Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

graduate seminars

PLSC 401: Research Design
Professor Richard Matland
W 7:00pm / LSC

The primary goal of this course is to teach an understanding of the principles that should lie at the base of any research project: how to effectively ask research questions and how to design research so as to be able to make meaningful statements concerning social phenomenon.  An overriding goal is to emphasize the importance of multiple methods.  Several different research methodologies will be discussed and presented.  Among the methodologies discussed are experiments, quasi-experiments, surveys, simulations, case studies, and participant observation.

PLSC 405: The Executive Branch
Professor Raymond Tatalovich
T 7:00pm / LSC

This course will be reading intensive.  The objective is to recognize the leading scholars on the presidency and their contributions to the field, the intellectual debates surrounding the nature of presidential leadership and power, the historical evolution of the presidential office, as well as the relatively small body of empirical research on presidential topics.  We do not cover presidential campaigns or elections.  Given the ongoing controversy over presidential war making and leadership of foreign policy, those topics will be given coverage in this course.

PLSC 420: Comparative Political Systems
Professor Olga Avdeyeva
Th 4:15pm / LSC

This course is the core graduate seminar in the field of comparative politics. It is designed to help students think theoretically and critically about the subfield of comparative politics, its scientific objectives, and its epistemological assumptions.  Within this context, the course will explore the most fundamental concepts and approaches, as well as some of the most important theories and debates that characterize the sub-field. In this seminar, we will examine the historical development and trends in comparative politics and study the most fundamental epistemological issues in comparative political inquiry. We will also focus on the logic and process of comparison and review methodologies in comparative political studies. 

PLSC 430: Theories of International Politics
Professor Alexandru Grigorescu
Th 7:00pm / LSC

This course introduces students to some of the more frequently cited works in international relations (IR).  It explores central concepts and theories employed by political scientists to explain how world politics functions.  In order to illustrate various concepts and theories, the course will use examples from different areas of the world and from different moments in history.  It will especially rely on examples from events that are still unfolding.

PLSC 447: American Political Thought
Professor Thomas Engeman
W 4:15pm / LSC

This course addresses the major theoretical questions of the Colonial period, 1607-1776; of the Founding, 1785-1789; and of the ultimate American civil conflict in 1861-1865.

PLSC 476: Techniques of Political Analysis II
Professor Vincent Mahler
M 7:00pm / LSC

This is an intermediate course in the application of statistical methods to political analysis.  The primary focus of the course is the theory and practice of multiple regression, the most important statistical technique in the social sciences.  Among the specific topics examined are the assumptions underlying regression and the consequences of violating them; analysis of residuals; collinearity; dummy regression; analysis of variance and covariance; hierarchical regression; nonlinearity and nonadditivity; pooled cross-sectional/time series analysis; and structural equations.  Emphasis throughout the course will be on practical applications and extensive use will be made of SPSS and Stata, computer programs commonly used in social science analysis.  Prerequisite:  the successful completion of Political Science 475, Techniques of Political Science I, or the instructor's permission. 

PLSC 499: Directed Readings
Professor Peter Sanchez / permission required

A special readings course designed for students with particular topics in mind.  Interested students should discuss the proposed topic with a faculty member prior to the beginning of the semester.  The Graduate Program Director's permission is required before students may register for this course.