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POLS 101 - American Government and Politics (GT-SS1)

  • 3 credits

American Government and Politics surveys the major components of the American political system. The course reviews the following topics:

  • American political values and the government system created by the Constitution, including the separation of powers, federalism, civil rights, and civil liberties.
  • The sources of political participation: public opinion, the media, elections, voting, political parties, and interest groups.
  • Federal political institutions--Congress, the President, the federal court and the federal bureaucracy, and the states.
  • Domestic and international policies.

This course is part of the All-University core Curriculum 3C requirement.

This course meets the All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) requirements for Social/Behavioral Sciences (Category 3C) and is approved under gtPathways in the content area of Economic or Political Systems (GT-SS1).


Matthew Hitt

Matthew P. Hitt (Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2014) is a CSU alumnus (B.A. 2007). He studies judgment and decision making in American politics, primarily in elite institutions. He is interested in how institutional and external factors influence the choices political actors make, especially at the collective level, in Congress, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy. He approaches these questions using observational, experimental, and archival techniques. He teaches courses in the areas of judicial politics, legislative politics, American politics and government, and quantitative methodology. Methodologically, Hitt’s research interests include time series analysis, causal inference, event history analysis, game theory, and network analysis.
Hitt's research, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Law & Society Review, Presidential Studies, Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Studies in American Political Development. He has also co-authored a book on time series analysis published by Cambridge University Press. Hitt's doctoral dissertation was awarded the 2015 Edward S. Corwin prize for best dissertation in public law by the American Political Science Association.