Course Descriptions

Criminal Justice & Legal Studies Courses

PHIL227 Logic 

Methods of language analysis and deductive inference. Credit 3 hours. 

PHIL 228 Philosophy of Law 

This course explores the theoretical foundations of the law. Theories to be covered are natural law, legal positivism, legal pragmatism, legal realism, critical legal studies, and feminist legal theory. This course is crucial for those preparing for Law School. Credit 3 hours. 

PHIL 323 Criminal Justice and Social Ethics 

This course offers an in-depth investigation into questions relating to disciplining the body, incarceration, political institutions, taking away individual freedom, and various ways of punishment. Students will consider some broader themes at the intersections of criminal justice, ethical reasoning, legal reasoning, philosophy, and political science. Credit 3 hours. 

POLS102 Introduction to Criminal Justice 

An introduction to the components and operations of the criminal justice system. It examines the three main components of that system: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. Issues and challenges within the criminal justice system and the system's future are also explored. Credit 3 hours. 

POLS120 Ethics, Society and Politics 

This course explores the main theme of political science: justice. Over the next semester, we ask what it means for a political association to be just. We consider the different types of regimes that human beings have created in order to live good lives. Our main course resource is the primary literature of the Western political tradition, including but not limited to works by Aristotle, Locke, Bentham, Kant, Mill, and Rawls. Students will enhance their writing skills as they articulate a specific position on a specific ethical issue. Students will also learn how to use statistical measures, Supreme Court cases, and long-form journalism to explore economic and social inequalities in Kansas, the US, and in a global context. By the end of the class, students will have the tools to answer a crucial question: What regime would you choose to live in? Credit 3 hours. 

POLS205 Public Policy 

An examination of the nature of public policy and public administration in America as well as the processes of policy formation and administration. The different approaches to evaluating and improving public policies will be fully discussed. Credit 3 hours. 

POLS215 Crime and Punishment 

An exposure to the most vexing criminal justice issues of our time - how should we punish those who break our laws. Students will discuss cases, articles, and speakers' comments with the aim to discern the merits and disadvantages of the current incarceration priorities and to deliberate whether better options exist for punishing offenders and achieving justice for all concerned. Credit 3 hours. 

POLS216 Principles of Criminal Law 

A generic study of criminal law in the United States, covering the most common crimes prosecuted in American courts. Topics include principles of criminal law, principles of criminal liability, complicity, inchoate crimes, defenses, justifications, excuses, crimes against persons, crimes against property, and crimes against public order. Credit 3 hours. 

POLS217 Criminal Procedure 

An in-depth examination of the legal aspects of law enforcement. Policing in a democracy often conflicts with the core principles protecting citizens from government intrusions. This course is an in-depth analysis of the rules of criminal evidence and procedure in the United States. Topics include trial procedures, examination of witnesses, real/physical evidence, circumstantial evidence, hearsay evidence and exceptions, privileged communications, declarations against interests, and judicial notice. Credit 3 hours. 

POLS222 International Relations 

A study of international politics, its elements, and general nature with emphasis on the struggle for power among nations. This course introduces and compares basic theories of international politics and applies them to current events. Credit 3 hours. 

POLS241 Comparative Law

The course offers an overview of major legal systems practiced in the world, with an emphasis placed on the distinction between civil law and common law. Students will adopt multiple approaches to analyzing and comparing different nations’ criminal justice systems. Other topics include international law, extraditions, global policing, and conflict of laws. Credit: 3 hours. 

POLS306 Law and the Legal System 

An introduction to the law with a primary emphasis on U.S. law and the legal system. Topics include U.S. legal history; law and society; court organization and procedure; lawyers and the legal profession; judicial powers and constraints; constitutional, statutory and common law; criminal and civil law; administrative law; and contemporary legal issues. Credit 3 hours. 

POLS 307 Constitutional Law 

This course examines the fundamentals of the United States Constitution. It will analyze the role of the United States Constitution in defining the structure and functions of the United States government. The course includes an overview of important Supreme Court cases that have impacted the United States. Credit: 3 hours. 

POLS322 Climate Change, Global Warming, and Politics 

This course examines the basic science of climate change, the evidence for its human fingerprint, and the role or politics in its origins, public perception and mitigation. It will analyze the role of politics for questions concerning climate, ecology and the environment, with special emphasis on the debates and differences across the various schools of thought on environmental affairs. Credit 3 hours. 


*2023-2024 Academic Catalog

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