North Central College - Naperville, IL

Political Science Courses

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

PSC 101 Introduction to American Government (3.00)
Introduction to American politics, the Constitution, Congress, Presidency, political parties, interest groups, and principal contemporary problems of the U.S. government. Satisfies teacher certification requirements in Illinois and the U.S. Constitution. Core: Social Science.

PSC 102 Introduction to International Relations (3.00)
Trends in international relations from both a theoretical and practical perspective through the examination of power, diplomacy, morality, international law, and organization. Core: Social Science.

PSC 103 Introduction to Law (3.00)
The role of law in shaping values and controlling society examined through the humanities and social sciences, including literature, ethics, history, politics, philosophy, and sociology. Topics include origins and nature of law, law and social change, and uses of precedent. Students participate in legal arguments. Core: Social Science.

PSC 200 Theories of Political Science (3.00)
Examination of politics as studied by political scientists including the major political ideas and theories that are the purview of the field, such as the meaning of the state, power, realism and idealism. Core: Social Science.

PSC 201 Practices of Political Science (3.00)
A continuation of PSC 200 in which the focus is on understanding and applying the tools of political science research including quantitative analysis, survey design, assessment, and research ethics. Prerequisite: PSC 200. Core: Social Science.

PSC 210 Chicago Politics (3.00)
This course focuses on the genesis and development of politics Chicago style. It examines important political figures, the struggle for political inclusion of immigrants and African-Americans, and political competition in the ward system. It examines key historical events in Chicago's political history such as the Haymarket Riots, and the elections of Oscar DePriest, Jane Byrne, and Harold Washington. Political corruption is also a key concern of this course. Prerequisite: PSC 101.

PSC 211 American Presidency (3.00)
In-depth study of the President's constitutional and political power. Special attention to decision-making styles, the war power, presidential character, relations with the media and the public, and crises such as the Cuban missile crisis, Watergate, and the Iran-Contra affair. Prerequisite: PSC 101. Core: Social Science.

PSC 212 American Congress (3.00)
Focus on how Congress works, including characteristics of members, staff, committees, procedures, and debates. Student research examples: Clean Air Act, Iran-Contra hearings, Rules Committee, President-Congress relations. Prerequisite: PSC 101. Core: Social Science.

PSC 213 Elections and Campaigns (3.00)
The roles of parties, voters, and the media in elections and the political process, including local, state, and national races. Attention to social, economic, and psychological factors affecting voting patterns. Fieldwork in campaigns is encouraged. Prerequisite: PSC 101. Core: Social Science.

PSC 214 American Political Parties and Interest Groups (3.00)
This course provides an in-depth examination of American political parties and organized interest groups. We explore the interrelationship among such groups and discuss the importance of group activity, representation of constituencies and organization, as well as the role of parties and interest groups in elections. Prerequisite: PSC 101. Core: Social Science.

PSC 215 Political Behavior and Public Opinion (3.00)
An examination of the theoretical and applied aspects of opinion formation, measurement, and expression in several Western democracies. Students explore modern polling techniques and engage in hands-on activities using the tools that social scientists use to analyze public opinion and to explain and predict political behavior. Prerequisite: PSC 101. Core: Social Science.

PSC 221 Comparative Politics (3.00)
A comparative approach to the major political systems in the world such as parliamentary, totalitarian, and democratic. Typical countries include Russia, Japan, China, Great Britain, and France. Prerequisite: PSC 101.

PSC 222 American Foreign Policy (3.00)
Dynamics of the U.S. foreign policy decision-making process examined from the perspectives of the President, Congress, and public opinion; special attention to the evolution of the U.S. role as a great power since World War II. Prerequisite: PSC 101.

PSC 230 Mock Trial I: Techniques and Procedures (3.00)
Introduction to the rules, procedures, and case materials of the American Mock Trial Association in preparation for invitational, regional, and national competition. Instructor consent required.

PSC 231 Mock Trial II: Competition Practicum (2.00)
Preparation for and participation in Mock Trial tournament competition. May be taken up to three times for credit. Instructor consent required.

PSC 241 Philosophy of Law (3.00)
An introduction to the concept of law, including topics such as the nature of law, liberty and law, justice, legal responsibility, punishment, and theories of legal interpretation. Same as: PHL 241. Prerequisite: PSC 103 or a PHL course. Core: Humanities.

PSC 290 Topics in Politics (3.00)
An examination of a current topical political issue in politics, such as religion and politics or political corruption, in a seminar style format. Students conduct an analysis of the topic using primary documents and scholarly sources.

PSC 295 Research Practicum (0.50-3.00)
Students work in collaboration with faculty on ongoing research. Activities vary according to project needs and student background, but may include recruitment of participants, data collection, data coding and entry, bibliography construction, literature review, or statistical analysis. Instructor consent required.

PSC 297 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PSC 299 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PSC 312 Women and American Politics (3.00)
Study of women as citizens, candidates, and office holders within the American political system. Topics include, but are not limited to, social movements, electoral politics, and interest group activities. Same as: GWS 312. Prerequisite: PSC 101, GWS 100, or LEV 221. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

PSC 313 Politics of Race, Gender, and Class (3.00)
This course analyzes the interrelationship of race, class, and gender to explore how each has shaped the experiences of all people in the United States. It investigates these interlocking categories of experiences and conceptualizes them as interactive systems, not just as separate features of experience. The underlying perspective of this course is that race, class, and gender are part of the whole fabric of experience for all groups, not just women and people of color. As such, the course focuses on the institutional or structural basis for race, class, and gender relations; the influence of race, class, and gender in shaping social and political policy; the extent to which politics affects our understanding of race, class and gender, and how these categories illuminate or obscure our understanding of contemporary political issues. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

PSC 320 Global Governance (3.00)
The study of international framework of global governance which includes an analysis of the structures, interactions, and operations of actors such as public international organizations like the United Nations and European Union; states; and non-state actors like non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, and epistemic communities. There is also a focus on the continuing issues of global governance including peace and security, human rights, economic development, and the environment. Special emphasis is placed on the creation of a global civil society.

PSC 321 Model United Nations I (3.00)
Preparation for and participation in the American Model United Nations simulation program. Student represent a pre-selected country during three days of debate/diplomacy on current U.N. topics with students from other Midwest colleges. May be taken twice for credit. Prerequisite: PSC 320. Instructor consent required.

PSC 322 Model United Nations II (3.00)
Analysis of political, economic, and social structure of pre-selected countries with an emphasis on foreign policy and participation in Midwest Model United Nations. May be taken twice, with study of different government each time. May be taken concurrently with PSC 321.

PSC 324 International Political Economy (3.00)
Analyses of the problems and prospects challenging the global community at a time of political and economic change through the study of the rules of industrialized countries, former socialist bloc states, and the Third World. Attention is given to the interplay of political and economic power as components of planetary well-being. Same as: ECN 324. Prerequisites: ECN 250, ECN 252; or ECN 100. ACR: Intercultural.

PSC 333 International Law (3.00)
The development and use of international law in the conduct of international relations; special emphasis is placed on such current topics as space law, laws of war, law of the sea, diplomatic immunity, and human rights. Prerequisite: PSC 102.

PSC 335 Constitutional Law (3.00)
Analysis of U.S. Supreme Court opinions, methods of constitutional interpretation, and the philosophy and politics of decision-making. Focus is on powers of the judiciary; President and Congress; federal-state relations; and foreign affairs, war, commerce, taxing, and spending powers. Prerequisites: PSC 101, PSC 103, PSC 200, one other 200-level PSC course.

PSC 336 Civil Rights, Liberties, and Justice (3.00)
Focus on historical and contemporary topics in the area of constitutional litigation, such as free speech, press, religion, reproductive rights, privacy, rights of the criminally accused, and discrimination (race, gender, and sexual orientation). Constitutional litigation is approached from the viewpoint of politics, economics, history, social movements, value conflicts, and leadership. Students assess the leadership role of individuals and groups in promoting and hindering social change. Prerequisite: PSC 101. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

PSC 341 Classics of Political Philosophy (3.00)
A survey of the history of Western political thought. Same as: PHL 341. Prerequisite: One 200-level PSC course or two PHL courses.

PSC 343 Economic and Social Justice (3.00)
A brief introduction to the concept of justice, followed by an examination of the alternative views of distributive justice. Alternatives include the various forms of liberalism (contractarianism, libertarianism, and utilitarianism), Marxism, communitarianism, feminism, and postmodernism. Same as: PHL 343. Prerequisite: One course in PHL, ECN, HST, PSC, or SOA.

PSC 344 Modern and Postmodern Political Thought: Culture and Power (3.00)
This course examines the relationship between culture and power. Culture infuses and constitutes forms of identity, organization, and practice in society, the economy, and politics. It informs the lives of humans in relation to one another and the social system in which they participate. Culture is the process of meaning making that gives rise to attitudes, beliefs, values, and norms. The course outlines some of the central theoretical traditions in the study of cultural meaning making, and examine the relationship between processes of meaning making, power, and domination in social life. Most of the readings make an effort to examine these issues in the context of specific past and present empirical cases in the United States and other societies.

PSC 397 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PSC 399 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PSC 490 Seminar in Political Science (3.00)
Capstone course in political science. Topics change. May include major research paper. Prerequisites: PSC 101, PSC 200, PSC 201, one 300 level PSC course, Senior standing.

PSC 497 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PSC 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.