Political Science (PLSC)

William Schreckhise
Department Chair
428 Old Main
Email: schreckw@uark.edu

Geoboo Song
Graduate Coordinator and Vice Chair
321 Old Main

Department of Political Science Website

Degrees Conferred:
J.D./M.A. (Dual Degree)
M.P.A. in Public Administration and Nonprofit Studies (PADM)
J.D./M.P.A. (Dual Degree)

Graduate Certificates Offered (non-degree):
Cross-Sector Alliances. See also the Cross-Sector Alliance website.

M.A. Areas of Study: American politics and political theory, comparative politics and international relations, and public administration.

Primary Areas of Faculty Research: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, public administration.

Political Science (PLSC)

Program Description:  The M.A. degree in Political Science is designed to give students further training in selected areas of concentration within the discipline and to prepare them for careers in academe or public service.


PLSC 5000V. Special Topics. 1-3 Hour.

Topics in political science not usually covered in other courses. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PLSC 4000V and PLSC 5000V. (Typically offered: Irregular) May be repeated for degree credit.

PLSC 50503. Creating Democracies. 3 Hours.

Analyses of the creation of democracies in Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, East Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PLSC 45103 and PLSC 50503. Prerequisite: PLSC 20103. (Typically offered: Fall Even Years)

PLSC 50803. The Middle East in World Affairs. 3 Hours.

An analysis of geo-political and socio-economic characteristics of Middle Eastern societies and their impact on world economic and political order. Special attention to such issues as the Arab-Israeli conflict, the promotion of lasting peace in the region, impact of oil on world politics, the involvement of superpowers, rehabilitation of Palestinian refugees and the role of the United Nations. (Typically offered: Spring)

PLSC 51003. Human Behavior in Complex Organizations. 3 Hours.

Review of the fundamental literature and a systematic analysis of various theories and research focusing on organization and behavior in public administration, including the discussion of organizational development, human motivation, leadership, rationality, efficiency and conflict management in public organizations. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Spring Odd Years; Summer)

PLSC 51103. Seminar in Human Resource Management. 3 Hours.

Intensive study of public personnel policies and practices, including legal foundations, classification and compensation plans, recruitment and selection processes, training, employment policies and morale, employee relations and organization. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 51203. Public Budgeting and Finance. 3 Hours.

Focuses on the budgeting process and governmental fiscal policy formulation, adoption, and execution. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 51403. Administrative Law. 3 Hours.

A seminar which examines the constitutional and statutory basis and authority of public organizations. Special attention focuses on the nature of the rule-making and adjudicatory powers of public agencies and on executive, legislative, and judicial restraints on such activities. Also considered are the role, scope, and place of public regulatory activities. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Spring)

PLSC 51603. Public Policy. 3 Hours.

Seminar examining the study of public policy making in complex organizations. Attention given to different theories and frameworks explaining public policy making. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Spring)

PLSC 51703. Community Development. 3 Hours.

Community development encompasses the political, social, and economic issues that shape contemporary communities. The seminar examines substantive issues in community development, related theories, and techniques. A major focus of the course will be on low-income and minority neighborhoods and efforts to create more inclusive communities in the U.S. and abroad. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 51903. Seminar in Public Administration. 3 Hours.

Introduction to and synthesis of public administration theory, functions, history, public accountability and management concerns, economic impact of administrative decisions, current problems, and issues in the public sector. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 52003. Seminar in American Political Institutions. 3 Hours.

Research seminar dealing with selected aspects of the major governmental institutions in the United States. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 52103. Seminar in American Political Behavior. 3 Hours.

Reading seminar surveying major works on representative processes in American national politics, including political opinion, political leadership, political participation, voting behavior, political parties, and interest groups. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Spring)

PLSC 52503. Politics of Race and Ethnicity. 3 Hours.

Reviews identity, political action and concepts of political activity by minority groups, focusing on contemporary political behavior, the incorporation of minority groups into the U.S. political system. (Typically offered: Irregular)

PLSC 52803. Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations. 3 Hours.

Analysis of changes in intergovernmental relations in the American federal system. Discussions will focus on political, economic/fiscal and administrative aspects of policy changes of the pre-and post-Reagan eras. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PLSC 42803 and PLSC 52803. (Typically offered: Spring Even Years)

PLSC 53303. Southern Politics. 3 Hours.

Evaluates the significance of the southern region of the United States within the national political scene, as well as discusses the unique political history and workings of the region. Explores the various groups within the region that continue to fight for political influence and power. (Typically offered: Spring)

PLSC 53703. Political Communication. 3 Hours.

Study of the nature and function of the communication process as it operates in the political environment. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PLSC 43703 and PLSC 53703. (Typically offered: Spring Even Years)

PLSC 55003. Comparative Political Analysis. 3 Hours.

A selection of topics to provide the theoretical, conceptual and methodological and foundation for the analysis of contemporary political systems. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 55103. Seminar in Politics of the Middle East. 3 Hours.

Explores the major lines of inquiry on the politics of the state and society in the context of endogenous and exogenous forces that have influenced conceptions of power, legitimacy, and identity. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Irregular)

PLSC 55603. Government and Politics of Russia. 3 Hours.

Study of Russian and Soviet politics after 1917 and of the democratization of Russia and the other successor states. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PLSC 45603 and PLSC 55603. Prerequisite: PLSC 20003 or PLSC 20103. (Typically offered: Spring Even Years)

PLSC 55803. Political Economy of East Asia. 3 Hours.

Development strategies and policies of major economies in East Asia. Topics include theories for East Asia's economic growth, dynamics and process of East Asian political and economic developments, strengths and limits of the East Asian development model, Asian values and their implications for Asian-style democracy, and dynamics of regional cooperation. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PLSC 45803 and PLSC 55803. (Typically offered: Spring)

PLSC 58003. Seminar in International Politics. 3 Hours.

Research seminar providing intensive coverage of selected topics in theories of international relations, the comparative study of foreign policy making, and international organizations. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 58203. Qualitative Methods in Political Science. 3 Hours.

Develops expertise in qualitative research methods, including when such methods are appropriate, the benefits and drawbacks, and how to distinguish between strong and weak research questions. (Typically offered: Spring Even Years)

PLSC 58303. International Political Economy. 3 Hours.

Seminar with concentrated reading in selected and specialized areas of contemporary international relations. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 58403. International Legal Order. 3 Hours.

Analysis of distinctive characteristics of contemporary international law. Topics include role of legal order in controlling the use of force in international relations and the impact of social and political environment on growth of international law and relations among international political systems. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 58603. Political Psychology and International Relations. 3 Hours.

Examines psychological approaches to international relations and examines how these perspectives advance the study of world politics. (Typically offered: Irregular)

PLSC 58803. Politics of International Law. 3 Hours.

This course examines the interaction between law and politics in the international system, focusing on international law. (Typically offered: Irregular)

PLSC 5900V. Directed Readings in Political Science. 1-3 Hour.

Directed readings in Political Science. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall, Spring and Summer) May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

PLSC 59103. Research Methods in Political Science. 3 Hours.

Methods relevant to research in the various fields of political science. Required of all graduate students in political science. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 5920V. Internship in Political Science. 1-6 Hour.

Internship in a local, state, regional, or federal agency. Paper required on a significant aspect of internship experience. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall, Spring and Summer)

PLSC 59403. Advanced Research Methods in Political Science. 3 Hours.

Provides a firm theoretical foundation in, and an ability to apply, various multivariate statistical methods that are most commonly used for empirical analysis of politics and policy. Prerequisite: PLSC 59103 or equivalent. (Typically offered: Fall)

PLSC 5950V. Research Problems in Political Science. 1-3 Hour.

Research problems in Political Science. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (Typically offered: Fall, Spring and Summer) May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

PLSC 59903. African American Political Ideology. 3 Hours.

A survey course designed to identify and examine characteristics and functions of several variants of black political ideology/thought. (Typically offered: Spring Odd Years)

PLSC 6000V. Master's Thesis. 1-6 Hour.

Master's Thesis. (Typically offered: Fall, Spring and Summer) May be repeated for degree credit.

PLSC 69603. Visualizing Critical Race Theory. 3 Hours.

An examination of critical theoretical approaches to the concepts of race and racism. Students will examine the ways in which these constructs perform a critical function in the construction of race(s) and racism(s) and their relevance to visual culture. (Typically offered: Fall and Spring)
This course is cross-listed with ARED 69603, AAST 69603.