American Politics

With the United States facing both unprecedented challenges and opportunities, there is no better time to study American politics. Scholars of American Politics focus on (1) political behavior among citizens and elites; (2) mediating institutions such as political parties, elections, interest groups, social movements, the media, and bureaucracy; and (3) political institutions such as the Congress, the presidency, and the courts. American Politics scholars are often interested in understanding American institutions and behavior within a cross-national context. The field equips students with the analytical skills necessary to do theoretical and empirical studies in all these areas.

In particular, American Politics faculty at Purdue are interested in the following:

  • The political behavior of citizens and political elites. Core areas include public opinion, political participation, and legislative and judicial behavior.
  • The functioning of political and mediating institutions. Core areas include legislatures and representation, electoral politics and democratic inclusion, and political communication.
  • The salience of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender and socioeconomic status on all these areas of study. See information about the cross-cutting field of Politics, Groups, and Identities.
  •  A range of theoretical and methodological approaches to studying American Politics including experimental methods, statistical methods, formal models, computational methods, case-studies, interviews, and mixed-methods designs  


Research and Faculty


  • Bachelor of Arts | Undergraduate
  • Master of Arts | Graduate
  • Doctor of Philosophy | Graduate


  • POL 10100 - American Government And Politics
  • POL 31400 - The President And Policy Process
  • POL 32600 - Black Political Participation In America
  • POL 36000 - Women And The Law
  • POL 37000 - Introduction To Comparative State Politics
  • POL 37200 - Indiana Government And Politics
  • POL 37300 - Campaigns And Elections
  • POL 41000 - Political Parties And Politics
  • POL 41100 - Congress: Structure And Functioning
  • POL 41300 - The Human Basis Of Politics
  • POL 41500 - US Politics And The Media
  • POL 46000 - Judicial Politics
  • POL 46100 - Constitutional Law I
  • POL 46200 - Constitutional Law II
  • POL 51700 - The Politics Of Capital And Labor In The United States
  • POL 61000 - Proseminar In American Political Systems, Processes, And Behavior
  • POL 61100 - Research Seminar In American Government And Politics
  • POL 61500 - Proseminar In Electoral Behavior And Political Socialization
  • POL 61600 - Research Seminar In Political Behavior

Course content and offerings are subject to change. The University Course Catalog is the official source for all academic requirements. Archived syllabi are available on Course Insights.

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