Introduction to Political Science
I. Course Prefix/Number: PSC 103
Course Name: Introduction to Political Science
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
IV. Learning Objectives
B. Describe and explain the concepts and terminology of the discipline.
C. Analyze the basic research techniques of the discipline.
D. Evaluate and interpret articles which result from that research.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
1. Sources of conflict in a society
2. How conflict becomes a part of the public agenda
3. Elements of political strength
B. Political Science: The Study of Politics
1. The nature of the study
2. The terminology
3. The fields of study
4. The method: research techniques
C. Origins of Public Conflict: Political Socialization
1. Development of political attitudes
2. Agents of socialization
D. Origins of Public Conflict: Interest Group Politics
1. "Interest Group" theory
2. Class and interest group politics
3. Political tactics
E. Origins of Public Policy: Defining the Issues
1. Initiating the process: pressure of a problem
2. Continuing the process: from problems to issues
3. Participants in the process: who defines the issues?
F. Decision Making: Formulating of Public Policy
1. Who makes the policy decisions
2. Factors influencing decisions
G. Policy Implementation
1. Bureaucrats and bureaucracy
2. Administrative Organization
3. Problems of bureaucracy
H. Models of the Policy Process
VII. Methods of Instruction
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
A. Read a standard textbook and research materials.
B. Write outside of class the equivalent of 12 - 14 double spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
C. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.
IX. Instructional Materials
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in- and out-of- class assignments.
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.