Graduate Courses

Methods

  • POLI 200 - Research Design - This course is intended to give students an introduction to designing Political Science research.  The course will emphasize scientific method and causal inference, with special emphasis on designing strong tests, especially experimental and quasi-experimental designs and including the use of natural experiments and observational data. (4 units)
  • POLI 210 - Quantitative Analysis of Political Data I - This course is a graduate-level introduction to the theory and practice of quantitative data analysis. It is intended to prepare students for future work in methodology. Aside from formal treatment of the material, students will receive a basic introduction to the use of Stata statistical analysis software. (4 units)
  • POLI 211 - Quantitative Analysis of Political Data II - Provides an in-depth introduction to ordinary least squares regression analysis and its use in Political Science. (4 units)
  • POLI 212 - Quantitative Analysis of Political Data III - Maximum likelihood estimation and limited dependent variable models as applied to Political Science data. (4 units)
  • POLI 213 - Experimental Methods in Political Science - This course is intended to provide students with an understanding of experimental methods in Political Science.  The first portion of the semester will emphasize concepts and tools from the experimentalist’s toolbox with a strong focus on causal inference, external and internal validity, and choosing subjects and subject’s motivations.  Later weeks will focus on issues and challenges to specific types of Political Science experiments including survey experiments, laboratory experiments, physiological experiments, and field experiments.  (4 units)
  • POLI 215 - Introduction to Game Theory - This is an introductory course on game theory and its applications in social and Political Science. Students will learn basic concepts and tools of non-cooperative game theory, covering both complete and incomplete information games in static and dynamic settings, and see how they can be used in studying political/social phenomena. (4 units)
  • POLI 216 - Formal Political Analysis - This course introduces the formal analytic tools that are now used extensively to model political phenomena. It is more advanced and technical than POLI 215, and covers materials not included in POLI 215. It will provide students with interests in formal theory a foundation to construct serious formal models of politics in their areas of interests. (4 units)
  • POLI 219 - Special Topics in Political Science Methodology - A special, instructor-selected topic in Political Science methodology. (4 units)

Political Institutions & Political Economy

  • POLI 220 - American Political Institutions - This course is intended to provide students with a broad understanding of American political institutions (the constitution, Congress, presidency, bureaucracy, judiciary, electoral systems, and subnational governments).  The first portion of the semester will emphasize concepts and tools while later weeks will examine institutions in more depth, emphasizing classic writings and contemporary research controversies. (4 units)
  • POLI 221 - Legislative Politics - This course provides an overview of the theoretical and empirical literature on legislative politics.  The main focus of the course will be the U.S. Congress, but much of what we cover will have direct relevance for the study of legislatures more generally (both cross-nationally and the American state legislatures). (4 units)
  • POLI 222 - Executive Politics - This course examines executive politics, with special attention to the U.S. presidency and the politics of the bureaucracy.  The course considers the theoretical and empirical literature on the processes of presidential selection (nomination and election), the ways in which presidents differ in their leadership styles, skills, executive management, and their roles as decision makers are also analyzed for their consequences. (4 units)
  • POLI 223 - Judicial Politics - Development and consequences of judicial institutions; influences on judicial decision making; role of courts in political systems. (4 units)
  • POLI 224 - Subnational Politics - This course provides an introduction to politics in American cities and metropolitan areas.  We examine the historical development of local government institutions, analyze urban coalitions, investigate distributions of power, investigate the process and consequences of suburbanization, and examine local development and poverty policy. (4 units)
  • POLI 225 - Political Parties - This course provides a general overview of political parties and party systems.  We investigate the goals of parties, organizational structures, and the sources of parties (including societal divisions, coordination needs, and institutional structures).  We explore party competition and interaction, study the causes of party system change, and the effects of parties in electoral and policy making arenas. (4 units)
  • POLI 226 - Interest Groups - Collective action problems, organization of interests, lobbying strategies, and the effect of advocacy activities. (4 units)
  • POLI 227 - Media and Politics - This course examines the role of the mass media in politics.  We analyze the function of media in different political settings, study the development and transformation of the media, explore sources of bias, evaluate theories of news development and analyze the effect of the media in campaigns, elections, and governance.  (4 units)
  • POLI 228 - Elections and Representation - Electoral institutions and their consequences for election outcomes and public policy. (4 units)
  • POLI 230 - Institutions and Institutional Change in Comparative Perspective - This course will explore the political economy of institutions and institutional change in comparative perspectives. It will analyze the causes of institutional emergence/change and the effects of institutions. (4 units)
  • POLI 235 - International Institutions - International political institutions and their connection with international relations. (4 units)
  • POLI 240 - Political Economy - The purpose of this class is to introduce students to political economy, a field of inquiry that seeks to explain political and economic behavior by characterizing the incentives of actors and the context in which these actors make decisions and influence outcomes. (4 units)
  • POLI 249 - Special Topics in Political Institutions & Political Economy - A special, instructor-selected topic in political institutions and/or political economy. (4 units)

Political Cognition & Behavior

  • POLI 250 - American Political Behavior - This course provides students with a broad understanding of American political behavior (political participation, the nature and origins of public opinion, vote choice).  The first portion of the semester emphasizes concepts and tools while later weeks will examine political behavior in more depth, emphasizing classic writings and contemporary research controversies.  (4 units)
  • POLI 251 - Political Cognition - This course is intended to provide students with an understanding of political cognition, a topic that examines political attitudes and behavior from the perspective of research from Psychology and Cognitive Science.  Each week’s readings will include research from Psychology or Cognitive Science and research in Political Science informed by these disciplines.  (4 units)
  • POLI 252 - Public Opinion - This course provides an in-depth examination of American public opinion. We will cover concepts and tools, including technical issues of sampling and measurement, as well as the origins and structure of political attitudes and specific areas of public opinion research such as approval of political institutions, war attitudes, and tolerance. (4 units)
  • POLI 253 - Voting, Campaigns, & Elections - The purpose of this course is to explore the factors that explain citizens’ vote choices and the strategies used by candidates and their campaigns to win these votes.  Additional consideration will be given to the structural factors influencing elections in the United States. (4 units)
  • POLI 254 - Biological Bases of Politics - This course provides an overview of the different avenues explored by scholars working in the bio-politics paradigm. The course covers a number of disparate topics, including:  twin studies and other techniques of behavior genetics, neuroscience, psychophysiology, personality psychology, and evolutionary psychology. (4 units)
  • POLI 255 - Politics of Diversity - This course examines politics through the lenses of race, ethnicity, and immigration. We consider topics such as the development of racial and ethnic identities, discrimination, voting rights, electoral mobilization, campaigns, representation, and policy debates over issues like affirmative action, immigration and naturalization, and language policy. (4 units)
  • POLI 260 - Comparative Political Behavior - This course is an introduction to the study of comparative mass political behavior. The seminar will focus on research questions related to cross-national differences and similarities in public opinion, voting behavior, and other forms of political participation. (4 units)
  • POLI 269 - Special Topics in Political Cognition & Behavior - A special, instructor-selected topic in either political cognition or political behavior. (4 units)

Other

  • POLI 290 - Political Science Research Practicum - Individual research practicum with a faculty member in the Political Science Graduate Group. (4 units)
  • POLI 297 - Research for Ph.D. Dissertation – Research and writing of Doctoral Dissertation. (2-12 units)
  • POLI 298 - Directed Group Study in Political Science – Directed group study on a Political Science topic. (4 units)
  • POLI 299 - Directed Individual Research in Political Science – Directed individual research on a Political Science topic. (4 units)

Contact Political Science

Political Science Chair
Stephen P. Nicholson, Professor
 
Political Science (General)
 
Political Science (Graduate)
 
Political Science Mailing Address
University of California, Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
 
The first new American research
university in the 21st century, with a
mission of research, teaching and service.
 
University of California, Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
T: (209) 228-4400
 
University of California, Merced

 

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