Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Your interest in the U.S. legal system could open new doors to a rewarding career. In this concentration, you will have the opportunity to delve deep into the structure and processes of the law and how it relates to your personal and professional worlds. You can gain a solid foundation that can prepare you for law school or other exciting areas in the legal field within:
To help gain a greater understanding of justice in action, you will:
Students may be eligible to transfer up to 135 credits. At least 45 credits must be completed at Walden.
Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
*Click here for Required General Education Courses by Program.
Students are required to complete five concentration courses, four of which are prescribed. Students choose a fifth concentration course from any of the remaining B.S. in Political Science and Public Administration concentration courses.
Choose 14 courses from general education, B.S. in Political Science and Public Administration, or other Walden bachelor’s degree programs. At least 15 credits must be at the 3000–4000 level. Your elective credits should total 70 to meet your program requirements. You may also be eligible to transfer previous credit to meet your elective requirements. Note on Minors: Electives can also be used to complete a 6-course minor.
Imagine life without cell phones, television, or the Internet. Recent technological developments have significantly altered all aspects of human life: at work; in play; and in personal, family, and social interactions. In this course, students examine the advantages, disadvantages, and controversies of living and learning in an ever-changing technological environment. By exploring multiple perspectives, students discover how technology is changing media, culture, business, health, human behavior, and overall access to information. In a dynamic, reflective, and engaging classroom environment, students use a variety of audio, visual, literary, and artistic resources, to engage in open dialogue. Students are also introduced to the tools essential to success at Walden. Students complete the course with a personalized success plan that provides a customized roadmap and tools that they can use.
The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the protection of our lives and property all are affected by the actions of local, regional, and national levels of government. This course introduces students to the workings of the American government and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizens. Students explore the constitutional foundations and major institutions of American government demonstrated through the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. They engage in a range of assignments, such as an analysis on Supreme Court decisions, to gain an understanding of how the American government functions, including the roles of political parties, elections, voting, and interest groups, as well as how the United States formulates and implements public policy. (Prerequisites: COMM 1001.)
Professionals working in the political science and public administration arena must have a firm understanding of current political, social, economic, and religious issues to successfully engage in decision making, political debates, policy making, and other responsibilities inherent to the profession. In this course, students develop their understanding of global society through political issues. They identify the major challenges to peace and sustainability in the global environment. They also explore and discuss issues related to energy, trade, human rights, healthcare, sex and drug trafficking, and the disparity between rich nations and poor nations. Through this course, students gain skills needed to stay abreast of global issues in politics, and they consider how these issues can affect their daily personal and professional lives.
The Declaration of Independence asserts that all men are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; though, society continues to argue over how to guarantee these inalienable rights. In this course, students apply the principles of the U.S. Constitution and examine several modern political controversies, such as same-sex marriage, the role of the media in society, the debate over gun control, and others in light of their relationship to larger enduring political debates. Students employ course concepts to practical applications on a variety of topics, such as critiquing argument, protecting personal privacy, ensuring equal opportunity, predicting debate outcomes, and evaluating profiling, among others.
Public administrators make daily decisions and implement programs that impact our lives in countless ways. In this course, students explore how public administrators and managers conduct the business of government, such as implementing public policy. They asses and discuss the issues and challenges these figures encounter while performing their jobs as well as future trends and potential issues they may face in the future. Students engage in short writing assignments through which they apply learning and reflect on how course concepts apply to the real world and their lives. Through this course, students come to understand the variety of jobs that public administrators perform and their crucial role in the successful operation of government.
What is public policy? Who develops it and how is it made? In this course, students explore how the government makes decisions and the impact these decisions have on people and communities. Students learn how issues become important, how groups exercise power, and how government policies are evaluated and modified. Students also examine whether the public policy process is generally fair to the majority of citizens or whether it provides unfair advantage to certain groups. This course offers students an opportunity to engage in the exploration of many of the questions and issues surrounding the development of public policy.
The Constitution is the foundation for all law in the United States. In this course, students examine how the Constitution protects individual rights, legal processes, and historical conceptions. Students use landmark Supreme Court cases to examine enduring constitutional themes, including civil rights/civil liberties, federalism, property rights, the death penalty, the rights of the accused, freedom of religion, and others. Students also explore how people attempt to use the law to promote as well as to inhibit positive social change. Through this course, students gain a fundamental understanding of constitutional law, which provides the framework for informed decision making in the professional arena.
Ethics is a key element of successful government and nonprofit leadership. Ethically, on individual and institutional levels, many things can go wrong in government and nonprofit organizations. Students in this course gain insight into causes, obstacles, and barriers to ethical leadership. They explore how successful public sector leaders build organizations that reflect strong ethical values. Students examine qualities of ethical leaders, ethical organizations, and ethical decision making. They use practical tools for achieving ethical public leadership in case studies and real-life scenarios.
Books, movies, and television programs about crime, particularly those that feature criminals and trials, have been popular for decades. But there’s more to criminal law than the theatrics that media often features. In this course, students examine the concepts and principles related to criminal law. They engage in discussions and assignments designed to provide practical application of content on a variety of topics, including domestic and international crimes, criminal defense, punishment, and sentencing. (Prerequisites: CRJS 1001 or POLI 1001.)
With the exception of the occasional traffic ticket, most individuals do not have many encounters with the criminal justice system. However, frequent interactions with the American legal system through civil law are not uncommon. Students in this course explore family law, employment law, property rights, malpractice issues, torts, and other aspects of civil law. They learn how civil law is relevant to human resource managers, healthcare professionals, and public administrators. Through written assignments and other application-based activities, students further examine topics related to civil law, such as contracts, negligence analysis, independent contractors verses employees, and commercial leases.
What happens in a courtroom is both complex and fascinating, as is evidenced by the popularity of courtroom drama—real and fictional. In this course, students analyze and apply information about the components of the judicial system, including their structure, function, and processes. Students examine the professional roles within the system and learn how the system selects these figures. They learn about judicial conduct and professional standards and apply these concepts to examples of judicial behavior. Students also analyze issues related to the courts and judicial process in an increasingly diverse society and consider these in regard to future trends, such as in cases and legal claims. (Prerequisites: CRJS 1001 or PSPA 1001.)
Many of society’s most intractable problems are resolved through the legal system. In this course, students examine issues at the foundation of many legal debates, such as immigration, abortion, reproductive rights, intellectual property, and the separation of church and state. Students engage in contextual and application-based assignments that highlight the legal aspects of several social issues. They share perspectives through peer discussions on topical issues, such as legal views and decisions, right to privacy, race, the death penalty, and the responsibilities of corporations as members of society. Students practice their research, persuasive-writing, and analysis skills through a final project on a contemporary legal debate.
A capstone project provides students with the opportunity to synthesize knowledge and skills acquired throughout their program into a practical, integrative project designed to promote positive social change. In this capstone course, students examine American democracy, the political system in the United States, and the relationships among special interest groups and political parties. They also assess how the U.S. political system affects public administration or political roles and how these roles can effect positive social change. Students employ knowledge of leadership skills as well as concepts from the course and their program to propose a public policy with implications of social change for a virtual community.
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