Courses: All Posts

New Course: POLISCI 214 – Urban Gov w Mayor Morse

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

You asked and we listened! We have received such positive feedback about courses taught by our professors of practice — Armenian Ambassador Armen Baibourtian, State Representative Aaron Vega, and United Nations Policy Adviser Mukul Sanwal, to name a few — that we have added one more: Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse! Mayor Morse is going to teach POLISCI 214, Urban Government and Politics in Fall 2014.

Not only does this give students the opportunity to learn about the inner-workings of city government from a true “insider,” but it is a great chance to hear how Mayor Morse made his decision to enter public service and politics at such a young age.

The class will meet Fridays from 9- 11:30. Look for POLISCI 214, course # 79390 in Spire.

Want to enroll in an online class at UMass this summer? Here’s how!

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Enrollment in summer classes has now begun!  UMass students can enroll in SPIRE after following the instructions below.
Before you can enroll in a summer online course, you must first request a CPE Enrollment appointment.  Setting up the appointment, however, can be confusing, so we have put together step-by-step instructions.
  1. Log into SPIRE
  2. From the Main Menu dropdown, click Enrollment.
  3. In the Enrollment dropdown, click on CPE Enrollment Appointment 
  4. Scroll, scroll, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the CPE Enrollment Appointment button. Click this button!
  5. Now when you go back to enrollment, you’ll see Summer 2014 listed as one of the terms you can view.
  6. Search for the classes you want to take and enroll as you would normally enroll in classes.


For more information on CPE summer online course costs and logistics, go to the CPE website at .

Advising FAQ: I need help choosing classes. When should I make my advising appointment?

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Enrollment appointments for Fall 2014 start March 31 and we have advisors standing by to help you figure out the best strategies for satisfying your requirements.   PLEASE NOTE:  Your “enrollment appointment” in SPIRE is the date and time that SPIRE will allow you to enroll in classes, it is not an advising appointment.  You can find the date of your enrollment appointment in the lower right corner of your student center.  You will see only the date, so click “details” to find out the exact time of your enrollment appointment.

If you need help choosing classes, please see the chart below to determine the best time to make an appointment with an advisor.  Remember, these are just guidelines, so if you can’t get in on one of the dates listed, feel free to choose another date that works for you.  Just don’t wait too long after your enrollment date or classes may fill up!


March 31 or April 1, make an appointment for any time during the week of 3/24-3/28

April 3, make an appointment for April 2 or 3.

April 4, make an appointment for April 3 or 4.

April 7, make an appointment for April 4 or 7.

April 8, make an appointment for April 7 or 8.

April 10, make appointment for April 9 or 10.

April 11, make appointment for April 10 or 11.

 If you feel confident that you know which classes will work best for you, it is not necessary to come in for advising! Please just check in with us at least once or twice a year, so we can review your requirements and make sure you are on track to graduate on time.


Sneak Peek at Fall 2014 Courses

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

We’ve posted a sneak peek of fall courses on our website. Click here for Legal Studies and here for Political Science. You’ll notice lots of new courses, and even a few new names. We plan to welcome several new faculty in the fall. Exciting times for both programs!

Summer 2014 Classes – Sneak Peak!!

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Looking to catch up on credits, get ahead, or just explore some awesome classes? Well, our online summer class list is posted!  (We will also have an in-person class this summer, so stay tuned!)

Visit our website for course descriptions!

Summer 2014 – Session 1

Subject Catalog Description Credit Instructor PS/LS Fulfillment Gen Ed Fulfilled
POLISCI 121 World Politics  4 James Heilman Intro SB
POLISCI 201 American Politics Through Film 4 Micah Mintz AP HS
POLISCI 255 American Foreign Policy  4 Vincent Ferraro IR SB
POLISCI 280 Public Policy  4 Rebecca Lisi AP SB
POLISCI 310 Race and Politics  4 Melinda Tarsi AP  —
POLISCI 397CL Corporate Lobbying  3 Kevin Young IR  —
POLISCI 3xx Political Economy of Food  3 Alper Yagci    —
POLISCI 399J Interpretation and Analysis 3 Samantha Hill Junior year Writing  —
LEGAL 297G Law, the Military and Society 3 Daniel Burland

Summer 2014 – Session 2

Subject Catalog Description Credit Instructor PS/LS Fulfillment Gen Ed Fulfilled
POLISCI 111 Intro to Comp. Politics  4 Martha Balaguera Intro SB, G
POLISCI 171 Intro to Political Theory 4 Alix Olson Intro  SB
POLISCI 203 American Political Thought 4 Andres Henao Castro  AP or PT  HS
POLISCI 359 International Political Economy 4 Bryan Coutain IR IE (for Pol Sci majors)
POLISCI 391GP Green Politics 3 Claire Brault PT  
POLISCI 391MP Media and Politics 3 Edward Erikson AP  
POLISCI 392MP Money and Politics 3 Mike Kowal AP  
LEGAL 250 Intro to Legal Studies 4 Jeremy Wolf
LEGAL 291S Global Cyberlaw 3 Jeff Aresty
LEGAL 450 Legal Research and Writing 3 Jeremy Wolf Jr Yr Writing


Still open: Journal 497P: The Politician & the Journalist

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Still looking for a spring elective?  Journal 497P: The Politician & the Journalist is still open! This course is taught by Congressman Richie Neal, so it’s an ideal way to explore media and politics — as well as gain some insights about the political world. Sounds like a great elective for political scientists, if you ask us :-)

Looking for a Unique Gen Ed? Try EDUC 202: Intergroup Dialogue

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Imagine sitting in a circle with 15 other students talking about subjects you rarely get to discuss?

EDUC 202: Intergroup Dialogue: Social Issues in Intergroup Relations is a course where you and your voice and your experience are central.

In this course you will learn from other’s experiences, examine social justice issues on campus and in the community (e.g., gender roles, immigration, violence, race and gender in sports, sexism and racism on campus, ally relationships), and explore different perspectives and controversial issues using constructive approaches to dialogue and the bridging of differences. All majors are welcome!

EDU 202: INTERGROUP DIALOGUE is a 4 credit graded course it meets the General Ed Requirements Social and Cultural Diversity (U) and Social and Behavioral Science (SB) requirement.

What’s unique about Intergroup Dialogue?
** Your experiences are at the center of learning about & understanding differences IGD provides an interactive classroom setting to explore issues in small, co-facilitated diverse groups.

Why take Intergroup Dialogue?
** Diversity on campus does not always = meaningful interaction across groups.
** You are better prepared to live and work in a diverse society when you engage with diverse perspectives.
** You will gain real world communication skills, practicing dialogic methods, and build opportunities for intergroup collaboration.

Sections meet on Thursdays from 4:00-6:30, and for a one-day class retreat on Sat., Feb 15th, from 9:00 to 5:00. The course runs for 11 weeks, beginning Jan. 30th.

For more information and to submit a placement form (needed to be registered) for the class, please visit the course website,

For questions please e-mail us at or call 413-545-5799.

EDUC 202 is co-sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success (CMASS).

Kill two requirements with one class!

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Thanks to the correction of an error in SPIRE, dozens of seats have just opened up for Spring 2014 in LABOR 280 (50930), which fulfills both the United States Diversity (U)  and Legal Studies law-related liberal arts requirements.

Labor 280 provides an overview of work and labor in the United States. It begins by examining the evolution of the American workplace, the changing nature of employers, and the impact on workers.  The second part of the course takes an in-depth look at the contemporary American workplace. Here we examine the myths and realities of work in the new economy. The final section of the course explores workers’ rights and new initiatives by the labor movement as it confronts globalization and the changing nature of work. Labor 280 takes a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing from sociology history, economics, and other social sciences.

For more information, search for this class on SPIRE!

New spring online course…HUNGER GAMES: Political Oppression & Rebellion!

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

POLISCI 391VT (59584) – Hunger Games: Political Oppression & Rebellion

(Fulfills upper-level Political Theory requirement for Political Science majors)

The aim of this course is to examine political narratives of oppression and rebellion through a close reading of the popular cultural phenomenon The Hunger Games trilogy.

The course will interweave the novels with historical and contemporary political theory works in order to address questions of inequality, totalitarianism, and civil disobedience. Through these texts, we will explore how social hierarchies are embedded into political institutions, the political rhetoric of fear and hope, and the emergence of popular rebellions. The timely novels provide a provocative entry into a dystopic reality that aligns closely with many of the contemporary political issues we
face today.

To enroll, go to .

For more information, contact instructor, Samantha Hill.

Research Methods for Political & Social Scientists

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

You asked for more research training, and we’ve listened!

Check out our new POLISCI 391RM: Research Methods for Political and Social Science course.

This online, 3 credit course is designed to teach upper-level social science undergraduates the basics of utilizing statistical and
quantitative methods of research to help better understand social and political questions. Quantitative methods allow for a systematic,
scientific and probabilistic way of studying how the world works. In this course, students will learn basic statistical concepts like
correlation and probability, as well as more advanced and applied techniques such as Ordinary Least Squares regression. Students will
learn how statistical inferences can help them advance their research and help better prepare themselves for the rigors of graduate school
or applied policy work.

Read more at the course website.