Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  

About the Undergraduate Program

Departmental Requirements

All majors must complete a minimum of ten (10) semester courses in political science including:
  • POSC 1100 and
  • at least one course from three of the four fields into which the department is divided (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics and Political Theory),
  • and one 4000 level seminar (or tutorial, with departmental approval).
Seminars are open to juniors and seniors only. The remaining five electives may be filled by any other departmental course offering.

All minors must complete a minimum of six one-semester courses in political science including POSC 1100 and at least one course from two of the four fields into which the department is divided
(American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics and Political Theory).

Seniors with a cumulative grade point index of 3.3 or better may enroll in 5000 level graduate courses. Undergraduate credit is granted for such courses.

  • For advisement or program information at Lincoln Center contact Professor Susan Berger (Email:, Office: Lowenstein 917-E, Phone: (212) 636-6362)
  • For advisement or program information at Rose Hill contact Professor Robert Hume (Email:, Office: Faber Hall 669, Phone: (718) 817-3964)
  • If you have any general questions, please feel free to stop by the main department office in Faber Hall, 6th floor or contact us by phone, email, or mail:
Phone: +1 (718) 817-3950
Fax: +1 (718) 817-3972

Rose Hill (map):
Department of Political Science
Fordham University
Faber Hall (6th Floor)
441 East Fordham Road 
Bronx, NY 10458
Lincoln Center (map): 
Deptartment of Political Science
Fordham University
113 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023


General Courses in Political Science

POSC 1100-Introduction to Politics

The purpose of the course is to present systematically to the student approaches to politics as an organizing principle in the larger social community and as a way of life. In pursuing this goal, the student will be introduced to certain essential concepts and unifying themes germane to the discipline.

POSC 2001-Political Analysis
Provides students with the essential methods and concepts for the quantitative analysis of political phenomena, such as polls and election returns. Techniques of analysis introduced will include graphics, descriptive statistics, cross-tabular and correlation analysis, hypothesis testing and computer applications. The goal of the course is to make the student a component consumer of political analysis. It will also focus on how political analysis is used in the real world, e.g. by campaign strategists and governments.

POSC 4999-Tutorial in Political Science
Supervised individual research projects.

Political Theory

Here is a more general overview of "Political Philosophy/Theory" offerings at the Political Science Department (not all courses are offered each semester, so be sure to check the semester course offerings list).
    POSC 2401-Introduction to Political Philosophy
    This course will study the major philosophers from Plato to Marx, discussing questions such as the best regime, the nature of justice and the relation between the individual and the community.

    POSC 3404-American Political Thought
    What does it mean to be an American? What are the principles of American politics? This course poses these questions to key figures in American political thought, including Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, Tocqueville, Dubois, Goldman, Rawls, Strauss, and Connolly.

    POSC 3412-Modern Political Thought
    Through selected readings of major political theorists, this course will examine the ideas of the individual, the state, and society, from the 16th through the 19th century. The course will trace the development of such theories as democracy, socialism, communism, and totalitarianism. Writers whose works will be examined include Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Hegel, Marx, and Freud.

    POSC 3413-Contemporary Political Philosophy
    This course considers contemporary answers to the perennial questions of political philosophy, including what is human nature? and what political principles accord with human nature? We read leading figures in liberalism (Rawls), conservativism (Strauss), civic republicanism (Arendt), communitarianism (Taylor), and postmodernism (Deleuze and Guattari, Connolly).

    POSC 3414-Politics, Nature & History

    Some thinkers have appealed to nature as a way of understanding the political community and its concerns. Others have claimed that history is far more important than human nature in understanding politics. We shall be looking at this debate as it unfolds in the writings fo political thinkers both in antiquity and in the modern era. We shall be discussing writings from such theorists as Aristotle, Augistine, Hobbes, Kant, Nietzsche, Freud, Skinner, and Heidegger.

    POSC 3415-Politics, Reason & Revelation
    How do different prominent political thinkers, such as Augustine, Maimonides, Locke, Spinoza, and Mill view the compatibility of the demands of religion and the needs of political communities?

    POSC 3416-Liberalism and Its Critics
    Modern liberal political thought, its intellectual roots and varieties; consideration of the best of liberalism's critics; examples will be drawn from philosophical, popular and public policy sources.

    POSC 3418-Islamic Political Thought
    The relationship between religious authority and political legitimacy in the classical and modern Islamic worlds. Various ways Muslims over the past 1,400 years have thought about the proper distribution of power and authority in their societies. What is an "Islamic state," and has there ever actually been such a thing? How did classical Muslim thinkers deal with the disjunction between political reality and political ideals? How have Sunni and Shiite thinkers differed in their conceptions of proper government? How useful a concept is "Islamic fundamentalism," and how modern is it?

    POSC 3423-Political Ideologies
    Beginning with a theoretical inquiry into the nature of political movements, this course will examine a variety of political ideologies (including anarchism, socialism, communism, fascism, nationalism, conservatism, liberalism, feminism and minority liberation) which are associated with such movements.

    POSC 3429-Democratic Theory
    This course studies theories of modern democracy, their historical antecedents, their foundational assumptions about power, human nature and identity, and areas of agreement and disagreement between them over key ideas such as rights, equality, citizenship, justice, and difference. It evaluates contemporary democratic practices in the "era of globalization" through the lens of each theory.

    POSC 4454-Seminar: Global Justice
    What is global justice and how can we achieve it? This course considers the answers of Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, Martha Nussbaum, Samuel Huntington, Leo Strauss, Tariq Ramadan, and Pema Chodron. Then we apply their ideas to topics such as American foreign policy, The United Nations, human rights, the wars in Afghanistan, Darfur, etc.

    POSC 4430-Seminar: Freud, Politics, Sexuality
    The course will explore Freud's writings on infantile sexuality and sexual difference in their relation to his writings on culture, civilization, and politics.

    POSC 4800-Seminar: Political Economy
    Analysis and discussion of selected topics and problems in political economy. Provides students the opportunity to work on guided research projects tailored to the student's interests and the course's objectives.

Comparative Politics

Here is a more general overview of "Comparative Politics" offerings at the Political Science Department (not all courses are offered each semester, so be sure to check the semester course offerings list).

POSC 2610-Introduction to Comparative Politics
This course involves the systematic study and comparison of the world's political systems. It seeks to explain differences between as well as similarities among countries including the United States. Comparative politics is particularly interested in exploring patterns, processes, and regularities among political systems. It looks for trends, for changes in patterns, and tries to develop general propositions or hypotheses that describe and explain these trends.

POSC 3605-Comparative Democracy
An examination of current explanations of stable democracy and an attempt to apply them to small, fragmented democracies of Western Europe.

POSC 3610-Political Economy of Development
The course will focus on an analysis of contending interpretations of the consequences of the economic interrelationships between industrially developed and developing areas.

POSC 3612-Youth and Politics
An overview of how young people around the globe participate in politics.

POSC 3614-Political Institutions
What political institutions maximize social welfare and cooperation? If you are asked to choose among different types and combinations of institutional rules and practices – such as the organization and operation of the executive, the structure of the legislature, the type of electoral system, and the relationship between the central and local governments – which political institutions would you choose? Why? We will ask whether an optimal combination of political institutions exists by comparing governments in 36 (mostly developed) countries on outcomes such as citizen participation, proximity between government policy and voter preferences, political conflict among the branches of government, economic growth and income distribution, public goods provision, and  political corruption. 

POSC 3621-European Politics

Introduction to the politics of contemporary Europe including analyses of political economy, democratic governance, and political integration.

POSC 3622-Politics of the European Union
Analysis of the development of the European Union with special emphasis on its enlargement and the reform of the European Union institutions.

POSC 3631-China & Russia in Comparative Perspective
The course will identify and describe recent political and socioeconomic changes in China and Russia while evaluating the relationship betweencapitalism and autocracy in comparative perspective.

POSC 3632-China & US in Global Era
This course compares China and the U.S. with respect to political system, philosophy, and political economy. It includes lectures, discussion, joint Chinese-American student study projects, and field trips to important historic and contemporary Chinese political and cultural sites in southern China, and in Hong Kong and Macau. The class concludes with a discussion of the future of Chinese-American political and economic relations in the contemporary era of globalization.

POSC 3641-Latin American Politics
An examination of Latin American politics from theoretical and case study perspectives. Topics include parties and interest groups, militarization of the state, environmental politics, revolution, development and human rights.

POSC 3645-Politics of Immigration
The course examines the politics of contemporary immigration. Topics include the construction of citizen and alien, the (re)negotiation of immigrant sexuality and sexual identity, the racialization of naturalization, the family and immigration law, the formation of social movements around immigrant rights, and a comparative analysis of immigration policies in the U.S. and those in Europe.

POSC 3651-Comparative Politics of the Middle East
Comparative analysis of Middle Eastern institutions, actors and processes since World War II.

International Politics

Here is a more general overview of "International Politics" offerings at the Political Science Department (not all courses are offered each semester, so be sure to check the semester course offerings list).
    POSC 2501-Introduction to International Politics
    A look at modern nation-states in terms of national character, resources, industrial and military capacity, and geography. An examination of their foreign policies in terms of alliance and balance of power theories as influenced by regional and international organizations and movements. A study of war and its alternatives, such as diplomacy, peaceful change, peaceful settlement of disputes, and future models of world order.

    POSC 3505-International Law
    Historical evolution of general principles of international law. Modern transformation of the law of nations under the impact of growing complexity of international relations; relationship between the national and international legal systems.

    POSC 3507-International Human Rights
    An examination of the international system for the protection of human rights: legal and political theory, cultural relativism, diplomatic protection and the concept of human rights law; legal instruments and institutions; substantive law.

    POSC 3508-The Politics of Humanitarianism in Africa
    This course explores contemporary international politics of humanitarianism in Africa, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Issues to be analyzed include international, regional, and sub-regional responses to complex humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters in Africa; the politics of forced displacement, gender- based violence, famine, civilian protection of women and children in armed conflict, and emergency shelter and camp management; local perceptions of humanitarianism; the relationship between international peacekeeping and humanitarianism; and early engagement and recovery through international peace building on the continent.

    POSC 3515-Revolution
    An introduction to theories of revolution, and examination of classical and contemporary cases of revolution and a framework for considering the structure of revolution in the future.

    POSC 3516-Conflict Analysis/Resolution
    This course focuses on post-Cold War international conflict analysis as an instrument of peacemaking. We will analyze inter-state, internal, state-formation, and protracted social conflict and focus on the development of conflict analysis and resolution as an interdisciplinary component of international studies.

    POSC 3518-Analysis of International Politics
    Designed to stimulate and clarify our thinking about the global political and economic system, the motivations behind individual foreign policies and the sources of conflict and control in the capitalist world.

    POSC 3520-Mideast and the World
    An introduction to the international politics of the Middle East and North Africa defined as the whole of the Arab world plus Israel, Turkey, Iran, and those states neighboring these countries that have influence on the region's external relations. Emphasis will be placed on the colonial and postcolonial periods with particular attention paid to the post-World War Two era. Competing theoretical approaches to the study of international politics will precede a more issue-based analysis of the key factors that animate the region's behavior in world affairs. Topics receiving in-depth treatment include: inter-state conflicts, oil politics, political system types and their relationship to international politics, the role of religion, terrorism, external actors influence on the region, United States foreign policy goals, instruments, and actions, among others. No prior background in Middle East studies is assumed.

    POSC 3521-Global Governance
    This course introduces the student to the leading past and contemporary theories and perspectives in the study of global goverance. It provides the student with the ability to survey and understand the wide variety of information regarding multiple aspects of global governance and prepares students to assess the possibilities for the global future and its impact on our lives.

    POSC 3522-United Nations
    Structure and powers of contemporary international organizations; the role of the U.N., and regional organizations as related to war, peaceful change, and development.

    POSC 3526-Dem Terrorism and Modern Life
    This course examines the requisites of democracy and modernity as ways of thinking and ways of life and the threat posed to them by terrorism. It asks, what is terrorism, why does it exist, how fundamental are the conflicts it is embedded in, how extensive a threat is it to th U.S. and others, and how can it be stopped? It analyzes the vulnerabilities (and considers the strengths) of modern, highly technological, media driven, highly integrated, international liberal social and economic regimes and the modern philosophical systems with regard to terrorism, and considers ways to mitigate points of danger. Finally, it considers the advantages of democracy and modernity in overcoming this threat.

    POSC 3530-U.S. Foreign Policy
    This course will consider the goals and instruments of United States foreign policy, both in the security and economic realms, as well as through an historical context. Students will examine how foreign policy is made, contending explanations, as well as the main actors involved. Current issues and controversies will be used to test different theoretical approaches.

    POSC 3540-Politics of Cyberspace
    This course examines the impact of the Internet on the political system. Topics include the potential of the internet to deepen public debate, the use of the Internet by political parties and social movements, and the challenge of the Internet to prevailing conceptions of privacy and property. Extensive use of web sites.

    POSC 3915-International Political Economy
    Examines some of the implications of the growing intertwinement of foreign and domestic policies, of the economic and political aspects of international relations. Gives special attention to the growth of dependency and interdependence, the importance of transnational actors (such as multinational corporations), and the distribution of benefits and influence between poor and rich areas in the international order.

    POSC 4610-Seminar: Globalization
    This seminar provides an overview over the core theoretical views on globalization: its historical development, the main actors, and determinants of "winners and losers" of globalization. The second part of the seminar will use case studies that highlight specific issues most contested in the discussion of globalization to foster a connection between the theories we covered and the actual unfolding of globalization as experienced by a number of actors.

    POSC 4805-Seminar: International Politics of Peace
    Students in this course will integrate informed analysis and reflection to critique, orally debate, and articulate in writing their ideas regarding how actors in international politics can nurture, envision, (re)build, manage, enhance, and enforce "peace" in contemporary international politics.

American Politics

Here is a more general overview of "American Politics" offerings at the Political Science Department (not all courses are offered each semester, so be sureto check the semester course offerings list).

    POSC 2102-Intro Urban Politics
    A study of politics and power within urban political systems, including an examination of their historical development, current political economy, and prospects for the future.

    POSC 3120-Seminar: Internship in New York City Government
    See Thomas DeLuca. Ph.D., (212) 636-6384 for information about POSC 3120 at Lincoln Center, which is offered during summers only.

    POSC 3121-New York City Politics
    An analysis of the New York City political system. Attention will be paid to the participants in New York City government and politics, the factors that influence policy making in New York City, as well as public policies produced by the system.

    POSC 3122-Religion & American Politics
    This interdisciplinary seminar explores the nexus of religion and American public life. After treating topics related to electoral politics (e.g. candidate religion, voter religion, "value voters," religious rhetoric), students will then engage a series of "hot topics" that encompass ( and often combine) both religious and political discourse. The goal is to provide students with two alternative, yet complementary methods of analyzing the intersection of religion and American politics- one from a political science perspective and one from a theological perspective.

    POSC 3131-Politics of Urban Health & Environment
    This course will examine the intersection of urban life, individual and community health and public policy. It will examine the evolution of urban public problems, the urban environment and the role and responsibility of society and the political system to respond to individual and health issues in urban settings.

    POSC 3203-American Economic Policymaking
    This course surveys the major economic policies made by the U.S. government, political influences on economic policy making and the consequences of economic policy on politics. Some of the policies we will look at will include macroeconomic policy, fiscal and monetary policy, taxes, regulation and trade. Influences on economic policy making include the president, congress, interest groups and the public. We will also discuss the trade off between economic efficiency and equity.

    POSC 3209-Constitutional Law
    A casebook analysis of central issues of constitutional law. Examines the Constitution's origins, judicial review, federalism, separation and balance of powers, domestic and foreign affairs, the commerce clause, substantive due process, the rise of the administrative state, philosophies of interpretation. Presents the Constitution as defining a structure of government, rights and political economy. Examines the Constitution's role in American political development and democracy.

    POSC 3210-Civil Rights and Liberties
    A casebook analysis of Supreme Court decisions on civil rights and civil liberties. Topics include freedom of speech and religion, the right to privacy, gender and racial equality, the death penalty, and protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

    POSC 3213-Interest Group Politics
    An examination of pressure groups and their role in the political process. Special attention will be paid to the origins of groups, who joins and who does not and how groups affect their own members.

    POSC 3214-The U.S. Congress
    A study of the historical development and current operation of the U.S. Congress. Particular attention is paid to the impact of elections, political parties, formal and informal rules and procedures, and congressional committees on the policies produced by Congress, and to Congress' relation to the executive branch.

    POSC 3215-American Political Parties
    Examines the workings of American political parties and their role in the political system. Analyzes the effect of parties on the campaigns of presidential and congressional candidates, the influence of parties on the electoral decisions of voters, and the impact of parties on the workings of both the presidency and Congress as policymaking institutions.

    POSC 3217-The American Presidency
    An examination of presidential leadership, including the development, growth, and exercise of presidential power. Includes analysis of republican foundations of the presidency, organization and operation of office, role in domestic and foreign policy, relations with Congress, and the importance of character.

    POSC 3228-Civil Rights
    A casebook analysis of legal responses to public and private discrimination, with emphasis on race and gender. Examines Supreme Court decisions, laws, and politics, involving the 5th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments, equal protection and level of scrutiny, civil and voting rights, public accommodations, employment, private associations, schools, privacy, "natural" roles, the public/private dichotomy. Studies movements for equality. Evaluates busing, affirmative action, pay equity and other remedies.

    POSC 3229-Judicial Behavior
    An examination of judicial decision making, this course explores classic and contemporary explanations for how judges decide cases. Topics include rival theories of constitutional interpretation as well as behavioral studies on the motivations of judges

    POSC 3230-Law & Society
    An assessment of the impact of courts on society, this course evaluates the success of groups that have tried to use courts to bring about social change, including African-Americans, women, and homosexuals. Theories of judicial impact will also be explored.

    POSC 3301-Campaigns and Elections

    This course undertakes an in-depth study of campaigns and voting, with an emphasis on the presidential and congressional elections. We will examine elections from the perspectives of candidates, political parties, interest groups, the media, political consultants, and voters. In addition, we will address some basic questions about elections in America: What are the rules? Who wins and why? What difference do elections make?

    POSC 3304-Elections and Parties
    Examines the role of political parties and elections in American democracy and political development. Topics include electoral participation and apathy, political campaigns, rules of the game, realignments, interest aggregation, the two party system, third parties, reform proposals, and the relation of parties and elections to policy-making.

    POSC 3309-Women in American Politics
    This course examines the role of women in three major areas of American politics: women as citizens and voters; women as candidates of elective office; and women as political officeholders. The course analyzes each of these areas in the context of the unique experience woman have had both historically and currently.

    POSC 3310-Racial & Ethnic Politics
    This course provides an introduction to the major theoretical frameworks in the racial and ethnic politics literature. The class will help students better understand how incorporation, identity, and participation shape political identity in the US.

    POSC 3313-Political Psychology
    This course draws from psychology and political science to explore the psychological sources of political behavior.

    POSC 3321-American Public Policy
    Analysis of the process of policy making at the national level, including the politics of selected policy issues. Students examine how some issues never make it to the public agenda and the forces that shape those that do.

    POSC 4100-Seminar: American Politics
    This course studies contemporary American political development through analysis of the historical and philosophical roots, current ideologies and practices, and likely future of U.S. politics. Using democratic theory, and political, and policy analysis it examines selected aspects of contemporary political behavior, agendas, ideologies, and institutions to explain current trends in American politics. It studies, in particular, the relation between power, social structure, and politics in order to assess the viability and character of political democracy today.

    POSC 4106-Seminar: Presidential Elections
    The course will analyze the dynamics of presidential elections, including pre-nomination stage, nominations, campaigns, and voting behavior.

    POSC 4107-Seminar: Municipal Elections
    The course will explore aspects of municipal elections including institutional variations and voting behavior. Students will devote attention to ongoing municipal contests.

    POSC 4150-Seminar: Money in Politics
    This seminar explores the relationship between money and politics. Specifically, we will explore the role of money in presidential and congressional elections. We will analyze who contributes money and why; what effect campaign contributors have on the electoral and policymaking process. Proposals to reform the financing of elections will also be explored.

    POSC 4210-Seminar: State, Family and Society
    This seminar will examine the relationship between political systems and the family by exploring the connection between varying philosophical/ideological perspectives on state intervention in the family. Public policy issues to be discussed will include marriage and divorce, adoption and foster care, child care, family and child autonomy and child and domestic abuse.

    POSC 4220-Seminar: Religion and the Law
    What does it mean to live a religious life in a country that takes seriously the separation of church and state? What is the proper role of religion in public discourse? This course examines the status of religious expression in the law, examining such issues as school prayer, vouchers for religious education, and the teaching of intelligent design, as well as the role that religion has played in the decision making of the nation's leaders.

    POSC 4225-Seminar: Judicial Politics
    The course is and intensive examination of methodological approaches to the study of judicial politics. Students will be introduced to major theories and literatures relating to judicial politics and become familiar with methods for conducting research or the courts. The culmination of the course will be a major research project on the subject of law and courts.

    POSC 4240-Seminar: Black Ethnic Politics
    The course examines how incorporation, concepts of identity, and participation shape the multifaceted political identities of blacks currently residing in NYC and in the U.S. more broadly.

    POSC 4300-Seminar: Political Behavior
    Discussion and analysis of selected problems in political behavior, providing students with the opportunity to work on individually guided research projects. 

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