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PS 105 American Government 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall Winter
Examination of the nature and workings of American government, with references to its federal character and practical applications.
PS 106 Introduction to Paralegal Studies 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall

This course offers this thorough exploration of the entire paralegal profession, as well as a specific inventory of what students will be expected to know, and the tasks they will be expected to perform, as working paralegals in law office and other legal environments.

PS 109 Legal Research and Writing 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter

This course provides the student with an understanding of the law library as well as the use, organization, and interrelationships of the various legal research tools. Students develop skills in researching various legal problems.  In addition, clear, concise legal writing style is developed. Drafting of legal memorandums and legal briefs is emphasized. Students will learn to draft letters, opinions, and other legal documents.

PS 200 Introduction to Nonprofit Management 4 cr.  (4-0-0)
  • Offered: Contact Department

This course will provide students the foundation knowledge they need to understand the role and purpose of nonprofit organizations in contemporary American society. Students will learn what distinguishes, both philosophically and practically, the nonprofit sector from business and government. Particular attention will be given to mission, organizational structure, funding, and culture.   

PS 202 Seminar in Public Policy Analysis 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall
Basic theories and methods of public policy analysis. Student understanding is accomplished through a series of readings, projects, discussions and lectures on topics of current political importance, such as health, environment, transportation, education and welfare.
PS 203 Comparative Government and Politics 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall
Introduction to political institutions and processes as seen from a comparative perspective, consideration of the political development process in modern industrial society and comparative study of public policy. European case materials are emphasized.
PS 206 International Relations 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter
Study of the basic principles of international politics, international law, international organization and the theories of international relations. Influences shaping the foreign policy of states and patterns observable in state behavior are studied.
PS 207 Ancient and Medieval Political Thought 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter

Political philosophers and their philosophies, from the Greeks through the Middle Ages. Studying their assumptions and their reasoning should help students to clarify their thinking. Class discussion is emphasized.

PS 208 Modern Political Thought 4 cr.
  • Offered: Every other winter

Political philosophers and their philosophies, from Machiavelli through the present day. Studying their assumptions and their reasoning should help students to clarify their thinking. Class discussion is emphasized.

PS 215 Introduction to Law 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall

Primary emphasis is on the structure of the legal system, judicial recruitment and specialized areas of law such as civil and criminal procedure, torts and contracts. Students use such legal resources as court cases, legal digests and compiled laws. Writing legal briefs and a mock trial are featured.

PS 294 Campaign Practicum 2-4 cr.
  • Offered: Contact Department

Students gain practical experience working on a local, state or national campaign, read from books and articles on political parties and elections, attend lectures, participate in discussions and write a reflective paper on their campaign experience.

PS 295 Special Topics in Political Science 1-4 cr.
  • Offered: On demand
Individual or group study of a significant topic or problem in political science. The requirements of this course may be met by completing a course not ordinarily offered or through participation in seminars, colloquia, workshops, study abroad or directed reading.
PS 299 Model U.N. 2 cr.
  • Offered: Contact Department
  • Prerequisites: PS 101 or PS 203 or PS 206 or instructor’s permission.

A simulation involving a comparative analysis of the governments and policies of various nations in the world and how they interact with one another on important issues in the setting of the United Nations. Students accepted for this course will represent NMU at either a regional or national Model U.N. conference.


May be repeated for credit if topic differs. On transcripts, the course will appear as: Model U.N.-(country's name).

PS 302 Methods of Public Policy Analysis 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter
  • Prerequisites: PS 202 or instructor permission.
Introduction to fundamentals of analyzing public policy problems, including consideration of analytical models and training in research and reporting methods. Students analyze a public policy problem through the use of qualitative and quantitative methods of research and reporting.
PS 303 Public Opinion and Voting Behavior 4 cr.
  • Offered: Contact Department

Survey of the determinants of voting behavior. The topics of public opinion and voting behavior are approached through a combination of reading and research. Students are provided a basic understanding of appropriate research techniques.

PS 307 Principles of Public Administration 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall

Introduction to theory and practice in the management of public affairs, including the politics of administration, bureaucratic efficiency, personnel, budget and finance and administrative responsibility. Selected case studies used where appropriate.

PS 309 State and Local Government 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter

Study of state and local governments, including political systems and politics. Major emphasis is placed on the structure and operation of Michigan government and politics.

PS 310 Contemporary Political Ideologies 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall

This course will familiarize students with the concept of political ideology, its historical development, and applications. Key texts representing the major ideologies of the 20th and 21st centuries will be studied (such as liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, fascism, socialism, etc.) along with competing scholarly perspectives on them. The course will also cover recent and/or unacknowledged political ideologies – political ideas that are influential, but which are not always recognized as ideologies.

PS 312 War and Peace in the 21st Century 4 cr.
  • Offered: Contact Department
  • Prerequisites: EN 211 with a grade of "C" or better and sophomore standing.

Survey of factors shaping the development of strategic and tactical nuclear forces, combined with the study of theories of nuclear deterrence, arms control and disarmament.

PS 313 Great Decisions 2 cr.  (4-0-0)
  • Offered: Contact Department

This course explores the complexities of current global issues and the related great decisions that the United States and the world community must confront. The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan provides world renowned lectures on select critical global issues each week. Some of the issues covered include ISIS, the Syrian refugee crisis, and the Iranian nuclear deal. New issues are explored as the world faces new crises.

Notes: This course meets for seven weeks.
PS 315 Politics and Film 4 cr.
  • Offered: Contact department
This course uses films and selected documentaries to analyze a series of political topics, all linked by themes of power and violence in political systems. Some of these issues are basic and permanent in politics, such as the troubled relationship between private and public ethics; others, such as totalitarianism, force us to rethink the nature of modernity itself.
PS 318 Politics of Gender and Sexuality 4 cr.  (4-0-0)
  • Offered: Winter, Odd Years
  • Prerequisites: Junior standing, or instructor permission.

An examination of past practices of criminalizing and excluding members of LGBTQ communities and denying them basic rights and the evolution of the role of the U.S. Supreme Court and other branches of government to establish and promote these basic rights.

PS 319 Women and U.S. Politics 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter
  • Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or instructor’s permission.
This course will cover a breadth of issues related to women and politics, including level and forms of political participation, public policies related to women and the role of women in American politics and society.