Political Science

Admission Criteria and Degree Requirements
The JMU graduate school requires that prospective students submit official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work and GRE test scores. International students must achieve a TOEFL score of at least 570 for the paper-based version and 88 for the electronic version. The Department of Political Science requires that students submit a written statement of educational and professional goals, GRE writing examination scores, curriculum vita or resume, and two current letters of recommendation from professors, employers and other professionals qualified to judge the applicant's ability to complete graduate studies. Students must also submit a statement of language proficiency and a statement of policy interest.

Once admitted to the program, to remain in good academic standing students must comply with the requirements of the JMU Graduate School and those imposed by the Political Science program. Students must complete the EU Policy Studies (EUPS) concentration in a consecutive 11-month period. Students withdrawing from the EUPS concentration may be permitted to re-enter the program at the same point in subsequent years. Students must meet The Graduate School requirement of a 3.0 GPA or higher to qualify for graduation.

Mission
The Master of Arts in Political Science program focuses on comparative and international politics. This program is designed to directly engage students in comparative and international politics via studies abroad and practical experience.

Learning Objectives
When students complete the Master of Arts in Political Science program, they should have:

European Union Policy Studies Concentration
This concentration involves an intellectually rigorous program with a theoretical and practical orientation. It provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the Political Science literature on the European Union in general (its historical development, current institutions, and practices and future prospects).

The European Union policy studies concentration also places particular emphasis on public policy in two domains: economic and social policy, and foreign policy and internal security. Students will focus their studies on one of these policy areas. The concentration is designed as a one-year residential program based in Florence, Italy.

This concentration is intended:

Concentration Requirements 1 Credit Hours
POSC 602. The Politics of European Culture and Identity 3
POSC 603. The Political Institutions of the European Union 3
POSC 604. Policy-Making Processes and Lobbying in the European Union 3
POSC 620. The EU: Contemporary Issues and Controversies 3
POSC 640. Seminar in EU Policy Analysis 6
POSC 641. Topics in Economic and Social Policy 1 3
POSC 642. Topics in Foreign Policy and Internal Security 1 3
POSC 690. Tutorial in EU Policy Studies 6
POSC 692. EU Seminar 3

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1 In their area of policy specialization, students will take one course twice (with different topics) for a total of six credits.

Typical Curriculum for European Union Policy Studies

Fall Semester 1 Credit Hours
POSC 602. The Politics of European Culture and Identity 3
POSC 603. The Political Institutions of the European Union 3
POSC 604. Policy-Making Processes and Lobbying in the European Union 3
POSC 620. The EU: Contemporary Issues and Controversies 3

  12

Spring Semester Credit Hours
POSC 640. Seminar in EU Policy Analysis 6
POSC 641. Topics in Economic and Social Policy 1 3-6
POSC 642. Topics in Foreign Policy and Internal Security 1 3-6

  12

Summer Semester Credit Hours
POSC 690. Tutorial in EU Policy Studies 6
POSC 692. EU Seminar 3

  9

1 In their area of policy specialization, students will take one course twice (with different topics) for a total of six credits.

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Course Offering

Political Science

POSC 601. Theories of European Integration.
3 credits.
This course is a comprehensive introduction to normative and empirical theories of European integration. It covers the "European visions" of historical figures and the history of European integration since World War II. The course requires intensive analysis of twentieth and twenty-first century empirical theories of integration, including neofunctionalism, intergovernmentalism, historical institutionalism, multi-level governance, constructivism and Europeanization.

POSC 602. The Politics of European Culture and Identity.
3 credits.
This course examines the dynamics of cultural identity in Europe. It canvasses alternative theoretical approaches to identity (primordialism, instrumentalism, constructivism) and addresses the interplay among sub-national, national, and supranational identities in various European states. The course also considers the ways that political actors express and modify identities in an enlarging and increasingly multi-cultural Europe.

POSC 603. The Political Institutions of the European Union.
3 credits.
This course is a comprehensive consideration of the EU's institutions and the relationships among them. It analyzes the roles of the EU's institutions and advisory bodies and considers the ways that executive, legislative, judicial, and advisory institutions interact. The course also engages debates about the "democratic deficit" in Europe and considers whether changes in the Union's institutional structure might increase the quality of European democracy.

POSC 604. Policy-Making Processes and Lobbying in the European Union.
3 credits.
This course examines the range of policy-making processes that characterize EU decision-making and focuses on the ways that groups beyond the EU's formal institutions influence EU policies. The course analyzes the ways that the EU's policy regimes affect extra-institutional actors' strategies. It focuses on the strategies of interest groups, media outlets, states from outside of the EU, social movements, international organizations, and other extra-institutional actors.

POSC 620. The EU: Contemporary Issues and Controversies.
3 credits.
This course offers a deep look into contemporary issues and debates in EU politics. The particular subject matter changes from semester to semester; contemporary issues include the EU Constitutional Treaty, enlargement to eastern Europe, relations with Turkey and EU foreign policy. Regardless of its specific focus, this course considers the historical background of the debate, the positions of different member-states and policy players, and the likely future of the issue. The course involves guest lectures from involved policy players and requires active engagement with contemporary media coverage and scholarly literature.

POSC 640. Seminar in EU Policy Analysis.
6 credits.
This course offers an intensive immersion into the methods and concepts of EU policy analysis. It introduces students to policy-analysis techniques, requires students to apply those techniques in case-based projects, and allows students to present and defend policy analyses to public audiences.

POSC 641. Topics in Economic and Social Policy.
3 credits.
In-depth exploration of specialized topics in EU economic and social policy. The topics for each semester will vary and may include the single market, economic and monetary union, competition policy, social policy, agricultural policy, regional policy, environmental policy, energy policy, and research and development policy.

POSC 642. Topics in Foreign Policy and Internal Security.
3 credits.
In-depth exploration of specialized topics in EU foreign policy and internal security policies. The topics for each semester will vary and may include European Union foreign policy, security and defense policy, anti-terrorism policy, immigration policy, asylum policy, human rights promotion, efforts against human trafficking, and policies regarding the protection of personal data.

POSC 665. Governance and Stabilization.
3 credits.
This course will apply political science research and theory to the role of counterinsurgency and post-conflict operations in providing governance and stabilization. It will examine current military and political strategies in light of lessons learned from past operations.

POSC 690. Tutorial in EU Policy Studies.
6 credits.
A tutorial requiring students to pursue one of the following: a service learning project, a practicum or internship, or in-depth original research. Students integrate prior course work and knowledge as they serve in government, NGO or business settings or develop a thesis in their policy specialization area. They are further exposed to and directly maneuver within specific EU policies and procedures.

POSC 692. EU Seminar.
3 credits.
This is the capstone seminar for the program designed to address students' professional development. The course will integrate individual students' experiences and give further consideration to topical issues in the European Union. It seeks to build students' professional networks and to aid their transition into the professional realm. Course work includes speakers, roundtable discussions, research colloquia and study tours.

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