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Department of Political Science Department of Political Science Department of Political Science Department of Political Science Department of Political Science

College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Political Science

Questions?

William Muck

+1 630 637 5342

wjmuck@noctrl.edu

Are college students apathetic, ignorant, and distrustful about politics?  We don’t think so!

We've learned that students want to know how to tell lies from the truth and where to find unbiased information so they can make informed choices on issues that affect the present and the future.

As a political science student, you’ll study

  • The meaning, distribution and use of political and economic power
  • How individuals and groups influence government decisions and world affairs
  • Topics like liberty, equality, justice and how societies organize and govern themselves

Working together, we'll develop skills critical to your future, like:

  •  Analytical reading
  •  Precise writing
  • The ability to ask relevant and insightful questions
  • How to conduct basic and advanced research
  • How to think independently
  • How to work with and lead a group 

Political science prepares you for careers in such fields as law, government, business, education, and journalism; for graduate study and research; and for citizenship in a complex world.

Our graduates have gone on to become DuPage County States' Attorney; lawyers in private and public practice, including advocates before the state appellate and supreme courts; professionals in both public and non-governmental international organizations; staff members of both state and congressional legislators; and teachers and college professors.

Political Science, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Political Science.

Major Requirements

A minimum of 32 credit hours, including:

  • POLS 101 - The American Political System

    POLS 101 - The American Political System

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the fundamental ideas, actors, and institutions that make up the American political system. We examine the legal and structural basis of our government, evaluate the institutions that carry out its day-to-day functions, and analyze the role the individual citizen can play in influencing governmental policy. For each subject, we engage with some of the leading perspectives in political science; we also incorporate current events and our personal experiences. This course also includes a community-engaged learning component, allowing students the opportunity to put into practice the theories they have learned in the classroom.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures, Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    4.00 credit hours

    An introductory look at the variety of concepts, issues, debates, ideologies, and theoretical perspectives that have traditionally defined the discipline of International Relations. In particular, the course examines core issues such as international conflict, cooperation, globalization, international law, human rights, economic development, poverty, and terrorism. A great deal of time is devoted to exploring the dominant theoretical perspective of the field including realism, liberalism, Marxism, constructivism, and feminism.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 200 - Scope and Practice of Political Science

    POLS 200 - Scope and Practice of Political Science

    4.00 credit hours

    What does it mean to think, research, and write like a political scientist? Using rigorous methods and theoretical approaches, political science examines curiosities about the institutions, practices, and relations that shape the political world. This course introduces students to the scientific study of politics, covering the basics of research design and practice including the ways in which data and theory intersect, and how political scientists conceptualize, measure, and test relationships of interest in the discipline. For example, why are some social movements more effective than others? What explains the rise in partisan polarization over time? What are the causes of war? By the end of the term, students approach questions like these using the scientific method.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Sophomore standing.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Writing Intensive.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 490 - Seminar in Political Science

    POLS 490 - Seminar in Political Science

    4.00 credit hours

    Capstone course in political science in which senior political science majors draw upon their training to approach and explain political phenomena. Students apply their knowledge and skills as political scientists to tackle real-world political problems by employing existing research, social science methodology, and data.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Senior standing.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Ethical Dimensions.

    Schedule Of Classes

Electives

The remaining credit hour requirements must include at least one course from each of the following areas:

American Politics
  • POLS 211 - The Politics of the Presidency

    POLS 211 - The Politics of the Presidency

    4.00 credit hours

    From George Washington to Donald Trump, we examine of the history and evolution of the Office of the President, as well as the roles and approaches of the officeholder. We take a theoretical, rather than historical, approach to understand presidential selection and powers, the president's relationships with other actors, and the role of the electorate in presidential politics. This examination lends itself to answer one central questions: Have U.S presidents become the Green Lantern?

    Prerequisite(s)

    POLS 101.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science.
    iCon(s)
    Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 212 - Congress: the Least Popular Branch

    POLS 212 - Congress: the Least Popular Branch

    4.00 credit hours

    As the branch with the most constitutional authority, and the lowest approval rating, Congress is misunderstood. The Least Popular Branch provides a thorough introduction to the beautifully flawed U.S. Congress. Examination of themes in the literature on Congress include: the development of Congress, member's motivation for reelection, congressional elections, the role of parties and committees, extreme polarization, the changing legislative process, and the relationship between Congress and the branches of government and other actors.

    Prerequisite(s)

    POLS 101.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science.
    iCon(s)
    Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 215 - Public Opinion and Political Behavior

    POLS 215 - Public Opinion and Political Behavior

    4.00 credit hours

    This course examines public opinion and political behavior in contemporary American politics. The course will cover topics like: how to conceptualize and measure public opinion, where opinions "come from," the nature of opinion about several salient issues, and whether public opinion affects policy making or political behavior. Students will reflect on debates about the "competence" of the public and how much public opinion should affect public policy, as well as become savvier consumers of public opinion data.

    Prerequisite(s)

    POLS 101.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 220 - First Ladies: Symbol American Womanhoood

    POLS 220 - First Ladies: Symbol American Womanhoood

    4.00 credit hours

    A theoretical examination of the evolving role of the first lady from party hostess to policy advocate. While discussions of first ladies have often been relegated to internal dynamics of their relationships with their husbands, redecorating, and clothing, we will dive into the nuanced job of the first lady by reading the scholarship, while scant, on the progressing role of the first lady. Specific attention is paid to particular first ladies who have made significant impacts in the way the first lady is expected to behave.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 224 - Political Psychology

    POLS 224 - Political Psychology

    2.00 credit hours

    This course offers an introduction to the application of psychological theories and methodology to the study of government and politics. Topics include elite decision-making, mass political attitudes, voting behavior, genetics, and psychophysiological approaches to political science research.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 310 - The American Electoral Process

    POLS 310 - The American Electoral Process

    4.00 credit hours

    It's complicated. However, by emphasizing how American political institutions shape the behavior of voters, candidates, parties, interest groups, and the media, students come to understand the outcomes of elections in the United States.

    Prerequisite(s)

    POLS 101.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Engaging Civic Life, Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 312 - Women in American Politics

    POLS 312 - Women in American Politics

    4.00 credit hours

    If women have now surpassed men in both number of total Americans as well as percent of the electorate that votes, why do women comprise such a small portion of all of those who hold political power? The position of women in the American political system has evolved over time from being left out of the Constitution, to the suffragist moment, to the equal rights movement, the Lily Ledbetter Act, to Hillary Clinton's historic run for the presidency. Nonetheless, there are structural components of the American society and political system that have created disequilibrium between men and women. We examine the institutional, psychological, economic, and sociocultural causes and effects of such disequilibrium.

    Prerequisite(s)

    POLS 101.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

World Politics
  • POLS 221 - Comparative Politics

    POLS 221 - Comparative Politics

    4.00 credit hours

    An introductory look at the concepts, ideologies, and methodology that define the field of Comparative Politics. The course will provide a comparative analysis of the various institutions of governance around the world and how those institutions structure state behavior. Comparative Politics seeks to understand different forms of government by comparing them to one another. We will also investigate key topics such as the state, political culture, ethnicity, nationalism, authoritarianism & totalitarianism, democracy, development, globalization and political violence.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 222 - American Foreign Policy

    POLS 222 - American Foreign Policy

    4.00 credit hours

    This course offers a general introduction to the history, traditions and theories of American foreign policy. The course highlights the evolution of American foreign policy since World War II exploring the crucial decisions that shaped the current geopolitical environment. We will examine the ways domestic politics, public opinion, the media, presidential leadership and other factors have impact the conduct of American foreign policy. Specific emphasis is placed on contemporary challenges facing the United States, such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, the rise of China, North Korea, and Russia.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 300 - Great Decisions in International Politics

    POLS 300 - Great Decisions in International Politics

    4.00 credit hours

    A comparative case study analysis of the decision making process for three seminal events in international politics. The course explores the causal dynamics behind the origins of World War I, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the 2003 Iraq war decision. Students learn the core components of qualitative research through the collection and review of archive research materials. The objective of the course is to develop the knowledge and skill set for evaluating foreign policy decision making in theory and practice.

    Prerequisite(s)

    POLS 102.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 321 - Model United Nations

    POLS 321 - Model United Nations

    2.00 credit hours

    The course explores the procedural and political dynamics of the United Nations as it confronts the political, economic and cultural challenges facing the international community. The class provides an introduction to the history and structure of the United Nations as well as an intense case study of the country assigned to the NCC delegation. Students will learn to be diplomats and advocate for the interests of their country. The course culminates with students participating in the National Model United Nations simulation in New York City.

    Prerequisite(s)

    POLS 102.

    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 333 - International Law

    POLS 333 - International Law

    4.00 credit hours

    An exploration of the basic concepts and problems of public international law and of the international legal system.The course will explore the central question of whether international law is useful for ordering the international system. Topics will include the sources and subjects of international law, the jurisdiction of states, the use of force, the relationship between international law and the internal law of states, the international law of human rights and international criminal law.

    Prerequisite(s)

    POLS 102.

    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

Law and Courts
  • POLS 203 - Law, Politics, and Society

    POLS 203 - Law, Politics, and Society

    4.00 credit hours

    Traditional approaches to studying the law emphasize skills like advocating for a client or drafting a legal document. This class takes a different approach by providing an exploration of law's relationship to contemporary society. To do this, we will consider how law shapes, and is shaped by, the political, social, and cultural contexts in which it exists. This course examines a variety of topics, including: the development of the legal system of the United States, the varied approaches to studying the "law," and the relationship between those who make, adjudicate, and directly experience the law in everyday life.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 335 - Constitutional Law

    POLS 335 - Constitutional Law

    4.00 credit hours

    Introduction to constitutional law, with an emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of Articles I, II, and III. This means that the course will cover how the nation's Court of last resort has helped shape the powers of and constraints on the three branches of our federal government. Students will also discuss and analyze topics like: the development of law surrounding the separation of powers, congressional power over the commerce clause, and the creation and demise of the concept of substantive due process.

    Prerequisite(s)

    POLS 101 or POLS 203.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 336 - Rights, Liberties, and Justice

    POLS 336 - Rights, Liberties, and Justice

    4.00 credit hours

    Introduction to civil liberties and civil rights. We will focus primarily on the decisions of the Supreme Court in areas of religion, speech, privacy, criminal procedure, and discrimination. Along the way, we will discuss the historical development of constitutional civil rights and liberties and the politics of Supreme Court decision-making. Students will learn the major legal doctrines governing civil liberties and civil rights, as well as develop a better understanding of the process of Supreme Court decision-making.

    Prerequisite(s)

    POLS 101 or POLS 203.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures,
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Political Science Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Political Science.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours, including:

  • POLS 101 - The American Political System

    POLS 101 - The American Political System

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the fundamental ideas, actors, and institutions that make up the American political system. We examine the legal and structural basis of our government, evaluate the institutions that carry out its day-to-day functions, and analyze the role the individual citizen can play in influencing governmental policy. For each subject, we engage with some of the leading perspectives in political science; we also incorporate current events and our personal experiences. This course also includes a community-engaged learning component, allowing students the opportunity to put into practice the theories they have learned in the classroom.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures, Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    4.00 credit hours

    An introductory look at the variety of concepts, issues, debates, ideologies, and theoretical perspectives that have traditionally defined the discipline of International Relations. In particular, the course examines core issues such as international conflict, cooperation, globalization, international law, human rights, economic development, poverty, and terrorism. A great deal of time is devoted to exploring the dominant theoretical perspective of the field including realism, liberalism, Marxism, constructivism, and feminism.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally

    Schedule Of Classes

Electives

A minimum of 12 credit hours of Political Science, with at least four credit hours at the 300-level.

 

POLS 101 - The American Political System

4.00 credit hoursAn introduction to the fundamental ideas, actors, and institutions that make up the American political system. We examine the legal and structural basis of our government, evaluate the institutions that carry out its day-to-day functions, and analyze the role the individual citizen can play in influencing governmental policy. For each subject, we engage with some of the leading perspectives in political science; we also incorporate current events and our personal experiences. This course also includes a community-engaged learning component, allowing students the opportunity to put into practice the theories they have learned in the classroom. 

Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, U.S. Power Structures, Community Engaged Learning.
iCon(s): Engaging Civic Life.

 

POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

4.00 credit hoursAn introductory look at the variety of concepts, issues, debates, ideologies, and theoretical perspectives that have traditionally defined the discipline of International Relations. In particular, the course examines core issues such as international conflict, cooperation, globalization, international law, human rights, economic development, poverty, and terrorism. A great deal of time is devoted to exploring the dominant theoretical perspective of the field including realism, liberalism, Marxism, constructivism, and feminism. 

Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, Global Understanding.
iCon(s): Thinking Globally

 

POLS 200 - Scope and Practice of Political Science

4.00 credit hoursWhat does it mean to think, research, and write like a political scientist? Using rigorous methods and theoretical approaches, political science examines curiosities about the institutions, practices, and relations that shape the political world. This course introduces students to the scientific study of politics, covering the basics of research design and practice including the ways in which data and theory intersect, and how political scientists conceptualize, measure, and test relationships of interest in the discipline. For example, why are some social movements more effective than others? What explains the rise in partisan polarization over time? What are the causes of war? By the end of the term, students approach questions like these using the scientific method. 

Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing. 
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, Writing Intensive.

 

POLS 203 - Law, Politics, and Society

4.00 credit hoursTraditional approaches to studying the law emphasize skills like advocating for a client or drafting a legal document. This class takes a different approach by providing an exploration of law’s relationship to contemporary society. To do this, we will consider how law shapes, and is shaped by, the political, social, and cultural contexts in which it exists. This course examines a variety of topics, including: the development of the legal system of the United States, the varied approaches to studying the “law,” and the relationship between those who make, adjudicate, and directly experience the law in everyday life. 

Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
iCon(s): Challenging Inequity.

 

POLS 204 - Political & Legal Dimensions Disasters

4.00 credit hoursNatural and manmade disasters are a perennial feature of political life. When a nonroutine event happens - from a hurricane to a terrorist attack to a nuclear accident - political and legal actors and institutions must activate in order to prepare for, respond to, and explain what happened. The costs imposed by disasters have always been high, and these events, while relatively low on the public’s agenda, are constant sources of challenge for politics at all levels. This course will introduce students to the political and legal dimensions of disasters, including: how does politics respond to disasters? What are the main institutions that engage with disaster politics and policies? Who is responsible for harms caused by a disaster, and how has the law evolved in the area of disaster politics? 

Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
iCon(s): Sustaining Our World.

 

POLS 211 - The Politics of the Presidency

4.00 credit hoursFrom George Washington to Donald Trump, we examine of the history and evolution of the Office of the President, as well as the roles and approaches of the officeholder. We take a theoretical, rather than historical, approach to understand presidential selection and powers, the president’s relationships with other actors, and the role of the electorate in presidential politics. This examination lends itself to answer one central questions: Have U.S presidents become the Green Lantern? 

Prerequisite(s): POLS 101
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science.
iCon(s): Engaging Civic Life.

 

POLS 212 - Congress: the Least Popular Branch

4.00 credit hoursAs the branch with the most constitutional authority, and the lowest approval rating, Congress is misunderstood. The Least Popular Branch provides a thorough introduction to the beautifully flawed U.S. Congress. Examination of themes in the literature on Congress include: the development of Congress, member’s motivation for reelection, congressional elections, the role of parties and committees, extreme polarization, the changing legislative process, and the relationship between Congress and the branches of government and other actors. 

Prerequisite(s): POLS 101
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science.
iCon(s): Engaging Civic Life.

 

POLS 215 - Public Opinion and Political Behavior

4.00 credit hoursThis course examines public opinion and political behavior in contemporary American politics. The course will cover topics like: how to conceptualize and measure public opinion, where opinions “come from,” the nature of opinion about several salient issues, and whether public opinion affects policy making or political behavior. Students will reflect on debates about the “competence” of the public and how much public opinion should affect public policy, as well as become savvier consumers of public opinion data. 

Prerequisite(s): POLS 101
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science.

 

POLS 220 - First Ladies: Symbol American Womanhoood

4.00 credit hoursA theoretical examination of the evolving role of the first lady from party hostess to policy advocate. While discussions of first ladies have often been relegated to internal dynamics of their relationships with their husbands, redecorating, and clothing, we will dive into the nuanced job of the first lady by reading the scholarship, while scant, on the progressing role of the first lady. Specific attention is paid to particular first ladies who have made significant impacts in the way the first lady is expected to behave. 

Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.

 

POLS 221 - Comparative Politics

4.00 credit hoursAn introductory look at the concepts, ideologies, and methodology that define the field of Comparative Politics. The course will provide a comparative analysis of the various institutions of governance around the world and how those institutions structure state behavior. Comparative Politics seeks to understand different forms of government by comparing them to one another. We will also investigate key topics such as the state, political culture, ethnicity, nationalism, authoritarianism & totalitarianism, democracy, development, globalization and political violence. 

Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, Global Understanding.
iCon(s): Thinking Globally.

 

POLS 222 - American Foreign Policy

4.00 credit hoursThis course offers a general introduction to the history, traditions and theories of American foreign policy. The course highlights the evolution of American foreign policy since World War II exploring the crucial decisions that shaped the current geopolitical environment. We will examine the ways domestic politics, public opinion, the media, presidential leadership and other factors have impact the conduct of American foreign policy. Specific emphasis is placed on contemporary challenges facing the United States, such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, the rise of China, North Korea, and Russia. 

Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, Global Understanding.
iCon(s): Thinking Globally.

 

POLS 224 - Political Psychology

2.00 credit hoursThis course offers an introduction to the application of psychological theories and methodology to the study of government and politics. Topics include elite decision-making, mass political attitudes, voting behavior, genetics, and psychophysiological approaches to political science research. 

 

POLS 230 - Mock Trial I: Techniques and Procedures

4.00 credit hoursIntroduction to the rules, procedures, and case materials of the American Mock Trial Association in preparation for invitational, regional, and national competition. 

 

POLS 231 - Mock Trial II: Competition Practicum

1.00 credit hoursPreparation for and participation in Mock Trial tournament competition. 

 

POLS 290 - Topics in Political Science

2.00-4.00 credit hoursAn examination of a current topical political issue in politics explored in a seminar style format. Students conduct an analysis of the topic using primary documents and scholarly sources. 

 

POLS 295 - Research Practicum

1.00-4.00 credit hoursStudents 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. This course is graded pass/no pass. May be taken more than once for up to four total credit hours. 

 

POLS 297 - Internship

0.00-12.00 credit hours

 

POLS 299 - Independent Study

1.00-12.00 credit hours

 

POLS 300 - Great Decisions International Politics

4.00 credit hoursA comparative case study analysis of the decision making process for three seminal events in international politics. The course will explore the causal dynamics behind the origins of World War I, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the 2003 Iraq war decision. Students will learn the core components of qualitative research through the collection and review of archive research materials. The objective of the course is to develop the knowledge and skill set for evaluating foreign policy decision making in theory and practice. 

Prerequisite(s): POLS 102
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, Global Understanding.
iCon(s): Thinking Globally.

 

POLS 310 - The American Electoral Process

4.00 credit hoursIt’s complicated. However, by emphasizing how American political institutions shape the behavior of voters, candidates, parties, interest groups, and the media, students come to understand the outcomes of elections in the United States. 

Prerequisite(s): POLS 101
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
iCon(s): Engaging Civic Life, Challenging Inequity.

 

POLS 312 - Women in American Politics

4.00 credit hoursIf women have now surpassed men in both number of total Americans as well as percent of the electorate that votes, why do women comprise such a small portion of all of those who hold political power? The position of women in the American political system has evolved over time from being left out of the Constitution, to the suffragist moment, to the equal rights movement, the Lily Ledbetter Act, to Hillary Clinton’s historic run for the presidency. Nonetheless, there are structural components of the American society and political system that have created disequilibrium between men and women. We examine the institutional, psychological, economic, and sociocultural causes and effects of such disequilibrium. 

Prerequisite(s): POLS 101
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, U.S. Power Structures.
iCon(s): Challenging Inequity.

 

POLS 321 - Model United Nations

2.00 credit hoursThe course explores the procedural and political dynamics of the United Nations as it confronts the political, economic and cultural challenges facing the international community. The class provides an introduction to the history and structure of the United Nations as well as an intense case study of the country assigned to the NCC delegation. Students will learn to be diplomats and advocate for the interests of their country. The course culminates with students participating in the National Model United Nations simulation in New York City. 

Prerequisite(s): POLS 102
iCon(s): Thinking Globally.

 

POLS 333 - International Law

4.00 credit hoursAn exploration of the basic concepts and problems of public international law and of the international legal system.The course will explore the central question of whether international law is useful for ordering the international system. Topics will include the sources and subjects of international law, the jurisdiction of states, the use of force, the relationship between international law and the internal law of states, the international law of human rights and international criminal law. 

Prerequisite(s): POLS 102
iCon(s): Thinking Globally.

 

POLS 335 - Constitutional Law

4.00 credit hoursIntroduction to constitutional law, with an emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of Articles I, II, and III. This means that the course will cover how the nation’s Court of last resort has helped shape the powers of and constraints on the three branches of our federal government. Students will also discuss and analyze topics like: the development of law surrounding the separation of powers, congressional power over the commerce clause, and the creation and demise of the concept of substantive due process. 

Prerequisite(s): POLS 101 or POLS 203
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science.

 

POLS 336 - Rights, Liberties, and Justice

4.00 credit hoursIntroduction to civil liberties and civil rights. We will focus primarily on the decisions of the Supreme Court in areas of religion, speech, privacy, criminal procedure, and discrimination. Along the way, we will discuss the historical development of constitutional civil rights and liberties and the politics of Supreme Court decision-making. Students will learn the major legal doctrines governing civil liberties and civil rights, as well as develop a better understanding of the process of Supreme Court decision-making. 

Prerequisite(s): POLS 101 or POLS 203
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, U.S. Power Structures,
iCon(s): Challenging Inequity.

 

POLS 397 - Internship

0.00-12.00 credit hours

 

POLS 399 - Independent Study

1.00-12.00 credit hours

 

POLS 490 - Seminar in Political Science

4.00 credit hoursCapstone course in political science in which senior political science majors draw upon their training to approach and explain political phenomena. Students apply their knowledge and skills as political scientists to tackle real-world political problems by employing existing research, social science methodology, and data. 

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing. 
Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Ethical Dimensions.

 

POLS 497 - Internship

0.00-12.00 credit hours

 

POLS 499 - Independent Study

1.00-12.00 credit hours

 

Stephen Maynard Caliendo

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Professor of Political Science
College of Arts & Sciences
+1 630 637 5344
Suzanne Chod

Associate Professor of Political Science; Coordinator of Gender and Sexuality Studies
Political Science
+1 630 637 5245
William Muck

Professor of Political Science; Chair, Department of Political Science; Coordinator of Global Studies
Political Science
+1 630 637 5342

Faculty Emeriti

David A. Frolick
Professor of Political Science Emeritus
B.A., Quincy College, 1965; M.A., 1967, Ph.D., 1971, American University
dafrolick@noctrl.edu

Thomas T. Sweeney
Professor of Political Science Emeritus
B.S., North Central College, 1965; M.A., Georgetown University, 1968; J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 1969; Ph.D., Pennsylvaina State University, 1976
ttsweeney@noctrl.edu

Extra-curricular and professional activities that will enrich your political science education.

Mock Trial — Argue a criminal or civil case and compete against major college and university teams in the American Mock Trial Association. Work with local lawyers, judges, medical examiners, crime scene investigators and crash collision professionals.

Model United Nations — Select, travel to and represent a country in competition with students from major colleges and universities in a simulation that reflects current issues before the United Nations. As a team, learn about the politics, government, economics and culture of another country, and play the role of a diplomat. Each year the team travels to the selected country for first-hand research!

Internships — Students are encouraged to complete one or more internships in order to better understand the link between political science theory and applied politics. In the past five years, NCC political science majors have interned at the following locations:

  • The White House
  • District office of U.S. Speaker of the House
  • District office of members of the U.S. Congress (House and Senate)
  • Political campaigns (U.S. president, Congress, IL governor, IL state legislature)
  • DuPage County (IL) Democratic Organization
  • DuPage County (IL) public defender's office
  • law firms
  • World Relief Aurora

Washington Semester Program — Study politics, economics, law, foreign policy and journalism in Washington, D.C. Participate in seminars with White House staff, justices of the Supreme Court and members of Congress.

Field trips — Join classmates at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations to hear world leaders; spend a day at the county courthouse with meeting with lawyers and judges, observing a trial, or lobbying at the state legislature to pass tougher drunk driving laws.

Study abroad — Join North Central classmates in our Costa Rica, London and Japan/China programs, or participate in an international exchange program.

Independent research — Create a research topic and apply to obtain a Richter Independent Study Fellowship to fund travel and project development.


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