Political Philosophy

Course Number: PS 225
Transcript Title: Political Philosophy
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: August 15, 2019
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Course Description

Covers sources, strengths and weaknesses of contemporary political philosophies, and the conditions which lead to conflict or to cooperation among them. Includes liberalism, conservatism, socialism, fascism, and other idea systems. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Distinguish among major contemporary ideologies, both in their conceptual frameworks and their underlying assumptions.
  2. Communicate clearly historical sources contributing to the evolution of different idea systems, with the ability to express opinions regarding strengths and weaknesses associated with each.
  3. Apply critical thinking skills with regards to controversial issues including the impact of cultural filters on social and political interactions.
  4. Formulate and apply personal value judgments, while demonstrating sensitivity and empathy for other people with differing points of view.
  5. Conceptually organize information while practicing ethical and social requirements of responsible citizenship.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

Major 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)

Not addressed

3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Tests, research papers, discussion, quizzes, homework, group projects, and other forms of assessment all may be used for this course at the instructor's discretion

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

After completing this course, the student should have a basic understanding of:

  • Levels of understanding and analyzing political ideologies, including basic assumptions, beliefs, goals, and strategies (programs for action) associated with each.
  • How different idea systems, economic systems, and socio-political realities help create, perpetuate, and/or resolve crises and conflicts on interpersonal, group, societal, international, and global levels.
  • Selected historical case studies which may help illustrate the relationship of idea systems in theory and their manifestation in real world practice.
  • The relationship of personal behavior and lifestyle choices to crises and conflicts which took place in the past, continue into the present, and may or may not be transcended in the future.
  • How one's own values and actions impact what is seen as right and wrong, good and bad, and the prospects for a future to unfold that is more to one's liking.

Competencies and Skills

  • Write and communicate orally in a clear, organized, and effective manner.
  • Think critically about current public policy issues and analyze complex social and political realities.
  • Use varied and effective research techniques and strategies.
  • Develop and refine group process skills, which may include listening, brainstorming, cooperating, negotiating, or otherwise communicating regarding shared tasks.
  • Develop an ability to listen to and empathize with diverse perspectives and experiences.
  • Integrate coursework with current events and trends through examination of popular media and various sources of news.
  • Develop and practice active citizenship skills.