Course Overview

Are human beings political animals? What is just society and polity? Who should rule and what is the source of political legitimacy? What are limits of power?

This course is an introduction to political theory and seeks answers to these questions that have always been at the heart of politics. It considers fundamental political concepts – human nature, citizenship, virtue, power, sovereignty, governance, justice and freedom – and explores how Western and non-Western political thinkers have made sense of these concepts during ancient and modern times.

This course may consist of both Summer College – Online students and Syracuse University undergraduates.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University credit transcript.

Course Objectives

  • Familiarizing students with the central debates in the field of political theory
  • Providing an overview of the works of some of the discipline’s most pertinent thinkers
  • Teaching students how to critically and analytically engage with the canonical texts
  • Helping students acquire the essential political vocabulary to formulate political questions and answers

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: PSC 125

Format: Online

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school junior or senior status – or a 2022 high school graduate. 

Credit: 3 Credits

Grading: A-F

Cost: $2,985
Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – Online: Explore college life before stepping foot on campus! High school students can enroll in a college-level course, pursue their academic interests, and meet likeminded students in daily virtual events and activities.

“Syracuse University Summer College – Online has changed my life in more ways than I can imagine. Not only did I get to meet wonderful people and have a fantastic professor who was so knowledgeable about his field, but my course has also had so much impact outside of political theory.”

— Zoya K., Summer College – Online Student, 2021.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesSynchronous Class Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – Online3-Week Session I: Tuesday, July 5 – Thursday, July 21, 2022MTWTh*;
1-2:30 p.m.
3 CreditsClosed
*July 4 is an observed holiday and students will have class on Friday, July 8 and then all subsequent synchronous class will run according to the schedule above. Class times subject to change.

Course Requirements

Technology Requirements

  • Laptop or desktop computer with a webcam and mouse
  • Reliable internet access
  • A space conducive to taking an online class (without distractions)

Required Supplies

Students should budget for required textbooks and supplies. A supply and textbook listing will be sent to students before the start of the program.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students must attend live synchronous online sessions Monday through Thursday, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EST.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College virtual activities to meet and connect with other students across the world. Check out our Virtual Campus Experience page for more information!

Faculty Bios

Sefa Secen, Political Science / Ph.D. Candidate

Sefa Secen is currently a doctoral candidate in the Political Science Department at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. His general research interests include refugees, international security, Middle East, Europe, and qualitative research methods. His dissertation project examines the factors that enabled or constrained the securitization of Syrian refugees in the Middle East and Western Europe. Portions of his research have been published or are forthcoming in Global Security Studies, Forced Migration Review, and E-International Relations Journals. 

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