afghanistan, and Israel and Palestine; and (c) outline and analyze such phenomena as the struggle for human rights and women's rights, the peace movement, the confrontation between Islamic fundamentalism and the West, the recent war against terrorism, the anti-globalization movement, and the politics of humanitarian intervention. 


PSC 25700 - Globalization and Global Governance                                              

This course surveys key concepts, perspectives, and dimensions of globalization and examines new challenges to global governance. Global governance has traditionally been considered as the domain of government. However, globalization has undermined the power of government and increased complexity and uncertainty in global governance.  We will examine the significant geopolitical, economic, and environmental changes which may reshape global governance brought about by these changes. 


PSC 25900 - Human Rights and Human Wrongs                                                   

This course will examine the tension between two contradictory trends in world politics.  On the one hand, the twentieth century had seen some of the most brutal practices ever perpetrated by states against their populations in the form of genocide, systematic torture, severe political repression, mass murder and ethnic cleansing.  At the same time, since the middle of the twentieth century, for the first time in human history there has been a growing global consensus that all individuals are entitled to at least some level of protection from abuse by their governments.  This seminar will try to make sense of these contradictions. 


PSC 26600 - Human Rights: Politics, Law and Institutions                                   

This course analyzes the development of international human rights law and the global and regional institutions that have emerged to monitor and enforce these bodies of law.  In doing so, it studies the tension between state sovereignty and human rights in contemporary world order.  It also examines the role of non-governmental organizations in establishing global norms and advocating for the protection of human rights throughout the world.  Finally, the course investigates state compliance as well as considers contemporary challenges to realizing human rights in the twenty-first century. 


PSC 30500 - Political Economy of Development                                            

The course adopts a comparative approach to the study of development, that is, how societies achieve prosperity and well-being. Through a political economy framework, it examines how political institutions affect economic outcomes, and how economic conditions influence politics. The course studies the relationship between democracy, inequality, and development; the role of foreign aid and natural resources in political and economic development; the legacies of colonialism; and economic theories of civil conflict, among other things. Students will become acquainted with both qualitative and quantitative research methods. 


PSC 32000 - International Law of Armed Conflict                                              

This course will cover various issues, debates, and concepts in the international law of armed conflict (known as international humanitarian law), particularly as it relates to the protection of civilians and other non-combatants and the regulation of the means and methods of warfare. In doing so, we will examine how international humanitarian law and human rights law intersect and the regulation of war operates in theory and practice, focusing on the principles of distinction, proportionality, and military necessity.  


PSC 32100 - Military Force in International Relations                                     

This course will cover various issues, debates, and concepts in how international law and diplomatic practice regulate the use of force by states.  Specifically, we will examine the various aspects concerning the rules and institutions regulating the initiation and resolution of armed conflict, international aggression, self-defense, military intervention, humanitarian protection, arms control, and genocide. 


PSC 32500 - International Security

This course offers an overview of the field of international security. Topics will include the concept and definition of threat, alliances, deterrence, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and failed states.  We will also explore alternative conceptions of security such as human security, environmental degradation, and threats by non-state actors.  Emerging topics such as cyber-warfare, drones, and non-state actors may also be discussed.


PSC 32600 - Nationalism, Identity and Ethnic Conflict

What is ethnicity, and when and how does ethnic identity matter for the practice of politics? When do differences between groups promote cooperation, and when do they instead generate conflict? What makes a nation, what is its relationship to the state, and what are the causes and consequences of nationalism in global politics? This course will draw on conceptual and theoretical frameworks from comparative politics to understand ethnic politics, nationalism, and conflict around the world. Students will become acquainted with both qualitative and quantitative research methods. 


PSC 33500 - Terrorism and World Politics                                                              

The course will examine international and domestic terrorism both theoretically and empirically. In particular, we will: (1) examine the various (and often competing) ways to define and conceptualize it, (2) explore how and why state and non-state actors employ terrorism, (3) investigate the various forms it takes, (4) examine how its use influences world politics, and (5) discuss the alternative responses by governments to the organizations promoting it. 


PSC 35800 - Humanitarian Intervention                                                                 

This course examines the history of mass atrocities, and the ways in which states, international institutions (principally the United Nations), and non-state organizations have responded to them, and the debate over armed humanitarian intervention.  It starts with the early 20th century but focuses principally on the mass killings that have occurred since the end of the Cold War. 


PSC 35700 - Ethical Dimensions of International Relations                                  

This course examines the intersection of ethics and world politics.  Standard courses on international relations consider issues of ethics and morality briefly, if at all.  This one, by contrast, confronts them head on, and by drawing on works from political science, history, law, economics, philosophy and ethics, and religion studies.  It is therefore explicitly interdisciplinary in orientation. The topics covered including the ethical debates relating to war, torture, drone strikes, climate change, refugees, human rights and humanitarian intervention, and the global economy. 


PSC 39900 - Peacemaking and Negotiations                                                     

This course will examine international negotiation and peacekeeping, from the United Nation’s first inception up to current operations in the field, focusing on the Middle East, Africa, Central America, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, East Timor, and elsewhere. We will study the role of both the UN and individual mediators in the peace process as well as the context and history of conflict in each of these regions. 


IV. Political Theory and Philosophy

PSC 21300 - Modern Freedom

This course explores how the European Enlightenment redefined the idea of human freedom. Unlike the classical world, the Enlightenment insisted on equality, thus paving the way for both the articulation of human rights and broader- based participation in the political process.  We read works ranging from political tracts to short novels and prose-poems to explore how these ideas still shape our political world.


PSC 27300 - Classical Political Thought

This course will examine the philosophical foundations of Western political thought through a deep examination of ancient thinkers such as Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle. It will consider how they explored such timeless concepts as justice, freedom, community, and democracy. In doing so, we will apply these texts and ideas to contemporary political issues. 


PSC 27400 - Modern Political Thought

This course surveys the development of political concepts in modern Western thought. It traces paradigmatic shifts in political ideas from the 16th to the 19th centuries evidenced in the writings of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant, amongst others. Reconceptualizations of such key concepts as equality and liberty, the state and civil society are explored.   


PSC 27500 - Contemporary Political Thought

Recent debates within political theory.  Readings vary from term to term but may include: Critical Theory, Arendt, Habermas, Berlin, Rawls, Walzer, Foucault, Derrida, and Frazer.


PSC 27700 - Political Ideologies                                                                       

This course aims to provide an introduction to the main ideologies that structure contemporary political conflict and debate. It is divided in two parts. After an introductory session on the definition of the concept of ideology, the first part is devoted to some of the ‘classical’ political ideologies that emerged over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries and still play a very prominent role in contemporary political conflicts and debates: liberalism, republicanism, socialism, conservatism and anarchism. The second part considers ideological currents that emerged most prominently over the course of the 20th century such as feminism, anti-racism and ecologism. The course ends with a session on the ideology of the ‘end of ideology’ as a way of gauging the question of the continued pertinence of the category of ideology in the 21st century.


PSC 32800 - African-American Political Thought      

This course will present an overview of the development of African-American political thought over the four centuries since people of African descent first came to North America. Subjects to be covered include the relationship between slavery and politics, the campaign by people of African descent against slavery and for citizenship and equal rights, the ambivalence of African-Americans about whether they are and can be true participants in American life, and the concept of “African-American” understood politically. 


PSC 37100 - Social Contract Theories

The social contract is a concept that has introduced democracy to the modern world.  But lately it has also come under increasing attack from various quarters.  We explore the complexity of the social contract and its embrace of divergent ideas, focusing on how it can evolve to meet changing expectations of democracy.  


PSC 37600 - Marxism

A study of Karl Marx's social thought and political activity, and of other radical responses to modern capitalism. We will explore some of the "different roads to socialism" that have emerged in the twentieth century. There will be special emphasis on the contrast between democratic socialism and Leninism. 


PSC 37900 - Democracy and its Critics    

This course offers an introduction to the theory of democracy.  It is divided into two parts: the first takes a historical approach, focusing on how this political form was designed and determined before the start of the "democratic age" in the nineteenth century. The second takes a more analytical approach, focusing on the debates within democratic theory, which have occurred during the twentieth century.  The course aims to deepen understanding of the complexity and contest ability of democracy by exposing students to a variety of different perspectives.


PSC 38000 - Feminist Political Thought

How do the presence and awareness of women change political thought and the practice of politics? This course analyzes the connection between politics and everyday life – particularly as it concerns women’s participation -- and asks whether and how this interaction can increase the practice of democracy.  As we read works from Plato to Harriet Taylor Mill to modern thinkers who explore the nitty-gritty of women’s activities, we focus on the implication of feminist political thought for the theory and practice of democratic politics.



V. Other General Electives


PSC 21002: Politics and Leadership
The dynamics and dilemmas of leadership and power. Various definitions of politics and systems of government will be related to current political controversies. Use of case studies, novels, films, essays, and other materials to illustrate political processes and concepts. Satisfies requirements of discipline-based writing course. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.


PSC 31000: Independent Readings and Research in Political Science
Designed to meet the special needs of individual students not met by existing courses. Requires approval of Department Chair and availability of an instructor willing to supervise the reading or research program before registering. 1-3 cr./sem.


PSC 31051: Community-Based Research
The course introduces students to several different approaches to community-based research, and compares it to more standard social science research practices. The course introduces community-based and advocacy research tools, strategies and uses, and links them to a practicum with existing community organizations. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.


PSC 31147: Community Organizing
This course introduces students to the practice and skills involved in community organizing, and combines readings, meetings with active community organizers in New York City, and several practical exercises in outreach, issue-identification, and campaign planning. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.


PSC 31113: Argument and Evidence in Political Science
This course focuses on the construction of social science arguments, the joining of theory and literature with hypothesis development, and the joining of hypotheses with methods, data, and interpretation of results. Qualitative and quantitative methods in political science are introduced, and fundamental methodological debates and choices are presented. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.


PSC 31450: Powell School Seminar I
During the first semester, students participate in a seminar sequence introducing them to the public policy process. The introductory module on public policy teaches students about the nuts and bolts of the policy making process. In their second semester, students complete a similar module, introducing them to service based modules of social change. The public service module is made up of weekly seminar meetings supplemented by a 25 hours service project, designed to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on and deepen the information they receive in the seminar. In both the first and second semester, seminars are supplemented by regular workshops that build student's soft-skills in networking, public speaking, and resume writing. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.


PSC 31451: Powell School Seminar II
During the first semester, students participate in a seminar sequence introducing them to the public policy process. The introductory module on public policy teaches students about the nuts and bolts of the policy making process. In their second semester, students complete a similar module, introducing them to service based modules of social change. The public service module is made up of weekly seminar meetings supplemented by a 25 hours service project, designed to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on and deepen the information they receive in the seminar. In both the first and second semester, seminars are supplemented by regular workshops that build student's soft-skills in networking, public speaking, and resume writing. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.


PSC 32701 & 32702: Seminar Internship in Public and International Affairs
This course is part of a City University internship program designed for students interested in the practical aspects of government at city, state and federal levels, as well as in international organizations. 2 hr./wk., plus internship; 4 cr.  

Core Courses for Public Policy and Legal Studies Minors

The following courses are required for the minor degrees in Public Policy and Legal Studies. 


PSC 12500: Introduction to Public Policy
Contemporary public policy. How policy issues are formulated, resolved and evaluated. The major techniques of policy analysis and public affairs research, with emphasis on the social and political contexts of policy problems. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr. (NOTE: Required only for Public Policy minor. Not required for political science major.)


PSC 12600: Introduction to the Legal Process
The basic institutions, procedures and theory of the administration of justice. Students examine typical proceedings, civil and criminal, and the operation of administrative as well as judicial tribunals. The legal process in relation to the American political system. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr. (NOTE: Required only for Legal Studies minor. Not required for political science major.)

Honors Program

Political Science majors may pursue an honors degree in the major by applying during the spring semester of their junior year. Admission to the program requires (1) a 3.2 average in courses taken in the Social Sciences and (2) approval by the Department Honors Supervisor. Those accepted into the program must write a senior thesis and enroll in the following courses during their senior year.


30600: Senior Honors Thesis I
First part of the year-long honors thesis course. Students learn to design and conduct their own research in political science in the first half of a two-semester thesis seminar sequence. Honors Thesis I covers key elements of research design such as literature reviews, developing research questions, choosing appropriate methods and data, and writing a proposal. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.


30700: Senior Honors Thesis II 
Upon successful completion of PSC 31548, students continue their original research and present and criticize each other's work in a workshop format. Continual deadlines keep students on track writing a thesis of at least 45 pages. Pre-req: 3.2 or above GPA and successful completion of Honors Thesis I. 3 hr./wk.; 3cr. For further information, consult the supervisor of the Honors Program.

Last Updated: 09/20/2023 13:22