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Political Science

Political Science

Ellis L. Ivory, M.A.
Liberal Arts Building, Room 205B
Direct: (313) 927-1294
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science Major (B.A.)
Political Science Minor
Certified Major Area for Secondary Teachers
See also Social Science. Major or Minor
Ethnic and Cultural Studies Minor*
Minor in African American Studies*

*These are interdisciplinary programs. See Ethnic and Cultural Studies.

Ellis Ivory, M.A.
Tal Levy, Ph.D.

Political Science Overview



Attorney • Career Development Specialist • Community Agency Staff • Federal, State, and Local Government Official • Law Enforcement • Public and Private School Teacher • Nonprofit Administrator


The Department of Political Science offers an undergraduate major and minor that provides you with a wide variety of career and educational choices after graduation. You may choose to enter the work world of public (governmental) service or the social institutions that are important to our community, state, nation, and world. Or you may desire to continue your education in law school or graduate studies. Along with your course work in political science you will take relevant liberal arts courses and obtain meaningful field experience.


The Department of Political Science offers a political science major and minor for secondary teacher certification. Additional requirements are detailed in the Secondary Teaching Certification section


The major in political science consists of a minimum of 30 semester hours built on a core of five required courses. In addition to the College requirements for the Bachelor of Arts, political science majors and minors are encouraged to improve their opportunities in a variety of career and advanced academic areas by taking courses in statistics, research methods, and computer information systems.

The minor in political science requires a minimum of 20 semester hours, including three designated courses.


Marygrove graduates in political science have found job opportunities as lawyers, federal, state, and local govern­ment officials, public and private school teachers, community agency staff, retail trade managers, and career development specialists. Many of these graduates have advanced to positions of significant leadership and authority in their fields.


Bachelor of Arts, Political Science Major (B.A.)


The Bachelor of Arts with a political science major re­quires a minimum of 30 credit hours of political science and completion of the following components:

A. General Education Requirements

B. Required Core Courses

POL 149        American Political Systems
POL 203        Political Reality and Public Policy
POL 377        Transnational Politics
POL 395        Comparative Politics
POL 496        Senior Seminar

C. Minor

D. Electives


Political Science Minor


The minor requires 20 credit hours in political science including the following:

A. Required Courses

POL 149                 American Political Systems
POL 203                 Political Reality and Public Policy
POL 377                 Transnational Politics   -OR-
POL 395                 Comparative Politics


Secondary Teaching Certification


Any student with a major in political science who plans to teach political science or social studies  at the middle school or  high school level is required to take the follow­ing course-work. The additional requirements are designed to meet the state certification code and prepare students to teach the Michigan Social Studies Curricular Framework

A. General Education Requirements

Students are encouraged to take as many of these additional course requirements as part of their general education coursework.

GEO 199        World Geography: Regions and Concepts
ECN 200        Introductory Macroeconomics 


ECN 203        Introductory Microeconomics 
HIS 252              United States to 1877     


HIS 253              United States Since 1877
HIS 255              World History I   


HIS 256              World History II

B. Additional Coursework

One of the following Interdisciplinary and Multicultural courses:


POL 306 Racial and Ethnic Diversity
IS 320A  Detroit and the Contemporary Urban Crisis

C. Certification Requirements

HIS 347: Methods of Secondary Social Studies is required for secondary education.

Professional Education courses are found in the Teacher Certification section of the catalog.

A grade of C (2.0) or better must be maintained in all courses of this major. An overall GPA of 2.7 is required to enter the Teacher Certification Program at Marygrove. See Teacher Certification section of this catalog for more information.

D. MTTC and Gateway Courses

Students are required to take the State mandated Basic Skills Test and the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) in political science. Students may not register for MTTC in political science unless they have successfully completed 80 percent of the major coursework and a gateway course. The political science gateway course is designed to help students prepare for the MTTC and to determine their readiness to take the test. Please consult the department for the current list of gateway courses.

E. Certifiable Minor


Political Science Course Descriptions

POL 149                                 American Political Systems 3 hours
General Education option. Prerequisites: None; Term: 1, 2, 3

Description, analysis, and explanation of the American political process will be developed through the study of interest groups, political parties, the court, the Execu­tive Branch, and Congress; the potential power and effectiveness of the individual and the responsiveness of the governmental system will be studied.

POL 201                                 Public Administration 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Description, analysis, and application of the organi­zational dynamics of government. Emphasis will be placed on organizational behavior, the bureaucracy, public budgeting and finance, and personnel manage­ment.

POL 203                                 Political Reality and Public Policy 3 hours
General Education option.Prerequisites: ENG 108 recommended; Term: 1, 2

Systematic application of pertinent concepts and principles of political science to the public policy process. Examination of selected contemporary policy issues introduced in POL 149. A writing intensive course. 

POL 300                                 Special Topics in Political Science 2-4 hours
Prerequisites: POL 149

Analysis of specific policies, institutions, and actors in domestic and international politics. Offered on a rotating basis according to special demands and needs of students.

POL 305                                 Introductory Statistics 4 hours
Prerequisites: MTH 100 or equivalent; Term: 1‚ 2‚ summer

Fundamental principles of descriptive and inferential statistics with applications to social sciences. May include use of statistical software.

POL 306                                 Ethnic and Racial Diversity 3 hours
Prerequisites: Introduction to Sociology or SOC 201; Term: 1, 2

Analysis of the social, economic, and political aspects of racial/ethnic relations in the U.S. Effects of diversity on various racial and ethnic groups.

POL 308                                 Contemporary Indian Issues 3 hours

The course will look at issues affecting American Indians today; environmental, land, burial, sovereignty, and treaty rights issues will be analyzed and discussed.

POL 309                                 Ethnicity in Urban America 2 hours

Identifies and develops the concepts of urbanization and ethnicity within the context of American society as well as specific inter-group relations.

POL 310                                 Metro Detroit Through Three Centuries 3 hours
Prerequisites: ENG 108; HIS 252 or 253 recommended. Fee: yes

The history of Detroit and its metropolitan area from 1701 to the present.

POL 315                                 Third World Politics 3 hours
Prerequisites: One course in political science or social science; Offered alternative years.

An analysis of 20th-century issues such as power and justice, elite and mass, the role of bureaucracy, and evolu­tionary and revolutionary change. Emphasis on Latin America, Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

POL 316                                 Liberalism, Communism and Fascism 3 hours
Prerequisite: ENG 108‚ HIS 256 recommended

The intellectual, political, and social origins and development of modern ideologies.

POL 318                                            Global Women’s Issues and Policies 3 hours
Term: 2

A survey course on the political and social status of women around the world; the course will involve cross-cultural comparisons.

POL 319                                            Sovereignty and U.S. Public Policy 3 hours

The status of Native American sovereignty and self-determination today; the impact of U.S. government on Ameri­can Indians.

POL 320                                             African-American Politics 3 hours
Prerequisite: ENG 108; Offered alternative years.

Historical and contemporary analysis of the origins, development, and currency of African-American politics, from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Emphasis will be placed on the sociopolitical behavior of the black electorate as well as the roles and behaviors of black candidates and officeholders in the United States.

POL 325                                            American Foreign Policy 3 hours
Prerequisites: ENG 108‚ introductory course in POL or HIS; Offered alternative years

Analysis and evaluation of the goals and instruments of U.S. foreign policy in the post World War period.

POL 330                                            Michigan: History and Politics 3 hours
Prerequisites: ENG 108‚ one previous course in social science; Term: 2; Offered alternate years

Development of sub-federal political institutions: states, counties, municipal corporations, school districts, and regional governments. Emphasizing the Michigan experience, the political system will be experienced within the framework of major historical eras, population patterns, and economic developments. A writing intensive course. 

POL 347                                            Methods of Teaching Political Science 2-3 hours
Prerequisites: Admission to teacher certification; permission of department and instructor

Introduction to the theories, goals, and techniques of teaching Political Science at the secondary level.

POL 355                                        Social Research 4 hours
Prerequisites: SOC 201 or 202, PSY 205; Pre/co-requisite: MTH 099, Term: 1, 2

Provides a beginning understanding and appreciation of social research.  Emphasizes the use and production of research for improving one’s effectiveness as a social science professional.  Students become familiar with different social research approaches, using both quantitative and qualitative data.  Includes as series of experiential exercises that lead students step-by-step through the research process: deciding and developing a research question, specifying sampling strategy, selecting or developing appropriate measures, planning and carrying out data collection, analyzing data, and writing a research paper.  Emphasizes important ethical and human diversity issues raised throughout the research process.

POL 358                                            Law and Society 3 hours
Prerequisite: Introductory course in political science or social science; Offered alternate years

A study of American law as seen through the United States Constitution and interpreted by the federal and state court systems. Also a brief examination of the roots of American civil and criminal law.

POL 359                                            History of Civil Rights 3 hours
Prerequisites: ENG 108‚ HIS 253 recommended

This course focuses on one of the most crucial decades in American history: the Civil Rights Movement (1954-1965). Historical, political, social and religious aspects of the movement are examined in documentary material. The course considers events preceding and succeeding the Civil Rights Movement and discusses strategies to achieve social justice. The human effects of social change and the relationship between the black freedom move­ment and all Americans are explored.

POL 370                                            Social and Political Philosophy 3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 108, and any one of PHL 126, 156, or 276.

Study of both classic and contemporary problems in social and political philosophy, with emphasis on developing a comprehensive understanding of the concept of justice and of its application to contemporary issues.

POL 377                                            Transnational Politics 3 hours
Prerequisites: ENG 108; Introductory course in political science; Term: 2

Study and analysis of the foundations for world peace with justice. Exploration of alternative futures in several critical areas. Concepts include determinants of power in a multi-polar world, transnational organizations, national­ism, anti-nationalism and intervention, new forces in world politics, arms control and disarmament.  A writing intensive course.

POL 385                                            Community and Organizational Change 3 hours
Prerequisites: SOC 201 or ECN 202; Term: 1, 2

Analysis of communities and organizations as social systems, including examination of critical problems. Also examines intervention and change strategies that appear to be effective and how they can be applied. A service-learning component may be included.

POL 387                                            U.S., Chinese, Russian Relations 3 hours
Prerequisites: Introductory course in social science; Offered alternate years

Historic, cultural and geo-political determinants of U.S. positions on Chinese and Soviet foreign policy; the role of ideology; Soviet-American and Chinese-American relations; the role of the U.S., Soviet Union and China in the Third World.

POL 388                                            Cooperative Field Work Experience 2-6 hours
Prerequisite: Departmental approval; Term: 1, 2, summer

Supervised work experience in activity related to area of specialization, planned in consultation with advisor, co-op supervisor and employer. Recording, reporting, and evaluating of experience will be required.

POL 395                                            Comparative Politics 3 hours
Prerequisites: ENG 108; Introductory course in political science; Term: 1; 

Study of issues in comparative politics with analysis of contemporary political systems in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

POL 491                                            Independent Study 1-4 hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor; Term: 1, 2, summer

In-depth advanced research on student selected topic in consultation with faculty.

POL 496                                            Senior Seminar 3 hours
Prerequisites: Senior Standing; Political science major; must have completed 80 percent of General Education and major course requirements; ENG 312; major writing intensive course, IS 320A Detroit and the Contemporary Urban Crisis recommended;

In-depth research and writing on a political science topic related to Detroit. 

POL 496S                                          Social Science Senior Seminar: Political Science Concentration 3 hours
Prerequisites: Social Science or Social Studies major; senior standing or permission of instructor; ENG 312; writing intensive course in political science (POL 203, POL 377). IS 320A Detroit and the Contemporary Urban Crisis or POL 330 Michigan History and Politics recommended;

Senior research seminar for social science and social studies majors with political science and history concentrations. In-depth research and writing on a political science topic related to Detroit.

POL 498                                            Field Work 2-6 hours
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; Term: 1, 2, summer

Practical application of theory and skills in a related urban work experience.