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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York | Evaluated Learning Experience

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Political Science 102: American Government


39 hours (8 weeks).

Various; distance learning format.

December 2014 - Present.

Instructional delivery format: 
Online/distance learning
Learner Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: distinguish between different forms of democracy and the philosophical foundations of American government by examining the spread of democratic ideals and the components of Constitution; explain the evolution of American federalism, the division of power between state and federal governments, and the debate over sovereignty; compare and contrast the history, function and types of political parties alongside their influences on the political process, American political culture, examples of political socialization, and the influence of public opinion on elected officials and weigh factors influencing voter turnout; examine the origin of civil liberties and rights, equal protection, freedom of speech, religion, and privacy, the history of the civil rights movement, and civil rights issues with other marginalized groups; analyze the issues, rules governing historical development, and the influence of the mass media and learn the sources through which Americans get their news; illustrate the structure of federal bureaucracy, the problems associated with it, functions of the cabinet and independent regulatory agencies and explore how bureaucracy is held accountable through the courts, Congress, and the presidency; review contemporary nomination processes, the differences between primary and general elections, sources of campaign funds, the role of the electoral college, factors influencing voters' decisions and follow the evolution of contemporary presidential elections; identify the differences between a congress and a parliament, how a bill becomes law, the reapportionment and redistricting processes, advantage of incumbency in elections and compare the demographics of members of Congress with the populations they represent; summarize the structure of the federal court system, steps in the judicial decision-making process; and generate steps, types and issues with public, social, and environmental policy, economic and fiscal policy, foreign and defense policy formation and implementation and interest group's influence, regulation and strategies.


Major topics include: introduction to the study of American government; constitutional democracy; federalism in the United States; interest groups and American democracy; the media and American democracy; the federal bureaucracy in the United States; American political culture, opinion, and behavior; civil liberties; civil rights; political parties in the United States government; the presidency: election, powers, and practice; the congress: election, powers, and representation; the federal judicial system; economic and fiscal policy; public, social, and environmental policy; and foreign and defense policy.

Credit recommendation: 

In the associate/certificate degree category, 3 semester hours in American Politics (12/16) (4/22 revalidation).