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American Government and Politics (PSCI 1101)

Total Credits: 3
Lecture Credits: 3

Description: This course provides an introduction to American government and politics. It includes the study of the constitutional foundations of the American political system by examining the Constitution, the politics of federalism, and our tradition of civil liberties and civil rights; the study of political processes, participation, and power by examining interest groups, political parties, campaigns, and elections; the study of the institutions of the American government by examining the Congressional, Executive and Judicial branches; and policy and policy formation in American government.

Topical Outline:
1. Democracy and the American Political System
2. Constitutional Foundations of the American Political System
3. Political Processes, Participation, and Power
4. Institutions of the American Government (Branches of Government, Interest Groups, Political Parties)
5. Policy and the Policy Process
6. American Domestic and Foreign Policy

Learning Outcomes:
1. Analyze the constitutional foundations of the American political system, including the major institutions, structures and organization of the American government
2. Explain political processes, power and participation in American political life to include political parties, interest groups and elections
3. Summarize and contrast alternative views and interpretations of contemporary issues and diverse theories for explaining various aspects of American government and politics
4. Recognize methods that political scientists use to understand American government and politics
5. Discuss and evaluate the ethical and ideological dimensions of political issues faced by citizens and government officials in the American political system
6. List and assess ways to participate in active citizenship in the exercise of political rights and responsibilities

Prerequisites:  Placement into READ 0200 or ESOL 0052 or completion of READ 0100 or ESOL 0042

  • Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility