The political science curriculum at the University of Nevada, Reno is divided into five fields:
The American politics area includes all facets of the American political system: elections, parties, the presidency, legislatures, the courts, the media, bureaucracy, state and local government, public administration and interest groups. American politics courses also consider the effects of different institutional arrangements and decision rules.
The comparative politics area includes general comparative analysis of national political systems as well as comparative topics such as women in politics, revolution, terrorism, human rights and political development. It also includes the study of politics in specific areas: Western Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, Japan and China.
The international relations area covers interaction, cooperation and conflict among nations. It includes theories of international relations, great power politics, foreign policy, defense and national security, international law and organizations, global environmental policy, human rights and international political economy.
The political theory area includes political philosophy and its history, contemporary political ideologies, democratic theory, political ethics and evaluation.
Public Administration and Policy
There are several courses in methodology that deal with research methods and techniques for data gathering and analysis.
Within each area there are four categories of courses:
- The 100-level courses are open without any prerequisite to all students. They are intended to provide an overview of the different sub-fields of the discipline without assuming previous knowledge on the part of the student
- The 200-level courses focus on specific topics. Some previous knowledge may be required. Therefore, students should usually take one of the introductory courses before enrolling in 200-level courses.
- The 300-level courses focus on specific topics in more depth. They provide an opportunity for intensive analysis of specific issues and problems in political science. Students should enroll in these courses only after taking as least one 200-level course in the relevant subfield.
- The 400-level courses are recommended for juniors and seniors only. These courses vary in scope and content. To guide students, explicit prerequisites, as well as permission of the instructor, may be required.