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Course descriptions

View descriptions and requirements for all POLS courses in UH's graduate catalog.

Electives Rota

Electives Rota Fall 2024 - Fall 2026

Electives Rota Summer 2022 - Summer 2024

Graduate Courses

(In parentheses are the fields/subfields for which each course is intended and whether the course is part of the 'core' requirement generally taken during a student's first year in the program.)

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POLS 6301 Math Methods for Political Scientists - Mathematical tools frequently used in political science: set theory, differential calculus and integration, optimization, linear algebra and probability theory. Prerequisite for advanced statistics and formal theory courses.

POLS 6308 Political Economy (American, Policy and Comparative) - Examines the intersections between economics and politics.

POLS 6309 Survey of American Political Behavior (American core) - Selected, major segments of the research literature on American political behavior.

POLS 6311 Seminar in Comparative Political Analysis (Comparative core) - Discusses major works in comparative politics. Logic of comparative analysis for cross-national research.  

POLS 6312 Survey of American Institutions and Policy (Policy core) - Theoretical and empirical issues in American institutions and policy. 

POLS 6313 Seminar in International Relations (International Relations) - Examination of international political systems. Emphasizes changing patterns of international accommodation, competition, and conflict. Examines theories of international politics.

POLS 6314 Policy Analysis (Policy) - How public policies are decided. Tools for policy decision making. Political, social, and legal determinants of public policy. 

POLS 6315 Seminar in Health Care Policy (Policy) - Politics and economics of health and medical care with emphasis on the delivery of services, their quality, distribution, and financing. 

POLS 6316 Seminar in Social Policy (Policy) - Study of distributive public policies such as civil rights, income maintenance, and social services at comparative, federal, and state levels. 

POLS 6322 Seminar in Comparative Elections (Comparative) - Examination of problems and issues in the design and function of elections and electoral systems, the behavior of voters, and the role of political parties. 

POLS 6323 Seminar in Comparative Political Parties (Comparative) - A comparison of different frameworks for understanding the impact and development of political parties, including normative critiques of party democracy. 

POLS 6326 Seminar in European Politics (Comparative and IR) - Explores institutional variations among European parliamentary governments and consequences of variations for conflict resolution and democracy. 

POLS 6327 Seminar in Middle Eastern Politics (Comparative and IR) - Cultural and socioeconomic underpinnings of politics structures, and processes of different states and their international relations. 

POLS 6330 Seminar in Foreign Policy (International Relations) - Description and evaluation of competing explanations of American foreign policy. 

POLS 6331 Seminar in Democratization (Comparative) - Explores and evaluates a variety of theoretical approaches to understanding institutional and other developments in newly-democratizing countries. 

POLS 6340 Seminar in Ancient and Medieval Political Thought (Theory) - A selective examination of Greek, Roman, and feudal thinking on recurrent problems in political theory. 

POLS 6341 Seminar in Modern Political Thought (Theory) - A selective examination of thinking, from Machiavelli to the present, concerning recurrent problems in political theory. 

POLS 6342 Liberalism and Its Critics (Theory) - Contemporary arguments for and against the liberal tradition: including libertarian, responsible government, communitarian, conservative, and feminist perspectives. 

POLS 6343 Seminar in Democratic Thought (Theory core) - A critical examination of the theoretical foundations for democracy, and its major texts and competing theories. Emphasizes normative and analytical approaches. 

POLS 6344 Dissertation Prospectus - Students prepare a plan for dissertation research and complete a working dissertation prospectus.

POLS 6345 History of Political Theory - A survey of the history of political theory from Plato through John Rawls. May be repeated.

POLS 6346 Social Criticism and Revolution in Political Thought - A survey of the origins of social criticism and theories of revolution from the 19th century to the present. May be repeated.

POLS 6348 Contemporary Political Theory (Theory) - Examination of contemporary political theory including post-modernism and the concomitant concerns of the character of modern political theory. 

POLS 6349 Seminar in American Political Thought (Theory) - The colonial experience, the Revolution, the writing of the Constitution, and experience in living under the Constitution-how each has contributed to American political theory. 

POLS 6350 Seminar in Media and Politics (American) - Examines interactive effect of institutional forces and political actors on mediated political communication and information processing. 

POLS 6353 Seminar in Administrative Law (PA) - Examination of the legal and Constitutional standards that affect and circumscribe the regulatory process and bureaucratic decision making. 

POLS 6354 Seminar in Law and Society (American) - How the values and behavior of society influence the substance and enforcement of the law and also how the law affects the mores and attitudes of society. 

POLS 6355 Seminar in Judicial Process (American) - Study of judicial recruitment, socialization, and decision-making process. Also, impact and enforcement of judicial decisions. 

POLS 6356 Seminar in Constitutional Law (American) - Study of major Supreme Court decisions interpreting the U.S. Constitution. 

POLS 6357 Comparative Judicial Systems - Surveys the variation of legal systems and courts across the world from a comparative perspective; investigates how constitutions, courts, and other legal actors vary and how these variations affect judicial decisions and law more generally. 

POLS 6359 Bibliographic Essay (Masters) - A bibliographic essay of approximately 30 pages on a topic agreed to by instructor and student covering a significant topic of the discipline.

POLS 6360 Seminar in State Politics (American) -Roles of the legislature and governor; state political parties and elections; state finances and taxation; comparative public policies of the state. 

POLS 6364 Seminar in Legislative Process (American) - Organization, process, structure, and policy-making functions of Congress. 

POLS 6365 Seminar in Public Opinion (American) - Examines influences on public opinion; impact of mass media; role of public opinion in democracy. 

POLS 6366 Seminar in Political Parties (American) - History and organization of political parties in the United States; functions of parties for the political system; electoral base of American political parties. 

POLS 6367 Seminar in Electoral Behavior (American) - Examines determinants of voting decisions; role of elections in democracy. 

POLS 6368 Psychological Approaches to Politics (American) - Surveys the major psychological approaches to study of politics, such as clinical/functional theories and information processing theories, in current political science research. 

POLS 6369 Seminar on the Presidency (American) - Changing concepts of the presidency. The president as chief executive. The president and Congress. The president and public opinion. 

POLS 6370 Public Administration and Policy Implementations (Policy and PA) - Explores ways in which political and organizational considerations constrain adoption and implementation of alternative public policies. 

POLS 6383 Evaluation Research (Policy, PA) - Methods for evaluating public programs and problems. Topics include the practical issues of collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Problems and limitations of public sector research. 

POLS 6384 Survey Research Methods (Methods) - Practical issues of sampling, questionnaire design, interviewing techniques, and supervision are combined with the analysis of survey results and the presentation of data to academic, governmental, and commercial audiences. 

POLS 6385 Time Series Methods (Methods) - Autoregressive and distributed lag models, stochastic regression, univariate and multivariate ARIMA modeling, impact assessment, forecasting. 

POLS 6386 Measurement Theory for Political Science (Methods) - Unobtrusive measurement, scaling models, reliability and validity, factor analysis, analysis of covariance structures. 

POLS 6387 Political Inquiry (Methods) - Applies relevance issues of the philosophy of science to the study of politics. Political science as a science. 

POLS 6388 Causal Inference Methods and Applications - Applies statistical techniques to the analysis of causes and counterfactuals to the formulation and testing of theoretical arguments. 

POLS 6389 Public Choice (Methods, American, Theory) - Public choice models of political decision making, spatial models of elections, theory of public goods, game theory. 

POLS 6394 Seminar: Selected Topics in Political Theory and Methodology (Theory, Methods) 

POLS 6395 Seminar: Selected Topics in American Politics and Public Policy (American, Policy) 

POLS 6396 Seminar: Selected Topics in Comparative Politics and International Relations (Comparative and IR). 

POLS 6397 Seminar: Selected Topics in Public Administration and Law (Public Law and PA) 

POLS 6480 Research Design and Quantitative Methods I (Methods core) - First semester of a two-semester sequence on research methods commonly used in political science and public administration. Emphasis on issues of research design, descriptive and inferential statistics, and bivariate regression. 

POLS 6481 Research Design and Quantitative Methods II (Methods core) - Second course in required methods sequence. Focus on the general linear model. Topics include multivariate regression, violations of model assumptions, alternative estimators, computer applications. 

POLS 6482 Advanced Multivariate Statistics (Methods) - Causal modeling, recursive and non-recursive model, identification, alternative estimators, specification, and measurement error. 

POLS 8398 Dissertation Prospectus - Seminar on preparing outline and prospectus for writing doctoral dissertation.