Summer Online Courses

MSU Political Science is pleased to offer the following courses online for the Summer 2020. Please refer to this page while we work to update the Summer Session course list on the Schedule of Courses website:

  • Session 1 (May 11-June 25)

    Political Science courses

    PLS 100: Introduction to American Politics

    PLS 140: Introduction to Comparative Politics

    PLS 160: Introduction to International Relations

    PLS 200: Introduction to Political Science 

    PLS 202-730: Introduction to Methods of Political Analysis

    PLS 320-730: Judicial Politics

    PLS 377: American Political Thought

    PLS 392-731: Special Topics in Political Science. Getting Ready for A Career - This class will introduce students to potential career opportunities for political science and prepare students for the transition from college into the job market. The class centers around two major themes. First, students will learn about careers common to political science, and have the opportunity to develop a tentative path for their ideal career. Second, students will have the opportunity to develop a professional portfolio targeted to your career goals. Open to sophomores--please contact instructors for override request.

    PLS 422-731: Seminar in Political Science. Law for Public Policymakers and Administrators - This seminar examines how law both empowers and restrains policymakers. Topics include administrative law, judicial review, state-local government relations, the Freedom of Information Act, employee rights, and governmental liability. Course material will be applied to real-world situations in writing assignments designed to simulate the work of policy specialists.

    ISS courses

    ISS 210-730 Video Games and Society. What can video games teach us about society and the individual? In this class, you’ll play video games to find out. Video games, even more so than literature, provide the ability to experience the viewpoints of characters in their historical or fictional contexts. Gamers will be able to choose their own adventure from a menu of topics. Course Instructor Ryan Black.

    ISS 305-730 The Social Science of Decision Making. On any given day, each of us will make hundreds of decisions. Some of these decisions will be mindless and unimportant. Should I bring an umbrella with me? Some, however, have the potential to substantially alter one’s life: should I go to graduate school? This class will investigate what social science can tell us about how individuals make all sorts of decisions raning from the mundane to the monumental. Instructor Ryan Black.

    ISS 318-730: Pandemics and Social Science.What can social science teach us about disease outbreaks and pandemics? Topics will include the history of pandemics, how they are portrayed in popular culture such as novels and movies, the psychology underlying individual and community responses to disease outbreaks in different contexts, and the politics of government and international approaches to pandemic control and preparedness.  Instructor is the 2020 winner of the College of Social Science Outstanding Teacher Award, Erica Frantz.

    ISS 325-730: Video Games, War, and Revolution. This section explores what video games can tell us about a variety of aspects of social, political, economic and military conflicts in society. Students will play video games to experience what this important and influential medium tells us about conflict in the 21st century. Instructor Ryan Black.

    ISS 327-730: Risk and Society. Assessment, management, and communication of risk. Role of media in amplifying risk. Topics may include gangs, terrorism, health, stock markets, job markets, sports, food, and traffic. Similarities and differences in understanding risk among scientists and the public, and between natural and social scientists. Instructor Alon Kraitzman.

    ISS 328-730: Social Science of Sports. Explore what sports can teach us about how people and institutions behave outside of sports. What doping and match-fixing fell us about when people are more likely to be corrupt. What referees and team owners illustrate about when racial discrimination occurs and how it might be prevented. Instructor Corwin Smidt.

  • Session 2 (June 29-August 13)

    Political Science courses

    PLS 201: Introduction to Methods of Political Analysis

    PLS 202-731: Introduction to Data Analytics

    PLS 320-731: Judicial Politics

    PLS 422-732: Seminar in Political Science. This course examines presidents, prime ministers and their governments from a cross-national perspective. The course will combine two streams of research within the field of comparative politics political institution s and public opinion. First, we will look closely at how the executive comes to power, and how the executive remains in power in three basic types of democracy: parliamentary, presidential, and semi-presidential. Then, we will focus on the relationships between the executive add the public, while also considering economics, social and security conditions. Finally, we will examine how the institutional context influences political leaders and their governments.

    ISS courses

    ISS 210-731 Video Games and Society. What can video games teach us about society and the individual? In this class, you’ll play video games to find out. Video games, even more so than literature, provide the ability to experience the viewpoints of characters in their historical or fictional contexts. Gamers will be able to choose their own adventure from a menu of topics. Course Instructor Ryan Black.

    ISS 305-731 The Social Science of Decision Making. On any given day, each of us will make hundreds of decisions. Some of these decisions will be mindless and unimportant. Should I bring an umbrella with me? Some, however, have the potential to substantially alter one’s life: should I go to graduate school? This class will investigate what social science can tell us about how individuals make all sorts of decisions raning from the mundane to the monumental. Instructor Ryan Black.

    ISS 318-731: Pandemics and Social Science.What can social science teach us about disease outbreaks and pandemics? Topics will include the history of pandemics, how they are portrayed in popular culture such as novels and movies, the psychology underlying individual and community responses to disease outbreaks in different contexts, and the politics of government and international approaches to pandemic control and preparedness.  Instructor is the 2020 winner of the College of Social Science Outstanding Teacher Award, Erica Frantz.

    ISS 325-731: Video Games, War, and Revolution. This section explores what video games can tell us about a variety of aspects of social, political, economic and military conflicts in society. Students will play video games to experience what this important and influential medium tells us about conflict in the 21st century. Instructor Ryan Black.

    ISS 327-731: Risk and Society. Assessment, management, and communication of risk. Role of media in amplifying risk. Topics may include gangs, terrorism, health, stock markets, job markets, sports, food, and traffic. Similarities and differences in understanding risk among scientists and the public, and between natural and social scientists. Instructor Alon Kraitzman.

    ISS 328-731 Social Science of Sports. Explore what sports can teach us about how people and institutions behave outside of sports. What doping and match-fixing fell us about when people are more likely to be corrupt. What referees and team owners illustrate about when racial discrimination occurs and how it might be prevented. Instructor Corwin Smidt.

  • Full Summer Session

    PLS 494: Field Experience in Political Science. This course provides supervised field work in several areas of study. It may involve internships with non-profit organizations or public agencies, or participation in survey research, political campaigns, or petition drives. 

For scheduling information, please contact Dr. Ryan Black, director of the PLS online teaching program, at rcblack@msu.edu. 

For academic advising, please contact Brian Egan eganbria@msu.edu and Krista Zeig, kzeig@msu.edu