What to Expect?
What your four years in the Politics Department at Juniata College might look like.
The Politics department maintains a professional program for its students and is integrally related with the other social sciences. The course offerings complement interests in the humanities and the general liberal arts.
The department provides both a practical and theoretical orientation for students, preparing them for graduate school, law school, governmental service, or public administration. Internships are available which allow students to relate theoretical knowledge directly to practical skills.
The study of politics emphasizes both American and cross-national political experiences. The curriculum is organized around these four basic dimensions:
- American Politics
- Public Administration and Policy
- International and Comparative Politics
- Law and Philosophy
In addition, special topics courses and research seminars broaden the offerings.
Here is one model of typical classes that might be taken by a freshman studying politics:
- Intro to American Government
- Intro to International Politics
- Western Political Thought
- Two Semesters of Foreign Language
- International Economic Issues
PS-101 Introduction to American Government (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; S) An introduction to the theory and practice of American government. The course surveys the underlying structure of American politics, its economic, cultural and legal foundations and the daily practice of politics, e.g. groups, parties, and the mass media. Students are asked to develop an account of American politics and to assess the principal features of political life in the United States according to the standards they have framed.
PS-102 Introduction to International Politics (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; S,I) Analyzes the principles and practice of international relations and the foreign policy of the United States, political, diplomatic, military and economic.
PS-110 Exploring the Law (Variable; Yearly; 1.00 Credit) An introduction to the legal profession, exploring the process of applying to law school, the variety of jobs in law, and how an undergraduate program can best prepare students for success.
PS-125 Citizenship (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; SW-ER) What do citizens owe to fellow citizens at the local, national, and global levels? This course contemplates this question by examining the role of citizens in civil society. It examines citizens' social responsibility to others. It fosters each citizen's sense of empathy toward other citizens (including toward citizens living in different circumstances or having different worldviews) by exploring the social contexts of public policy problems. Using ethical reasoning, citizens will understand the ethics of citizenship in different settings and traditions. Citizens will consider the ramifications of enacting alternative public policies on the wellbeing of fellow citizens and of civil society.
PS-155 Lobbying (Spring; Variable; 1.00 Credit; S) Students learn about lobbying in the United States and Pennsylvania, including the national and state constitutional provisions that permit and restrain lobbying. Students study and discuss lobbying techniques and ethics and the place of lobbying in the broader context of American and Pennsylvanian politics. Students will practice their lobbying skills both in class and in Harrisburg.
PS-190 Mock Trial (Fall & Spring; All Years; 1.00-3.00 Credits; CS) A study of elements related to the preparation of a trial through the Mock Trial setting governed by the American Mock Trial Association. Students will learn the preparation of pleadings, applicable case law to the case presented and obtain knowledge of the Rules of Evidence.
PS-199 Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows the departments to offer special topics not normally offered. Departments may offer more than one special topic. Prerequisites vary by title.
PS-206 The Culture War (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; CA,S,SW-US) Is the U.S. at war with itself over core political and cultural values? This culture war is waged over hot-button policy issues including abortion, school prayer, gay rights, religion in politics, marijuana, immigration, and diversity. Students explore the complex political contexts that shape the lived experiences of traditionally marginalized groups and examine how power, privilege, and marginalization influence policy outcomes.
PS-209 Sexual Politics (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) In this course, we will discuss the history of sex and gender in political theory and practice. In part one, we will discuss highlights of the history of gender politics in the United States. In part two, we will build on this knowledge by exploring what feminists have to say on important current topics, such as gendered violence and sexuality.
PS-218 Public Policy & Admin. (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) An introduction to the study of public policy and its administration. The course explores the ways which power, knowledge and institutions shape adoption and evolution of public policies in western democracies. Focusing on various policy areas, the course also surveys the public bureaucracies that administer these policies, examining what government agencies do and why they do it, and assesses alternatives to public bureaucracies. Prerequisite: PS101.
PS-221 AmericanPolitical Thought (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H,CW,SW-US) Covers development of American Political Thought from the Revolution to the modern-day. Special attention is given to the tension between liberty and equality in our system, especially as those tensions are revealed in writings of women and African-American writers. Prerequisite: PS101 or PS102.
PS-222 Western Political Thought (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H,WK-HT) Surveys selected works of philosophers from Plato to Nietzsche. The course will focus on enduring questions -- what is the good, the nature of the best regime, how do freedom and authority intersect, and so on. Prerequisites: PS101 or PS102.
PS-230A Political Party Conventions (Variable; Irregular/On Demand; 1.00-2.00 Credits; S) This course is an experiential education opportunity that takes place in the city that hosts either the Democratic National Convention or the Republican National Convention. It takes place every four years during presidential election years in the late summer or early fall. Each student decides whether he or she wishes to attend the program associated with the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. It is an intense, two-week seminar that features presentations by leading academics and practitioners about the presidential election, including the nomination campaign, the national party conventions, and the general election. The seminar also features site visits, fieldwork assignments, and small group discussions focused on these experiences and the course readings. The seminar culminates in the public events that comprise the Democratic National Convention or the Republican National Convention. Requires consent of the instructor and pre-payment of required course fees.
PS-230B Presidential Inauguration (Variable; Variable; 1.00-2.00 Credits; S) This course is an experiential education opportunity that takes place in Washington, D.C. every four years during the inauguration of the president. It is an intense, 10-day seminar that features presentations by leading academics and practitioners about the presidency and presidential elections; site visits to embassies, government agencies, think tanks, media outlets, etc.; and small group discussions focused on these experiences and the course readings. The seminar culminates in the public events that comprise the presidential inauguration. Requires consent of the instructor and pre-payment of required course fees.
PS-230C Inside Washington, D.C. (Variable; Variable; 1.00-2.00 Credits; S) This course is an experiential education opportunity that takes place in Washington, D.C. It is an intense, two-week seminar that features presentations by leading academics and practitioners about politics and the media, congressional elections, and presidential/congressional relations. The seminar includes site visits to embassies, government agencies, think tanks, media outlets, etc. with the aim of providing first-hand opportunities to witness government decision-making in action, as well as the efforts others on The Hill who try to influence government outcomes. The seminar also includes small group discussions focused on these experiences and the course readings and, when available, participation in the public events that comprise the swearing-in of the newly elected Congress. Requires consent of the instructor and pre-payment of required course fees.
PS-230D Top Secret (1.00 Credit; S) As of 2019 this course is no longer offered and was replaced with PS 230E National Security, please see below.
PS-230E National Security (Summer; Variable; 1.00 Credit; S) This course is an experiential education opportunity that takes place in Washington, D.C. It is an intense, week-long academic seminar. Students explore the inner workings of the U.S. national security landscape with nationally recognized journalists, politicians, political analysts, and scholars as your guides. The course expands knowledge of American and international politics through on-site visits to such places as Capitol Hill, executive agencies, embassies, think tanks, and media organizations. Students engage in and network with nationally and internationally recognized public officials and business professionals to develop a sense of civic engagement and enhance leadership skills. Requires consent of the instructor and may require pre-payment of required course fees.
PS-241 European Politics (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,I) Examines the modern history, political culture, institutions and policies of the major West European states. Britain, France, West Germany and the European Communities are compared along with selected other countries. The major problems confronting these are highlighted. Prerequisite: PS101 or PS102.
PS-243 U.S. Foreign Policy (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,I) Examines U.S. Foreign Policy from the Monroe Doctrine to the New World Order. Special emphasis is given to the tension between isolationism and globalism in this century. The course will focus on contemporary issues such as: the relationship with the UN, the U.S. as a global policeman, and the role of human rights as an American priority. Prerequisite: PS102.
PS-249 Senegambia I (Variable; Variable; 2.00 Credits; I,S,CA,SWGSA) These courses (PS249 and PS250) are co-requisites. In the fall semester, we study and discuss Gambia's history and contemporary politics and culture. During the winter break, we spend three weeks exploring the political culture and society of The Gambia. Corequisite: PS250. Students must complete both PS249 and PS250 to receive CA credit. If you want to get Global Engagement credit, after returning from the trip you must complete a 1-credit course that has been approved by the Global Education Committee.
PS-250 Senegambia II (Variable; Yearly; 2.00 Credits; CA,I,S,SWGSA) These courses (PS249 and PS250) are co-requisites. In the fall semester, we study and discuss Gambia's history and contemporary politics and culture. During the winter break, we spend three weeks exploring the political culture and society of The Gambia. Corequisite: PS250. Students must complete both PS249 and PS250 to receive CA credit. If you want to get Global Engagement credit, after returning from the trip you must complete a 1-credit course that has been approved by the Global Education Committee.
PS-289 Politics and the Media (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; S,CW) This course has two components. First, it looks at the interaction of politics and the media in the context of the United States. Students will learn about how politicians use the media and about how the media covers politics. Second, it is designed to help students hone their research and writing skills. The class involves extensive class discussion, applications of course materials to contemporary coverage of American politics in the media, and instruction about research and writing. Students will be required to pay close attention to the interactionof politics and the media during the course of the semester.Prerequisites: PS101.
PS-299 Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Offers supplements to the regular departmental program, exploring topics and areas not regularly scheduled. Note: Students may take each ST: course for credit.
PS-2YR Completion of Two Years At: Participating International Programs: Muenster, Lille, Bockholt, Lincoln, Marburg (Variable; Variable; 45.00 Credits)
PS-305 Politics in Film (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H,F) This course is designed as an introduction to the study of political ideas as presented in motion pictures. We will look both at the direct representation of political ideas or points of view (especially through satire), and at the way Hollywood has shaped our ideas about the political process. Because film is very much a 20th century medium, we will look with special care at the two defining political events of this century, the crisis of Western democracy following World War I, and the Cold War.
PS-311 Constitutional Interpretation: Powers of Government (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H) An examination of the three branches of government, their constitutional powers, and the limitations on those powers as interpreted by Supreme Court. Special attention is given to the areas of delegated and concurrent powers. The operation of the Supreme Court and the Federal court system are also reviewed. Prerequisites: PS101 or permission.
PS-312 Constitutional Interpretation: Civil Rights (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H,CW) Examines citizen's rights and liberties which the Constitution protects against infringement by the government. Those freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights are reviewed as well as the right to privacy, due process, and equal protection. Prerequisites: PS101 or permission.
PS-313 Congress and Presidency (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; S,CW) Examines the intellectual and constitutional foundations of Congress and the Presidency, and the evolution of their powers and responsibilities. The course also explores how, through cooperation and confrontation, the institutions make decisions about war and peace, spending, and taxation. Prerequisite: PS101.
PS-318 Parties, Elections & Campaigns (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) Examines the role political parties and elections play in democratic theory and practice in the U.S. Topics include party systems in the U.S., history, party organization, comparisons with parties in other countries, electoral competition, and elite mass linkages. Contemporary issues such as campaign finance, campaign strategy, and the role of the mass media are also explored. Prerequisite: PS101.
PS-320 TPJ: Political Philosophy/Jurisprudence (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; H,SW-ER) Examines specific topics in the area of political philosophy and law. Topics will include " Foundations of American Constitutionalism, " " African-American Social and Political Thought, " " Liberalism, " and " Shakespeare's Politics. " Students may take each course for credit.
PS-330 TPP: Topics in Public Policy (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) Examines the formation and implementation of public policy by an in-depth focus on a single policy area. The course will investigate a particular policy area for the semester, such as environmental policy or health care policy. Policy study will include analysis of interest groups, public opinion, congressional committees and federal agencies. Research and analytical exercise will be emphasized. Prerequisite: PS101.
PS-334 Human Rights (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; I,S) This class focuses on some of the debates concerning human rights: realism versus idealism; individualism versus communitarianism; universalism versus relativism; religious fundamentalism versus secularism; women's rights as human rights; liberalism versus socialism. We review the historical evolution of human rights. We devote part of the semester to the role of literature and the arts in creating and promoting human rights. Prerequisite: PS102.
PS-335 Law of Nations (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; I,S) This course explores the substance of modern international law. Course topics may include the Vienna Convention, the UN Charter, the Law of the Sea Convention, the Rome Statute, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court. The course also explores how nation states interact with these bodies under their internal laws and customary international law. Prerequisite: PS 102.
PS-340 Topics in International Politics (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,I) Examines international politics in light of a specific topic or issue. The topics include themes such as: Global Environmental Politics, Nationalism, and Competing World Ideologies.
PS-346 African Politics (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; I,S,CW) This course examines some of the factors that explain the political problems that plague Africa. Topics include: colonialism, human rights, corruption, ethnicity and pan-Africanism. Prerequisite: PS102.
PS-349 Senegambia III (Variable; Variable; 1.00 Credit; I,S) This course will meet 1 hour per week in spring semester. A requirement of the course is to participate in a three week summer trip to West Africa. During the spring semester we will examine the history and contemporary politics and economics of the Senegambia region. At the conclusion of the spring semester we will spend 3 weeks exploring the political culture and society of the Gambia and Senegal in West Africa. There is a fee for the trip to Africa. Corequisite: PS250. If PS249 and PS250 are completed they will count as CA. PS349/350 will not.
PS-350 Senegambia IV (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; I,S) See PS249. Corequisite: PS349. Students must complete PS249 and PS250 to receive CA credit. A course fee is applied.
PS-389 TWC: Washington Special Topics (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 1.00-4.00 Credits) This course is for students participating in the Washingon Center's internship program in Washington, D.C. Each student will select one of several courses offered by the Washington Center upon acceptance into the program. The title of this Special Topics course will vary according to the course the student enrolls in through the Washington Center.
PS-399 Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Offers supplements to the regular departmental program, exploring topics and areas not regularly scheduled. Examples include Religious Revivalism in the Third World, Race, Religion and Gender in American politics and Nationalism in Europe. Note: abbreviated ST:(Title); students may take each ST: course for credit.
PS-490 Legal & Public Affairs Internship (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 2.00-9.00 Credits; S) An opportunity to apply concepts and theories learned in class and readings to a practical situation. Selected students work with chief administrative officers in State College and Huntingdon, police departments, environmental departments, legal offices or in the Court House. Note: may be repeated up to a total of 9 hours credit. Corequisite: PS495. Prerequisite: permission and Jr. or Sr. Standing.
PS-491 Washington Interns (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 2.00-9.00 Credits; S) See the chapter, " Special Programs " in the catalog under " Internships. " Corequisite: PS495. Prerequisite: permission.
PS-492 Harrisburg Legislative Interns (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 2.00-9.00 Credits; S) A unique opportunity to experience the legislative process. Placements are made to the research staffs of various committees (e.g., Banking and Commerce, Education, Judiciary, Local Government and Urban Affairs) of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Committees are selected on the basis of student interests and needs in the Legislature. Corequisite: PS495. Prerequisite: Permission and Sophomore, Junior or Senior standing.
PS-495 Politics Res/Seminar (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 2.00-6.00 Credits; S) Required of all students holding internships. The emphasis is on readings and discussions of materials relevant to the intern ship experience, e.g., professional behavior, ethical conduct, confidentiality, etc. Students produce a major research paper on a topic selected by the student in conjunction with the internship supervisor and the course instructor. Note: may be repeated up to a total of 6 hours credit. Corequisite: PS490 or PS491 or PS492. Prerequisite: Minimum GPA of 2.50 and good academic standing required for internship eligibility. Development of internship proposal must occur a minimum of six weeks prior to start of internship. Prerequisite: 2.50 GPA, Permission and Jr. or Sr. standing. Corequisite: PS490 or PS491 or PS492.
PS-497 Honors Research I (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) Designed to offer exceptional students the opportunity to engage in an extensive undergraduate thesis or research project. Selected students will be invited by the faculty of the department to propose a subject of special interest to the students; working closely with at least one member of the department, students will develop and complete a research project in the first semester and present the results as a publishable paper in the second. Available by permission.
PS-498 Honors Research II (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) Designed to offer exceptional students the opportunity to complete the research paper started in PS497. Prerequisite: PS497.
PS-499 Senior Seminar (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) Intended as a capstone experience in the discipline and designed to engage students in their final year in the comprehensive study of a major question or issue confronting the discipline of political science. Prerequisites: PS101 or PS102 or PS222 and senior standing and three additional Political Science courses or departmental permission.
PS-TUT Political Science Teaching Assistant (Variable; Variable; 1.00-3.00 Credits; S) See Tutorial in the catalog.