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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: POLS640 Course ID: 3555 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course introduces students to the role of the judiciary in American politics and policymaking and explores the questions asked and the methods employed by political scientists studying courts and the legal system. An equally important objective of this course is to familiarize students with the seminal works in judicial research, with particular emphasis on Supreme Court cases. Students will study the judicial process in the United States from a variety of perspectives in order to examine the role of law and courts in the larger political arena and social environment.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

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

CO-1: Evaluate the general history of the role of the federal judiciary in politics.

CO-2: Analyze the perspective of the role of the judiciary within the political system.

CO-3: Assess the theories of the judiciary and their relationships within the political culture.

CO-4: Evaluate the impact of the criminal justice system on the political system.

CO-5: Analyze the Supreme Court’s influence on civil rights in the United States.

CO-6: Evaluate judicial political participation from many vantage points and perspectives.

CO-7: Analyze the relationship between the judicial, executive, and legislative branches.

CO-8: Analyze present and future trends in the justice system and its relation to society.

Grades for this course will be based upon two grading instruments; Forums and two papers. There are eight weekly discussion questions that are provided in the Forum. Six forums are graded and two are optional and ungraded. For the graded forums, the student will reply to the posting of other students in addition to posting an initial response. The grade scale for each of the evaluation tools is provided below:

Attention Air Force Students: Please read the following important information:

AIR FORCE GRADE POLICY-Not Accepting Grade Changes

(Please read the Air Force memo below)

It is important to let Air Force students know to submit any grade appeals or exception extension requests immediately upon the end of a course. If a corrected grade is not submitted within the Air Force deadline, the Air Force will force tuition reimbursement, even if a failing grade has now been changed to a passing grade.

It is also important that any Air Force students who appeal and receive a grade change from an F send a copy of their updated grade report immediately to or take a copy into their Education officeto request their grade be updated. Unfortunately the Air Force portal only allows our office the ability to post missing grades or change Incomplete grades in their online portal. We do not have access to change a grade in the AI Portal once a final grade has been submitted.

NameGrade %
Forums 50.00 %
Week 1 10.00 %
Week 3 10.00 %
Week 5 10.00 %
Week 6 10.00 %
Week 7 10.00 %
Paper One 20.00 %
Paper One 20.00 %
Final Paper 30.00 %
Final Paper 30.00 %

Readings are all open resource and indicated by week in the course outline.

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.