Legislative Affairs Degree Requirements

The Legislative Affairs curriculum covers the political process and policy analysis in a variety of areas. You will graduate with the tools and strategies necessary to navigate nearly any legislative body. All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted. The degree is 33 credits total.

Core Courses 

6201 Politics and Public Policy

Examination of political processes that influence policy formulation, policy implementation, and the uses of policy analysis.

6202 Legislative Politics

Theory, structure, and process of the U.S. Congress, with emphasis on member-constituency relations, individual and collective decision making, party and committee activities, executive-legislative relations, and interest-group activities.

6203 Executive-Legislative Relations 

Political and institutional relationships between executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

6205 Legislative Data & Analytics

Alternative approaches to political analysis, construction of research designs, and problems of measurement.

6298 Capstone in Legislative Affairs 


6212 Congressional Committees

An examination of Congressional committees, including their history, processes, and protocols. 

6217 Budgetary Politics

Examines major economics, budget, and tax issues in American politics. 

6219 The American Presidency

Personalized and institutionalized aspects of the presidency, with emphasis on the politics of contemporary policymaking.

6220 Congress and the Courts

Institutional and political relationship between the U.S. Congress and the federal courts. 

6222 American Political Parties and Elections

Nature and function of American political parties; organizational status, nominating and electoral politics, and role in governing. 

6223 Public Opinion and Political Socialization

Sources and dynamics of public opinopn and political socialization.

6224 Interest Group Politics

Theory, structure, and activities of interest groups in American politics. 

6228 Media and Politics

Role of the media in American politics, with emphasis on television news coverage, political debates, political advertising, and their impact on the electorate. 

6233 Comparitive Legislatures

Selected problems of legislative theory and bahavior from a comparitive perspective, with particular reference to the parliamentary systems of Germany, France, and Britain.

6234 PACs and Congress

Selected problems of PAC management and their interaction with Members of Congress. Special emphasis on the laws governing PAC participation in political and policy debates. 

6235 Ethics in Congress

The purpose of this course is to bring ethics to the surface. We want to think critically about its role in
Congress both as a collection of individuals, an institution, and the contextual environment within which both operate. 

6240 Special Topics in Legislative Affairs

In-depth coverage of significant theoretical and empirical issues in American politics, including such topics as political behavior, electoral politics, and race and politics:

Politics and Race Syllabus
Congressional and Political Reforms Syllabus
Congressional Oversight Syllabus

6241 Legislative Writing and Research

Two skills are most valuable for professionals whose careers are focused on legislative affairs: the ability to find and use government and non-government documents and resources, and the ability to communicate to a sophisticated, policy-driven audience. This course is designed to help students in Legislative Affairs accomplish both of those goals. 

6242 Legislative Drafting

Introduction for non-lawyers to the process of legislative drafting in the U.S. Congress.

6243 Advanced Legislative Procedure 

Detailed study of the rules, procedures, traditions, and constitutional underpinnings that govern the work of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. 

6244 Running and Representing in the U.S. Congress 

This course is about what it means to be a representative in Congress. Most political analysts and commentators, indeed most academics, start with the member after they are elected. The course begins with a much earlier stage where nascent ambition transitions to the decision to seek office and  dissects the many varied roles that the job requires and how that ambition transforms. 

6246 Congress and U.S. Foreign Policy

The role of Congress in setting foreign policy. 

6247 Managing a Congressional Office

Through focused engagement of academic and practical readings, congressional guidance documents,
and practical exercises, this advanced graduate course provides a detailed understanding of the
operations of a Member of Congress’s personal office. 

6248 Religion and Politics

The influence of religion on politics in the United States. 

6249 Congress and National Security Policy

The role of Congress in setting defense policy. 

6251 Budgetary Policy

Analysis of U.S. monetary and fiscal policy. 

6260 Special Topics in Domestic Policy

Analysis of U.S. policy on selected domestic problems.

6261 Congress and Defense Policy 

The role of Congress in U.S. defense policy. 

6262 Congress and Intelligence Policy 

The role of Congress in U.S. intelligence policy 

6263 Congress and Cybersecurity Policy 

The role of Congress in U.S. cybersecurity policy. 

6264 U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy 

This course provides an overview of energy and environmental policymaking in the United States and of energy resources worldwide and in the United States. It focuses on the use of fossil fuels, non‐fossil sources of energy, and renewable energy sources. 

6266 Congress and Trade Policy 

The role of Congress in setting U.S. trade policy. 

6267 Congress and Healthcare Policy 

The role of Congress in U.S. healthcare policy.

6270 Special Topics in Foreign Policy

Analysis of U.S. policy on selected issues, challenges, or world regions.
Domestic Energy Policy Syllabus
Congress and Homeland Security Policy Syllabus

6290 Independent Study

Directed readings in a topic related to Congress and public policymaking. Limited to Legislative Affairs degree candidates. Written permission of program director required. 

6299 Thesis Research I

6300 Thesis Research II

Comprehensive Exam/Capstone

All degree candidates must pass a comprehensive examination at the conclusion of their coursework or take LGAF 6298- Capstone in LGAF