Below you will find a list of our current or recent offerings. See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information.

  • 32-114 American Politics
    This course will help you understand the incentives and motivations of actors throughout the American political system so that you can interpret what you read and hear about American politics in a more analytical manner. The course serves simultaneously as a civics course that helps you become a more confident participant in American politics and as an introduction to the theories and methods used in the study of American politics. Contributes to Health Studies. (Fall, Spring) (ScS)
  • 32-144 Comparative Politics
    An introductory survey of major political systems, representing both Western and non-Western countries. No single political system will be studied in depth. This course provides the tools for such study in the future. Contributes to Design Thinking and International Studies. (Fall, Spring) (ScS)
  • 32-184 Politics of Latin America & Caribbean
    This introduction to contemporary Latin American and Caribbean politics also allows students with previous knowledge about the region to further their interests. The course is built around some of the key issues which confront Latin America and the Caribbean. Contributes to Anthropology, International Studies, Latin American and Border Studies, Race and Ethnicity Studies/Allied Course, and Sociology. Course is approved to fulfill an upper-level course requirement in the Anthropology major (ScS) (SJ) (Comparative politics).
  • 32-194 Film, Literature and the Cold War
    This course examines how selected Western writers and filmmakers portrayed the Cold War. This course is open only to first years and sophomores. Juniors and seniors may register with the permission of the instructor. (ScS) (International relations)
  • 32-204 American Political Thought
    This course analyzes the promises, prophesies, problems, and practices that have attached to the concept of America, from the pre-founding era to the twentieth century. We study the stories and fictions that have shaped a sense of community. We explore the positive and negative aspects of American exceptionalism, the unique anxieties attached to American identity, the various conceptions of nature, wilderness, and frontier that formed American ideals, and the paradoxes and contradictions of democracy in the United States. (ScS) (SJ) (Political theory)
  • 32-214 Governing Diversity: Race & Eth Amer Pol
    How does a government built on democratic principles of individual liberty and equality continue to support racial stratification? This course examines the many ways elections, public policy, and public opinion have shaped or perpetuated racial and ethnic inequality. Our focus will primarily be on African-Americans, but we will also consider the unique status of Native Americans and the increasing effects of immigrant communities on our political system. We will look at how citizens, politicians, and scholars talk about race, as well as how these ideas are reinforced or challenged by political systems. Contributes to Race and Ethnicity Studies/Group-Theme Course. (ScS). (American Politics)
  • 32-224 Middle East Politics
    A survey of the comparative and international politics of the Middle East, focusing on major Arab states, Israel and Iran. Contributes to International Studies. (ScS) (Comparative politics)
  • 32-254 Mass Media & American Politics
    This course is an introduction to the study of the mass media and the media's role in American politics. We will focus on traditional print and broadcast news media as well as the advent of online and social media, exploring the content of news coverage, the role and structure of the media as a political institution, issues of ownership and regulation, questions of bias and objectivity, and the effects, if any, of media exposure on citizens. (ScS) (American Politics)
  • 32-264 Political Ideologies
    An introduction to the systems of ideas, ideals and beliefs through which people view and act in the world. Particular emphasis is placed on the argumentative structure and the political and psychological functions of ideologies; on their historical origin(s) and development; and on their respective conceptions of freedom and democracy. This course is open only to first years and sophomores. Juniors and seniors may register with the permission of the instructor. (ScS) (Political theory)
  • 32-284 Japanese Politics, Culture & Society
    This course explores the historical and cultural context of contemporary Japanese politics, the political institutions of the 1955 system, the policy-making process in post-war Japan, and the effects of the 1994 political reforms. This course is open only to first years and sophomores. Juniors and seniors may register with the permission of the instructor. Contributes to East Asian Studies and International Studies. (ScS) (Comparative politics)
  • 32-344 Texas Legislative Politics Internship
    An opportunity to compare political theory and practical politics in a work environment at the Texas State Capitol, under supervision of department faculty. This class is offered every other Spring when the Texas legislature is in session and is open to students in good academic and disciplinary standing with eight credits in Political Science. Internships are generally open to juniors and seniors. No more than one internship can count toward the major. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-114 and one additional Political Science course. (ScS) (American politics)
  • 32-364 Introduction to Political Theory
    This course introduces students to political theory, through critically analyzing key texts of the Western canon and practicing the methods of conceptual analysis that shape the subfield. We analyze ideologies as well as foundational yet essentially contested political concepts -- such as justice, equality, reason, sovereignty, democracy, consent, obligation, and freedom -- to learn how power shapes ideas and how politics operates within theories. We critically analyze the standpoints, assumptions, and exclusions that shape the canon, with attentiveness to identity and difference. Prerequisites: Political Science 32-114 and 32-144. (ScS) (WA) (SJ) (Political theory)
  • 32-384 International Politics
    An introductory study of the theory and practice of international politics. The course examines both the origins and the consequences of the political organization of the modern world. Contributes to International Studies. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-114 and 32-144. (WA) (ScS) (International relations)
  • 32-394 Research Methods in Political Science
    This course will introduce students to basic approaches to research design and analysis in political science. Over the course of the semester, we will design research topics and questions, develop empirically testable hypotheses, collect relevant data, and apply basic qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques. Topics covered in this course will span all areas of politics, international relations, and political institutions. Pre-requisites: Political Science 32-114 or 32-144 or permission of instructor. Contributes to Data Analytics, Data Science and Design Thinking. (ScS)
  • 32-414 European Politics
    This course provides an in-depth analysis of the political cultures, structures, processes and policies of selected systems in Europe. In addition, the nature and function of the European Union is considered. Contributes to International Studies. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-144. (ScS) (Comparative politics)
  • 32-444 Political Psychology
    This course analyzes political issues from a psychological perspective to assess the role that the political brain plays in shaping our institutions, public policy, and political behavior. The course also introduces students to research methods typical in the study of political behavior. Contributes to Data Analytics, Data Science, and Psychology. Pre-requisites: Political Science 32-114 or Psychology 33-104. (ScS)
  • 32-454 Candidates, Campaigns, & Citizens
    This course will explore the behavior of political elites-candidates, consultants, journalists and others-and citizens in the context of campaigns and elections. We will examine the different contexts and characteristics that shape individual voting behavior, as well as the strategies and tactics used by campaigns and candidates in their attempts to win elections. In evaluating candidate and citizen behavior, we will also consider aggregate patterns of representation and institutional designs that can help or hurt political engagement. Pre-requisite: Political Science 32-114 (ScS). (American Politics)
  • 32-504 Advanced Topics in Political Science
    These are advanced selected topics courses which contribute to the two required 500-600 level courses necessary to take the Senior Seminar (capstone). These may be repeated with a change in the topic of the course. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-364 or 32-384, or permission of the instructor. (ScS)
  • 32-534 Public Opinion: Fact Or Fantasy?
    This course explores the factors that shape public opinion, from question wording to socialization to the media and beyond. How do people arrive at their political opinions and how can we be sure that these opinions are grounded in facts and rational understanding of the issues at hand? We investigate the malleability of public opinion and under what conditions government officials should (and do) take it under consideration when making political decisions. We also conduct our own public opinion research, paying attention to the methods used to assess individual opinions and how these methods shape our understanding of what the public wants. Contributes to Data Analytics and Data Science. Prerequisites: Political Science 32-364 or 32-384, or permission of instructor. (ScS) (American Politics)
  • 32-544 International Conflict
    An exploration of issues concerning the characteristics, causes and justifications of occurrences of international peace and violence. The focus is primarily on post-Cold War era state terrorism (internal and external), low intensity conflict, internal conflict resistance, rebellion and revolution, terrorism and peace. Substantial writing required. Contributes to International Studies. Prerequisites: Political Science 32-364 or 32-384, or permission of instructor. (ScS) (International relations)
  • 32-564 Modern Political Theory
    This course explores experience of modernity and the concept of enlightenment, as well as disenchantment and alienation. We analyze Romantic and Modernist responses to the problems and possibilities enabled by modernity, with a focus on the practice of politics in everyday life. This course will focus on sensory perception, aesthetics, and the political implications of how we experience the world, comparing and connecting how these themes play out in 19th century American Transcendentalist versions of Romanticism and 20th century continental versions of Modernism. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-364 or permission of instructor. (ScS) (Political theory)
  • 32-574 Contemporary Democratic Theory
    What does it mean to be democratic and what kinds of citizens define a democracy? Drawing from the works of contemporary political theorists, this course analyzes the contested boundaries of the concept of democracy and explores how individuals can best negotiate collective life together, given differences and given various ways that power operates in contemporary society. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-364 or permission of instructor. (ScS) (Political theory)
  • 32-584 U.S. Foreign Policy
    A survey of American foreign policy with particular focus on the Cold War and the post-Cold War period. Societal, ideological and governmental sources of American foreign policy are examined. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-364 or 32-384, or permission of instructor. (ScS) (International relations)
  • 32-624 Germany & Japan: Losers of World War II
    This course compares democratic institutions, economic growth, and political culture in Japan and Germany in the postwar era. It also examines current challenges, including women in politics, nuclear power, immigration and regional dynamics. Contributes to East Asian Studies and International Studies. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-364 or 32-384, or permission of instructor. (ScS) (Comparative politics)
  • 32-634 Resistance, Rebellion & Revolution
    Insurrection and revolution have been among the most transformative events and processes in history, destroying powerful systems while creating new ideas, values, relations, and experiences. This course examines both broad conceptual questions about power, collective action, and agency and structuralism and the specificity of such key moments in different times and places. There is a substantial research and writing component. Contributes to International Studies. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-364 or 32-384, or permission of instructor. (ScS) (Comparative politics)
  • 32-644 The Chinese Cultural Revolution
    This seminar explores the causes of the Cultural Revolution, the role of Mao and Mao Zedong thought, the experiences of various groups in society during the Cultural Revolution, and the effects of the Cultural Revolution on contemporary China. Contributes to East Asian Studies and International Studies. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-364 or 32-384, or permission of instructor. (ScS) (Comparative politics)
  • 32-654 Women and Politics in Europe and Asia
    A study of women and politics in Europe and Asia from a comparative perspective. Explores the role ideology, institutions, culture and social movements play in creating opportunities and constraints for women in the political realm. Contributes to East Asian Studies, Feminist Studies and International Studies. Prerequisite: Political Science 32-144. (ScS) (SJ) (Comparative Politics)
  • 32-964 Senior Seminar
    This course fulfills the capstone requirement for the major. Requires permission of instructor. (Fall, Spring)