Research Seminar in Foreign Policy – PLCY 861

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

In the second course of the chosen policy cognate, students will continue what may be an open-ended exploration into their policy studies. Students will identify and discuss the major debates and issues in their cognate. Students will also submit a dissertation research question for review and discussion. Finally, students will conduct an extensive literature review of their chosen dissertation topic. Students will work with faculty to ensure that their literature review is comprehensive and sets them up for a successful research question for their dissertation.


PLCY 860


As the second course in the Foreign Policy cognate, this course allows the student to conduct extensive literature reviews in debates related to various facets of foreign policy.  Students will be encouraged to explore these debates and also develop meaningful research toward their eventual dissertation topic.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Evaluate key debates in the foreign policy arena.
  2. Synthesize research from extensive literature reviews related to foreign policy.
  3. Examine policy issues in light of Biblical, constitutional, and political lenses.
  4. Synthesize research and analysis with possible dissertation research questions.

Course Assignment

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

The student will discuss and research key questions and debates related to foreign policy in the form of 3 papers. Each paper must be 12-14 pages of content, double-spaced, and must include citations from relevant readings, presentations, and at least 20 scholarly sources.  Students should use these assignments to experiment with and explore possible dissertation topics.

Students will take part in four Discussion Board Forums in Modules 2, 4, 6 and 8.  These are meant to be reflective assignments where students engage with one another about the process of the learning experience and the emergence of possible dissertation topics.  Further, discussion among classmates about the various policy debates being studied, analyzed and researched is a vital part of the learning process.  We hope therefore, that these assignments will be intellectually stimulating and encouraging for students on the journey to completing the dissertation.  The emphasis for these discussion boards are on reflection and collaboration, not on new research per se. Students will also respond thoughtfully to the comments of classmates and provide feedback and interaction to at least 2 students. The original thread should be 400-500 words with research and citations as needed.

Students will conduct a final literature review discussing their chosen dissertation topic/research question.  The literature review will focus on the key debates associated with the question based upon the student’s research and must propose a workable dissertation question.  The paper will be a minimum of 15-17 pages of double-spaced content, with the use of a minimum of 25 scholarly sources.