Political Science

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College of Arts and Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences

Stroud Hall, Room 409


About the Program

East Stroudsburg University's Political Science curriculum comprises the systematic study of the theory and practice of politics at various levels – domestic, international, public and private sectors. Depending on their interests, undergraduates can focus on questions of a theoretical nature, the role and performance of political institutions and political systems, or the behavior of individuals and groups. Our Political Science degree prepares students to work in both the public and private sectors. Many majors also use this preparation as a basis for further study in graduate school or law school.

An ESU student who majors in Political Science earns a bachelor of arts degree. Several options are available to Political Science majors.

Students may choose among three major tracks:

  • Track I: Politics and Government
  • Track II: Public Administration
  • Track III: Pre-Law

The Politics and Government track is the traditional liberal arts political science major. The Public Administration track prepares students for public service in national, state, or local governments. The Pre-Law track prepares students to attend law school.

Students may also choose to do a dual major in Social Science and Education with a Political Science Emphasis. See the Social Studies section of the catalog.

Are you interested in...

  • Interacting with diverse populations
  • Developing and marketing ideas
  • Making informed decisions
  • Thinking analytically
  • Politics

Choose Political Science at ESU

  • Small class size
  • Qualified, experienced staff
  • Internships and job placement
  • Study Abroad programs

Is Political Science a career path for me?

Career Potential

  • Law school
  • Political consultant
  • Ambassador
  • Paralegal
  • Lobbyist

Career Settings

  • Local, state and federal government
  • Political campaigns
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • International organizations
  • Multinational corporations

More detailed career information is available from the department.



Kenneth Mash (kmash@po-box.esu.edu)

Samuel Quainoo (squainoo@po-box.esu.edu)

Associate Professors:

Kimberly Adams (ksadams@po-box.esu.edu)

Johan Eliasson (jeliasson@po-box.esu.edu)

Jeffrey Weber, Chair (jweber@po-box.esu.edu)

Assistant Professors:

Adam McGlynn (amcglynn@po-box.esu.edu)

Ko Mishima (kmishima@po-box.esu.edu)

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

  • Students must also be aware of the University-wide requirements in this catalog.

    Note: Students majoring in Political Science may not accumulate more than 15 credit hours, total, of internship credit toward graduation. The department does not accept transfer credit in upper division coursework (i.e., 300 or 400 level courses) for political science courses completed at community colleges, junior colleges, trade schools, etc.

    Track I - Politics and Government – 33 to 40 semester hours.

    Students must maintain a 2.00 QPA for courses in this track.

    Track II - Public Administration –39 to 40 semester hours.

    Students must maintain a 2.00 QPA for courses in this track.

    Track III - Pre-Law – 57 semester hours with corequisite

    Students must maintain a 2.50 QPA for in this track to graduate.

    Track IV - Accelerated Law Program with Widener University - 27-40 semester hours

    Students must complete all the requirements for Track I - Politics and Government.

    This is a six-year cooperative program with Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg that allows students to complete their undergraduate and law school degrees in six years.

    Students who successfully complete the program will spend three academic years at East Stroudsburg University leading to a bachelor's degree in Political Science. Before or during the first semester of their junior year students must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Students must score at or above the 50th percentile on the LSAT and have attained a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher by their first semester junior year.

    Students must also submit a completed application and meet all other Widener University School of Law admission requirements. The first year at Widener will fulfill students' remaining requirements to earn the appropriate bachelor's degree. Students must also meet the following requirements:

    Declare Participation

    Students wishing to participate in this program must have the approval of their adviser and declare their intention to participate in the program with the Pre-Law Adviser prior to the start of their sophomore year. Students must complete a plan of study in conjunction with their academic adviser and the University Pre-Law Adviser.

    University Requirements

    Students must complete all university requirements, except for the following:

    1. Students will reach the 120-credit requirement by transferring credits earned during the first year at Widener University School of Law. However, students must obtain prior approval for the transfer of these credits.
    2. Students must apply for a waiver of the university requirement that their last 32 credits be taken at East Stroudsburg University.

    First year at Widener: Students must attend on a full-time basis for the first year or until they receive their bachelor's degree.

Political Science Minor

Course Descriptions

  • POLS 101 GE: Basic Issues of Politics (3)

    • This course explores the major social and political questions that confront the American people. It discusses the conflict that every voter in the nation faces as American democracy strives to bridge the gap between promise and performance, between the ideal and the real in the American political experience.

  • POLS 111 GE: Principles of Political Science (3)

    • This course is an inquiry into such fundamental concepts as state, sovereignty, law, rights, citizenship, liberty, and constitution; included are a study of the functions of government and an identification of the standard institutions for implementing those functions.

  • POLS 117 GE: Introduction to Global Politics (3)

    • This course in an introduction to issues in global politics. It examines major political issues of global society, such as war, terrorism, nuclear arms control, international organizations, global political economy, and global environmental preservation. It also considers the United States' responsibility in global politics.

  • POLS 201 GE: Elements of Public Administration (3)

    • Elements of Public Administration is an introductory course in public service. It is concerned with American government planning, organizing, and operation necessary for governance on the national, state, and local levels. This course provides the student with an overview of the concepts and frameworks necessary for public service, such as bureaucracy; promulgation of regulations; public management; public budgeting and financial management; public personnel management; public policy analysis; and planning.

  • POLS 211 GE: American Government (3)

    • This course analyzes the basic principles of our federal, state, and local governments with emphasis on the Constitution of the United States and its interpretation as well as the machinery through which it is implemented. Students examine the structure, organization, power, procedures, methods, and functions of executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

  • POLS 222 GE: Contemporary Political Ideologies (3)

    • This course will give the student an understanding and appreciation of important contemporary ideologies such as Conservatism, Liberalism, Marxism, Fascism, Nationalism, and such movements as Feminism, Environmentalism, and Fundamentalism.

  • POLS 223 GE: Developing Countries (3)

    • This course examines the features common to all developing countries of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, assesses the efforts to raise the levels of social, economic, and political development of these areas, and includes a detailed study of the goals and capabilities of the political systems of a few selected countries.

  • POLS 225 GE: Politics through Literature (3)

    • This course is an examination of selected fictional works which deal with basic political themes and concepts, e.g., social justice, the political process, ideology, power, various issue areas, etc. It is an analysis of literature and the writer as instruments of political action and change.

  • POLS 230 GE: Asia (3)

    • The course examines the history, culture and political developments of selected countries in Asia. Students will focus on their economic strategies and concepts of government. They will also examine the differences and commonalities within Asia and outside the subregion Prerequisite: Any One of POLS 111, 211, 223 or 231.

  • POLS 231 Introduction to Comparative Government (3)

    • This course introduces students to a cross section of governments outside the American political environment. It analyzes the structure and history of selected governments from Asia, Africa, South and Central America, Australia and Europe. The course provides a theoretical and analytical platform to compare governments and societies of different geographic and cultural background.

  • POLS 243 GE: Women and Politics (3)

    • The course will analyze the role and status of women in past and contemporary societies. Students examine the meaning and significance of current feminist movements and their impact on politics and society. The lives of outstanding women are also examined. Prerequisite: Any one of POLS 111, 211, 222.

  • POLS 290 Special Topics (Semester hours arranged.)

    • These courses are designed to meet specific needs of groups of students or are offered on a trial basis in order to determine the demand for and value of introducing them as part of the university curriculum.

  • POLS 293 GE: Public Policy and Administration (3)

    • This course examines the role and scope of public administrators and the challenges that confront them. It also analyzes the stages of the public policy process as well as the internal and external factors that impact public policy. Administration and public policy-making both within and outside America will be surveyed. Prerequisite: POLS 211.

  • POLS 312 GE: Political Parties and Politics (3)

    • This course traces the development of political parties, their functions, organization and effectiveness, with a view toward establishing greater party responsibility in the body politic. Prerequisite: Either POLS 111 or 211.

  • POLS 313 GE: Courts and the Judicial Process (3)

    • This course examines the various connections between politics and courts. Attention is focused on the role of law in American society and how courts and the people affiliated with courts both implement and make public policy. Prerequisite: Either one of POLS 111 or 211.

  • POLS 314 GE: State and Local Government (3)

    • This course is an introduction to state and local governmental institutions and processes, and the way they are interrelated with the federal system, with special emphasis on the contemporary needs of the local community. Prerequisite: Any one of POLS 111, 211, or 222.

  • POLS 315 Introduction to Legal Research (3)

    • This course introduces the primary skills necessary for legal research and writing. Emphasis will be placed on the essential steps necessary for proper legal research and on the use of various legal resources. Prerequisite: Either POLS 111 or 211.

  • POLS 317 Exploring Politics: Methods and Techniques (3)

    • The course deals with the principles and assumptions of political inquiry, and specific techniques for analyzing political data. Emphasis is placed on empirical techniques. It teaches students how to utilize the research products of political inquiry. Research projects are based on each student's specific area of interest. POLS 111, 211.

  • POLS 322 GE: International Relations (3)

    • This course examines the major theories, processes, and units that comprise the study of politics and the international system. Areas of particular emphasis include sovereignty, nationalism, and warfare. Prerequisite: Any one of POLS 111, POLS 211.

  • POLS 325 Racial and Ethnic Politics (3)

    • This course on racial and ethnic minorities in American politics will examine the effects of discriminatory practices and efforts to achieve civic equality for ethnic and racial minorities in the United States since its founding. The course will explore the experiences of African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans as citizens, activists, leaders and policymakers in the context of the discriminatory practices in law and customs. Prerequisite: POLS 111 or 211.

  • POLS 332 GE: Comparative European Government (3)

    • This course is a study of major types of government with emphasis on European democracies; comparison is used as a detector of problems and as a method for developing better solutions; differences in character, traditions, and conditions are examined to develop an understanding of problems facing people of the respective countries. Prerequisite: Any one of POLS 111, 211, 223 or 231.

  • POLS 333 GE: Africa (3)

    • This course aims at a general understanding of the main historical and political developments that led to independence. Emphasis will be on the growth of nationalism, the end of colonialism, and the search for African identity, unity, and development. This course is also listed as HIST 333. Prerequisite: Any one of POLS 111, 211, 223, or 231.

  • POLS 343 The Middle East (3)

    • This course surveys the history and politics of the Middle East, background studies in the revolutionary nationalism of the modern period, analyses of contemporary problems and events, and prognoses within the framework of international diplomacy. This course is also listed as HIST 343. Prerequisite: Any one of POLS 111, 211, 222, 223 or 231.

  • POLS 352 GE: History of Political Theory (3)

    • This course traces the evolution of major political concepts in Western Civilization from the ancient Greeks to the 17th century. The focus is on the origins of democracy and authoritarianism. Prerequisite: Any One of POLS 111, 211, or 222.

  • POLS 399 European Union Studies (3)

    • This course teaches students about the world's largest free trade area, and the most successful regional integration project in history, utilizing a participatory learning approach. Students first study and research policy, institutions, negotiation strategy and diplomacy, before applying acquired knowledge in simulations. Prerequisites: POLS 111 or 211, and POLS 231 or 332.

  • POLS 413 American Constitutional Law (3)

    • This course is a study of the context within which our Constitution emerged, the major themes implicit in its development, and its significance in the contemporary political setting. Attention is focused upon the interplay of political forces that have shaped the development of constitutional law with special emphasis upon the Supreme Court as a political and judicial institution. Prerequisites: Advanced standing of 90 credits; any one of POLS 111, 211, or 222.

  • POLS 414 Constitutional Civil Liberties (3)

    • This course is a study of the protection of civil liberties in the United States. The focus is on how the United States Supreme Court has decided cases involving, among other things, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and individual privacy. The course is also an examination of how politics, history, personalities, governmental structures, and political theories affect the protection of individual rights. Prerequisites: Any two of the following: POLS 111, 211, 313, 315 or 413.

  • POLS 416 Administrative Law (3)

    • This course is a study of the law of public administration including administrative powers and limitations, adjudication and rule-making, discretion, checks on administrators, notice and hearing, administrative penalties, judicial control and administrative liability. Prerequisites: Any two of POLS 111, 211, 222; ECON 111, 112; HLTH 220, 230.

  • POLS 420 East Asis and Transpacific Relations (3)

    • This course examines history, culture, political developments and institutions of East Asian countries with a focus on China and Japan. Students assess the public policies practiced by East Asian governments. They also study the international politics of East Asia with a major attention to the role of the United States in East Asia. Prerequisite: POLS 111 or 101 and 211, and 90 credits.

  • POLS 427 European Union and External Relations (3)

    • The European Union, the world's largest free trade area and the most successful regional integration project in history, affects every part of the globe economically, politically and militarily. As such it is critically important to understand its internal workings and relations with other powerful international actors, such as the United States, China or other major states. After examining the EU's evolution and structure, the second half of the course examines transatlantic relations – economically and politically the world's largest and most important relationship – and the relationship with other powerful states, focusing on how they affect the EU and the U.S. Prerequisites: POLS 111 or POLS 211 and POLS 232 or POLS 332.

  • POLS 429 Introduction to International Political Economy (3)

    • International political economy (IPE) is concerned with the mutual interactions of political decisions and economic transactions, the so-called market place, in the modern world. This course provides an overview of how political, social, and economic actors and events, domestic and international, public as well as private, shape policies and economic developments. Prerequisites: POLS 111 or 211, and one of POLS 322, 332, 333, 343, or 355.

  • POLS 435 The Presidency (3)

    • This course is an analysis of the presidency, its nature and growth of the office, and the politics and problems of seeking the office of the presidency. It includes a functional analysis of the President's roles as chief executive, party leader, and leader in the international political system. Prerequisites: Advanced standing of 90 credits; any one of POLS 111, 211 or 222.

  • POLS 438 United States Foreign Policy (3)

    • This course examines the constitutional basis of U.S. foreign affairs: foreign policy, separation of powers, the mechanics of foreign relations, significant principles, tenets and trends as revealed in United States diplomatic history, treaties and executive agreement, traditional and new diplomatic practice, foreign policy and international organization, and the extent of democratic control of foreign affairs. Prerequisite: Advanced standing of 90 credits.

  • POLS 441 Introduction to International Security (3)

    • This course introduces students to traditional and new security challenges facing countries and peoples in the twenty-first century. The balance of security versus individual rights, and various international organizations involved in security issues are discussed throughout the course. Pre-requisite(s): POLS 111 or 101, and 211, and 90 credits.

  • POLS 445 International Law and Organization (3)

    • This course introduces students to the historic development and current state of the law of nations, key cases are studied to illustrate rules. Certain international institutions are also surveyed, focusing on their independent powers and how they affect state interactions. Prerequisites: POLS 101, POLS 111, POLS 211 and advanced standing of 90 credits.

  • POLS 452 American Political Ideas (3)

    • The course will examine and analyze the theoretical foundations and evolution of the American political tradition from the colonial, revolutionary and constitutional periods to the end of the 20th century. Students will read and discuss the writings and thinking of political leaders and important commentators on American politics. Prerequisite: Advanced standing of 90 credits.

  • POLS 453 European Political Ideas (3)

    • This course examines the origins and development of the major intellectual traditions of the Western world and their rule in shaping the course of history. Emphasis is placed on the scientific and intellectual revolutions of the 17th and 18th centuries and the rise of ideologies in the 19th and 20th centuries. Prerequisites: Advanced standing of 90 credits; and any one of POLS 111, 211, or 222.

  • POLS 454 The Legislative Process (3)

    • This course concentrates on the United States Congress: its role in the evolution of the American political process, the internal workings of the Congress, the environment in which Congress functions, and an assessment of Congressional effectiveness. Prerequisite: Advanced standing of 90 credits, and any one of POLS 111, 211 or 222.

  • POLS 462 Political Behavior (3)

    • This course examines citizen behavior in the American polity. Voting behavior, political activism, and partisanship are examined within the framework of socialization theory, stratification theory, and the psychology of politics. Advanced standing of 90 credits; any one of POLS 111, 211 or 222.

  • POLS 466 Public Budgeting and Finance (3)

    • This course treats the budget as a policy instrument that sets priorities for government. Students study the politics of the budget process as well as its procedures. Attention is also given to fiscal and monetary policies and to using computer simulations in budgeting. Prerequisites: Advanced standing of 90 credits; Political Science majors: either POLS 111 or 211 plus POLS 293, non Political Science majors, any two of POLS 211, 293, ECON 111,112, HLTH 220 or 230.

  • POLS 467 Public Personnel Administration (3)

    • Examine career systems, classification and salary administration, staffing, training, evaluation, rights and duties of employees, equal employment, and labor relations. Prerequisites: Advanced standing of 90 credits; Political Science majors: either POLS 111 or 211 plus POLS 293; non Political Science majors, any two of POLS 211, 293, ECON 111, 112, HLTH 220 or 230.

  • POLS 468 Strategies for Policy Analysis (3)

    • Public Policy Analysis is designed to acquaint students with the background, content, purposes, and impacts of public policy decisions. It introduces the qualitative and quantitative techniques that are used to analyze these governmental outputs. Students in the class will be taught to use computerized statistical packages to analyze data relating to one specific policy area. Prerequisites: Advanced standing of 60 credits; any one of POLS 111, 211, or 293.

  • POLS 485 Independent Study (Semester hours arranged)

    • A student wishing to take independent study should discuss the plan with a member of the department. If the faculty member agrees to sponsor the project, the proposal should be submitted to the chair of the department. The chair, after approving the independent study project, shall bring it to a departmental meeting for confirmation. The dean of the college gives final approval after receiving the minutes of the departmental meetings which identify the students who were approved by the department to do independent study.

  • POLS 486 Field Experiences and Internships (Semester hours arranged)

    • The course is designed to provide the student with practical experience in a governmental agency or other organization with local, state, or national/international governmental or political concerns. Prerequisite: Completion of General Education requirements; advanced standing of at least 90 credits; 12 credits in Political Science, including POLS 111 and 211.

  • POLS 487 Problems and Projects in Political Science (Semester hours arranged)

    • Investigation of a specific problem or project in Political Science that requires individualized study and treatment. The process includes compilation of data relevant to the topic. The student will report his/her findings to the instructor who supervises the project. The student is expected to write a formal report that deals with the subject comprehensively and offers conclusions. Periodic conferences are arranged. Prerequisites: Any three courses in Political Science or advanced standing in the department.

  • POLS 495 Seminar (3)

    • This course examines major theories and problems in the study of politics. A paper will also be written on the basis of independent political research. Prerequisite: Advanced standing of 90 credits.