POLS 160 Introduction to American Political Culture • 5 Cr.


Examines the structures and systems of American politics using a multidisciplinary approach. Students analyze the development of political culture and its evolution through time. Same as AMST 160. Either POLS 160 or AMST 160 may be taken for credit, not both.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Describe the historical evolution of American political culture, including both dominant and non-dominant cultures.
  • Articulate the core values of American political culture, such as individualism, liberty, equality of opportunity, legal equality, the rule of law, and multiculturalism.
  • Differentiate between empirical and normative claims and critically evaluate the extent to which American ideals match reality.
  • Articulate their own political values and biases and understand both how they arrived at them and how they shape their views on different political issues.
  • Compare and contrast diverse viewpoints and articulate well-reasoned arguments regarding contemporary political issues.
  • Take active roles in supporting political causes they endorse.