MSU Billings Course Descriptions
PSCI - Political Science
* PSCI 210 Introduction to American Government
[formerly POLS 212 United States Government]
3 cr. Covers the American Political System relative to central government and institutions. Attention is given to concepts, organizations and functions with emphasis on the political, governmental and democratic processes and problems, including the role of individual and group relationships. Provides a perspective and background for further study in Political Science.
* PSCI 220 Introduction to Comparative Government
[formerly POLS 200 Introduction to Comparative Government]
3 cr. Introduces the ideas behind the democratic and non-democratic forms of political life in the modern world; investigates the changing nature of the role of government through systematic and comparative study of political structures, functions, behavior and changes; and provides a background for the pursuance of more specialized study in the various fields of Political Science.
* PSCI 230 Introduction to International Relations
[formerly POLS 221 International Relations]
3 cr. Considers the nature of relations among nations, various dimensions of international politics and the nature of political challenges occasioned by the changing milieu in which international affairs are conducted.
PSCI 240 Introduction to Public Administration
[formerly POLS 213 Introduction to Public Administration]
3 cr. Studies the basic principles and theory of administrative structures, organizations, leadership, fiscal management, personnel, and policy-making in the modern state.
PSCI 260 Introduction to State and Local Government
[formerly POLS 215 American State and Local Government]
3 cr. Considers the functions, organization and problems of American state governments and the local subdivisions—counties and municipalities—and examines state-federal and state-local relations. This class is a prerequisite for those students interested in applying for a Montana legislative internship.
PSCI 294 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly POLS 292 Seminar]
V1-3 cr. Provides freshmen and sophomores an opportunity to investigate intensively topics pertinent to the field of Political Science.
PSCI 294 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly POLS 293 Workshop]
V1-6 cr. Provides freshmen and sophomores an opportunity for experimental study in an area of Political Science.
PSCI 298 Internship/Cooperative Education
[formerly POLS 296 Cooperative Education/Internship]
V1-9 cr. Provides university credit for a sophomore work experience in the area of Political Science, supervised by faculty. Learning agreement must be completed prior to registration (restricted).
PSCI 335 American Foreign Policy
[formerly POLS 322 United States Foreign Policy]
3 cr. Prerequisites: PSCI 220 and PSCI 210, or consent of instructor. Traces the development of United States foreign policy and foreign policy institutions with emphasis on the post-World War II period. Modern foreign policy is analyzed in the context of theoretical and institutional implications. Will also deal with U.S. foreign policy towards specific areas of the world.
PSCI 341 Political Parties & Elections
[formerly POLS 214 Political Parties and Elections]
3 cr. Examines the structure and function of political parties, interest groups, and the mass media in the electoral process. Special emphasis on electoral rules and citizen participation from a comparative democratic perspective.
PSCI 342 Media, Public Opinion, Polling
[formerly POLS 350 Public Opinion and Polling]
3 cr. Provides historical background material on public opinion and polling, as well as address major contemporary issues faced by those who measure public opinion. The students enrolled in this course will develop a survey questionnaire and employ MSU Billings’ CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) Laboratory to conduct a random sample statewide telephone survey and write a paper based upon the polling’s results.
PSCI 346 American Presidency
[formerly POLS 217 The Presidency]
3 cr. Examines the evolution and development of the office of the President, its major responsibilities in domestic and foreign affairs, with emphasis on particular power problems that confront the President.
PSCI 347 United States Congress
[formerly POLS 347 Legislative Process]
3 cr. Prerequisite: PSCI 210. Examines the roles, structures, and procedures of the United States Congress and the Montana Legislature. During legislative election years, special emphasis will be devoted to how members are elected to legislative office.
PSCI 365 Public Policy Issues and Analysis
[formerly POLS 321 Public Policy]
3 cr. Prerequisite: PSCI 210. Examines a variety of public policy issues including economic, social welfare, health care, environmental, and criminal justice policy. Emphasis is placed on substantive policies and policy analysis.
PSCI 370 Courts and Judicial Politics
[formerly POLS 310 Judicial Process, CRIM 370 Courts and Judicial Politics]
3 cr. Prerequisite: PSCI 210. Examines the Federal and Montana judicial systems, focusing on the institutions, procedures, and personnel. Presents an introduction to civil and criminal procedures and the legal profession.
PSCI 419 Federal Indian Policy (crosslisted with NASX 419)
[formerly POLS/NAMS 495 Federal Indian Policy]
3 cr. Prerequisites: NASX 105 or NASX 205. Explores the development of the United States’ federal Indian policy from colonial times to the present. Follows the evolution of federal Indian policy as a result of tensions between assimilation and separation forces in general and of other legal, political, economic and social forces acting in the United States. Explores how contemporary American Indians fit into the American political system.
PSCI 424 Democratization
3 cr. (3 lec/wk) (Sp) Analyzes the political determinants of democratic transitions and democratic consolidation. Global and regional trends are examined systematically through data analysis.
PSCI 425 International Conflict
3 cr. (3 lec/wk) (Sp) Analyzes the political determinants of international war and conflict.
PSCI 426 Comparative Political Economy
3 cr. (3 lec/wk) (F) Assesses the relationship between politics and economics within countries. Topics covered include the relationship between democracy and development, globalization, and the welfare state. Global and regional trends are examined systematically through data analysis.
PSCI 427 Research Methods
3 cr. (3 lec/wk) (Sp) Develops knowledge of research design, qualitative and quantitative methods, and data analysis skills. Students will prepare and submit a research design that meets social scientific standards.
PSCI 458 Urban and Regional Planning
3 cr. (3 lec/wk) Reviews and analyzes the historical development of urban and regional planning in the United States, as well as prominent theories of urban planning practice. Emphasizes the connection between the theoretical and historical material and current planning practice.
PSCI 459 Public Budgeting & Finance (crosslisted with POLS 557)
[formerly POLS 457/557 Public Budgeting & Finance]
3 cr. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Focuses on budgeting in the public sector as a tool for financial management and the implementation of fiscal and programmatic policy, with emphasis on the political context. Graduate students will be expected to read substantially more in the public administration literature, to produce more in-depth research in their term papers, and to make at least one, possibly two, classroom presentations.
PSCI 464 Local Government Administration (crosslisted with POLS 562)
[formerly POLS 462/562 Local Government Administration]
3 cr. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Focuses on contemporary issues affecting small towns and counties. Discussed topics include public works departments, economic growth, human resource development, and parks and recreation.
PSCI 469 Ethics and Public Policy (crosslisted with POLS 560)
[formerly POLS 460/560 Ethics and Public Policy]
3 cr. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Explores ethics and selected issues in public service and policy making through theoretical and case study approaches. Emphasis on the relation of continuing issues and problem areas to individual careers in policy making and administrative decision making. Graduate students will be expected to read substantially more in the public administration literature, to produce more in-depth research in their term papers, and to make at least one, possibly two, classroom presentations.
PSCI 472 Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties (crosslisted with HSTA 480)
[formerly POLS/HIST 423 Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties]
3 cr. Prerequisite: HSTA 101 or PSCI 210. Examines major Supreme Court decisions in the field of individual rights. Provides an overview of civil liberties decisions with emphasis on the recent past, or may consider specific constitutional issues (i.e., church and state, freedom of speech and press, the death penalty) over the course of American history.
PSCI 473 Constitutional Law: Powers and Structures (crosslisted with HSTA 481)
[formerly POLS/HIST 427 Constitutional Law: Powers and Structures]
3 cr. Prerequisite: HSTA 101 or PSCI 210. Introduces the evolution and structure of the United States constitutional system, focusing on the federal relationship, the separation of powers, and the judicial review, relying primarily upon the case method of analysis.
PSCI 491 Special Topics (crosslisted with POLS 580)
[formerly POLS 480/580 Special Topics]
3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Provides Masters of Public Administration students an opportunity for them to investigate contemporary topics related to the field. Staffing needs will largely involve local practitioners in government and not-for-profit organizations. The course will be offered on an irregular basis.
PSCI 492 Independent Study
[formerly POLS 491 Independent Study]
V1-5 cr. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and chairperson of department. Provides outstanding students an individual opportunity to explore material not covered by regular Political Science courses.
PSCI 494 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly POLS 492 Seminar]
V1-3 cr. Provides advanced students an opportunity to investigate intensively topics pertinent to the field of Political Science.
PSCI 494 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly POLS 493 Workshop]
V1-6 cr. Provides an opportunity for experimental study in the area of Political Science.
PSCI 498 Internship/Cooperative Education
[formerly POLS 490 Political Science Internship]
V1-12 cr. Prerequisites: PSCI 260, or consent of instructor and consent of chairperson of department. Provides outstanding students an individual opportunity to explore material not covered by regular Political Science courses. Students will be working directly for elected or appointed officials and/or various types of political groups. No more than 6 hours may be counted toward a Political Science minor.
PSCI 498 Internship/Cooperative Education
[formerly POLS 496 Cooperative Education/Internship]
V1-9 cr. Provides university credit for a work experience in the area of Political Science supervised by faculty. Learning agreement must be completed prior to registration (restricted).