Pre-Law

Courses

FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a list of courses offered by Western State Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the current university catalog at http://www.western.edu/catalog. To determined the courses required for your major, check the "Majors and Minors" tab for your area of study.

 COM 371 - SM GROUPS CONFLCT MANAGEMENT (3 credits)

An exploration of various concepts and types of conflict and the role of argumentation in managing and/or resolving conflict. The study examines the theory and practice of communication within small groups, as well as problem solving and decision making as common contexts in which argument occurs and conflict arises, and a continuum from formal to informal modes of conflict management/resolution is discussed and practiced by the students. Examples of specific areas covered include formal debate, negotiation, and arbitration. Prerequisite: COM 202.

 COM 372 - ISSUES MANAGEMENT (3 credits)

An exploration of the communication practices and strategies used by organizations to react to current events, publicity, and society. Emphasis is placed upon persuasion, media relations, and information campaigns.

 ECON 201 - MACROECONOMICS GSS1 (3 credits)

An introduction to the methods, models, and approaches used by economists to analyze and interpret events and policies related to the overall operation of the economy. The course endeavors to make sense of unemployment, inflation, recessions, debt and deficits, economic growth, the expanding role of the Federal Reserve, and policies to provide stability to the economy. Additional attention is given to the making of economic policy in an era of globalization. Finally, students are exposed to multiple schools of thought regarding macroeconomic reasoning. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 460 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or college-level math requirement with a minimum grade of "C-."

Prerequisite or corequisite: ENG 102.

 ECON 202 - MICROECONOMICS (3 credits)

The theory of microeconomics makes use of the tools of marginal cost-benefit analysis to provide a framework for the economic analysis of decision-making. The focus is on the choices of individual firms and consumers, and the resultant outcomes in individual markets. The social implications of the functioning of competitive markets are examined, as well as the causes of market failure and the potential roles of government in correcting them. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 460 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or college-level math requirement with a minimum grade of "C-."

 ENG 238 - LITERARY CULTURE OF THE AMERICAN WEST (3 credits)

A study of traditional and nontraditional forms of Western literature, including the multicultural diversity of the region. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C-.

 POLS 117 - INTRO TO POLITICAL IDEAS GSS1 (3 credits)

An introduction to political analysis through a study of important political concepts and theories, as well as their historical development. Students study the ideas and practices of the public and philosophical development of concepts such as citizenship, democracy, equality, justice, liberty, or power.

 POLS 180 - INTRO TO AMERICAN POLTCS GSS1 (3 credits)

Introduces institutions and processes of American politics, including themes such as constitutionalism, representation, participation, political development, political economy, civil liberties and rights, public policy, and the ideas and values of American democracy.

 POLS 255 - INTRO COMPARATIVE POLTICS GSS1 (3 credits)

An introduction to the challenges and problems encountered in the study of comparative politics. Students examine various issues of local and national governance through a comparative lens. By looking at similar political phenomena in several contexts, students explore the question of why some countries have successfully developed their political, economic and social systems while others are lagging behind. Some of the issues examined in the class deal with women's rights, poverty, underdevelopment, the environment, and democracy. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a grade of C- or above.

 POLS 260 - INTRO TO WORLD POLITICS (3 credits)

An introduction to some of the more important concepts and approaches to understanding world politics. Students examine the politics between different countries and seek to answer questions about the promise and peril of the global future. Quest- ions contemplated include: What are the sources of political conflict and how can they be minimized? Under what conditions will nation states cooperate with each other to accomplish common goals? Should tyranny and human rights violations justify humanitarian intervention? Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a grade of C- or above.

 POLS 282 - ISSUES IN STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (3 credits)

Using the foundations of American Federalism, the class examines policy issues at the state and local levels. With a comparative perspective and, at the same time, with particular attention paid to Colorado, some of the themes examined in states and localities include: budgets and economic policy, education, energy, and environmental Policy. Prerequisite: recommended POLS 180.

 POLS 300 - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I (3 credits)

A study of the historical development of the United States Constitution and Supreme Court through the most important Supreme Court decisions. The course focuses on the areas of jurisdiction of the courts, development of the common law, the separation of powers, federalism, and the inter-state commerce power. Prerequisite: POLS 180 recommended.

 POLS 301 - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II (3 credits)

A continuation of POLS 300. An examination of the constitutional protections of individual liberties as defined by the Supreme Court. Students study the historical development of the Supreme Court's point of view in such areas as freedom of speech, subversion and disloyalty, religious freedom, church-state separation, and equal protection of the law. Prerequisite: POLS 180 recommended.

 POLS 309 - POLITICAL THEORY I - ANCIENT TO EARLY MODERN (3 credits)

A survey of the historical development of western political theories from their origins in ancient Greece to the development of early modern political theories such as liberalism and republicanism. Students study thinkers such as Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, William Shakespeare, Niccolo Machiavelli, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Prerequisite: POLS 117 recommended.

 POLS 310 - POLITICAL THEORY II - LATER MODERN & CONTEMPORARY (3 credits)

A survey of the historical development of modern and contemporary political theories since the French Revolution. Issues investigated might include the rise of liberal democracy and its critics, the impact of the industrial revolution on modern politics, and how technological change and environmental limitations have affected contemporary political thought. Students study thinkers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault.POLS 117 recommended

 POLS 331 - THE POLITTICS OF THE PRESIDENCY (3 credits)

After more than two centuries of change and development, the presidency stands not only as the nation’s preeminent public office but also its most problematic. This course examines the design and creation of the office, the impact various officeholders have made on shaping future expectations, and the problems of contemporary leadership. Prerequisite: POLS 180 recommended. 

 POLS 340 - POLITICS OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS (3 credits)

A study of social movements, past and present, in both domestic and international contexts. Students examine theories on why social movements develop, spread, and decline, while considering the factors that lead to their successes and failures. Through an examination of transnational movements, students consider the roles of social networks and participatory democracy in a globalized world. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

 POLS 350 - HUMAN RIGHTS (3 credits)

An engagement with the history and current developments in international human rights practices, offering a justification and critique of universal human rights through the lens of various schools of thought, discussing pre and post-WWII developments with attention to specific cases, and examining the relationship between culture, globalization and human rights violations in the 21st century. Prerequisite: ENG 102. 

 POLS 355 - POLITICS OF DEVELOPMENT (3 credits)

A historical and case-specific examination of development and underdevelopment debates waged about, against and by countries in the Global South, examining assumptions about poverty, sustainability, liberal democratic regimes and free-market economy. The class engages students in a critical examination of what our assumptions about development are and how we can work toward broadening and refining them with the end goal of greater equity, political agency, and empowerment for populations within and outside the Global South. Particular focus on political regimes, their role in promoting development, and the scope of their relationship to economic, cultural, and social processes informs class objectives. Specific topics include malnutrition, food security, rights of indigenous populations, international aid and donors, disease, democratization processes, human rights, and the environment. Prerequisites: POLS 255 and/or POLS 260 recommended.

 POLS 360 - AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY (3 credits)

Not since the Roman Empire has any nation had as much economic, cultural and military power as the United States does today. Yet, as has become all too evident through the problems of terrorism, environmental degradation and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, that power is not enough to solve many global issues. This course examines the way in which U.S. foreign policy is made and the variety of ongoing and emerging foreign policy problems the U.S. faces in the context of their evolution. Prerequisites: POLS 255 and/or POLS 260 recommended.

 POLS 370 - POLITICAL ECONOMY (3 credits)

A study of economic systems that focuses on the structure and uses of economic power and the relationship between economic and political power. Students think about questions such as: What is capitalism? What varieties of capitalism exist around the world? How has capitalism changed over time? Ultimately, students consider the relationship between capitalism, freedom, and democracy. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

 POLS 376 - AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT I-FROM PURITANS TO SLAVEHOLDERS (3 credits)

A study of the development of early American political thought including enduring themes such as the Puritans and community, the ideas behind the Declaration of Independence, and the significance of the arguments found in the Federalists Papers or the work of Alexis de Tocqueville. Students also engage political ideas often challenging and reshaping the accepted order from sources such as Jacksonian workingmen and Abolitionism.

 POLS 380 - THE UNITED NATIONS (3 credits)

A study of the United Nations, focusing on the relationship between the UN, the proliferation of human rights regimes and international human development. Students think about the importance of creating international norms, working toward a sustainable world peace, political efficacy, and human rights in the world. A Model UN simulation is part of the course requirements. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

 POLS 476 - AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT II (3 credits)

A survey of American political thought and practice since the Civil War focusing on how democracy and capitalism have enabled and constrained one another in the course of the development of the American polity. Surveys key thinkers, social movements, and institutional developments such as Reconstruction, Populism, Progressivism, the Labor Movement, the Women's movement, the New Deal, and the Civil Rights Movement. Prerequisite: instructor permission.

 POLS 485 - STUDIES IN POLITICAL THEORY (3 credits)

Senior seminar in political theory with varying topics. This course meets the Capstone requirement. Prerequisite: senior standing or instructor permission.

 POLS 486 - STUDIES IN AMERICAN POLITICS (3 credits)

Senior seminar in American politics with varying topics. This course meets the capstone requirement. Prerequisite: senior standing or instructor permission

 POLS 488 - STUDIES IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS (3 credits)

Senior seminar in Comparative politics with varying topics. This course meets the cap- stone requirement. Prerequisite: senior standing or instructor permission. 

 POLS 499 - INTERNSHIP IN POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT (3 credits)

Credit earned in an internship may be applied to the Major or Minor with advisor approval. 

 PSY 368 - PSYCHOPATHOLOGY (3 credits)

A systematic study of the etiology, symptoms, assessment, and treatment of major forms of psychopathology. An interdisciplinary approach is employed as a basis for understanding mental disorders and mental illness. Prerequisites: PSY 100, PSY 258, or PSY 270.

 SOC 259 - INTRO TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE (3 credits)

An introduction to the history and contemporary issues of the criminal justice system (law enforcement, courts, and corrections) in the United States. Topics surveyed include the system's history, constitutional limitations, philosophical background, and the system's process. Prerequisite: SOC 101 with a minimum grade of "C."

 SOC 367 - CORRECTIONS (3 credits)

An in-depth look at corrections in the United States. Topics include history of corrections,jails, prisons, community corrections, offenders and inmates, women in corrections, juvenile corrections, correctional officers and treatment professionals, an special inmate populations. Prerequisites: SOC 259 with a minimum grade of "C."

Law School Preparation (Pre-Law)

Students interested in the pre-law emphasis will gain law school advising. Traditionally, about 1/3 of our graduates continue on to law school. Professor William Niemi is a LSAC advisor (Law School Admissions Council) and works with students one-on-one to prepare for the LSAT and law school admission. Our students have attended law school at the University of Denver, University of Colorado at Boulder, American University, Willamette University among many others. After law school our alumni have pursued careers as environmental lawyers, state legislators, lobbyists and many more diverse careers.

Next Steps

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Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Assistant Professor of Politics and Government
B.A., James Madison University, M.A., University Colorado at Boulder , Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder
Phone: (970) 943-3025
Office Location: Kelley 205