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Home >  Academics >  Political Science Department >  POLS 301 Introduction to American Government

POLS 301 Introduction to American Government


Prerequisite: ENGWR 101 with a grade of "C" or better; or placement into ENGWR 300.
General Education: AA/AS Area V(a); CSU Area D8; CSU Area F2; CSU Area F3;
Course Transferable to UC/CSU
Hours: 54 hours LEC
This course is an introduction to political science, American government and politics and is structured to promote political and analytical understanding and thinking regarding American politics and government. Areas of concentration include principles, institutions, problems, processes, theory, philosophy, and ideology.

Updated 6/18/13


Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the nature of government, its theoretical foundations and functions.
  • Relate American and global political thought, the Constitution, and governing institutions to one another.
  • Identify and explain the structures and functions of government prescribed by the Constitution.
  • Compare and contrast the federal, state and local governments with respect to their their political foundations, functions, and contemporary problems.
  • Assess the relationship between individuals and the state with emphasis on political objectives, rights and liberties.
  • Analyze the American political process, including the development of ideologies, voting behavior and other forms of political participation.
  • Evaluate the relationship between the governing process and public policy.
  • Explain how the American system affects their lives in terms of freedoms and restraints.
  • Situate the American system within a world characterized by globalization.
  • Utilize the knowledge gained to become engaged with the American political process.


Syllabus Links:

Professor David Reese Syllabus

Professor Cirian Villavicencio Syllabus

Professor Alan Clarke Syllabus

Professor Deanne Repetto Syllabus



Relevant Websites to the Course:

Early U.S. History: Colonial Era to the U.S. Constitution

The Articles of Confederation

The Declaration of Independence

The U.S. Constitution

The Bill of Rights

The Federalist Papers


United States of America (USA.gov)

The White House

U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. Senate

U.S. Supreme Court