News

FACULTY PROMOTION
Congratulations to Dr. Alison Dagnes for her promotion to the rank of full Professor, effective Fall 2013!

PI ALPHA ALPHA
HONOR SOCIETY
Shippensburg established a chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for public administration majors and MPA students. For more, click here.

PI SIGMA ALPHA
NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Congratulations to the Shippensburg University Theta Gamma Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha for winning the 2011/2012 Chapter of the Year Award!  For more, click here.
  

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Contact Information

Political Science Department
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1718

Laurie Stader
Department Administrator

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Course Descriptions

 

Related Links
Semester Course Offerings 

Click on course name to view description.

 

  • PLS100 U.S. Government & Politics
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    • Provides a foundation for understanding the philosophical heritage, constitutional principles, civil rights and liberties, and the formal and informal institutions that form the U.S. government. Focuses on the political factors and dynamics of democracy, the Constitution, political parties, interest groups, the media, elections, and the branches of U.S. government.
     
  • PLS141 Introduction to International Relations
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    • Deals with the nation state, interstate relations, and the international political system in the 20thcentury. Attention given to the formulation and execution of foreign policy; political, economic, military, and cultural interactions among states; and the organization and maintenance of the international community.
     
  • PLS201 Introduction to Political Science 3 crs.
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    • Examines the philosophy behind the discipline of political science and the different fields within political science. Introduces students to political science theories and theory building. Examines political behavior, political structures, decision making, and the foundations of political systems. Provides students the tools to conduct literature reviews, access information, assess political developments, and develop and critique theories and research.
     
  • PLS231 State & Local Government 3 crs.
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    • Study of the organization and functions of government at the state, county, township, and city levels. State-local and national-local relations are stressed. Prerequisite: PLS100 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS251 Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • A cross-national study of the principles, forms, and functions of democratic, fascist, and communist governments. Such subjects as political parties and electoral systems, legislative representation, federalism, constitutional order, bureaucracy, and dictatorship are examined in the functional and comparative manner. Prerequisite:PLS100 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS271 Introduction to Public Administration 3 crs.
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    • Basic introductory course in the field of management in governmental offices; includes organization of executive offices, controls over administration, budgeting and personnel procedures, and methods to achieve administrative objectives. Prerequisite: PLS100 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS291 Contemporary Issues
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    • Focuses on political or policy issues. Covers background of the issues, current developments, and prospects for change. Topics vary from semester to semester. Prerequisite: PLS100 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS300 Advanced U.S. Government: Institutions & Public Policy 3 crs.
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    • In-depth description of the structure, functions, and public policy making involvement of U.S. governmental institutions. Focuses on the legislative, executive, administrative, and judicial institutions and process, the impact of interest groups, political parties, public opinion, and federalism. Examines the policy-making process, both in general and with reference to specific types of public policies. Prerequisite: PLS100.
     
  • PLS301 Political Science Research Methods
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    • Evaluates the process of research in political science, focusing on research design; discusses ethical issues in research; trains students in techniques of data collection and processing; provides computer-based training in quantitative analysis and interpretation of statistics. Prerequisite:MAT170.
     
  • PLS302 Public Policy Analysis
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    • Examines the policy making process(es) and the implications for the conduct of policy analysis. Reviews the policy implementation process(es)and the implications for the conduct of policy analysis. Focuses upon specific quantitative and qualitative policy analysis/program evaluation techniques. Prerequisite: PLS301.
     
  • PLS303 Public Sector Financial Control & Reporting Systems
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    • Provides basic concepts and principles of governmental accounting and their application to managerial control and financial reporting requirements in the public sector; evaluates the link between planning and performance in public administration.
     
  • PLS311 The Legislative Process
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    • Analyzes the powers and rules of legislatures and legislators in modern democracies with special reference to the American Congress. Emphasis will be placed on the decision-making process, including internal and external pressures upon legislators. Prerequisite: PLS100 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS312 The American Presidency
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    • Analyzes the structure and functions of the American institutionalized presidency, including an examination of the power and roles of the President and the decision-making process. Prerequisite: PLS100 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS313 The Judicial Process
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    • Describes the operation of the federal and state court systems; evaluates the processing of cases; examines the mechanisms of judicial recruitment; discusses the impact of decisions on the political process.
     
  • PLS321 Public Opinion
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    • Deals with the nature of public opinion and its role in the political process; myths and symbols in opinion formation; modern methods of opinion measurement (e.g., surveys, polls, samples); the nature and role of propaganda under democratic and totalitarian systems of government and the role of newspapers, radio, television, and other media of communication in opinion formation. Prerequisite: PLS100 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS322 Interest Groups in American Society
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    • Studies the origins, organizations, opportunities, tactics of interest groups (pressure groups) and an assessment of the legitimacy of their role in democratic and quasi-democratic politics. Investigates problems connected with the existing incentive to join groups, the iron law of oligarchy, access points to government decision making functions to private interest pressure groups. Prerequisite: PLS100 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS323 Political Parties & Elections
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    • Reviews the development and status of political parties in American society and its governing units. Functioning of the major parties is pursued in the real setting of practical politics as is feasible. Prerequisite: PLS100 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS324 Women in American Politics
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    • Intended and designed for males and females, examines the changing political role of women in the United States and compares women across American subcultures. Investigates political attitudes and values, voting behavior, and recruitment of women for political leadership.
     
  • PLS331 Municipal Government &Administration
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    • Study of the development of city government in the United States; the governmental organization of several typical cities; the problems of law enforcement, health, housing, welfare, planning and zoning; and the future of cities. Prerequisite: PLS231 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS332 Federal-State-Local Relations
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    • Fosters understanding of the continuity, current dimensions, and interrelated nature of the issues characterizing American governmental relations and the feasibility of various approaches offered for their assuagement. Prerequisite: PLS231 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS341 International Law & Organization 3 crs.
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    • Analyzes the role and dynamics of international law and organizational political system. Includes the scope and nature of international law and organization, the concepts and procedures for maintaining international peace and security, substantive rules and international law, and the function of the United Nations and regional organizations. Prerequisite: PLS141 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS342 American Foreign Policy 3 crs.
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    • Study of the principles of American foreign policy including process and policy formulation and execution. Roles of the president, Congress, and the State Department and other governmental agencies are investigated. Prerequisite:PLS100 or PLS141 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS356 Group Mobilization & State Change 3 crs.
    •  
    • Examines the forces that shaped and continue to impact the governments and politics of the Third World. Emphasizes two lines of inquiry: colonialism and patterns of post-colonial relations between north and south; and the challenges faced by Third World nations in their efforts for political, economic, and social advancement in an increasingly integrated world. Prerequisites: PLS100 or PLS141.
     
  • PLS357 Politics of Developing Regions 3 crs.
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    • Comparative analysis of efforts by minority groups in the developing world to mobilize for state change. Analyzes separatist movements based on ethnic, linguistic, racial, religious, and caste identities and political movements whose goal is to change a government’s policy agenda. Focuses on topics such as: ethnonationalism, religious separatism, environmental justice, women's uplift, economic justice, global integration, and human rights. Prerequisite: PLS100.
     
  • PLS361 Political Theory from Ancient Times Through the 19th Century 3 crs.
    •  
    • Surveys the major political ideas of the world from ancient times to the present. Consists of critical appraisal of the ideas and thinkers and their impact on modern political institutions. Prerequisite: PLS101 or PLS102 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS362 20th Century Political Ideologies 3 crs.
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    • Considers the major ideologies and -isms of the Western World that have arisen or have acquired political significance during the 20thcentury. Examines ideologies and -isms in terms of the root political concepts and theories they express and in terms of the interplay between the ideas and the political environment of major ideologies. Prerequisite: PLS101 or PLS102 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS363 American Political Thought 3 crs.
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    • Critical study of the political ideas underlying and associated with personalities and institutions in the United States from colonial times.
     
  • PLS365 Constitutional Law I: The Federal System 3 crs.
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    • Analyzes leading American constitutional decisions relating to national legislative, executive, and judicial powers and to the position of the states. Prerequisite: PLS100 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS366 Constitutional Law II: First Amendment Rights 3 crs.
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    • Examines body of constitutional law associated with the First Amendment including: the establishment and free exercise of religion; the freedom of speech, press, and assembly. Discusses issues surrounding the freedom of expression and the right to privacy.
     
  • PLS367 Constitutional Law III: Criminal Law & Equal Protection 3 crs.
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    • Examines body of constitutional law associated with the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments and evaluates the protection of criminal defendants’ rights in the United States today. Discusses case law surrounding the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.
     
  • PLS371 Public Management
    • Provides the opportunity for the department to offer courses in areas of departmental major interest not covered by the regular courses.
     
  • PLS372 Public Personnel Administration
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    • Studies the development and functions of public personnel administration. The roles of the various levels of management in the development and implementation of personnel policy and administration will be covered as well as those of the functional specialist. Impact of American culture and public policy upon public personnel administration will also be emphasized. Prerequisite: PLS271 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS373 Public Financial Administration
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    • Deals with fiscal policy determination, accountability, and management of financial resources. Administrative and the political aspects of the budgetary process will be covered. Appropriate references will be made to the impact of federal programs upon state and local governments and the fiscal relations existing between various levels of government. Prerequisite: PLS271 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS374 Public Service Ethics
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    • Explores the historical and specific contemporary issues concerning ethics in the public sector. Ethical problems and their relationship to politics will be surveyed. Course will emphasize ethical questions encountered by individuals who enter public service and will evaluate attempts to enforce ethical conduct among public servants by statutes and codes of conduct. Prerequisite: Nine hours in political science or permission of instructor. PHL105 and/or PHL210 recommended.
     
  • PLS381 Principles of Labor Relations 3 crs.
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    • Introduction to labor-management relations in the private and public sectors. Topics such as domestic industrial relations systems; institutional labor movements; negotiation, administration, and contents of labor agreements; contract dispute resolution; and labor relations abroad may be included. Prerequisite: PLS271or MGT331. Students taking PLS381 cannot enroll in MGT350 and vice versa.
     
  • PLS382 Legal Framework for Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector 3 crs.
    •  
    • Analyzes labor relations law at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Prerequisite:PLS381 or MGT350.
     
  • PLS383 Dispute Resolution in Public Sector Labor Relations 3 crs.
    • Examines in detail the theory and techniques for resolving disputes in negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements in the public sector. Class will focus on use of mediation, fact-finding and various forms of interest arbitration as tools for resolving bargaining impasses and grievance arbitration in the resolution of disputes arising out of the implementation and administration of the contract. Prerequisite:PLS381.
     
  • PLS384 Regional & Urban Planning 3 crs.
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    • Designed to introduce the fundamentals of planning and the direction it is taking in the second half of the 20th century. Practical situations will be studied in the locality of the university. Field studies will also be pursued. Prerequisite:PLS231 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS391Selected Topics in Political Science as one elective
    • Provides the opportunity for the department to offer courses in areas of departmental major interest not covered by the regular courses.
     
  • PLS395 Internship I 3 crs.
    • An extended description of this course is not currently available.
     
  • PLS396 Internship II 3 crs.
    •  
    • An extended description of this course is not currently available.
     
  • PLS397 Internship III 3 crs.
    •  
    • An extended description of this course is not currently available.
     
  • PLS431 Pennsylvania Local Government
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    • Concerns the structure and administrative functions of local governments in Pennsylvania. Extensive emphasis will be on analyzing local government functions and problems emanating from the jurisdictions’ political, social, and economic environment. Prerequisite: PLS231and PLS271 or permission of instructor.
     
  • PLS501 Organizational Theory & Behavior
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    • Examines organization theory relevant to the administration and leadership in complex organizations. Focus is on topics of bureaucracy and development of administrative thought; human behavior in organizations including individual motivation, group and interpersonal dynamics, and leadership modes; organization structure, process, and dynamics; organizational development and change; and emerging perspectives in the field.
     
  • PLS502 Human Resources Management
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    • Case study course reviewing personnel administration integratively as an administrative, behavioral, and technical area. Role of the line manager in personnel administration is covered, as well as the technical roles of central personnel agency and the operating personnel office
     
  • PLS503 Foundations of Public Budgeting & Finance
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    • Provides knowledge base required to understand the principles underlying public sector budgeting and decision making. Public sector decision models are explained and the theory of public goods examined in depth. Evolving techniques for satisfying public needs through the private sector (e.g. privatization)are investigated and outcomes analyzed.
     
  • PLS504 Ethics for Public Service Managers
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    • Examines specific contemporary ethical concerns in the public sector and the ethical conduct required by statutes and codes of conduct. Appropriate case studies discussed, emphasizing the constantly changing standards in the public sector.
     
  • PLS511 State Government
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    • Studies state governments in the American federal system and analyzes state government institutions and processes with special reference to Pennsylvania.
     
  • PLS512 Intergovernmental Relations and Programs
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    • Examines the developing area of intergovernmental relations among federal, state, and local governments. Special emphasis is placed upon the work of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and implementation where feasible by state and local governments.
     
  • PLS521 Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations in the Public Sector
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    • Reviews whole area of relations between public employees and public employers and impact on public personnel administration. Some guidelines used for past contractual arrangements are covered.
     
  • PLS551 Planning & Public Policy
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    • Examines the relationship between the planning process and public policy including the inputs into the development of public policy as well as legal and other constraints. Using the current national budget priorities as a national plan and in-depth examination and reconciliation of these priorities is carried out in view of political, social, and economic constraints.
     
  • PLS552 Seminar in Urban-Rural Planning
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    • Comprises an exhaustive study of planning concepts and processes used at state and local levels with special emphasis on Pennsylvania. Theories of comprehensive planning in the United States are also analyzed and compared. The constitutional bases for planning are examined as well as the new trends toward planning programming budgeting systems (PPBS). Prerequisite: Course in government administration or permission of the instructor.
     
  • PLS561 Administrative Law
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    • Study of the law concerning the powers and procedures of administrative agencies. These governmental bodies which affect the rights of private and public parties through either adjudication or rule making are compared to and contrasted with the judicial, legislative and executive processes, using the case method. Prerequisite: Course in government administration or permission of the instructor.
     
  • PLS591 Selected Topics
    •  
    • An extended description of this course is not currently available.
     
  • PLS601 Research Methods
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    • Survey of the research process including the preparation of a research design, the use of theoretical framework, and the testing of hypothesis by gathering and analyzing data. Recommended the student complete this course as early in the graduate program as possible.
     
  • PLS603 Public Policy Analysis
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    • Briefly examines the policy making and policy implementation processes as they relate to the analysis of public policies. The major focus of the course is upon results-oriented management techniques, as well as a number of specific quantitative policy analysis techniques.
     
  • PLS605 Applied Management Techniques in Public Administration
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    • Requires students to demonstrate their ability to successfully resolve workplace situations by utilizing principles and concepts of public management as presented in the core and elective courses of the MPA curriculum. Employing the case study method, additional reading, the principle focus requires the students as individuals and in teams to work with the development and implementation of public policy. Course takes an application and problem-solving approach designed to develop the practical management skills required in the current public administration workplace.
     
  • PLS611 Internship I
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    • Opportunity to practice public administration theory and concepts as participant and an observer in the process. Placement on a limited basis in a government or nonprofit activity enhances the student’s preparation in the field.
     
  • PLS612 Internship II
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    • Opportunity to practice public administration theory and concepts as participant and an observer in the process. Placement on a limited basis in a government or nonprofit activity enhances the student’s preparation in the field.
     
  • PLS621 Thesis I
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    • An extended description for this course is not available.
     
  • PLS622 Thesis II
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    • An extended description for this course is not available.