Master of Arts in International Relations


Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2018-2019, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on May 1, 2018. Access the catalog of record at http://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

Degree Requirements

  • Approval of courses by graduate director for all 30 units.
  • At least 24 units of political science at the 500-level, including:
    POLS 535Research Design1.5
    POLS 550Comparative Politics3
    POLS 570Theories in International Relations3
    POLS 595MAIR Capstone Seminar3
    Total Units10.5
  • Up to six units of relevant courses can be chosen from among undergraduate political science, peace and justice studies, economics, history, business administration, or law. Up to six units of graduate coursework in international relations can be transferred from another university.
  • Only one course with a grade of “C+”, “C”, or “C-” may count toward the degree. No courses with a grade of “D” or “F” will count toward the degree (although all grades are calculated in the GPA.)

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2016-2017, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on October 1, 2016. Access the catalog of record at http://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

POLS 100 , POLS 120 , POLS 130 , POLS 150 , POLS 170 , POLS 200 , POLS 220 , POLS 250 , POLS 270 , POLS 300 , POLS 301 , POLS 302 , POLS 303 , POLS 304 , POLS 305 , POLS 306 , POLS 307 , POLS 308 , POLS 309D , POLS 310 , POLS 312 , POLS 313 , POLS 314 , POLS 316 , POLS 317D , POLS 318 , POLS 319 , POLS 320 , POLS 321 , POLS 322D , POLS 323 , POLS 326 , POLS 327 , POLS 329 , POLS 330 , POLS 340 , POLS 342 , POLS 348 , POLS 349 , POLS 350 , POLS 352 , POLS 353 , POLS 354 , POLS 355 , POLS 357 , POLS 358 , POLS 359 , POLS 360 , POLS 361 , POLS 362 , POLS 363 , POLS 364 , POLS 365 , POLS 366 , POLS 367 , POLS 368 , POLS 370 , POLS 371 , POLS 374 , POLS 376 , POLS 377 , POLS 378 , POLS 379 , POLS 380 , POLS 382 , POLS 383 , POLS 430 , POLS 434 , POLS 435 , POLS 436 , POLS 437 , POLS 444 , POLS 448 , POLS 449 , POLS 480 , POLS 485 , POLS 486 , POLS 487 , POLS 492 , POLS 494 , POLS 495 , POLS 498 , POLS 499 , POLS 529 , POLS 530 , POLS 535 , POLS 550 , POLS 554 , POLS 555 , POLS 557 , POLS 559 , POLS 560 , POLS 561 , POLS 565 , POLS 566 , POLS 567 , POLS 568 , POLS 570 , POLS 571 , POLS 572 , POLS 573 , POLS 574 , POLS 575 , POLS 576 , POLS 577 , POLS 578 , POLS 579 , POLS 580 , POLS 582 , POLS 583 , POLS 584 , POLS 586 , POLS 587 , POLS 594 , POLS 595 , POLS 596 , POLS 598 , POLS 599

POLS 100 | POWER AND JUSTICE

Core Attributes: First year Integration, Social/Behavioral Inquiry area

This course focuses on theories of political organization, action, and analysis. Readings emphasize primary sources of political thought—from Ancient Greece to modern America—to investigate fundamental problems of political life. How should power be distributed and what ends should it serve? How do diverse political communities define and seek justice? How do they balance other fundamental values, such as liberty and equality? How can these questions help us understand who wins, who loses, and why it matters? These questions and more will guide our investigation of the relationship between power and justice in theory and practice.

POLS 120 | INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICS

Core Attributes: First year Integration, Social/Behavioral Inquiry area

This course offers students a fundamental overview of American politics by analyzing the origin, development, structure, and operation of all levels of the American political system. This course also examines how politics are practiced in the United States in order to analyze the uniqueness of the American political system.

POLS 130 | INTRODUCTION TO THE POLITICS OF RACE AND ETHNICITY

Core Attributes: Domestic Diversity level 1

What is the role of race and ethnicity in U.S. politics? Are we post-racial yet? The course surveys the impact of race and ethnicity on social, economic and political issues in the United States. We will examine the political experience and engagement of Native Americans, Black Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and White Americans in both a historical and contemporary context. We will also investigate the potential for colorblindness as an approach to American politics.

POLS 150 | INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS

Core Attributes: First year Integration, Social/Behavioral Inquiry area

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the study of comparative politics. Comparative politics is the study of the domestic politics of other countries. This course offers a fundamental overview of the major issues in comparative politics, such as, state formation, political regimes, political culture, civil society, political economy, governing institutions, electoral institutions, and other forms of political representation and participation.

POLS 170 | INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Core Attributes: First year Integration, Social/Behavioral Inquiry area

This course examines major theoretical approaches in the discipline of international relations. Students are introduced to the study of the causes of war and the conditions of peace, international law and organizations, international political economy, great power politics, and foreign-policy decision making. The course also explores issues such as global poverty, economic development, human rights, and the environment as they affect international politics.

POLS 200 | TOPICS IN POLITICAL THEORY

Units: 3

This course will offer lower division students an opportunity to take a course in a more specialized area of political thought. Topics may include "American Political Thought," "Political Thought in Literature," : Discourse & Democracy," and "Conservative Political Thought" and others.

POLS 220 | TOPICS IN AMERICAN POLITICS AND PUBLIC LAW

Core Attributes: Social/Behavioral Inquiry area

This course will offer lower division students a close look at a particular element fo the American political system. Topics may include "The Presidential Election," "The Vote," and "Money in American Politics" and others.

POLS 250 | TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS

Core Attributes: Social/Behavioral Inquiry area

This course will offer lower division students the opportunity to examine specialized topcs in comparative politics. Topics may include "Political and Social Change in South Africa and the United States," "Democratization in Comparative Perspective," "political Change in the 21st Century" and others.

POLS 270 | TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Units: 3

This course will offer students a closer look at specialized topics in the international political system. Topics may include "Indigenous Peoples and the Environment," "Rising Powers and the Future of American Global Predominance," "War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century," "Twenty-first Century Global Challenges," and "Political Borders: Cooperation and Conflict Along Interstate Boundaries" and others.

POLS 300 | DEMOCRATIC THEORY

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This class is an investigation of the virtues and vices of democracy. Course texts will be comprised of works in Ancient political thought, modern and contemporary democratic theory, and works of literature, By working to interrogate and analyze such texts, we will, hopefully come to a greater understanding of the attractions, harms, shortcomings, and potential of democracy in new and more fully developed ways.

POLS 301 | POLITICAL THOUGHT:ANCIENT TO MODERN

Units: 3

This course examines the formation and development of political ideas, from Greek political philosophy through the late Middle Ages. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between theory and practice in political life.

POLS 302 | POLITICAL THOUGHT:MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY

Core Attributes: Writing-Pre F17 CORE

This course examines political ideas in the modern and contemporary Western tradition. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between theory and practice in political life.

POLS 303 | LIBERAL POLITICAL THOUGHT

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course investigates the history of liberalism, its foundational principles, its changing features, and the contemporary criticisms of and alternatives to liberalism from the likes of communitarians, republicans, and feminists.

POLS 304 | AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Through self-conscious interaction with the history of political thought, concern for practical solutions, and attentiveness to particularities of their own circumstances, Americans have crafted a tradition of political thought distinct in both form and content from that of their European forebears. This course explores the varieties of political thought in the United States, highlighting the diversity of perspectives on political life and institutional design throughout American history.

POLS 305 | BLACK POLITICAL THOUGHT

Core Attributes: Domestic Diversity level 2

The course traces and examines how black political thinkers and activists have responded to central political questions in the United States and their relationship to the broader African Diaspora. We will explore major ideological trends and political philosophies, as they have been interpreted and applied by black thinkers. Key themes include the relationship between racial identity and questions of liberation, faith, and national belonging.

POLS 306 | CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL THOUGHT

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Through the careful critical study of some of the most thoughtful and influential works of conservative political thought over the past two centuries, this class will explore the idea of conservatism and the varieties of conservative thought. The texts have been chosen primarily for the high quality of their writing and argument, rather than for any particular relevance to the most familiar manifestations of conservative ideology. Our goal in this class will be to take conservatism seriously as an idea—rather than merely an ideology—and expand our conceptions of what conservatism can mean far beyond the reductive picture we get in contemporary politics.

POLS 307 | FEMINIST POLITICAL THEORIES

Core Attributes: Domestic Diversity level 2

In this course we will explore foundational texts and concepts alongside issues with which feminist theorists around the world have been grappling, both historically and in the present. As you will discover, there is no unitary feminist theory. There is overlap, but there are also marked differences among the approaches that feminists have taken in their pursuit of social change, and with the goal of establishing a more just social order. As we work through the course, we will explore the strengths and limitations of the approaches we encounter, looking at their emergence and implications and exploring how they help us understand and confront our own gendered existence. Above all, we will examine the intersectional workings of power and their impact on political subjectivity, belonging, becoming, and activism in one’s communities.

POLS 308 | POLITICS AND LITERATURE

Units: 3

This course explores the political content of selected classical, modern, and contemporary literature. Emphasis is placed on concepts such as authority, power, freedom, equality, organization, obligation, and the ways these concepts have been treated by different authors.

POLS 309D | SEX, POWER, AND POLITICS

Core Attributes: Diversity-Pre F17 CORE

This course offers an analysis of gender in politics from historical as well as theoretical perspectives. Topics examined include: gender power, leadership, and governance; social, economic, and political factors explaining women’s political status and participation in relation to men’s; and the women’s movement as a political movement.

POLS 310 | THE PRESIDENCY

Units: 3

This course focuses on the American presidency as an institution. The class examines the origins of the president’s domestic and international powers, how those powers have grown and changed over time, and how they are both enhanced and limited by other actors in the political system.

POLS 312 | CONGRESS

Units: 3

This course examines the history, organization, operation, and politics of Congress. Nomination and election, constituent relations, the formal and informal structures of both houses, relations with the executive branch, and policy formulation are discussed. Students participate in a simulation of the House of Representatives.

POLS 313 | PARTIES AND INTEREST GROUPS

Units: 3

This course examines the origin, nature, structure, and operation of American political parties, interest groups, and social movements, and their roles in the political process.

POLS 314 | CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS

Units: 3

This course analyzes how rules and laws affect the roles that parties, candidates, voters, and other political actors play in elections. It also investigates the behavior of political actors during elections by examining campaign strategy, staffing, polling, advertising, turnout, and symbolic communication. Its main emphasis is on American federal elections, but also considers elections in a comparative context and sub-national elections in the United States.

POLS 316 | STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course explores the theory and practice of governmental administration at the national, state, and local levels, and the development and implementation of legislation, with special attention to California. This course examines the political functions of state and local governments, including the extent to which the national political atmosphere interacts with state and local politics and policymaking.

POLS 317D | URBAN POLITICS

Units: 3

This course is designed to introduce students to the major debates that have structured the field of urban politics: interaction among governmental institutions; political actors; private interests; and the marketplace. Other issues such as urban regimes, urban political history, suburbanization, urban growth and renewal, race, class, and gender are examined throughout the course.

POLS 318 | BLACK POLITICS

Core Attributes: Domestic Diversity level 2

The course traces and examines the political efforts of Black Americans to gain full and equitable inclusion into the American polity. Key topics include identity, ideology, movement politics, electoral participation, institutions and public policy.

POLS 319 | POLITICS OF RACE AND ETHNICITY

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

The course surveys the impact of race and ethnicity on social, economic and political issues in the United States. We will examine the political experience and engagement of Native Americans, Black Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and White Americans in both a historical and contemporary context.

POLS 320 | WAR POWERS IN THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course focuses on the war powers that the Constitution grants to the Congress and the president. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which that balance has evolved over time from the founding to the present day.

POLS 321 | CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND AMERICAN GOVERNMENT:FEDERALISM AND SEPARATION OF POWERS

Units: 3

This course begins with an examination of the early development of American constitutional law, including the Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention, and the Federalist Papers. Students also explore the development of Supreme Court doctrine regarding judicial review, conflicts among the three departments of government in domestic and foreign affairs, and the ongoing struggle to define the responsibilities of state and federal governments.

POLS 322D | CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES

Core Attributes: Diversity-Pre F17 CORE

This course examines constitutional law and politics, with a focus on civil rights and individual liberties. Topics include free speech, racial and sexual discrimination, church and state, privacy, voting rights, and the rights of the accused. (Note: POLS 321 is not a prerequisite for this class).

POLS 323 | JUDICIAL BEHAVIOR

Core Attributes: Writing-Pre F17 CORE

This course explores judicial politics and decision-making, with particular emphasis on judges, lawyers, and juries. Topics include judicial selection and appointment, the limits of judicial power, the roles that lawyers play in our legal and political systems, and the development of trial by jury.

POLS 326 | COMPARATIVE LAW

Units: 3

This course presents a cross-national, historical, and comparative analysis of constitutional, administrative, and criminal law. Subject countries vary, but include representative judicial systems within the Civil Law, Common Law, and Socialist Law traditions.

POLS 327 | INTERNATIONAL LAW

Units: 3

This course examines the theory and practice of international law, including efforts to create effective legal means to define, proscribe, and punish war crimes, crimes against humanity, and terrorism. We discuss the negotiation, ratification, and enforcement of treaties and study multinational legal institutions such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

POLS 329 | LAW OF THE SEA

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course introduces students to the study of regimes of the sea including fisheries, pollution control, and coastal management zones. The politics of ocean regulation are examined with particular attention to law of the sea negotiations.

POLS 330 | RESEARCH METHODS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Units: 3

This course introduces students to the various stages of the research process, from conceptualization of the research question to interpretation of findings. Students not only learn to develop efficient research strategies to evaluate empirical relationships from a theoretically informed perspective, but they also design and conduct empirical research of their own.

POLS 340 | PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

Units: 3

This course explores the theory and practice of governmental administration at the national, state, and local levels, and the development and implementation of legislation.

POLS 342 | PUBLIC POLICY

Units: 3-4

This course examines the political and administrative processes through which public policy is formulated, adopted, implemented, and evaluated.

POLS 348 | INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Core Attributes: Global Diversity level 2

From environmental injustices in California, to the construction of mega-dams in the Amazon, to debates over fishing rights in New Zealand, struggles between indigenous groups and forces of development and globalization are on the rise. At the same time, stereotyped popular perceptions about the relationship between native peoples and the environment often further these inequalities. Although a global system of indigenous rights has been created in recent decades, its impact has been limited, and serious concerns about its long-term potential remain. Through case studies, an interactive negotiation simulation, and in-class research presentations, we will explore the interplay between indigenous peoples, natural resources, and human rights through a variety of disciplinary lenses.

POLS 349 | POLITICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Units: 3-4

This course examines the decision-making processes through which modern societies attempt to cope with environmental and natural resource problems. Students investigate both American and international environmental issues, and consider the historical and theoretical bases of current environmental policies and initiatives.

POLS 350 | THEORIES OF COMPARATIVE POLITICS

Units: 3-4

This course examines the major theoretical approaches to comparative politics as well as the political histories of individual countries. It is designed to introduce students to a variety of themes central to this field, including state-society relations, state capacity, the role of institutions, nationalism, cultural/ethnic pluralism, political culture, and democracy.

POLS 352 | COMPARATIVE POLITICS OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Units: 3

This course examines concepts and theories of development and assesses their utility in understanding political, economic, and social change in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. Particular emphasis is placed on issues such as: state building; the bureaucracy; civil-military relations; national identity; economic development; and democratization.

POLS 353 | POLITICS AND RELIGION

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course offers an introduction to the study of the role of religion in sociopolitical change. The course deals with the theoretical literature on the subject and focuses on the salient cases in the various religious traditions and regions of the world.

POLS 354 | REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE

Units: 3

This course is a comparative study of the revolutionary process focusing on the meaning of revolutionary change, the causes and development of revolutions, and the conditions influencing their outcomes. Special attention is devoted to the French, Russian, Chinese, Cuban, and other revolutions.

POLS 355 | POLITICS IN EUROPE

Units: 3

This course offers a survey of the political cultures, institutions, and processes of the United Kingdom, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, and other West European countries. The development of a more integrated European community is also discussed.

POLS 357 | POLITICS IN LATIN AMERICA

Units: 3

This course examines the dynamics of political and economic change in 20th-century Latin America. There is particular emphasis on the causes and consequences of cyclical economic development and recurrent waves of democratization and authoritarianism.

POLS 358 | POLITICS IN SOUTH ASIA

Units: 3

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of contemporary South Asian politics by examining historical as well as contemporary issues relating to socio-economic change, political development, regional relations, and international links. The course focus is primarily on India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, but the politics of Nepal and Sri Lanka are also considered.

POLS 359 | POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Units: 3

This course offers an introduction to the study of the politics of the Middle East and North Africa. The complex issues of regional conflicts with international significance and the forces shaping the internal development of the modern Middle East are explored.

POLS 360 | POLITICS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Units: 3

This course provides an introduction to Sub-Saharan African political systems and the relationships that exist between governments and their citizens in this region. We examine some of the main factors that shape contemporary African politics, including the legacy of colonialism, the rise of authoritarian states, ethnic, national, and racial conflict, and political and economic reform.

POLS 361 | POLITICS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Units: 3

This course is designed to examine the major issues and challenges facing South Africa today.  The goal of the course is to introduce students to contemporary South African politics and to situate the current political challenges into the broader historical context.  We will analyze the processes of democratic consolidation, state building and nation building since the end of apartheid in 1994.

POLS 362 | POLITICS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Units: 3-4

This course examines the development of democracy in England, the institutions of government and parliament, political parties, and selected domestic and foreign policies.

POLS 363 | POLITICS IN FRANCE

Units: 3

This course examines contemporary French politics. We begin by constructing an historical and ideological foundation for the course, we then move to recent institutional and electoral practices, and we finally analyze a variety of foreign and security policies, including relations with the United States, members of the European Union, and countries throughout the world.

POLS 364 | POLITICS IN GERMANY

Units: 3

This course introduces students to German politics by examining contemporary as well as historical issues that challenge the unified Germany. The course’s main focus is on the post-Cold War and post-unification era, with particular emphasis on the current political, social, and economic agendas, and on explaining and predicting German national and international politics.

POLS 365 | POLITICS IN RUSSIA

Units: 3

This course examines the development of the political institutions and culture of Russia since the collapse of Communism, with a focus on the role of the Presidency, the Parliament, political parties, and the public in shaping the life of the Russian Federation.

POLS 366 | POLITICS IN MEXICO

Units: 3

This course provides an overview of the contemporary Mexican political system. The primary focus is on the breakdown of the dominant party system in the late 20th century and the subsequent recalibration of executive-legislative relations, decentralization of power, and emergence of democratic political culture and competition.

POLS 367 | POLITICS IN JAPAN

Units: 3-4

This course examines the development of contemporary Japanese politics by analyzing Japan’s pre-WWII political and social systems, its domestic capabilities, and Japanese policy-making processes. The course also evaluates current, and speculates regarding future Japanese politics by assessing historical and current political, economic, and social conditions in Japan.

POLS 368 | POLITICS IN CHINA

Units: 3

This course examines politics and political issues in the People’s Republic of China from the mid-1800s to the present. Throughout the course students assess factors such as China’s traditional political, social, and economic systems, ideology, and current policy-making structures that shape China’s policies in order to understand contemporary Chinese political issues.

POLS 370 | THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Units: 3

This course analyzes the major theoretical perspectives in the field of international relations by reflecting upon the writings of the most important scholars in the discipline. Students study the mainstream realist and liberal approaches and explore theoretical alternatives to these paradigms. The relationship between theory and practice is also examined.

POLS 371 | AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

Units: 3-4

This course provides an in-depth exploration of the challenges and opportunities facing American foreign policy in the 21st century. Students examine the historical legacy and internal and external constraints on foreign policy decision making. Students also study theoretical approaches in the discipline of international relations and discuss their relevance to an empirical analysis of American foreign policy.

POLS 374 | U.S.-LATIN AMERICAN RELATIONS

Units: 3

This course explores the history of economic and political relations between the U.S. and Latin America to understand the basis of contemporary U.S. policy. Topics examined include military intervention, drug trafficking, immigration and trade policies, and relations with Cuba.

POLS 376 | U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY

Units: 3

This course examines contemporary U.S. security policy, including military technology, nuclear strategy and arms control, recent U.S. military interventions, biological and chemical weapons, domestic security politics, the defense industry and budget, and terrorism.

POLS 377 | REGIONAL SECURITY

Units: 3

This course examines security dynamics in selected regions of the world (e.g. Europe, East Asia, Latin America, Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East). We address issues ranging from military technologies to diplomatic relations, political economy, and transnational challenges like drug trafficking and terrorism.

POLS 378 | TRANSNATIONAL CRIME AND TERRORISM

Core Attributes: Writing-Pre F17 CORE

This course focuses on how the law enforcement community has responded to the unprecedented increase in crimes and terrorist acts that cross international borders. The course examines those factors that have led to this increase in transnational crime and terrorism, the types of crimes that pose the greatest threat to lawful societies, the responses that have been developed to combat transnational crime, and the extent to which transnational crime threatens the national security interests of the United States and the world community.

POLS 379 | INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL BOUNDARIES AND BORDER POLICIES

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course provides an examination of the theoretical and empirical literature on international boundary dynamics and border policies related to diplomacy, migration, trade, economic development, crime, and terrorism. This course may also consider boundary negotiations over contested interstate borders.

POLS 380 | THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY

Units: 3

This course offers an introduction to the study of the history, issues, and dynamics of political/economic interactions in the international economy. The course covers both advanced industrial societies and less developed countries. Special topics such as international energy, the international debt crisis, and international migration are considered. ECON 101 and 102 are recommended prerequisites.

POLS 382 | INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS

Units: 3

This course explores contending approaches to human rights, the role of institutions and organizations in setting human rights agendas, and human rights problems and policies in international politics.

POLS 383 | INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Units: 3

This course provides an introduction to the study of international organizations in world politics. The focus is on the United Nations and other selected organizations.

POLS 430 | FIELD SEMINAR IN CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT

Units: 1

Students attend a three-day seminar on California government and politics in the California State Capitol building in Sacramento. The seminar is offered only during the spring semester at the end of February. Students attend seminar presentations featuring elected state legislators, legislative and executive staffers, journalists, lobbyists, and academic experts on current issues confronting California.

POLS 434 | WASHINGTON, DC: THE PRESS AND THE PRESIDENCY

Units: 3

This course provides an analysis of U.S. politics and decision-making as seen through an extensive evaluation of the U.S. press and the U.S. presidency. Students meet during the first two weeks in Washington, D.C., during intersession.

POLS 435 | WASHINGTON, DC: DIRECTED STUDY IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course requires students to complete a research paper while interning in Washington, D.C. The paper will address an issue in political science that relates to the internship experience.

POLS 436 | WASHINGTON, DC: INTERNSHIP IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Core Attributes: Law - Experiential

Students work 35-40 hours a week in Washington, D.C., at an internship related to political science. The internship must be approved by the Department of Political Science and International Relations. Students receive 6 units of credit, of which 3 units may apply toward the major.

POLS 437 | WASHINGTON, DC: CLASS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This political science course is taken in Washington, D.C., during the internship. The course must be approved by the Department of Political Science and International Relations.

POLS 444 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Units: 3-4 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Special topics courses offer an examination of a topical issue affecting politics in the United States. The course number may be repeated for credit provided the topics of the courses are different.

POLS 448 | INTERNSHIP IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Core Attributes: Law - Experiential

This course involves participation in a governmental office at the local, state, or national level. Students are required to complete a research paper under the supervision of the instructor. This course is open only to junior or senior political science or international relations majors with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Students may not enroll in more than 6 internship units, and only 3 units may be used toward the major.

POLS 449 | INDEPENDENT STUDY IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Units: 1-3

This course involves advanced individual study in public policy, american politics, public law, political behavior, or political theory. This course is open only to junior or senior Political Science or International Relations majors with a grade point average in political science courses of 3.3 or higher. Approval of instructor and department chair is required, and substantial prior coursework in the area is expected.

POLS 480 | MODEL UNITED NATIONS

Units: 1

This course involves a simulation of the decision-making process of the United Nations. Students participate in at least one conference per semester where they have the opportunity to represent an assigned country and compete against other universities. This course may be repeated once for credit.

POLS 485 | WASHINGTON, DC: DIRECTED STUDY IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Units: 3

This course requires students to complete a research paper while interning in Washington, D.C. The paper will address an issue in international relations that relates to the internship experience.

POLS 486 | WASHINGTON, DC: INTERNSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Core Attributes: Law - Experiential

Students work 35-40 hours a week in Washington, D.C., at an internship related to international relations. The internship must be approved by the Department of Political Science and International Relations. Students receive 6 units of credit, of which 3 units may apply toward the major.

POLS 487 | WASHINGTON, DC: CLASS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Units: 3

This international relations course is taken in Washington, D.C., during the internship. The course must be approved by the Department of Political Science and International Relations.

POLS 492 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS--STUDY ABROAD

Core Attributes: Social/Behavioral Inquiry area, International

Special Topics courses--Study Abroad offer an examination of a topical issue affecting the domestic politics of foreign countries or foreign policy and international relations, while taking a course in a study abroad program. This course number may be repeated for credit provided the topics of the courses are different.

POLS 494 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Units: 1-4 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Special topics courses offer an examination of a topical issue affecting the domestic politics of foreign countries or the international political system. This course number may be repeated for credit provided the topics of the courses are different.

POLS 495 | SENIOR CAPSTONE SEMINAR

Core Attributes: Writing-Pre F17 CORE

Prerequisites: POLS 330

This course is required for Political Science and International Relations majors. There are four main objectives for this course. First, it provides an opportunity for students to synthesize, integrate and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired while pursuing the PS or IR major. Second, it provides an opportunity to produce an original research paper or equivalent creative project. Third, it provides students with the opportunity to present their conclusions with faculty, peers, and members of the community. Finally, this class aims to help students improve their writing and communication skills.

POLS 498 | INTERNSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Core Attributes: Law - Experiential

This course involves participation in an internship related to international relations. Students are required to complete a research paper under the supervision of the instructor. This course is open only to junior or senior political science or international relations majors with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Students may not enroll in more than 6 internship units, and only 3 units may be used toward the major.

POLS 499 | INDEPENDENT STUDY IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

This course involves advanced individual study in international relations or comparative politics. This course is open only to junior or senior political science or international relations majors with a grade point average in Political Science courses of 3.3 or higher. Approval of instructor and department chair is required, and substantial prior coursework in the area is expected.

POLS 529 | LAW OF THE SEA

Units: 3

This course examines regimes of the sea including fisheries, seabed mining, and coastal management zones. The politics of ocean regulation will be examined with emphasis on the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. The seminar will consider Law-of-the-Sea negotiations from three perspectives: 1) the development of international law; 2) the processes of international bargaining and negotiation; and 3) the decision-making processes associated with the formulation of maritime policies in individual countries.

POLS 530 | RESEARCH METHODS

Units: 3

This seminar helps students to formulate empirical research questions and introduces basic research strategies to answer them. Through hands-on experience, students learn to develop theories and to test them using basic research designs and uni- and multivariate analyses. In the end, students should be able to conduct and to critically evaluate basic research in the field.

POLS 535 | RESEARCH DESIGN

Units: 1.5

This course is a brief introduction to the principles of research design and analysis in the field of political science and international relations. The course discusses the nature of the scholarly community, the development of middle range theories and hypotheses, conceptualizing and operationalizing variables, and testing hypotheses.

POLS 550 | COMPARATIVE POLITICS

Units: 3

This course examines the major theoretical approaches to comparative politics as well as the political histories of individual countries. It is designed to introduce students to a variety of themes central to this field, including state-society relations, state capacity, the role of institutions, nationalism, cultural/ethnic pluralism, political culture, and democracy. This course is a degree requirement.

POLS 554 | REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE

Units: 3

This course offers a comparative study of the revolutionary process focusing on the causes and political implications of revolutionary change. The conditions that influence the outcome of revolutions and the effects on the international system will be examined.

POLS 555 | POLITICS IN WESTERN EUROPE

Units: 3

This course surveys the political cultures, institutions, and parties of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Foreign and defense policies, including those relating to European integration, will receive special attention.

POLS 557 | POLITICS IN LATIN AMERICA

Units: 3

This course uses a variety of theories to examine the dynamics of political and economic change in Latin America. Particular emphasis is placed on the causes and consequences of cyclical economic development and recurrent waves of democratization and authoritarianism.

POLS 559 | POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Units: 3

This course explores political developments in the Middle East with particular attention to the contemporary era.

POLS 560 | POLITICS OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Units: 3

This course provides an in-depth analysis of political development in sub-Saharan Africa. It is designed to introduce students to the challenges African states have faced during the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial eras. Particular emphasis is placed on how different countries have sought to develop strong institutions, democratic processes, and national integration in the context of scarce resources and civil conflict.

POLS 561 | POLITICS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Units: 3

This course examines the major issues and challenges that face South Africa. The goal of the course is to introduce students to contemporary South African politics and to place the current political challenges into the broader historical context.

POLS 565 | POLITICS IN RUSSIA

Units: 3

This course offers an examination of the political institutions and forces of change in Russia and the Soviet successor states with particular attention to the difficulties of democratization, modernization, and capitalist transformation.

POLS 566 | POLITICS IN MEXICO

Units: 3

This course examines the trajectory of political development in Mexico from the twentieth century to the present. We will examine the Mexican revolution, the origins of the dominant party system, the transition to democracy and current prospects for democratic and economic stability.

POLS 567 | POLITICS IN JAPAN

Units: 3

This class studies post-war politics in Japan focusing on political institutions, major political actors, and mass and elite political behavior. Special attention is paid to issues of modernization, the evolution of Japanese political practices and Japan’s changing democracy.

POLS 568 | POLITICS IN CHINA

Units: 3

This course offers an examination of politics and selected policy issues in contemporary China including political institutions, the policy-making process, and citizen political behavior. Special attention is given to prospects for political reform in China.

POLS 570 | THEORIES IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Units: 3

This core course provides an examination of realist, neorealist, neoliberal, globalist, constructivist, and normative theories of international relations and an inquiry into the relationship between theory and historical evidence. This course is a degree requirement.

POLS 571 | AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

Units: 3

This class offers an examination of the challenges and opportunities facing American foreign policy in the 21st century, the institutional context of foreign policy decision-making, and the application of theories of international politics and foreign policy to the empirical analysis of contemporary American foreign policy.

POLS 572 | RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY

Units: 3

This course explores foreign policy in the U.S.S.R. and its successor states focusing on competing institutions within the foreign policy establishments, changing security preoccupations, and the difficulties of realigning regional and global relationships in a structurally changed international system.

POLS 573 | CHINESE FOREIGN POLICY

Units: 3

This course offers an analysis of the foreign policy of the People's Republic of China. Foreign policy-making and China's relations with other international actors will be examined.

POLS 574 | U.S.-LATIN AMERICA RELATIONS

Units: 3

This course provides an analysis of historical and contemporary relations between the U.S. and Latin America. Policy issues examined include trade, immigration, drug trafficking, military intervention, and relations with Cuba.

POLS 575 | AMERICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Units: 3

This course examines the influences and interests that shape American foreign policy toward the Middle East. Rooted in the study of international relations and foreign policy decision-making, the course critically examines the past, present, and future of relations between the U.S. and this contested and dynamic region.

POLS 576 | U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY

Units: 3

This course examines contemporary U.S. security policy, including military technology, nuclear strategy and arms control, recent U.S. military interventions, biological and chemical weapons, domestic security politics , the defense industry and budget, and terrorism.

POLS 577 | REGIONAL SECURITY

Units: 3

This course examines security dynamics in four important regions of the world: West Europe, Latin America, East Asia, and the Islamic countries running from Northwest Africa to Southeast Asia. We address issues like military technology, war, diplomatic relations within the region, political economy, drug trafficking, and terrorism, among others.

POLS 578 | TRANSNATIONAL CRIME AND TERRORISM

Units: 3

This course focuses on how the law enforcement community has responded to the unprecedented increase in crimes and terrorist acts that cross international borders. The course examines those factors that have led to this increase in transnational crime and terrorism, the types of crimes that pose the greatest threat to lawful societies, the responses that have been developed to combat transnational crime, and the extent to which transnational crime threatens the national security interests of the United States and the world community.

POLS 579 | BORDER POLITICS AND POLICY

Units: 3

This course provides an examination of U.S.-Mexican border politics and related policies, including trade, economic development, migration, law enforcement and security, and international diplomacy. This course will also consider comparative border dynamics of other regions, such as U.S.-Canada, China-Russia, Spain-Morocco, and the European Union.

POLS 580 | INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMICS

Units: 3

This course examines the international and national political strategies affecting economic growth and global distribution of wealth.

POLS 582 | INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS

Units: 1-6

This course considers theoretical foundations, historical development, and applications of human rights in differing parts of the world. The seminar will focus on contending approaches to human rights.

POLS 583 | INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Units: 3

This course offers an examination of the development of contemporary intergovernmental political organizations with emphasis on the United Nations system and the functional agencies. The future of supranationalism will be investigated with particular attention to the European Communities.

POLS 584 | INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE

Units: 3

This course examines the policy decisions that determine human responses to environmental challenges. We begin by exploring three foundational topics: environmental ideologies, the global commons, and natural resources valuation. We then apply these core concepts to environmental sectors, such as climate change, sustainable development, marine resources management, environmental negotiations, and conservation.

POLS 586 | POLITICS OF INTELLIGENCE

Units: 3

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the history and institutional structure of the US intelligence community, the intelligence production cycle, how intelligence contributes to policymakers, how intelligence agencies are managed and controlled, the ethical debate about intelligence activities, current intelligence issues facing US policy makers, and counterintelligence concerns.

POLS 587 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN INTELLIGENCE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

This course is focused primarily on US covert action. Covert action refers to the effort by a government to influence events, conditions, attitudes, or behavior in ways that cannot be attributed to the sponsor. Students are exposed to the nature and principles of covert action, how it is employed to achieve national security objectives, and its capabilities and limitations.

POLS 594 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A current issue or topic in the discipline will be the focus of the course. The course can be repeated if the topic changes.

POLS 595 | MAIR CAPSTONE SEMINAR

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: POLS 550 and POLS 570

The Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) program at the University of San Diego hosts a capstone seminar for its graduating students to prepare and present a major research project. This capstone seminar is designed to allow students to integrate the knowledge obtained from their course of study in the program and apply that knowledge to the analysis of contemporary issues in international relations. Research topics are determined by the students in consultation with the capstone instructor and other faculty members who serve as external advisors on the student’s project. Students present their work at a formal symposium that is open to the public. The final paper and presentation produced for this seminar allow students to fulfill the main learning objectives of the MAIR program, and help to orient them towards a career in international affairs. Students must have completed at least 24 units prior to enrollment in the MAIR Capstone Seminar.

POLS 596 | SHORT COURSE IN IR: SPECIAL TOPICS

Units: 1.5 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Short courses come in different formats and schedules, including academic seminars, professional workshops, and short travel courses. They allow the department to offer courses on topics and/or on schedules that would not be suitable for three units and they give students greater options and more flexibility in load management and scheduling. 596 courses can be repeated for credit provided the topics are different.

POLS 598 | INTERNSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Units: 0.5-3

Students can receive credit for internships with the government, nongovernment agencies, corporations, and other suitable entities involved in international relations. Students are required to have a writing component in the internship. Students must have completed at least 15 units in the program and have an overall GPA of 3.33 to request an internship for credit. Internships for credit must be approved by the graduate director.

POLS 599 | INDEPENDENT STUDY IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Units: 0.5-3

Directed research can be conducted under the supervision of one of the permanent graduate faculty members in the Department. Students must have completed 15 units in the program and have an overall GPA of 3.5. Project proposals must be approved by a faculty sponsor and the graduate director.