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The University of Texas at Dallas
Graduate Admissions

Political Science Course Descriptions

PSCI 5306 The American Legal System and the Practice of Law (3 semester hours)  The American legal system will be examined through seminar presentations by speakers experienced in judging and in legal practice. (3-0) Y

PSCI 5307 Legal Reasoning and Writing (3 semester hours) The process of reaching legal decisions by relying on precedent, history, policy concerns, and tradition will be studied.  Additionally, techniques for researching and citing case law and statures will be examined. (3-0) Y

PSCI 6300 Proseminar in Democratization, Globalization, and International Relations (3 semester hours) Studies major theories of democracy, democratization and globalization, relationships between democratization and globalization, and their implications for citizen politics, government performance, and regime legitimacy.(3-0) Y

PSCI 6301 Constitutional Law (3 semester hours)  This class addresses the evolution of the American Constitution.  The course will examine major constitutional concepts that are important to an understanding of American Government.  Additionally, major interpretations of the Constitution and the role of courts in the American legal system will be explored. (3-0) Y

PSCI 6304 Internship in Constitutional Law Studies (3 semester hours)  Students will gain practical legal experience by working as an intern in a law office, court, or in the office of a legal organization such as a district attorney's or public defender's office. (3-0) Y

PSCI 6305 Workshop in Constitutional Law Studies (3 semester hours) Students will undertake a major research topic on a law-related matter which will develop skills in legal research and writing, quantitative research, or field research. (3-0) Y

PSCI 6306 Human Rights and International Law (3 semester hours) This course explores international agreements and their effects on individual rights in a variety of contexts such as international conflicts, civil wars, and oppressive political regimes. (3-0) R

PSCI 6307 Proseminar in Decision Making and Public Management (3 semester hours) Examines current scholarship on decisions made by public managers and associated efforts to calculate and examine the relative risks involved with the outcomes of management decisions. Considers management decisions that are internal to organizations, such as human resource decisions, and external decisions such as environmental management. Examines the mathematics and science of risk management. (3-0) Y

PSCI 6309 International Political Economy and Organizations (3 semester hours) An overview of important developments in the study of conflict and cooperation among countries, especially in the economic arena. (3-0) T

PSCI 6310 (POEC 6319) Political Economy of Multinational Corporations (3 semester hours)The Political Economy of Multinational Corporations will approach the rise of international firms and their behavior from a social scientific approach, utilizing research in economics, political science, and other disciplines. In addition to the historical rise of international firms, the course covers the economic theory of the firm, MNCs as political actors, the dynamics of foreign direct investment, and the relationship of MNCs to developing countries. The aim of the course is to understand the causes and effects of the behavior of transnational corporations, particularly in regard to economic policy. (3-0) T

PSCI 6311 Judicial Politics Seminar (3 semester hours) The purpose of this graduate seminar is to survey the different areas of empirical/quantitative research in the subfield of judicial politics. The course will assess the courts as political institutions and examine the interactions between the judiciary and other institutions. We will address the core theoretical debates and assess key methodological issues concerning judicial decision-making in the U.S. context. We will also place these debates within the growing body of comparative judicial behavior literature. (3-0) Y

PSCI 6312 Comparative Constitutions and Courts (3 semester hours) The purpose of this graduate seminar is to survey the growing body of comparative research on constitutions and courts. The course will examine both qualitative and quantitative research that examines the development of constitutions and courts, particularly in newly independent states or states transitioning from authoritarian regimes. We will address the core theoretical debates and research concerning 1) why states adopt these documents and legal institutions and 2) the role these institutions ultimately play in transitioning states, especially in regard to the rights protection. These examinations will span comparative politics, international relations, and the broader sub-field of public law. (3-0) R

PSCI 6313 (PA 6323 and POEC 6313) Proseminar in Public Policymaking and Institutions (3 semester hours) Surveys the major institutions associated with policymaking, including Congress, the Presidency, the bureaucracy, and interest groups. These institutions are studied by linking them to the decision-making theories or organizations, social choice and incrementalism. (3-0) Y

PSCI 6314 Policy Processes, Implementation and Evaluation (3 semester hours) Applies models of the policy system to the analysis of legislative, administrative and judicial processes at different points in the policy cycle. Uses case studies, empirical analysis, direct observation, and group projects. Prerequisite: PSCI 6313 or consent of instructor. (3-0) Y

PSCI 6323 Public Choice (3 semester hours) This course covers the application of economic reasoning to non-market decision making in situations involving collective choice.  Topics include market and government failure, collective action, properties of different voting rules, design of constitutions, and the behavior of candidates, elected officials, bureaucrats, and voters.  Prerequisite:  POEC 6307 Microeconomics  (3-0) R

PSCI 6324 Local and State Government and Politics (3 semester hours) Examines public policy institutions and processes at the local and state levels in the United States, with particular attention to developments in the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex and the State of Texas. Addresses issues of policy convergence, divergence, and representation. (3-0) R

PSCI 6325 Decision Theory (3 semester hours) Explores the development of decision-making models and theories across organizational and institutional environments. Includes details analysis of decision making under conditions of certainty, risk and uncertainty. (3-0) T

PSCI 6330 Campaigns and Media Relations (3 semester hours) This course surveys the state of the art research on campaigns and elections in American politics with a focus on the relationship between the modern campaign and the modern media.  (3-0) T

PSCI 6331 Executives, Legislatures and Public Policy (3 semester hours) An investigation of the role played by executives and legislatures in shaping public policy in the United States. (3-0) T

PSCI 6332 The U.S. Congress (3 semester hours) This course examines the most recent research on the legislative branch of the United States.  We examine the role of parties, incumbency, elections, and organized interests on who gets elected to Congress, how Congress organizes itself, and how Congress makes public policy. (3-0) T

PSCI 6333 Political and Civic Organizations (3 semester hours) An institutional perspective on political parties, interest groups, and other organizations such as labor unions and non-profit organizations that are important actors in political and civic affairs.  The emphasis is on internal operations of organizations, their strategic behavior, and interactions with government, including both regulation by the state and attempts to influence public decision makers. (3-0) T

PSCI 6335 (POEC 6335) Institutions and Development (3 semester hours) An overview of leading theories, institutional perspectives, issues and policy debates concerning urban, regional, national and global development. Topics may include economic growth, technology and innovation, shifts in industrial structure, spatially imbalanced change, and their welfare consequences. (3-0) T

PSCI 6336 (PA 6336) Bureaucracy and Public Policy (3 semester hours) Examination of processes involved in arriving at administrative decisions within the structure of the regime. Reciprocal ties of influence and control between official organizations and other public and private organizational actors, as well as organizational dynamics such as communication, power, and decision making in administrative agencies. (3-0) T

PSCI 6337 Comparative Institutions (3 semester hours) A comparative analysis of political and economic institutions in different settings. Includes a consideration of different theoretical approaches to the comparative study and design of institutions in the United States and elsewhere. (3-0) T

PSCI 6339 Election Law and Electoral Systems (3 semester hours)  An examination of election law in America from redistricting to ballot access to campaign finance.  We also spend time looking at different electoral systems in the U.S. and around the world. (3-0) R

PSCI 6340 Texas Legislative Affairs Workshop (3 semester hours) The Texas Legislative workshop is a course offered during semesters when the Texas Legislature is in session.  This course is designed to afford students the opportunity to explore the working of the Texas Legislature up close with sessions held in both Dallas and Austin.   Students enrolled in this course will have the opportunity to interact with members of the Texas Legislature and their staff as they examine the current public policy issues confronting Texas.  (3-0) T

PSCI 6341 Texas Legislative Process (3 semester hours) This course examines the legislative process in the Texas Legislature. Students will learn the intricacies of passing legislation by examining the constitutional rules of Texas’ lawmaking and the evolution of each chamber’s parliamentary rules.  This course also offers a practical element as specific case studies are examined to illustrate the importance of legislative process in Texas. (3-0) T

PSCI 6642 Legislative Affairs Internship (6 semester hours) The Legislative internship is a 6-hour course offered during the summer term.  Students will work with the professor to identify an internship with a relevant government office approved by the professor.  Students will be asked to participate in the daily operations of that office and learn the intricacies of staffing from a first hand perspective. (6-0) T

PSCI 6343 Law and The Policy Process (3 semester hours) Provides the legal perspective on public policy and emphasizes the role of the judicial system in the recent evolution of public policy in selected problem areas. (3-0) T

PSCI 6350 Logic, Methodology, and Scope of Political Science (3 semester hours) Promotes understanding of how and why research projects are conducted, and when and why research programs cease to contribute to knowledge production. Attention also is paid to major modes of analysis in Political Science, the state of the discipline, and future directions in field-specific, cross-field, and cross-disciplinary research. (3-0) T

PSCI 6352 Empirical Democratic Theory (3 semester hours) Encourages critical and constructive thinking about complex and simple, as well as stable and variable, developments in citizenship, government, and politics. Additional consideration is given to formal, game-theoretic, and other approaches to individual action, institutional design, and individual-institutional interactions. (3-0) T

PSCI 6353 Mathematical Models in Political and Social Science (3 semester hours)  Introduces students to a variety of models in the Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, including primarily rational choice approaches but also some computational work. The course will allow students to understand and compose rudimentary models, including prisoner’s dilemma, assurance games, and strategic voting. (3-0)

PSCI 6357 (POEC 6357) Political Economy of Latin America (3 semester hours) Addresses historical and contemporary issues in Latin American political economy. Uses case studies and cross-regional comparisons to assess competing explanations. Analyzes the current political and economic situation facing Latin America in its quest for economic growth and development. The emphasis is to understand the broad patterns of development and change in the region and the physical, historical, social and economic constraints which have affected development, broadly understood. (3-0) T

PSCI 6360 Data Collection and Analysis in Political and Social Science (3 semester hours) Provides students with basic understanding of methodological issues in doing systematic empirical research. Covers the collection of survey and aggregate data, measurement, descriptive and inferential statistics, and introductory regression analysis. Uses statistical software, such as SPSS and STATA, together with individual- and aggregate-level data on government, politics, and public opinion. (3-0) Y

PSCI 6361 (POEC 6361) Political Violence and Terrorism (3 semester hours) In this discussion-based seminar, we will cover the topics of terrorism, political violence, and civil war.  We will examine concepts, causes, and consequences of different types of political violence.  Additionally, we will discuss topics relevant to research, including discussions of different approaches (quantitative, qualitative, and formal) and a perusal of different data sources.  We will take advantage of literature from multiple disciplines. (3-0) T

PSCI 6362 (POEC 6362) Political Development (3 semester hours) This course surveys different perspectives on and theories of political development. Topics covered include the role of the state, democratization, political stability, civil society and environmental concerns. (3-0) T

PSCI 6363 (POEC 6363) Conflict and Development (3 semester hours) This module will explore the nexus between violent intrastate conflict and development. It will examine some of the key conceptual frameworks advanced to understand conflict and will explore specific themes which have preoccupied researchers and policy practitioners in recent years. In addition to assessing the economic costs of the conflicts, this course will also examine the traditional factors that have been purported to explain the prevalence of insurgency. (3-0) T

PSCI 6364 Public Opinion and Survey Research (3 semester hours) Introduces students to the principles and practices of survey research. Topics include the selection of an appropriate survey method, questionnaire design and testing, response problems, interviews and surveys, and the analysis of survey data, including those on political attitudes and public opinion dynamics. Also examines how these data are used in developing successful political campaign strategies. (3-0) T

PSCI 7316 Statistics in Law (3 semester hours) Course reviews topics in elementary statistics and data analysis, and examines the use of statistics in the legal profession, particularly in trials in appellate decisions, as well as in models of judicial decision making. (3-0) T

PSCI 7320 (POEC 7320) International Negotiations (3 semester hours) This course examines both the substance and the process of international negotiations. Students study the theory and analysis of negotiations and identify issues, interests and positions of the parties. The course covers the substantive areas of arms control, trade, and environmental negotiations. The course moves from the analysis of simple, bilateral negotiations with only a few issues in contention to complex multilateral negotiations. (3-0) T

PSCI 7350 Institutions and Citizen Behavior (3 semester hours) Examines the major theories, concepts and models associated with relationships between public institutions and citizen behavior, particularly how such institutions as elections, interest groups, political parties and social movements mobilize behavior and how behavior, in turn, influences institutional processes and outcomes. (3-0) T

PSCI 7352 Choice and Decision Making (3 semester hours)  This course integrates theories of political choice with models of decision making in the fields of social cognition, economics, and consumer behavior. (3-0) T

PSCI 7360 Multivariate Models for Analyzing Political and Social Science Data (3 semester hours) Focuses on the specification and analysis of multivariate models of individual- and aggregate-level data in the political and Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. Topics covered include the analysis of continuous and limited dependent variables, model diagnostics, model comparison, and exogeneity testing. Introduces structural equation modeling, with emphasis on the confirmatory factor analysis of multivariate measurement models. Prerequisite: PSCI 6360 or consent of instructor. (3-0) Y

PSCI 7372 Game Theory for Political Scientists (3 semester hours) An introduction to formal models with more than one decision-maker, this course will cover basic solution concepts in game theory.  The course will pay particular attention to applications in political science, rather than the foundational models in economics. (3-0) T

PSCI 7381 Special Topics in Political Science (3 semester hours) Topics vary semester to semester and are rotated typically among the three fields of the program. May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 9 hours. (3-0) R

PSCI 7V83 Independent Study (3-9 semester hours) Provides faculty supervision of student’s individual study of a topic that is directly relevant to dissertation or practicum research and is agreed on by the student and the faculty supervisor. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and Political Science Program Director. (May be repeated for credit.) ([1-9]-0) R

PSCI 8381 Research Seminar in Political Science (3 semester hours) Promotes faculty-student research collaboration and students’ dissertation or practicum and professional development. (May be repeated for credit.) (3-0) Y

PSCI 8V99 Dissertation or Practicum (1-9 semester hours) Provides faculty supervision of a student’s dissertation research. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and student’s Advisory Committee. (May be repeated for credit.) ([1-9]-0) S


Last Updated: August 26, 2010