POL: Political Science

POL 501: Introduction to Statistics for Public Policy

This course acquaints student with statistics. It begins with the basics of applied statistical analysis, including probability and hypothesis testing, and builds to simple regression analysis. Requires use of computer packages.

Prerequisites: Some elementary mathematics/statistics background helpful

Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 502: Intermediate Statistics for Public Policy

This course utilizes multivariate regression analysis and explores violations of the linear model. Requires use of computer.

Prerequisite: POL 501 or equivalent

Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 509: Public Budgeting and Finance

This course develops the rationale for public taxation and spending programs. It examines the role of public finance in the economy, and explores the use of program and functional budgets, capital and operating budgets, intergovernmental expenditures, etc. Focuses on state and local governments.

Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 510: Personnel Systems for Public Policy

This course examines the development of civil service and other bureaucratic personnel systems in American government. It focuses on the knowledge that managers must have to utilize human resources appropriately in the constrained public sector environment. Focuses mainly on state and local government.

Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 530: Topics in Public Affairs

Specially organized seminars are offered on topics of particular importance to students of public affairs. These courses are led by distinguished experts in those policy areas.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 531: Topics in Public Affairs: Planning

This course addresses the planning process as a decision-making tool in the implementation of public policy in housing, land-use, transportation, and environmental management. The course also investigates intergovernmental relations and the impact of citizen participation on policy changes.

Offered in

Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 534: Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Delivery

The examination of the formulation, implementation, and impact of intergovernmental policy are the core concepts to be covered in this course. Several policies are examined in-depth, including grant-in-aid programs, General Revenue Sharing, housing and community development, and employment programs. The historical, economic, and political foundations of intergovernmental policy delivery systems are examined.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 535: Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation

This course concentrates on the strategies and methods of public policy analysis and evaluation. Students debate the merits of proposed solutions to various policy issues and discover the political constraints on the policy making process. Skills stressed in the course include cost-benefit analysis, program evaluation, and basic microeconomics.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 536: Public Management and Organizational Behavior

This course examines how public sector organizations work and how managers can operate in the public sector environment. A range of theoretical perspectives, including sociological, economic, and institutional, will be employed as real public organizations are examined and analyzed. Public agencies will also be compared to their private sector counterparts, and the nature of organizational efficiency will be explored.

Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 537: Administrative Law for Policy Analysts

This course examines the role of administrative law in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of public policy. The role of legislation such as the Administrative Procedures Act is explored. Actual cases are analyzed, as well as the broader set of precedents that have emerged in federal, state, and local administrative law proceedings.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 538: The Politics of Local Economic Development

This course examines the process of local economic development with an emphasis on the interaction of political and economic factors. It explores the extent to which local (as compared to state and federal) officials can influence business location decisions, the specific strategies often utilized, and the way they have changed over time. It also considers the winners and losers from the "economic development game" with a focus on New York and Long Island.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 540: Data Applications in Public Policy

This course studies the strategic use of data to support public policy proposal design and implementation. With a focus on U.S. domestic policy, the class will gain proficiency in the application of data to identify policy problems, determine causative factos, develop and implement persuasive policy proposals, and evaluate the policy effectiveness.

Prerequisite: POL 501

Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 541: Survey Research for Public Policy

This course studies the techniques of survey research and their application in the development of public policies. Topics include survey design, survey population sampling, use of survey data to frame policy choices and attitudes towards existing policies.

Prerequisite: POL 501

Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 542: Regional Planning

This course addresses the planning process as a decision-making tool in the implementation of public policy in housing, land-use, transportation, and environmental management. The course also investigates intergovernmental relations and the impact of citizen participation on policy changes.

Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 543: Environmental Politics and Policy

Federal environmental policies, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, and the Federal Pure Waters Management Act are examined in this course. The policies, politics and administrative activities of federal, state, and local levels are considered. Finally, the interaction of the public sector, the private sector, and citizen groups in the implementation of environmental policy is discussed. This course is offered as both CES 553 and POL 543.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 544: Human Behavior as Rational Action

Rational behavior means choosing among possible actions those that are most efficient in meeting one's goals. Whether people do so is one of the oldest unresolved disputes in philosophy and the social sciences. We will trace the main positions in this dispute as they have evolved in philosophy, psychology, economics, anthropology and sociology. Even if individuals do act rationally, can we assume that the large scale social patterns that result are necessarily effective? Readings will consider the topic abstractly, but also in the concrete settings of small intimate groups, formal organizations, and primitive and modern economic, social and political systems in both stable and revolutionary situations.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 553: Foundations: Comparative, International

Survey and evaluation of the major theoretical approaches, issues, and problems in comparative political analysis. The course examines such areas as political development, empirical democratic theory, or political socialization, along with a detailed examination of one or more selected non-American political systems.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 560: American Democracy: Its Critics and Defenders

This course will examine the central components of American democratic government. Critics and defenders of the over 200 year-old Constitution (Congress, President, Supreme Court) will be discussed, as will arguments surrounding the role of political parties, pressure groups, and the bureaucracy. Most readings will be from contemporary authors and reference sources. This course is offered as both CEI 560 and POL 560.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 595: Internship Public Policy

Prerequisite: Permission of GPD

3-6 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 596: Directed Policy Research

Student works under supervision of faculty member on research project related to public policy.

1-6 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 597: Master's Paper in Public Policy

This course is primarily for students already employed in related field. In lieu of internship, student writes a Master's Paper which goes beyond their normal employment duties to apply theory and methods to a particular policy issue.

6 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 598: Thesis Registration

May be repeated for credit.

POL 599: Internship in Public Policy

This course is an applied internship in a public, not-for-profit, or private sector organization that deals with public policy. The student works in the organization and prepares a daily journal of activities, as well as a paper at the conclusion of the course, applying program knowledge to the internship activities.

3-6 credits, S/U grading

May be repeated for credit.

POL 600: Research Project

A two-semester introduction to research for first-year students. The course introduces issues of research design through lectures and presentations of current research by faculty members. Each student designs his or her own research paper under the guidance of a faculty member familiar with his or her area of interest. Final papers are due in the beginning of May.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 601: Foundations: Public Policy and Political Economy

A systematic introduction to the principles of political economy. Develops a microeconomic model and approach to public policy analysis. A major part of the course is devoted to student projects that analyze the political economy of a governmental policy.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 602: Applied Data Analysis I

The application of statistical and mathematical models to the analysis of political data: introduction to the research process and to topics in measurement, basic descriptive statistics, and inferential statistics.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 603: Applied Data Analysis II

The application of statistical and mathematical models to the analysis of political data: regression analysis.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 604: Applied Data Analysis III

The application of statistical methods to the analysis of political data. The emphasis is on diagnosing and dealing with violations of assumptions of statistical models. Topics covered include advanced regression, models for discrete dependent variables, systems of equations, and selection bias.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 605: Foundations: American Politics

A review of the basic political science literature on American politics, with emphasis on American political institutions.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 606: Time Series Analysis

This seminar will consider statistical models for political processes observed over time. The major topics will include conintegration, time varying parameter models and duration models.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 607: Social Survey in Contemporary Society

This course on political socialization focuses on continuity and change in political attitudes and behavior across the life span. Topics include the stability of political attitudes-contrasting the greater durability of political partisanship and basic values with the relative instability of issue positions; the social psychology of attitude change, which lends some insight into the conditions under which attitudes are most likely to change; the importance of political period or era as a determinant of political attitudes and behavior; and the existence and coherence of distinct political generations. Some attention is also given to the political changes that accompany old age, including changes in attitude and behavior linked to growing dependency on the Social Security and Medicare systems.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 608: Foundations: Political Psychology, Behavior

A review and analysis of the political behavior literature, including such topics as attitude formation and change, belief systems, political socialization, demographic and small group influences on political beliefs and conduct, political leadership, electoral behavior, elite vs. mass politics, decision making, personality and politics, political conformity, and protest.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 609: Advanced Research Design

A practical application of topics in the philosophy of science to research design. Students prepare their dissertation proposal as a part of this course.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 610: Foundations II: Experimental Design and Methods

An overview of experimental research with an emphasis on experimental design, data analysis, and interpretation. Students develop the ability to critically evaluate experimental research. Students also participate in the development, implementation, and analysis of a laboratory experiment.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 613: Game Theory for Political Science

Introduction to formal models of strategic behavior in static, dynamic, and repeated games. Technical emphasis is formulation and solution of games of complete and incomplete information; a variety of equilibrium concepts will be introduced. Substantive applications include spatial models of candidate behavior in elections; agenda control and bargaining in legislatures; lobbying by interest groups; common pool resource problems; and cooperation between rivals.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 614: American Judiciary

A seminar on judicial process and behavior. Emphasis is placed on the Supreme Court, but trial courts and other appellate courts are examined as well. Topics include constitutional interpretation and both legal and extra-legal models of decision making. Students should possess basic methodological skills.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 615: Legislative Process

A seminar on the legislative process, focusing on current research on the United States Congress.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 616: Political Parties and Groups

A seminar on parties, campaigns, and elections in the United States. Topics covered include party organization and leadership, nomination and general election campaigns, and the role of parties in government.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 617: Electoral Behavior

Models of voting choices; key attitudes such as party identification, issue orientations, and ideology; the impact of group affiliations, economic conditions; campaign strategies of candidates; congressional vs. presidential elections; historical change, e.g., party realignments.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 618: American Political Ideology

This course examines American political ideology as it is reflected in public opinion, political debate, and public policy. The goal is to understand the underlying bases of conflict and consensus in American politics and the ways in which they influence and constrain debate over public policy. The course traces the development of political conflict in the United States and examines the basis of contemporary political debate.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 620: Government Regulation of Business

An examination of the scope of government regulation of business in the United States today-regulation at both the federal and state levels and by both economic and social agencies. The course compares market vs. regulatory policies as well as possible explanations for why some regulatory agencies change over time. Finally, the course considers proposed reforms, such as clearer legislative standards, curbs on "revolving door" practices, greater citizen participation in agency proceedings, and deregulation.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 621: Theories of Policy Making

An introduction to theories of policy making, especially policy formulation, stressing reading and thinking about classics and acquiring skills necessary for theorizing, including mathematical modeling and formal theory. Laboratories focus on improving special skills (e.g., optimization) and theorizing about particular policy areas (e.g., pork barrel politics).

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 622: Bureaucracy and the Policy Process

An examination of bureaucracy as part of the policy-making process. This course reviews theoretical explanations for the bureaucracy as a political institution and implications of its rapid growth since the New Deal. It also looks inside bureaucratic organizations, examining factors that influence the exercise of discretion and policy implementation.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 629: Experimental Game Theory

Surveys experimental tests of formal models derived from political economy and game theory, and applies behavioral and social-psychological theories to explain deviations from equilibrium behavior. The methodologies of psychological and economic experiments are contrasted and explored. Substantive applications include social trust, bargaining power, agenda control, committee decision making, common pool resource problems, and political persuasion.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 631: Political Cognition

Surveys the contemporary psychological literature on human memory and cognition, with emphasis on applications to political information processing.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 632: Mass Communication and Political Persuasion

In-depth examination of the role of mass media in the political process and the psychological dynamics of media influence. Effects of the media on public opinion and voting. Implications of media influence on democratic theory.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 633: Social Influence and Group Processes in Political Decision Making

Review of contemporary theories of social influence processes and group decision making, with emphasis on applications to decision making in politics. Special focus on small-group methods and research applications.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 634: Behavioral Decision Theory

Emphasizes psychological theories of judgment and choice and prediction of the errors that individual decision makers are likely to make. These ideas are applied to a variety of political contexts.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 664: Advanced Institutions

POL 670: Advanced Topics: Political Economy I

An intensive examination of major substantive and methodological concerns involved in the study of political economy.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 671: Advanced Topics: Political Economy II

Reading and research in the area of political economy.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 673: Advanced Topics: American Politics I

A seminar in American institutions and processes, focusing on current research in such areas as Congress, the Supreme Court, the presidency, political parties, or bureaucracy.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 674: Advanced Topics: American Politics II

A continuation of POL 673.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 675: Advanced Topics: Comparative Politics I

Readings and research papers on topics in comparative politics. Particular attention is given to concepts and methods identified with the field.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 676: Advanced Topics: Methods I

A course reviewing the literature and methodology of specific areas of political science research. The course relates directly to research applications and provide students with an opportunity to apply advanced research tools to selected substantive problems.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 678: Political Decision Making

Review of the literature and methods related to a topic or problem in contemporary political science, voting behavior, issue formation, interest groups, political economy, or personality.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 679: Advanced Topics: Political Psychology/Behavior I

Reading and research in the area of political psychology and behavior.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 680: Directed Study

Individual studies under the guidance of a faculty member. Subject matter varies according to the needs of the student.

1-6 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

May be repeated for credit.

POL 681: Directed Study

Individual studies under the guidance of a faculty member. Subject matter varies according to the needs of the student.

1-9 credits, S/U grading

May be repeated for credit.

POL 690: Research Colloquium

Students participate in weekly departmental colloquia where they serve as discussants of research reports presented by individual faculty members or outside investigators reporting on current research.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

POL 691: Research Practicum I

A course actively involving students in an ongoing research project under the direction of a principal investigator. Students participate in all stages of the research project and are required to prepare a research report on one aspect of the project.

3 credits, S/U grading

POL 692: Research Practicum II

A continuation of POL 691. Students actively participate in either a second research project, where they will again prepare a research report, or continue their participation in the same project, where they are then assigned a subset of data for analysis or carry out a specific research aim of the project.

3 credits, S/U grading

May be repeated for credit.

POL 693: Practicum in Teaching

POL 699: Dissertation Research on Campus

Dissertation research under direction of advisor.

Prerequisite: Advancement to candidacy (G5); permission of graduate program director. Major portion of research must take place on SBU campus, at Cold Spring Harbor, or at the Brookhaven National Lab.

Fall, 1-9 credits, S/U grading

May be repeated for credit.

POL 700: Dissertation Research off Campus - Domestic

Prerequisite: Must be advanced to candidacy (G5). Major portion of research will take place off-campus, but in the United States and/or U.S. provinces. Please note, Brookhaven National Labs and the Cold Spring Harbor Lab are considered on-campus. All international students must enroll in one of the graduate student insurance plans and should be advised by an International Advisor.

Fall, 1-9 credits, S/U grading

May be repeated for credit.

POL 701: Dissertation Research off Campus - International

Prerequisite: Must be advanced to candidacy (G5). Major portion of research will take place outside of the United States and/or U.S. provinces. Domestic students have the option of the health plan and may also enroll in MEDEX. International students who are in their home country are not covered by mandatory health plan and must contact the Insurance Office for the insurance charge to be removed. International students who are not in their home country are charged for the mandatory health insurance. If they are to be covered by another insurance plan they must file a waiver be second week of classes. The charge will only be removed if other plan is deemed comparable.

All international students must received clearance from an International Advisor.

Fall, 1-9 credits, S/U grading

May be repeated for credit.

POL 800: Summer Research

May be repeated for credit.