Course Descriptions

All courses are offered through the College of Arts & Sciences, Social Sciences Building (SSB), Room 367, (907) 786-4897

PS A101 Introduction to American Government
An introduction to the historical and constitutional foundations of American government; the political activities of parties, groups, and the media; public decision-making by the executive, Congress, and the courts; and current economic, environmental, social, and foreign issues and policies.
Course Attributes: UAA GER Social Sciences Req.

PS A102 Introduction to Political Science
The exploration of basic principles and processes of major branches of the discipline of political science including American government, comparative politics, international relations and political philosophy.
Course Attributes: UAA GER Social Sciences Req.

PS A290 Topics in Political Science
Introductory-level examination of current or ongoing topic of interest related to one or more sub-fields within political science.
Special note: May be repeated up to five times for credit with change of title for a maximum of six credits.

PS A301 Comparative Political Economy
Prerequisites: A102.
Explores how political power shapes economic outcomes and how economic forces influence political action. Includes an introduction to the prominent theories of international political economy (IPE); describes IPE institutions; and presents and analyzes global trade and development theories and other contemporary challenges to IPE.

PS A311 Comparative Politics
Prerequisite: ENGL A111 and (PS A101 or PS A102).
Course Attributes: UAA GER Social Sciences Req.
Introduction to the development of governmental structures and political processes in the modern world. Theories are related to problems and governing strategies in contemporary political systems.

PS A312 Comparative Northern Politics
Prerequisite: ENGL A111 or PS A102.
Detailed comparative analysis of political systems, political actors, and political institutions across the northern region, to contrast such entities, and evaluate the complex range of issues relevant to the region and the international community. 

PS A321 International Relations
Prerequisite: PS A102.
An introduction to international relations providing general knowledge and analytical tools necessary to understand, evaluate, and respond to an increasingly complex array of international problems and international affairs. Includes theoretical approaches to international relations and how theory influences expectations.

PS A322 United States Foreign Policy
Prerequisite: PS A101 or PS A102.
Examines the heritage of United States foreign policy, the processes involved in the formation and implementation of policy, and the environment in which these factors occur.

PS A324 Model United Nations
Special Fees.
Special note: may be repeated once for credit.
Student simulation of the United Nations. Acting as nation-state delegates, students research and debate a topic of international concern.

PS A325 Northeast Asia in the 21st Century
Crosslisted: HIST A325and INTL A325
Prerequisite: Junior standing. Completion of GER Tier 1 (basic college-level skills) courses. Six credits of Tier 2 GEOG, HIST, or PS courses.
Course Attributes: UAA GER Integrative Capstone.
An interdisciplinary examination and analysis of Northeast Asia covering China, the Koreas, and Japan, designed to provide students with the means to understand how the societies of this region have developed separate and distinct identities despite their common cultural and philosophic roots.

PS A330 The American Political Tradition
Prerequisite: ENGL A111 and [HIST A101 or PS A101].
The political theory of liberal democracy examined in its application to crucial events in American political history, with emphasis on the American founding era.

PS A331 Political Philosophy
Prerequisite: ENGL A111.
Course Attributes: UAA GER Humanities Req.
An introduction to political philosophy, with emphasis on the study of regimes; selected regimes are examined through the writings of political philosophers.

PS A332 History of Political Philosophy I: Classical
Prerequisite: ENGL A111.
Course Attributes: UAA GER Humanities Req.
Political philosophy from Plato to Marsilius, with emphasis on natural right.

PS A333 History of Political Philosophy II: Modern

Prerequisite: ENGL A111.
Course Attributes: UAA Ger Humanities Req.
Political philosophy from Machiavelli to Nietzsche, with emphasis on liberalism and its critics.

PS A341 The United States Congress
Prerequisite: PS A101.
Examines the organization of the U.S. Congress and its role in the American political system. Topics include theories of representative government, the internal dynamics of Congress, and forces that influence its ability to act within the constitutional system.

PS A342 The American Presidency
Prerequisite: PS A101.
Examines executive branch of the U.S. government. The course focuses on the constitutional design and evolution of the office, theories of presidential power, relations with Congress, and contemporary policy making.

PS A343 Constitutional Law

Prerequisite: PS A101 or JUST A110
Crosslisted: JUST A343.
Introduces students to American constitutional law through study of the history of the Constitution and selected landmark Supreme Court cases. Topics covered are separation of powers; judicial review, civil rights and liberties, property and economic rights and others.

PS A344 State & Local Politics
Prerequisite: PS A101.
State and local politics and governments in the United States and their interrelationships. The course focuses on how the political process works, how decisions are made, and current issues and policies.

PS A345 Alaska Government and Politics
Prerequisite: PS A101.
Special Note: May be applied to the Alaska Culture and History requirements for State of Alaska teacher recertification.
Examines all forms of governmental structures and political processes in Alaska. Examines the history of government in Alaska, contemporary political issues, and political change.

PS A346 Alaska Native Politics
Class Standing Restriction: Must be Junior or Senior.
Registration Restriction: Upper division standing.
Crosslisted with: AKNS A346
Special Note: May be used to fulfill the Alaska studies requirement for teacher recertification.
Introduction to historical relationships among federal, territorial, state and local laws and policies as they affect Alaska Natives and Native/non-Native relations. Includes contemporary issues and comparative case studies.

PS A347 Public Administration
Prerequisite: PS A101 or PS A102.
An introduction to the problems of managing agencies and implementing policies in local, state, and federal government. History and current practices of public administration and the effects of the social, economic, and political environments on administration, with an emphasis on Alaska.

PS A348 Public Policy
Prerequisite: PS A101 or PS A102.
Case study approach to public policy and policymaking. Examines the relationship between the social, economic, and political environments and specific contemporary policies (e.g., education, social welfare, housing, employment, etc.), the policymaking process, and alternative models of policymaking. Emphasis on Alaska as well as national issues.

PS A351 Political Sociology
Prerequisite: [ENGL A211 or ENGL A212 or ENGL A213 or ENGL A214] and [PS A102 pr SOC A101].
Crosslisted with: SOC A351
Course Attributes: UAA GER Social Sciences Req.
Introduction to the social aspects of politics and the nature and distribution of power in society. Examination of the dynamic relationship of the political process and the institutions of society.

PS A353 Political Behavior, Participation, and Democracy
Prerequisite: PS A101 or PS A102.
Examines variety of democratic systems and explores their influence on political participation and behavior.

PS A355 Women in Politics
Prerequisite: PS A101 or PS A102 or WS A200.
Crosslisted with: WS A355
Examines the roles of women in the political world from local, state, national and international perspectives. The nature of women’s political roles will be studied from both historical and contemporary perspectives.

PS A361 Social Science Research Methods
Prerequisite: PS A102 or SOC A101.
Crosslisted with: SOC A361
Provides a firm grounding in rigorous and ethical social science research. Examines various social science research methods, including surveys, experiments, content analyses, interviews, and focus groups and explores methodological challenges, such as hypothesis testing, measurement issues, and sampling strategies.

PS A411 Tribes, Nations, and Peoples
Prerequisite: AKNS A201 or PS A 102.
Crosslisted with: AKNS A411
Analyzes and evaluates the history of expansion, invasion, contemporary questions, and issues that confront Indigenous tribes, nations, and peoples, including their political, social, economic, and cultural activities. Investigates corresponding relations with non-Indigenous governments and private entities as well as international developments concerning Indigenous human rights.

PS A424 International Law and Organization
Prerequisite: PS A101 or PS A102.
Examines the development of international law and organizations and their role in the international community. Analyzes issues such as nation-state sovereignty, human rights, the use of force, and international criminal law to demonstrate the application of international law and the operation of international organizations.

PS A453 Organization Theory
Prerequisite: PS A101.
Examines theoretical explanations of large, public sector organizations, their structure and design, internal conflicts, and ability to adapt and achieve goals.

PS A490 Studies in Politics
Prerequisite: PS 101 or PS 102.
Registration Restriction: Junior standing.
May be stacked with: PS A690
Special Note: Subtitle varies; may be repeated with with different subtitles.
An examination of an aspect of politics from the perspective of a major field in the political science discipline (comparative politics, international relations, political philosophy, American politics, and political behavior). Field and subject studies will vary from year to year.

PS A492 Senior Seminar in Politics
Registration Restrictions: Completion of GER Tier 1 (basic college-level skills) courses.
Senior  standing and at least one upper-division course from another social science.
Course Attributes: UAA GER Integrative Capstone.
Senior Integrative Capstone course required of all Political Science majors. An examination of a single major problem in the study of politics.

PS A495 Internship in Political Science
Prerequisite: PS 101 or PS 102.
Class Standing Restriction: Must be Junior or Senior.
Registration Restrictions: Junior sanding. faculty permission required.
Special Note: Internships vary; may be repeated once for credit with a different internship. Students apply the subject matter of political science in an agency or community setting.

PS A690 Studies in Politics
Prerequisite: PS A101 or PS A102.
May be stacked with PS A490.
Special Note: Subtitle varies; may be repeated with different subtitle.
An examination of an aspect of politics from the perspective of a major field in the political science discipline (comparative politics, international relations, political philosophy, American politics, and political behavior). Field and subject studies will vary from year to year.