Graduate Course Syllabi

POLS 5300: Seminar in Quantitative Research I

This course introduces methods of quantitative analysis and hypothesis testing, including data management, regression estimation methods, diagnostic techniques, and professional research writing. In this class, students will learn how to analyze a variety of quantitative data and are expected to complete an original, conference-worthy research paper.We will focus upon OLS regression, Gauss-Markov assumptions, and appropriate diagnostic tools.  We will be working primarily with STATA, although students may use R upon personal preference.

Syllabus: POLS 5300 Graduate Methods

POLS 5302: Seminar in Quantitative Research II

This course further explores methods of quantitative analysis and hypothesis testing, including data management, various regression estimation methods, diagnostic techniques, and other topics. In this class, students will learn how to analyze a variety of quantitative data and are expected to complete an original, conference-worthy research paper.We will focus upon OLS regression, Gauss-Markov assumptions, maximum likelihood estimation techniques, and appropriate diagnostic tools.  We will be working primarily with STATA, although students may use R upon personal preference.

Syllabus:  Quantitative II Spring 2021

POLS 5380: Seminar in Public Law

This course provides graduate students a survey of the literature in judicial politics. The class will focus on judge decision-making, the role of institutions, strategic behavior, the implementation and impact of judicial policies, the relationship between the judiciary and other institutions, and comparative judicial politics. As such, this course will survey the U.S. Supreme Court, lower federal courts, state supreme courts, and domestic judiciaries in other countries. This class is reading intensive and formatted as a seminar to enable students to explore and analyze judicial institutions and behavior through discussion and dialogue.

This is not a course on constitutional law, and the focus will not be on the development of legal doctrines or close readings of important cases. Instead, we will evaluate law and courts as political institutions and judges as political actors and policy-makers.

Syllabus: Public Law

POLS 5380: Comparative Courts

This course provides an introduction to the major legal systems of the world and compares high courts cross-nationally. It will include the study of legal systems, courts, judicial process, judicial behavior, the rule of law, and the role of courts across political spectrums and regimes. This class is formatted as a seminar to enable students to explore and analyze judicial institutions and behavior cross-nationally through discussion and dialogue. Students will be expected to write a major, original research design paper on comparative courts in addition to several short papers evaluating the readings for each week.

Syllabus: Comparative Courts

POLS 5380: Legal Interpretation: Philosophy and Judicial Behavior

This course will help students understand legal interpretation and hermeneutics for the federal judiciary by engaging in a dialogue between legal philosophy and empirical political science examining judicial decision making. Students will become familiar with leading models of legal interpretation across constitutional and statutory texts within the United States federal judiciary, focusing on the Supreme Court. This course thus takes an interdisciplinary approach to legal interpretation, the philosophy of law, judicial decision making, and the rule of law.

Syllabus: Legal Interpretation