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Important Information About Political Science Courses for 2013-14

Posted on April 4, 2013

The Department of Political Science is reviewing and revising its curriculum. Therefore we have changed the numbers of two required courses, and will be experimenting with some new courses in the Fall of 2013. We also have some information about our likely courses in the Spring of 2014, which may be of interest as you plan your Fall courses.

Two Required Courses Renumbered:

First, We Have Changed the Numbers for the Introduction to Comparative Politics and Introduction to International Relations courses. They are now POSC 160 (Comparative) and POSC 172 (International Relations). They are still required for the major, and if you already took the courses under the old numbers, they will count.

Second, we no longer require “two 200-level courses” for the major. Instead, we require 160 and 172. This gives us more flexibility to create courses at the 200-level (and accept transfers at that level). We think it would make sense to have a small set of courses at that level, both for our majors and because students who want to try out a POSC course might hesitate to do a 300-level course. So in the Fall we will pilot one new 200-level course, which I will teach.

Unfortunately there is a catch: we have not completed our review and so have not made the changes that explain how POSC 201 would count towards the 30 credits you need for the major. As department chair and the person teaching the course, I expect we will work it out eventually – but I have to admit there is some uncertainty. If you have questions, please contact me directly.

Third, we have created four new courses. Short descriptions of each are in the course descriptions document. One is POSC 201, Politics: Participation and Power, by Professor White. You can learn more about this course by clicking here (PDF). Professor Schroeder will be piloting POSC 353/453: Political Thought and Political Change in China MWF 2:00 – 2:50 p.m. You can learn more about this course by clicking here. Professor McMann will be piloting POSC 356/456, Transitions to Democracy; and Professor Posner will teach POSC 370N/470N on The Great Financial Crisis.

Departmental Seminars:

The departmental seminars for Fall, 2013 will be POSC 349, Political Science Research Methods, taught by Professor Buchler; and POSC 370M, Theories of Political Economy, taught by Professor Lavelle.

If that choice doesn’t excite you and you’re wondering what will come up next: the tentative plan for Spring of 2014 is to offer Professor Moore’s POSC 380, The State and War in the Middle East, and my POSC 385, Bureaucratic Politics.

Next Spring

Although I was required to submit a tentative Spring, 2014 roster already, I expect there will be changes. For now I expect POSC 109 to be taught by Professor Buchler; POSC 160 by Professor McHale; and POSC 172 by Professor Moore. 380 and 385 are the Department Seminars for now.

Uncertainties

The world is uncertain, so I apologize in advance if something changes. If we get another huge entering class, we may have to divert one faculty member to offering another SAGES First Seminar; I have no idea whom that would be.

In Conclusion…

Regardless of the uncertainties we have a really extensive set of what I hope will be interesting courses for the Fall. I hope everyone will find many that they enjoy.

Best regards
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy
Department Chair
April 4, 2013

Page last modified: January 30, 2015