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Political Science Minor

History, Political Science & International Studies
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2020
  • Required credits in this minor: 18
The political science minor can be designed specifically to supplement major programs in related disciplines or more broadly develop the political awareness, background, and critical faculties requisite to responsible citizenship.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
At least 8 political science credits must be taken at UMD.
Lower Division (6 cr)
If students elect to take a methodology course, POL 2700 is preferred.
Take 2 or more course(s) from the following:
· POL 1011 - American Government and Politics [LE CAT6, SOC SCI] (3.0 cr)
· POL 1050 - International Relations [LE CAT8, LEIP CAT08, GLOBAL PER] (3.0 cr)
· POL 1500 - Introduction to Comparative Politics [LE CAT, GLOBAL PER] (3.0 cr)
· POL 1610 - Introduction to Political Theory [LE CAT7, HUMANITIES] (3.0 cr)
· POL 1800 - Mock Trial (3.0 cr)
· POL 2700 - Methodology and Analysis [LOGIC & QR] (4.0 cr)
· POL 1xxx-2xxx
Electives (12 cr)
Take 3 or more course(s) from the following:
· POL 3001 - American Public Policy (3.0 cr)
· POL 3015 - State and Local Government (4.0 cr)
· POL 3025 - Popular Culture and Politics [HUMANITIES] (4.0 cr)
· POL 3040 - Women and Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 3080 - Environment and Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 3100 - Contemporary Issues in American Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 3120 - Congress and the Presidency (4.0 cr)
· POL 3131 - Judicial Politics and Policy Making (3.0 cr)
· POL 3141 - Pol Parties & Polarization (3.0 cr)
· POL 3142 - Voting, Campaigning, and Elections (3.0 cr)
· POL 3143 - Political Psychology (3.0 cr)
· POL 3150 - American Constitutional Law I (3.0 cr)
· POL 3151 - American Constitutional Law II (3.0 cr)
· POL 3195 - Special Topics: (various titles to be assigned) (3.0 cr)
· POL 3311 - Public Opinion and Polling Methods (3.0 cr)
· POL 3400 - Contemporary Issues in World Politics (4.0 cr)
· POL 3403 - American Foreign Policy (3.0 cr)
· POL 3420 - International Organization and Global Governance (3.0 cr)
· POL 3426 - Politics of International Law (4.0 cr)
· POL 3451 - Theories of International Relations (4.0 cr)
· POL 3456 - International Security: War and More (4.0 cr)
· POL 3511 - Politics of South Asia (3.0 cr)
· POL 3515 - Theories of Comparative Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 3517 - Western European Political Systems (4.0 cr)
· POL 3518 - Transitional Politics of Asia (3.0 cr)
· POL 3530 - Comparative Constitutional Law and Judicial Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 3570 - Politics of Developing Nations (3.0 cr)
· POL 3575 - Latin American Politics and Development (3.0 cr)
· POL 3580 - Central American Politics (3.0 cr)
· POL 3600 - Political Concepts (3.0 cr)
· POL 3610 - Political Economy: An Introduction (3.0 cr)
· POL 3651 - Classical Political Thought (3.0 cr)
· POL 3652 - Modern Political Thought (4.0 cr)
· POL 4190 - Senior Seminar (4.0 cr)
· POL 4195 - Special Topics: (various titles to be assigned) (3.0 cr)
· POL 3458 - International Negotiation & Bargaining: Negotiating Across Cultures (3.0 cr)
or INTS 3458 - International Negotiation & Bargaining: Negotiating Across Cultures (3.0 cr)
· POL 3xxx-4xxx
· Optional Experience (consent required)
Take 0 - 4 credit(s) from the following:
· POL 3097 - Government Internship (1.0-6.0 cr)
· POL 3197 - Nongovernmental Internship (1.0-6.0 cr)
· POL 4191 - Independent Study (1.0-4.0 cr)
· POL 4910 - Teaching Assistantship in Political Science (1.0-2.0 cr)
 
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POL 1011 - American Government and Politics (LE CAT6, SOC SCI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Principles of American national government. Survey of American governmental system, structure, operations, and services; constitutionalism, federalism, civil liberties, parties, pressure groups, and elections.
POL 1050 - International Relations (LE CAT8, LEIP CAT08, GLOBAL PER)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to contemporary international politics: levels of analysis; the international system; nation-state behavior; foreign policy decision making; economic and defense policy issues.
POL 1500 - Introduction to Comparative Politics (LE CAT, GLOBAL PER)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Survey of the politics of countries selected to reflect alternative styles of politics and forms of government; examples of Western liberal democratic, Communist and post-Communist, and Third World systems.
POL 1610 - Introduction to Political Theory (LE CAT7, HUMANITIES)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to the history of political thought from a thematic perspective such as freedom and citizenship, democracy and its critics, political obligation and justice, diversity and inequality. Close attention to method of interpretation and argument.
POL 1800 - Mock Trial
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Prerequisites: Students may take this course twice for a maximum of 6 credits. Political Science majors and minors may only apply one attempt towards the major or minor. Political Science majors and minors may only take the course once.
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Mock trial covers the procedures, evidentiary rules, and functioning of the judiciary at the trial court level. Students apply their classroom training as attorneys and witnesses in American Mock Trial association sanctioned tournaments. The course increases student skills in critical thinking, analysis, and oral and written expression and argument. prereq: Students may take this course twice for a maximum of 6 credits. Political Science majors and minors may only apply one attempt towards the major or minor. Political Science majors and minors may only take the course once.
POL 2700 - Methodology and Analysis (LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Theory and methods of conducting political research: theory construction, concept formulation, survey research and sampling design, basic statistical analysis, and measurement of relationships.
POL 3001 - American Public Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Approaches to policy study, context of policy process, and discussion of policy issues. prereq: 1011 and 30 earned or in-progress cr or instructor consent
POL 3015 - State and Local Government
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
State and local governments in the United States; governmental institutions and processes; intergovernmental relations. Special reference to Minnesota. prereq: 1011 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3025 - Popular Culture and Politics (HUMANITIES)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
Evaluation of the presentation of political institutions, officials, and policy issues in various forms of mass media and entertainment, including newspapers, magazines, films, television/cable, radio, video, podcasts, weblogs, and social media sites. How accurate are the portrayals and how effective are they at influencing attitudes, opinions, policy choices, and selection of public officials?
POL 3040 - Women and Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Women's political status; implications of women's role in political process; women as political actors; feminist critique and vision of politics. prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3080 - Environment and Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
American natural resource problems with special attention to conservation activities on national, state, and local levels; development of conservation agencies in Minnesota. prereq: 1011 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3100 - Contemporary Issues in American Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Detailed examination and analysis of important and evolving contemporary issues in state, local, and national government, law, public policy and/or public administration. Policy recommendations dealing with each issue. pre-req: POL 1011
POL 3120 - Congress and the Presidency
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Functioning and structure of the United States Congress and Presidency. Members of Congress and the Presidency: their characteristics, their selection, roles they play, how they interact with each other as well as with others in the policy-making process. prereq: 1011 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3131 - Judicial Politics and Policy Making
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
An examination of the characteristics and behavior of judicial institutions, emphasizing the interaction with other policy-makers and social and political problems. Investigates the policy roles of state and lower federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
POL 3141 - Pol Parties & Polarization
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Covers the development of political parties in the United States and the role of political parties in government. Examines the causes and consequences of political party polarization in areas like law-making, elections and representation.
POL 3142 - Voting, Campaigning, and Elections
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Covers theories of voting, including how they explain who votes and vote choice. Examines how campaign money, policy issues, the media, and campaign advertising play a role in presidential and congressional elections. Typically offered in the fall during national election years. prereq: 1011 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3143 - Political Psychology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Study how political opinion formation and behavior of citizens and political elites is shaped by psychological factors, including personality, attitudes, values, and emotions. Study opinion formation, mass media, identity, and culture. prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3150 - American Constitutional Law I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Institutional powers and civil rights: judicial review; authority of Congress and President; powers in war and foreign affairs; power of national and state governments; property rights; civil rights and equal protection (race, gender, and other groups); anti-discrimination; affirmative action. prereq: 1011 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3151 - American Constitutional Law II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Civil liberties: incorporation of the Bill of Rights; Due Process clause; freedom of religion; freedom of speech; freedom of press; privacy rights; rights of the accused; search and seizure; rights before the Courts; cruel and unusual punishment. prereq: 1011 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3195 - Special Topics: (various titles to be assigned)
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Political science topics not included in regular curriculum.
POL 3311 - Public Opinion and Polling Methods
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Formation of public opinion; attitudes and nonattitudes; polls in the media; role of public opinion in democracy; measurement of opinion; survey methods; questionnaire construction; sampling techniques. prereq: 1011 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3400 - Contemporary Issues in World Politics
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Detailed examination and analysis of selected contemporary issues in world politics and international relations. Policy recommendations dealing with each issue. Students can repeat this course for a maximum total of 8 credits. prereq: 1050 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3403 - American Foreign Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01437 - Pol 3403/3402
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Various influences on the making of American foreign policy; understanding why particular foreign policy choices are made and the effects of a changing international environment on American foreign policy. prereq: 1011 or 1050 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3420 - International Organization and Global Governance
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Explores the role of international organizations in world politics and the evolution of global governance systems. Includes examinations of state sovereignty, methods for achieving cooperation, and whether international organizations are effective means for achieving global collective goods. prereq: 1050 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3426 - Politics of International Law
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Investigation of development, operations, and significance of international organization and law in contemporary international politics. prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3451 - Theories of International Relations
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Historical and contemporary theories of international relations. Views of contending theorists are analyzed and assessed. prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3456 - International Security: War and More
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Introduction to a variety of different aspects of International Security, including warfare, terrorism, human rights, environmental justice, and women and violence worldwide. Includes discussion of efforts to ensure and barriers to achieving international security in its various forms. prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3511 - Politics of South Asia
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Comparative study of five South Asian countries (namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal). It analyzes the history and impact of colonialism in South Asia; state formations in South Asia; and controversies in recent South Asian politics over issues like globalization, democratization, religious fundamentalism, nuclearism, and gender. Policy solutions to these problems will be considered. prereq: 1500 or instructor consent
POL 3515 - Theories of Comparative Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Introduces the theoretical, methodological, and substantive debates in the discipline of comparative politics. prereq: 1500 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3517 - Western European Political Systems
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Comparative analysis of development and operation of political-governmental institutions and processes in selected Western European countries: political and ideological patterns and trends; problems of democratic politics; policy issues in advanced industrial societies; and the future of the "welfare state." prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3518 - Transitional Politics of Asia
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
This class is a comparative study of the states in Asia namely India, China, Japan, and others. The class will explore the historical trajectories of these states; will study how these histories have given rise to different forms of their current state formations; will explore their contemporary political systems; economies; their socio-cultural and gender dynamics; and contemporary policy issues faced by these states. The class will also analyze the geo-strategic significance of Asia to the West/United States in the contemporary eras of globalization. pre-req: POL 1500 or instructor's consent
POL 3530 - Comparative Constitutional Law and Judicial Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
A cross-national examination of the intersection of law and politics in the development of constitutional law, especially in newly emerging democracies. Includes an investigation of the relationship between globalization and constitutional development and the role that law plays in social control, dispute resolution, protection of minority rights, social change, and economic development. prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3570 - Politics of Developing Nations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Nature of political development; individual and institutional causes and consequences of development; political economy of the Third World. prereq: 1050 or 1500 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3575 - Latin American Politics and Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
A comparative examination of politics and development in the Latin American region. Topics of this course include transition to democracy, democratic consolidation, rule of law, human rights, the military and politics, women and politics, executive-legislative relations, civil society, and economic development. prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3580 - Central American Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Explores the history, politics, culture, and modern problems in Central America. Includes examination of the differences and similarities in colonial history among Central American countries, the role of U.S. influence on Central American politics and the economy, and legacies of civil wars. Then, it focuses on modern problems of violence against women, gangs, violent crime, and governance, and how international and local organizations and individuals can (or cannot) contribute to alleviating these problems. prereq: 1050 and 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3600 - Political Concepts
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Fundamental political themes and concepts in political theory, including but not limited to justice, liberty, equality, power, democracy, political obligation, and community. Perspectives of diverse political philosophies and cultures may be addressed. prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3610 - Political Economy: An Introduction
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Relationship between politics and economics and ways they affect each other, focusing on political and economic values/goals and their role in shaping public policy; policies and policy making in selected national systems; and the international economy. prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3651 - Classical Political Thought
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Advanced survey of classical political thought, from ancient Greece to the rise of medieval Christianity and Islam to early Renaissance Italy. Major themes include the tensions between individuality and community, morality and politics, utopia and reality, and politics and literature. Major thinkers include Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, al-Farabi, Aquinas and Machiavelli. prereq: 1610 or instructor consent
POL 3652 - Modern Political Thought
Credits: 4.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Advanced survey of political thought from Enlightenment to the present; course topic may include one or more of the following traditions of political theorizing: English (e.g. Hobbes, Locke, Burke, Bentham, Mill, Wollstonecraft), German (e.g. Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Habermas) or French (e.g. Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Foucault, Derrida). Students can repeat this course for a maximum total of 12 credits. prereq: 1610 or instructor consent
POL 4190 - Senior Seminar
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Supervised research and writing in current areas or issues of politics and political science, subject matter varying with instructor. recommended prereq: 6 cr in relevant upper division political science courses prereq: instructor consent
POL 4195 - Special Topics: (various titles to be assigned)
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Political science topics not included in the regular curriculum. Students can take a maximum of three different topics. Students can repeat this course for a maximum total of 9 credits. prereq: 30 earned or in-progress credits or instructor consent
POL 3458 - International Negotiation & Bargaining: Negotiating Across Cultures
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02714
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Cultural understanding and misunderstanding can determine the outcome of international negotiation and bargaining. Word choice becomes particularly significant in global negotiations. In this class, we explore how international solutions in various areas, such as the environment, business, politics, and human rights, are produced through negotiation and influenced by culture, language, and behavior. pre-req: minimum 30 credits
INTS 3458 - International Negotiation & Bargaining: Negotiating Across Cultures
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02714
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Cultural understanding and misunderstanding can determine the outcome of international negotiation and bargaining. Word choice becomes particularly significant in global negotiations. In this class, we explore how international solutions in various areas, such as the environment, business, politics, and human rights, are produced through negotiation and influenced by culture, language, and behavior. pre-req: minimum 30 credits
POL 3097 - Government Internship
Credits: 1.0 -6.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Scheduled work assignments with direct supervision in performance of governmental functions; full- or part-time employment. Only 4 cr from POL 3097 and 3197 may be applied toward the political science major. Allow up to 6 repetitions totalling up to 6 credits. prereq: minimum 60 cr earned and instructor consent
POL 3197 - Nongovernmental Internship
Credits: 1.0 -6.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Supervised, scheduled work assignments in performance of political functions in nongovernmental organizations; full- or part-time employment. Not all outside work is eligible. Only 4 cr max from POL 3097 and 3197 may be applied toward the political science major. Allow up to 6 repetitions totalling up to 6 credits. prereq: minimum 60 cr and instructor consent
POL 4191 - Independent Study
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Advanced study and research under supervision of a faculty member. Student must consult with faculty member before registration. Students can repeat this course for a maximum total of 6 credits. recommended prereq: 8 cr in political science and 6 cr in other social sciences prereq: instructor consent
POL 4910 - Teaching Assistantship in Political Science
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Practical experience in teaching beginning courses in the department. Students serve as intern teachers assisting the instructor in administration of the course. Application deadline is one week before the beginning of registration for the following semester. Students can repeat this course for a maximum total of 3 credits. recommended prereq: 90 earned or in-progress credits and political science major prereq: instructor consent; no graduate credit