POLS 155C • United States Government (3 units)
Designed to acquaint the student with the United States political system, including constitutional developments of the United States and of California, and stimulate reflection on the intersection of Christianity and citizenship. Strongly recommended as a prerequisite for upper-division U.S. Government classes.

POLS/HIST 262 • Research Methods in History and Political Science (3 units)
Prerequisite:  ENGL 120C and, when required, a passing grade in CORE 102C.  Writing intensive class which will teach students proper research techniques and the different aspects of History and Political Science scholarship. Class will focus on how to write a major research paper, book reviews, and other scholarly works. Prerequisite for upper-division History and Political Science courses. Satisfies ENGL 220C requirement.  Students are expected to take HIST/POLS 262, but if ENGL 220C was taken before a History & Political Science major was declared, it will be an acceptable substitution.  Must be passed with a “C” (not a “C-“) or better to fulfill the core curriculum requirement.

POLS 303 • Classical Political Thought (3 units)
This course is devoted to classical questions on the relationship between “the city and man,” expressed in the ancient texts of Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine.  Students will explore the themes of the good life and the best regime, the relationship between justice and corruption, and the role of politics in the pursuit of human happiness.

POLS 313 • American Political Thought (3 units)
This class is a study of political philosophy from the time of the American founding to the 1960s.  Students examine the works of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln, as well as the defenders of laissez-faire capitalism, American socialism and nationalism, and the supporters and critics of American democracy in the twentieth century.

POLS 323 • Christian Political Thought (3 units)
This class is a study of the complex relationship between church and state, the Kingdom of Heaven as it relates to earthly kingdoms, and what civil law means in light of grace, as understood by major Christian philosophers in church history.  Students examine scripture, as well as the writings of Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, the American Puritans, and contemporary thinkers.

POLS 333 • Modern Political Thought (3 units)
This class is a study of the origins of the state, human rights, personal liberty, and the idea of progress.  Students examine primary texts in political philosophy, including Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Edmund Burke, and John Stuart Mill, in order to become familiar with the development of modernity and how it shapes our own outlook on politics, morality and faith.

POLS 345 • United States Foreign Policy (3 units)
Principles, practice, and ethical issues of United States foreign policymaking. Particular emphasis on the policymaking process.

POLS 360 • American Politics and Elections (3 units)
This course is devoted to the institutions, practices, and history of how Americans choose their presidents and other representatives.  Students examine voting behavior, the nomination process, and the cultural, social, and economic impact of campaigns, as well as controversies surrounding campaign finance, polling, and the media.  Offered fall in even-numbered years, with focus more on the presidential races in presidential election years.

POLS 370 • Constitutional Law (3 units)
This course is devoted to the U.S. Supreme Court.  We will examine the Court as an institution, its historical development, and the way it works today.  We will meet particular justices throughout the Court’s history, and examine their roles and judicial philosophies.  The class will then study the Court’s most important rulings, and consider how they shaped the power of the federal government, its relationship with the states, as well as its protection of civil rights and liberties, and the shape of our national life.

POLS 438 • Comparative Politics (3 units)
Comparative politics is the study of political systems around the world.  Students will examine the theoretical background of various regime types, the history of modern nation-states, and survey a variety of existing political systems.  Students will consider the difference between autocracy and democracy, the causes of poverty and development, and the consequences of the way power is distributed and checked within any society.

POLS 440 • Contemporary American Thought (3 units)
Critical examination of selected contemporary works of social theory that have interdisciplinary perspectives. Books are selected for their significance in recent intellectual discourse about American life.

POLS 446 • Public Policy Issues (3 units)
A conclusion to the institutions classes (Congress, the Presidency and Constitutional Law), this course is a study of major laws and their effect on society, with particular attention devoted to immigration, poverty, education and healthcare.  Throughout, students will consider the cost-benefit analysis, public administration, policy assessment, and the various views about concepts of the public good.

POLS 450 • Political Science Teaching Internship (1-3 units)
Prerequisite: Senior standing with GPA of 3.0 or above with approval of the department chair. Regular hours each week for classes and/or meetings are established at the beginning of the semester. The intern assists an instructor in planning and conducting a course and/or laboratory sessions. Maximum three units. (Maximum six units of HIST/POLS 450, 454 and 457.)

POLS/HIST 454 • History/Political Science Internship (1-3 units)
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor. Internship with VU, local museum, archives, government office, or political campaign. Maximum three units. (Maximum six units of HIST/POLS 450, 454 and 457.)

POLS 456 • United States Congress (3 units)
Explores the development and operation of Congress as an institution. It also explores the nature of the members and their behavior in office. Important and timely issues relating to Congress will also be explored.

POLS/HIST 457 • Research Assistantship (1-3 units)
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor. Advanced work in research in History and/or Political Science in an on-going project with the cooperation and supervision of a faculty member. Students will meet with instructor weekly to discuss findings and progress. Maximum three units. (Maximum six units of HIST/POLS 450, 454 and 457.)

POLS 460 • Problems of the Third World (3 units)
An examination of the challenge and prospects of political, economic and social development in the Third World. Critical analysis of theories of underdevelopment and strategies for promoting development.

POLS 469 • Special Topics: U.S. (1-3 units)
Experimental or occasional courses not offered on a regular basis. May be repeated for credit.

POLS 470 • Special Topics: Non-U.S. (1-3 units)
Experimental or occasional courses not offered on a regular basis. May be repeated for credit.

POLS 472 • United States Presidency (3 units)
Explores the historical development and operation of the Presidency as an institution. The performance of individual presidents and issues such as presidential electronics, rhetoric, war powers, secrecy, and executive-congressional relations will also be explored.

POLS 480 • Individual Studies (1-3 units)
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor and department chair. May be repeated for credit.

POLS 482 • International Politics (3 units)
Examination of the concepts and principles of the international political system.

* This information is provided for ease of use, however it is not the official record. See the academic catalog for official course descriptions and requirements.