Political Science

Undergraduate Programs

Majors

Program Locations Total Credits
Political Science BA BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • Mankato
120
Political Science BS BS - Bachelor of Science
  • Mankato
120

Minors

Program Locations Total Credits
Political Science Minor
18
Public Administration Minor
18

Policies & Faculty

Policies

Admission to Major is granted by the department. Minimum university admission requirements are:

  • a minimum of 32 earned semester credit hours.
  • a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 (“C”).

Contact the department for application procedures.

Students must consult with the program advisor who will approve and file the program of courses selected and approve changes in the program.

The combination of a Political Science major and Public Administration minor is not allowed.

Minimum Credit Requirement for BA. All students (including transfer students) majoring in Political Science must take a minimum of 15 credits of Political Science courses at Minnesota State Mankato before graduation with BA in Political Science.

Minimum Credit Requirement for BS. All students (including transfer students) majoring in Political Science must take a minimum of 15 credits of Political Science courses at Minnesota State Mankato before graduation with BS in Political Science.

Minimum Credit Requirement for Political Science Minor. All students (including transfer students) minoring in Political Science must take a minimum of 9 credits of Political Science courses at Minnesota State Mankato before graduation.

Minimum Credit Requirement for Public Administration Minor. All students (including transfer students) minoring in Public Administration must take a minimum of 9 credits of Political Science courses at Minnesota State Mankato before graduation.

Credit Limits:

  • No more than six (6) credit hours of POL 491 (Internship) may be counted (as Unrestricted Elective credit) toward completing the Political Science major.
  • No more than six (6) credit hours taken toward completing the Political Science minor can be counted toward completing the International Relations major. 
  • No more than six (6) credit hours taken toward completing the International Relations major can be counted toward completing the Political Science major.
  • No more than six (6) credit hours taken toward completing the International Relations minor can be counted toward completing the Political Science major.

GPA Policy. Students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 in the Political Science major AND must earn a “C-” or better for all courses in the Political Science major.

Pass/No Credit Policy. With the exception of internship credits, which must be taken on a P/N basis, no more than one-fourth of the credits in a political science major or minor may be taken as P/N. Internship credits will not be counted as part of the one-fourth limitation, but will be subtracted from the total hours required for the major or minor prior to the computation of the one-fourth limitation.

Contact Information

109 Morris Hall

Office (507) 389-2721
https://sbs.mnsu.edu/government/pscience/

Faculty

100 Level

Credits: 3

Study of the nature of politics and government and their influence on society and human behavior.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-05

Credits: 3

Combine study with action to remake yourself into a democratic citizen. Consider your beliefs, debate issues and learn political skills. Integrate these in practical public work on a real issue or project in a student group or community organization.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-09, GE-11

Credits: 3

This course is designed to help you to read, think and write critically about important concepts and issues in the study and practice of politics. It is intended to acquaint you with some of the great debates in political thought, increase your understanding of how political systems work and help you to develop your research and writing skills.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-02

Credits: 3

Rejoin the political debates of 1787 to understand the US Constitution. Compare the founding document with amendments, later usage and Supreme Court interpretations. Examine controversies over the meaning of the Constitution using the methods of political philosophers, historians, and legal scholars.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-05

Credits: 3

This introductory course examines key concepts and issues in contemporary world politics. It is a survey course covering topics including political culture, the political impact of economic globalization, the changing role of the state, nationality and ethnic identity, and issues of oppression and empowerment.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-08

Credits: 3

Become informed enough to play your part in governing the United States. Start by learning about the Constitution, our rights and freedoms, how the national government works and the opportunities and challenges of citizen influence. Political Science methods, and the challenges of citizenship are emphasized.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-05, GE-09

200 Level

Credits: 1-3

Various topics of current interest. Topics covered in the past include political corruption, contemporary ideologies, revolution, understanding the United States Constitution, political films. Course may be taken more than once for credit.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Elementary analytical concepts and basic techniques for understanding and doing research in political science.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

An introduction to the dynamics of interactions among sovereign states and other global actors.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

The course is intended to prepare students to participate in the model UN. Students learn about issues before the UN and acquire a variety of communication and negotiating skills as they model the role of ambassadors.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-08, GE-1B

Credits: 3

This course is designed to acquaint undergraduates with the data and methods of comparative politics. Approaches to the study of comparative politics may include country studies, regional studies, global surveys focusing on specific policy areas or other issues, and general comparative theory.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

A survey of the topics relative to administration in the public sector, including the history of public administration, organization theory, leadership and management, human resources management, budgeting and finance, policy analysis, program evaluation, and government regulation.

Prerequisites: none

300 Level

Credits: 3

A survey of Western political philosophy from Plato through the Conciliar Movement. An examination of the origin and development of basic concepts defining the relationship between the person and the state: human nature, community, authority, power, legitimacy, obligation, accountability, government, liberty and personal responsibility.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

A survey of Western political philosophy from Machiavelli through Edmund Burke. An examination of the development of ideas about government from the 15th Century through the 18th Century. Emphasis is placed on origins of political authority, purposes for which government exists, relationships between government authority and individual rights, civic virtue, republicanism and democracy.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

A survey of Western political philosophy from Hegel through the post-modernist writers. An examination of 19th and 20th Century political philosophers emphasizing German transcendentalism, utilitarianism, economic determinism, state socialism, neoliberism, communitarianism and post-modernism.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Students learn about active citizenship from readings and discussions on the theory and practice of democracy. Students should become more motivated to participate, feel a greater sense of empowerment, improve political skills, and to better understand and appreciate democracy.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

An overview of the budgetary and fiscal processes of public budgeting, including the politics surrounding public budgeting and fiscal policy decisions.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Institutions, processes, intergovernmental relations, and politics of U.S. state and local governments.

Prerequisites: none

400 Level

Credits: 1-4

This course explores topics in political philosophy beyond what is covered in the existing curriculum. Students study specialized topics of current importance in the field. Specific topics will change depending on the term and instructor. May be retaken with change of topic.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Political thought in the United States from the colonial period to the Civil War. Puritans, American revolution, republicanism, debate over United States Constitution, Jacksonian Democracy, Thoreau, reformers and religious and secular utopias, womens' rights, states' rights, abolitionism, proslavery.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Political thought in United States from reconstruction to present. Controversies over industrial capitalism: Social Darwinism, Utopian Socialism, Populism, Socialism, Progressivism. Women's Rights, suffrage movement and contemporary feminism; African American political thought: liberalism; conservatism.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course introduces students to the political philosophies of major thinkers from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The course is designed to enhance students' analytical and writing skills.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course explores topics in political participation and behavior beyond what is covered in the existing curriculum. Students study specialized topics of current importance in the field. Specific topics will change depending on the term and instructor. May be retaken with a change of topic.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Elections in the United States at the federal, state and local levels. Election law, history, factors affecting elections, voting behavior, campaign finance, role of parties and groups, campaign strategy and tactics. Analysis of contemporary elections.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Political parties at United States, state, local levels. Cross-national comparisons. Decline and revival of parties. What parties do. Is the two party system the best? Are third parties the answer? Party organization. Voting behavior. Legislative, executive parties. Minnesota focus.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Politics impact on women: women's impact on politics and governance; primary focus on United States but some comparative considerations.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

History, philosophy, techniques and countermeasures to terroristic and low intensity threats to public order. Both domestic and international terror. The blurring of the lines between low intensity conflict/terrorism and multinational high intensity crime. Same as LAWE 438

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Racial and ethnic minorities in U.S. politics. Public opinion on racial issues, minority representation, race (partisanship and voting behavior), and racial issues (affirmative action, school busing, immigration).

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Applications of psychological concepts to politics. Intergroup relations, stereotyping, political authoritarianism, presidential character and psychology, foreign policy decision-making, political tolerance, and mass violence and genocide.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

This course explores topics in international relations beyond what is covered in the existing curriculum. Students study specialized topics of current importance in the field. Specific topics will change depending on the term and instructor. May be retaken with a change of topic.

Prerequisites: POL 231

Credits: 3

An advanced theoretical survey of the dynamics of politics and political change at the global level.

Prerequisites: POL 231

Credits: 3

Study of the function and process of the United Nations and other international organizations.

Prerequisites: POL 231

Credits: 3

This course is a general overview of US foreign policy institutions, processes, and politics. U.S. foreign policy is examined in historical, global and domestic contexts.

Prerequisites: POL 231

Credits: 3

This course explores the interaction of the three complex contemporary political and socioeconomic phenomena: the continuing expansion of global capitalism, the rise of nationalism(s), and the new wave of democratization around the world. The following topics are covered and discussed in class, with references to specific country and regional examples, (1) the impact of international economic institutions and democratization, (2) new forms of political participation in emerging democracies, (3) cultural and ethnic determinants of democratization, (4) problems of economic inequality in new democracies, (5) social and gender issues of democratic transitions, and (6) the relationship between democratic expansion and world peace. Course format will be lecture, discussion, student presentations and occasional films.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 3

Focusing on patterns, processes, and problems of international trade, monetary, technological, and investment relations, this course examines the roles played by key government organizations in managing conflict and cooperation among states.

Prerequisites: POL 231

Credits: 3

This interdisciplinary proseminar focuses on conflict resolution in the international arena. We will discuss causes of conflict, examine approaches to the study of conflict resolution, and analyze the varieties of nonviolent strategies of conflict resolution, emphasizing third party mediation.

Prerequisites: POL 231

Credits: 3

An overview of the international relations of East Asia, the course examines cooperation and conflict among major powers in the area: China, Japan and the United States. Topics include Japan's pre-WWII expansionism, China's political transformation and North Korea's nuclear controversy. Fall, Spring

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course offers a cross-national perspective on the politics of social policy and the welfare state in industrialized parts of the world, including North and South America and different regions of Europe. It also explores distinct national patterns of public policy solutions to the common contemporary problems of social security, poverty, and health care by paying close attention to both domestic factors and the forces of globalization that work to constrain government decisions. This multidimensional approach is designed to enable students to better understand how politics work in different ways to produce collective or social choices.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 1-4

This course explores topics in comparative politics beyond what is covered in the existing curriculum. Students study specialized topics of current importance in the field. Specific topics will change depending on the term and instructor. May be retaken with a change of topic.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 3

This course focuses on the Russian political system in relation to domestic social and economic environments and also on the role of Russia as a global actor. It examines the post communist transformation in Russia and other former Soviet republics.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 3

This course introduces students to the governments and politics of the South Asian countries. The historical and cultural context of politics are explored, as well as contemporary issues.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 3

This class explores the dynamics that determine politics and effect change in the region. Using a comparative perspective for the major countries in the region, we examine such issues as Islam, nationalism, resources, regional conflicts, impact of the international system, and political development.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 3

This course includes a detailed analysis of select countries and theoretical concerns in Latin American studies. Its general goal is to provide students with the knowledge of Latin American politics and societies in both regional and comparative contexts.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 3

Survey of the political processes, governmental institutions and policies of the countries of the Asian Pacific Rim, with special emphasis on China, Japan and the newly industrializing states of Southeast Asia.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 3

This course is designed to acquaint undergraduate and graduate students with key concepts and issues in the study of African politics. The historical and cultural context of politics is explored, as well as topics of current importance in the field.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 3

This course discusses government institutions, political developments, and policymaking structures of contemporary Europe, including the former communist countries of East/Central Europe and the Balkans. It will also cover the ongoing process of European integration (European Union) and democratization of the former Soviet bloc countries. Some of the topics covered will include: elections, party systems, federalism and devolution, ethnic and minority policy, social policy, economic reforms, gender and politics, and cross-Atlantic relations with the US.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 3

This course introduces students to key issues and concepts in the study of political and economic development. Both theoretical approaches and empirical data are presented. The course is also designed to enhance students' analytical and research skills.

Prerequisites: POL 241

Credits: 3

A comparison of criminal justice philosophies, structures, and procedures found in various countries around the world. Same as LAWE 434

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

This course explores topics in public law beyond what is covered in the existing curriculum. Students study specialized topics of current importance in the field. Specific topics will change depending on the term and instructor. May be retaken with a change of topic.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Legal procedures by which state and federal administrative agencies exercise legislative, judicial and executive powers. Emphasis is placed on the constitutional position of administrative agencies, the rule making process, the power of agencies to decide rights and obligations concerning individual cases, and judicial control of administrative action.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Review of selected U.S. Supreme Court decisions relating to the powers of the President, Congress and the Judiciary, as well as the division of power between the states and the federal government. Focus is on case briefing, underlying rationales, and the development of individual analytical abilities.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Review of selected U.S. Supreme Court decisions interpreting areas such as substantive due process, abortion, speech, press, religion, and equal protection. Focus is on the rationale which underlies decisions and the development of individual analytical abilities. Same as LAWE 436

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course examines major schools in American legal thought from the dawn of the 20th century to the present day. Our focus will lie with turn-of-the century formalism; legal realism; the legal process school; law and economics; and critical legal studies. We will apply legal reasoning from these schools to selected controversial 20th-century Supreme Court cases on church-state issues, gay and lesbian rights, privacy rights, criminal defendants' rights and other issues as appropriate.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

This course explores topics in public policy and public administration beyond what is covered in the existing curriculum. Students study specialized topics of current importance in the field. Specific topics will change depending on the term and instructor. May be retaken with a change of topic.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Politics of the natural environment (U.S. focus). Environmental and opposition values; roles of public opinion, Congress, presidency and courts in environmental policy making. Policy areas include: air/water pollution, climate change, hazardous/nuclear waste, sustainable development, and commons problems like overfishing.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

A broadly based introduction to the issues, processes, and techniques of public sector labor relations.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

The development of public personnel management in federal, state and local governments; strategic planning and policy making, position management, staffing, performance management, workplace relations.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

This course explores topics in political institutions and process beyond what is covered in the existing curriculum. Students study specialized topics of current importance in the field. Specific topics will change depending on the term and instructor. May be retaken with a change of topic.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

This course examines public opinion in American politics. Topics include the definition, nature and consequences of public opinion; political socialization; public opinion on selected issues; intergroup differences in public opinion, and public opinion polling methods.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

United States Congress and state legislatures, with some cross-national comparisons. Legislative structure, powers; districting, elections, representation, constituency relations; committee system, parties, law-making process, rules and procedure, decision-making, relations with executives and courts. Reforms.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

Examination of executive politics in United States at a federal and state level, with some cross-national comparisons. United States presidency and executive branch, governors and state executive branches, mayors, and other local executives.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

An examination of the structure, jurisdiction and processes of federal and state courts. Also studied are judicial decision-making, the selection of judges and justices. Same as LAWE 437.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

The course examines politics in the American South. It examines the historical and cultural roots of Southern distinctiveness, traditionalistic political culture, racial conflicts, hostility toward organized labor, religious fundamentalism, tolerance of state violence, and social and moral conservatism. Major attention is paid to the realignment of white Southerners toward the Republican Party.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-6

Selected topics. May be repeated with change of topic.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-12

Field placement with a governmental agency or related organization. Provides a learning experience in which the student can integrate and apply knowledge and theory derived from curriculum. P/N only.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-5

Advanced study and research on topics not currently available in existing courses. May be repeated with a change of topic. Requires advisor and instructor approval of topic.

Prerequisites: none