Assistant Professor Stephen Mergner (Chair)
Associate Professor Melissa Scheier;
Assistant Professors Guillerme Silva and Kali Wright-Smith
The general aim of the department is to teach students a deeper understanding of government and politics both in the United States and overseas. Training in the department may serve as preparation for graduate school or law school, government jobs at both the federal and state levels, opportunities in business and teaching, or just being an informed citizen.
Political Science graduates will demonstrate in-depth knowledge of government and politics in the U.S. and the world; a balanced preparation in four subfields of political science: American politics, comparative government, international relations, and political theory; the capacity for success in law school, graduate school, and careers in government.
(B.A. degree) Thirty-three hours required. Thirty hours in Political Science, including: (1) POS 100: American Government; (2) POS 240: Political Thought (3) POS 300: World Politics; (4) POS 307: Comparative Politics; (5) POS 425: Political Science Research Methods; and (6) POS 450: Senior Seminar.
In addition, students must complete three semester hours in allied courses approved by the Department. The remaining fifteen semester hours must include twelve semester hours at the 300- or 400- level. Only six semester hours credit in the major will be given for courses taken off campus in the intern program.
Eighteen semester hours required, including: (1) POS 100: American Government; (2) POS 240 Political Thought; (3)POS 300: World Politics; and(4) POS 307: Comparative Politics. Only three semester hours credit in the minor will be given for courses taken off campus in the intern program.
Note: In order to enroll in any 400-level class in political science, the student must have successfully passed either POS 100: American Government, POS 300: World Politics, POS 307: Comparative Politics, or have received the permission of the instructor.
Master of Public Administration Accelerated Program
The University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration offers particularly gifted and highly motivated students at Georgetown College the opportunity and the challenge of integrating their undergraduate and graduate courses of study in a single continuous program culminating in both a baccalaureate and a Master of Public Administration. The M.P.A. is designed for students with an interest in public and nonprofit service, allowing them to take graduate level courses during the 4th year of their undergraduate program. Application to the program should be submitted by the end of the student’s junior year. Applicants should have (1) completed at least 86 credit hours of work toward the bachelor’s degree or be eligible for senior standing in the semester they are admitted to the program and (2) earned an undergraduate grade point average of at least a 3.5 in the major field and 3.2 overall. Contact Dr. Stephen Mergner for further information.
Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Commerce / University Scholars Program
The University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce offers particularly gifted and highly motivated students at Georgetown College the opportunity and the challenge of integrating their undergraduate and graduate courses of study in a single continuous program culminating in both a baccalaureate degree and a Masters of Arts in Diplomacy and International Commerce. The M.A. program is designed for students with an interest in foreign service including diplomacy, national security, commerce or international organization and nonprofit organization work. The program offers the added benefit of allowing students to take graduate-level courses during the 4th year of their undergraduate program. An application to the program should be submitted during the second semester of the student’s junior year. Applicants should have (1) completed at least 86 credit hours of work toward the bachelor’s degree or be eligible for senior standing in the semester they are admitted to the program and (2) earned an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.5 in the major field and 3.2 cumulative. Contact Dr. Stephen Mergner for further information.
100. American Government. (3 hours) Introduction to the study of American political institutions and behavior, focusing on the federal (national) government. This course is an Area of Inquiry Course. Fall and Spring
201. Public Opinion. (3 hours) A survey of public opinion polls, polling methods, opinion-holding, group differences, and public opinion and linkages be-tween public opinion and public policies. Even Springs
210. Politics and Film. (3 hours) An introduction to basic principles of politics through the use of film. The course analyzes several films, placing them in con-text and discussing the specific events depicted in the films. This course will also examine the messages (if any) these films have for contemporary politics.
240 Political Thought. (3 hours) This course is intended to provide a broad overview of Western political thought. The focus each class is on specific authors and their ideas, and one of the core learning objectives is to gain proficiency reading from a range of different cultural and political backgrounds. This course addresses important questions about the nature of individual rights, the roots of government authority, the circumstances of legitimate revolution, the justification of religious tolerance, and the meaning of political ideals such as liberty, equality, and justice. This course is an Area of Inquiry Course Fall and Spring
260, 261, 262. Trial Practice and Procedures. (1 hour each) Students study and practice trial procedures. Topics include opening statements, direct examination, closing statements, objections, and impeaching a witness. Emphasis is on developing critical thinking skills through analysis and preparation of cases developed for mock trial competition. May be repeated, but no more than two hours of practica credit may be applied toward a major or minor. Fall
280, 281, 282. Model United Nations. (1 hour each) A study of the structure, processes, and operations of the United Nations with special attention given to relevant contemporary issues in order to facilitate preparation for participation in college-level Model United Nations conferences in which students will role-play various U.N. member-states. This course may be repeated, but no more than two hours of practica credit may be applied toward a major or minor. Fall
300. World Politics. (3 hours) This course is an introduction to world politics, designed to familiarize students with the ways in which states, international organizations, and non-state actors interact in the international system. It offers an analysis of the general approaches to world politics, emphasizing current issues and problems. This course is an Area of Inquiry Course Fall and Spring
302. European Politics. (3 hours) Political behavior and institutions of Europe-an countries and the European Union. Even Springs
305. Urban Government. (3 hours) An examination of current urban problems, city governments, metropolitan governmental reform, and future alternatives of urban public policy. Even Springs
307. Comparative Politics. (3 hours) This course will provide an introduction to key theoretical frameworks, concepts and analytical methods commonly used in comparative politics, including: the state, political culture, democracy, authoritarianism, development, and national/ethnic identity to name a few. This course is intended to familiarize students with the most important concepts necessary for the comparison of different political systems and contexts. Students will learn how to apply this understanding in investigating different countries and regions in the contemporary world. This course is an Area of Inquiry Course.
Fall and Spring
309. State Government. (3 hours) A survey of the structure and function of the state governments in the U.S. federal system and current problems and issues in state polities. Odd Falls
311. Politics of the Pacific Rim. (3 hours) A background analysis of government and politics of Pacific Rim from a comparative perspective, including its foreign policy and future role in international relations. Even Falls
315. Public Administration. (3 hours) A detailed study of the theory and practice of administration in the public sector. Even Falls
317. American Constitutional Politics. (3 hours) A study of the constitutional development of the U.S. federal court system, judicial behavior, and Supreme Court decisions. Even Falls
319. Constitutional Rights. (3 hours) A study of Supreme Court decisions on freedom of speech, press, religion, race relations and due process of law.
321. International Human Rights. (3 hours) This course examines human rights and humanitarian intervention in world politics. Even Falls
333. Women and Politics. (3 hours) Examination of the connection between gender and politics in America; topics include use and exercise of political pow-er, historical and current social movements, political campaigns and elections, and public policy debates. Even Falls
335. United States Congress. (3 hours) An examination of the legislative process, with an emphasis on the structure, functions, and politics of U.S. Congress.
340. Classical Political Theory. (3 hours) An analysis of classical and medieval political theory, focusing on issues such as nature, law, and reason. Major theorists are covered: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas. Even Falls
341. Force and Security. (3 hours) In a world without higher authority than the sovereign state, war is always possible, and states must prepare to settle their disagreements through the use of force. This course will deal with the consequences of this dilemma, focusing not only on war itself, but also on the means that states use to insure their security short of war and the ethical issues involving the use of force. Odd Springs
342. Modern Political Theory. (3 hours) An analysis of political theory from the Renaissance to the present. Major theorists are covered: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Rawls, and others. Odd Springs
346. Politics of Latin America. (3 hours) A study of the major political actors and issues in Latin America. Odd Springs
355. The American Presidency. (3 hours) A study of the American Presidency and the various parts of the executive branch of the federal government.
375. Tutorial Topics. (3 hours) The study of a special topic in Political Science using a one-on-one tutorial method of instruction adapted from humanities courses at Oxford University and Cambridge University. Please check with department for a list of current offerings. Prerequisites: one course in Political Science and permission of the instructor. As needed
403. American Foreign Policy. (3 hours) This course examines American foreign policy and the foreign policy process, placing special emphasis on current issues and problems. Even Falls
407. International Law and Organization. (3 hours) A study of laws among nation-states, with emphasis on rights and duties, territories, diplomacy, settlement of disputes, armed conflicts, and the United Nations system. Even Springs
409. Kentucky Government. (3 hours) A study of political behavior and ins ti-tut ions of Kentucky at all levels. Odd Falls
415. American Political Thought. (3 hours) A study of major American political thinkers, and the influence of their ideas on American politics and government, from colonial times to the present. Odd Falls
425. Political Science Research Methods. (3 hours) An introduction to the methods and procedures used in quantitative political science research, such as the specification of the research questions, measurement issues, research design, data collection, and analysis.
Required by Spring of Junior Year Fall and Spring
430. International Political Economy. (3 hours) An introduction to the basic principles of international political economy (I.P.E.), emphasizing the institutional structures and political processes governing global flows of money, goods, services, and labor. Also provides an examination of the American role in structuring the I.P.E. of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and provides future perspectives on the I.P.E. Odd Falls
230, 330, 440. Independent Study. (1, 2 or 3 hours) Special research assignments by approval and appointment with the faculty. Fall and Spring
450. Senior Seminar. (3 hours) Capstone course bringing together the several sub-fields of the discipline; students conduct research in areas of political theory, American politics, international relations, and comparative politics; present research; and participate in peer evaluation. Required in Fall of Senior Year
460. Internship. (1 – 6 hours) Supervised, practical experiences in the field of political science in appropriate agencies. Consent of instructor required for enrollment. Fall and Spring
461. Kentucky Legislative Intern Program. (3 hours each) A one-term experience working with the Legislature in Frankfort along with evening seminars and a research paper submitted to the Georgetown College Political Science Department. Even Springs
270, 370, 470. Topics. (1, 2 or 3 hours) Selected topics in political science.
Fall and Spring