Brief introduction to the Subfields and
Courses in Political Science
revised 29 July 2015 by Jeremy Lewis as separate page
successful students since 1980, and alumni
HC viewbook, about 1997
You should normally begin with 201 American Government or 209 World Politics (every Fall), 212 American Policy System (every Spring) or 207 Public Administration (Fall of odd numbered years). PSC 201 and 209 are in the college Core, 2011- and 201 is required in the History and Political Science majors. While 201 discusses theory, public opinion and institutions, 212 includes policymaking, some major policy issues, and state government. 209 explores types of government and their interactions globally.
With twelve to thirty students, these classes still use a seminar format but are able to take advantage of guest speakers from politics, government and law -- and (in spring) occasional visits to the legislature. For example, we observed the powerful AL House Ways and Means Education Committee hearing on a topic close to our own interests -- the Alabama state student grant bill. We have also observed cases in federal and state courts, with recess discussions led by the judges and lawyers involved.
Field trips, like speakers, cannot be guaranteed in any future course. They depend on college policy, timetables, and availability.
Expect to present and discuss readings among ten to twenty four students. These include 311 Voters, Parties & Elections (even Fall terms), and 305 Presidency & Congress (even Spring terms). Both these courses are timed to take advantage of presidential campaigns, and include discussion of current politics. 314 Political Theory & Constitutional Law (odd Spring terms) benefits from the preparation of having political theory excerpts spread throughout the curriculum. By the time you take 314, you will likely have encountered many of the classics in other courses. We have found that constitutional law cases are surprisingly popular with our budding lawyers.Upper Level Public Administration Courses
These include 308, which combined both 306 Public Organizations (MWF, odd Spring terms) and 307 Public Policy Analysis (TTh, even Spring terms). Some of the most interesting recent reforms such as "reinvention" in government have occurred in these fields. We tend to explore the reforms and ask whether they have really improved government.Upper Level International Studies Courses
We offer 302 Comparative Government (TTh, even Fall semesters) and 303 International Relations (TTh, odd Spring terms), plus 321 British Politics (MWF, even spring terms). We also periodically travel abroad under the Huntingdon Plan. Dr. Lewis regularly takes students to the excellent AL World Affairs Council's monthly speaker meetings. A seminar, PSC 371 [Third] World Politics and Terrorism, was offered from 2005 to 2009 and became a regular offering in 2011 as PSC 309.Internships (ungraded) or Fieldwork (graded) Form
For advanced students, an internship or Fieldwork will offer academic credit for supervised work in an office of politics, government or law. The internship may be not only in Montgomery, but also in Washington or London. Recently one Huntingdon student worked as a Capitol Intern in the Governor's Legislative Office, assessing bills; several in the Governor's offices such as the legislative affairs (managing progress of bills) or Press Office (handling relations with numerous weekly newspapers); several in law firms or Representatives offices in Montgomery; and others in Washington, for example in Senator Jeff Session's office. (Did you know Senator Sessions himself is a Huntingdon graduate in History and Political Science?)Individual Study, Honors and Topical Seminars
These are offered occasionally where time permits. They typically involve weekly tutorials or group seminars with extensive reading and deeper research.499 Senior Capstone
This rounds out your experience as a major before graduation, though no longer required from 2011. Expect to take a standardized test or jury-judged written exam. Expect also to read some classics in the field and to present to faculty and students the findings of a major research project. Bon Voyage!