This select group of students will take the following introductory courses together in their first year:
First Year Seminar: Society & Its Discontents - Instructor: Dr. John Parrish
What is “society,” and what should it be? That question, in different forms, lies at the heart of many of the central works of Western political philosophy. In this course we will focus on five such texts: Thomas More’s Utopia, John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, the social and political writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx, and Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition. The course will focus on a set of questions that lie at the intersection of politics, economics, and ethics: “How should we divide labor?”, “How should we govern ourselves?”, and “How should we live?”
POLS 135 – U.S. Politics - Instructor: Dr. Jesse Mills
This course examines the functioning of the governing system by focusing on some of the major controversies surrounding politics in the United States. Over the semester we examine: the founding period, whether the government functions effectively, racism in America, gay rights, the quality of media coverage, the role of money in politics, the war against Iraq, the fight against terrorism, corporate corruption, the power of the Supreme Court, the treatment of low wage workers, the prison incarceration rate, the success of the criminal justice system, to name only some of the controversies. Many of these issues will be brought up with the hope of illuminating some of the central criticisms and strengths of U.S. government.
POLS 198 – Political Science Learning Community - Instructor: Dr. Chris Zepeda-Millán
This series of two courses provides students with the opportunity to get to know Professors in the department and their areas of specialization and research interests. Students will also learn about internships and career opportunities in the field of political science, become familiar with the resources available on campus for success as a Political Science major, and develop good academic habits.
POLS 165 - International Relations - Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Ramos
This course is an introduction to international relations. It provides a framework for analyzing state behavior and political phenomena in world politics. The course focuses understanding how and why states some times cooperate and some times find themselves in conflict, the influence of international institutions, the origins of terrorism and mechanisms of counterterrorism, and finally human rights. Broadly speaking, it addresses the questions of how things happen in the international system and why.
POLS 210 - Empirical Approaches - Instructor: Dr. Chris Zepeda-Millán
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the Social and Behavioral Science Approach to the study of politics. The predominant emphasis will be upon the Scientific Method as a general model of inquiry for the understanding of political behavior. In a sense, this course is an initiation to the scientific study of politics for political science majors who will be taking their first steps as researchers and be using the results of political science research conducted by others.
POLS 198 – Political Science Learning Community
The second semester in this series will help students to develop strong academic skills while exploring a variety of future career possibilities. Students will also have the opportunity to organize departmental events this semester.
Students in the learning community will participate in exciting activities that may include trips to a variety of hot-spots in Los Angeles.
Director of the Program
Dr. Chris Zepeda-Millán