American Politics, Policy, and Business

The Political Science Department offers a broad curriculum in American politics, public policy, and the economy. In fact, we offer two separate tracks for students interested in national politics and policy. The first, more general track, is “American Politics and Policy,” while a second tract, “Government and Business,” is more specifically focused on questions of the national economy.

American Politics and Policy

This track is composed of two sorts of courses. One set of courses examine American national politics across governing institutions and other political actors as well as public opinion. The other set of courses consider the complex substantive and political dynamics associated with specific policy areas. Finally, the Department offers courses on state and local politics and, in particularly, West Virginia politics. Click on the following link for the specific course requirements and electives for the American Politics and Policy area of emphasis.

Courses on American institutions cover the three major branches of government (POLS310 The American Presidency, POLS318 Legislative Process; and POLS312 Judicial Process) and the political actors that operate with them (POLS317 Interest Groups and Democracy; POLS342 Bureaucratic Politics; POLS315 Law and Public Policy). Courses on political actors and behavior in the wider political environment are: POLS311 Political Parties and Elections; POLS316 Public Opinion and Politics; POLS337 Gender Politics and Policy; POLS373 American Political Philosophy; and POLS375 Psychological Theories of Politics.

As noted, these courses are complemented by substantive policy making courses that look at how U.S. institutions operate in the areas of social welfare policy (POLS333), economic policy (POLS 334), civil rights policy (POLS335), energy policy (POLS336), environmental policy (POLS338), national security analysis (POLS339) and American foreign policy (POLS364). Our courses on politics and policy at the state level are: POLS 220: State and Local Government (POLS220), American Federalism and Policy (POLS320), and West Virginia Government (POLS321).

Government and Business

This track is designed to acquaint students with the multiple ways government and business interact and to prepare students for a career in the world of business or in government as it relates to business. This track, which combines the study of American politics with the study of business, is intended to produce graduates who possess both basic business skills and knowledge about the relationship between government and business. Click on the following link for the specific course requirements and electives for the Government and Business area of emphasis.

Core political science course in this area include those on those U.S. institutions and actors most involved in economic policy, i.e., the Presidency (POLS310), Congress (POLS318), and Interest Groups (POLS317), as well as the Departments core course on “the Politics of Economic Policy” and at least one management or policy course in Psychology, Statistics, Economics, or Sociology. Beyond that, though, the main emphasis of this track consists of business “skills” courses in Accounting, Economics, and Business Administration.