Oct 20, 2020  
2019-2020 Academic Catalogue 
    
2019-2020 Academic Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Courses of Instruction


Course Numbering System. Each subject is identified by a symbol made up of two parts. The first part is an abbreviation denoting the general field of study. The second part is a number denoting the particular subject. The first digit indicates the year in which the course is usually taken and, therefore, the level of instruction.

Credit. The unit of academic credit used at the Virginia Military Institute is the semester hour. In general a semester hour represents one hour of classroom work (lecture or recitation) or one period (two or three hours) of laboratory or supervised research or field work per week during a single semester. Thus a course that meets for three class hours and one laboratory period each week during one semester usually carries credit for four semester hours.

In the following course descriptions the figures on the title lines indicate, in order, the class hours per week, the laboratory or field work hours per week, and the semester hours credit. For example, the figures “3—2—4” mean that the class meets three times a week for one-hour classroom sessions and has two hours of laboratory, supervised research, or field work each week, and that the course carries four semester hours of credit.

 

INTERNATIONAL STUDIES AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

Department of International Studies and Political Science
Department Head: Colonel Foster

Requirements for a degree in international studies and political science are specified in International Studies and Political Science .

  
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    IS 310 - American Foreign Policy


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The central purpose of this course is to familiarize cadets with prevalent theoretical approaches to decision-making and to use these models to examine the American foreign policy experience. To this end, the course will survey rational, organizational, bureaucratic, and various psychological perspectives. Cadets will then use these tools to critically review the historical development of America’s relations with other international actors, including Washington’s admonition to steer clear of “foreign entanglements,” the world wars, the Cold War, and the current battle against terror. The course concludes with several mock policy debates which are designed to illustrate the intricacies of high-level decision-making and provide insights into the likely conduct of US foreign policy in the 21st Century.
  
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    IS 311 - The American Congress


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    In the Constitution, the article that describes the duties and functions of the Congress as well as its limitations is longest. The reason for this evident: the Founders considered that the Congress, as the body of government that would pass our laws and control the federal purse, would be at the center of national government and politics. Despite the Presidency’s rise in power and reputation, Congress’ powers ensure it will be at the center of our constitutional order. Subjects covered will include the ideas that influenced the Founders’ ideas of a federal legislature, the powers of the Congress, the leadership and organizational structure of Congress (with an emphasis on the committee system), the legislative process, the Congress’ relationship with the President (especially on issues of national security), and electoral politics.
  
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    IS 312 - The American Presidency


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The American Presidency is a political institution like no other in the world. Born of the Founding Fathers’ wariness of the concentrated political power, the office is a blend of head of state, commander-in-chief, chief of party, and head of government. Its evolution has been central to the development of American national government and Americans’ concepts of and relationships to that government. This course will trace the history of the Presidency from the Founders’ ideas about and experiences with executive power to the office’s current state—with all its inherent paradoxes. I hope that, through this course, cadets will come to a deeper understanding of the Presidency’s origins, development, powers, and limitations as well as the reasons behind the constant contest between the President and the Congress.
  
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    IS 313 - Politics and the Media


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The purpose of this course is to explore the evolution and role of the print and electronic media in American Politics as well as their relationship to the public, politicians and ultimately public policy. In doing so, the course will assess the media impact on government, policy making, election campaigning and the prospects for political deliberation. The course will pay special attention to the portrayal of political issues, candidates and political themes in popular culture including film, television, radio, political cartoons, music, and social media.
  
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    IS 320 - National Security Policy


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Consideration of the formulation and conduct of United States defense and foreign policy with special attention to the key institutions involved in the decision-making process in this field. Recommended for NROTC cadets.
  
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    IS 321 - International Political Economy


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Provides students with a basic understanding of the nature and dynamics of contemporary international political economy (IPE). Politics and economics have often been separate fields of study with different core concepts. The former typically centers on power and the latter markets. However, the nature of international relations demands that we understand the interaction of politics (power) and economics (markets). This course will examine a broad range of substantive issues (trade relations, financial and monetary policy, economic integration, and economic development), as well as theoretical debates in IPE. Prerequisite(s): IS 220  or IS 230 
  
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    IS 322 - Intelligence and Policy


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The history and practice of intelligence with special emphasis on the relationship to the political policy process. The focus is on the U.S. intelligence experience since WWII, although some attention is given to the broader comparative context.
  
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    IS 326 - U.S. - Soviet Relations during the Cold War


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The course examine the U.S. and Soviet outlooks on the world, the origins of the Cold War, the role of ideology and power rivalry in the relationship, Bi-Polar myth and reality, selected issues of crisis management and alliance maintenance, strategic doctrine and approaches to arms control, how the Cold War ended. Not a comprehensive chronological history but issue-oriented case studies of policies and events.
  
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    IS 328 - Multinational Peacekeeping


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The purpose of this course is to explore the theory and practice of multilateral peace operations and humanitarian intervention as they relate to the principles and practice of international law in world politics. The course covers the origin and evolution of peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and post-conflict peace building; legal and ethical issues surrounding peace operations; and debates over peace operations doctrine and strategy. Specifically the course will identify and explain significant events in the history of international relations, including the Treaty of Westphalia, the European balance of power system prior to World War I, the world wars, colonialism and the Cold War.

    The course will consider criteria for evaluation of peace operations, causes of peace operations success and failure, and problems of managing and coordinating actors involved in peace operations. The course will recognize the dynamic nature of international politics and evaluate the contemporary challenges to the traditional state-centric approach posed by non-state actors, including international organizations, social movements, multinational corporations and individuals. The course will identify and examine specific cases of peacekeeping and peace enforcement and will consider the role of peace operations in the promotion of international order, institutions of global and regional governance, especially the United Nations and explore the structure and functioning of significant international organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization.

  
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    IS 329 - Counterinsurgency


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course will concentrate on: a study of select counterinsurgencies using historical pattern analysis. Instructor will present a selection of various insurgencies and students will research and present on the following topics: American Revolution: Colonial insurgents against British army; Insurgency and Guerrilla warfare in U.S. Civil War; U.S and Counterinsurgency in the Philippines, 1899-1902; The Boer War: The Second War (1899-1902); British Malayan Emergency (1948-1960); Irish Republican Army vs British Army; Nepal : Maoist Insurgency. (1996-present); Colombia : FARC insurgency; and Overview of Turkish/Kurdish insurgency problem. Using historical study and pattern analysis of insurgent and counterinsurgent strategies, upon completion of the class, we will hopefully have an answer for the question – Will current U.S. counterinsurgency strategies in Afghanistan work?
  
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    IS 330 - Politics in Western Europe


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    An examination of the political systems and the domestic, foreign and defense policies of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, selected smaller Western European nations, and Canada. Attention will be paid to the new role of NATO, European unification, and the ways in which Western Europe and Canada deal with the United States.
  
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    IS 331 - Politics in Russia and Eastern Europe


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    An examination of the political systems and the domestic, foreign and defense policies of Russia and the nations of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Attention is given to the consequences of Marxist-Leninist theory and to the problems of transforming former communist systems.
  
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    IS 332X - Politics in East Asia


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    An examination of the political systems and foreign relations of Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan. Emphasis is placed on relations with other nations in the region, and with the United States. Particular attention is paid to the growing importance these nations have in the international economic system. Civilizations and Cultures (X)
  
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    IS 333 - Politics in Southeast Asia


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    An examination of the political systems and the domestic, foreign and defense policies of the countries of Southeast Asia including: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The course also focuses on the role of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the impact of outside powers on the region.
  
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    IS 334X - Politics of Central Asia


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    By exploring the politics and societies of this important, but little understood, region, we will seek to develop a nuanced understanding of how international dynamics continue to shape the states of this region and also how forces emanating from within Central Asia impact the international system. Additionally, in this course students will analytically explore a variety of political and societal phenomena present in the region and beyond. Amongst the phenomena we will examine include: the politics of oil and gas pipelines, state-building and nationalism, secession and civil war, Islamism, democratization and authoritarian state consolidation. Civilizations and Cultures (X)
  
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    IS 335 - Politics in Latin America


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    An examination of contemporary political systems and their development in Latin America. Focuses on contemporary structures and processes of politics in the major Latin American Republics. Normally offered Spring Semester of odd-numbered years.
  
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    IS 336WX - Politics in China


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    An overview of the political system of China in the post-Mao era. Starting with a discussion of Deng Xiaoping’s rise to power, students will discuss the popular desire for democracy and the failed attempts at establishing a more politically accountable government. This class will also detail the liberal economic policies that fostered the dramatic growth of China’s economy well into the 21st century. Additionally, students will focus on the evolution of security concerns and civil-military relations on the mainland, as well as issues between China and other actors across the world, notably the United States, Taiwan, Japan, and the developing countries of Africa and Asia. Note: Writing Intensive (W) and Civilizations & Cultures Course (X).
  
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    IS 337WX - Post Soviet Politics


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course is an introduction to the politics of the post-Soviet states with a specific emphasis on the politics of the Russian Federation (Russia). It is divided into the following five unequal parts: 1) Authoritarian Persistence; 2) Soviet Collapse; 3) Post-Soviet State-building; 4) Political Institutions and Behavior; 5) The Politics of the Economic Transition. Each of the five parts of the course investigates key issues in the study of post-Soviet politics as well as important concerns for the political science sub-discipline of comparative politics more broadly.  Note: Writing Intensive (W) and Civilizations & Cultures Course (X).
  
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    IS 338 - Politics of India and the Subcontinent


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    As South Asia is home to more than one-fifth of the world’s population, understanding its political landscape is of vital importance. South Asia is characterized by states that vary greatly in governmental structures and levels of economic development. The goal of this class is to understand these differences by closely examining the political framework of and the dynamics between the major regional players (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka). We will explore the role and impact of political institutions, parties and political leaders, political participation and interest articulation as well as modernization and economic development. While learning about each state’s political system in a comparative fashion, we will also explore relations between the different states.
  
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    IS 339 - Digital Media and South Asian Politics


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Digital media and information technologies enable the masses to express their views and to enjoy direct participation in various political and public decision-making arenas. This course will explore the relationship between technology, media and society in South Asia and how new forms of social connections and participatory technology impact political behavior in the region. We will investigate the significance of various new media technologies by reflecting on theoretical and social scientific perspectives to advance our understanding of South Asian politics. While on the one hand interactive digital environments provide new participatory spaces, digital information technologies can also open up new areas of concerns, such as loss of privacy, surveillance, cybersecurity, and withdrawal from the offline political sphere.
  
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    IS 340 - Political Theory


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    A study of the writings of key Western political thinkers from Socrates to the twentieth century. The objective of this course is to elucidate the origins and basic assumptions of contemporary political ideas and ideologies.
  
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    IS 350 - Criminal Law


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course presents a general survey of substantive criminal law, that is the principles, theories, and important legal decisions defining criminal offenses and defenses. Substantive criminal law examines the conduct of the defendant. Time permitting; we may also delve into some procedural criminal law, which is based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Bill of Rights. Criminal procedure evaluates the conduct of police and prosecutors. The course will utilize the casebook method of teaching favored by most law school courses.
  
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    IS 351 - Constitutional Law


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course presents a survey of the guiding principles of American Constitutional Law, with particular emphasis on landmark decisions of the United States Supreme Court interpreting the Bill of Rights. The class begins with the establishment of judicial review in 1803, but moves rapidly to the Court’s twentieth century jurisprudence. A substantial area of focus is constitutional criminal procedure – the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment decisions evaluating police conduct including methods of search and seizure and the interrogation of criminal suspects. Additional main topics include freedom of speech, religion, and the press according to the First Amendment, and Due Process of law and Equal Protection of the laws under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The course uses the casebook method of teaching favored by most law school courses. Class participation is important.
  
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    IS 352 - International Law


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course examines international law and its relationship to the practice of international politics. The course examines the sources of international law and its relationship to law within the state; the major players – the state, the UN and other IGO’s, natural and corporate individuals–and their attributes and capabilities. Some consideration is given to processes: diplomacy, treaties, arbitration, and adjudication. The final third of the course considers selected contemporary problem areas: the use of force, economic issues, protection of human rights, the environment. Two continuing themes throughout the course are: (1) how international law changes over time in response to changes in the international system; (2) how international law accommodates both justifiable claims and power realities.
  
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    IS 370 - Intermediate Special Seminar


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Intermediate-level elective seminars on special topics in politics as suggested from time to time by members of the faculty or groups of cadets.
  
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    IS 390 - Independent Study


    Research and writing on an approved intermediate (300) level topic, under the direction of International Studies faculty.  Prerequisite(s): Permission of the Department Head.
  
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    IS 395 - Public Opinion Research in Europe


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    In this class, we will discuss the efforts of social scientists to understand popular opinion through national-level polls. Students will learn the techniques by which samples are taken from populations, and the tradeoffs to approaches. So, too, will they learn about issues surrounding question wording, conceptual reliability, and external validity. The class will culminate in a research project where students will collaborate with the professor to model explanations for support for greater cohesion among the EU countries, particularly older and newer members. Students, themselves, will conduct reviews of the literature before contributing to a test of the various arguments made by previous authors using Eurobarometer public opinion data. Site visits to government entities, such as the European Parliament, will provide context for these analyses.
  
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    IS 401W - International Studies Seminar


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The capstone course for the International Studies curriculum. The course focuses on problems of United States foreign and defense policy. The course requires substantial written and oral work. Open only to first class International Studies majors. International Studies minors may be admitted with the permission of the department head on a space available basis. Writing Intensive (W)
  
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    IS 421X - The Politics of Terrorism


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The Politics of Terrorism is a three-credit course that focuses generally on the role of terrorist violence in the modern world. The two central goals of the course are to provide cadets with an opportunity to study the historical use of political terror and to encourage cadets to think of terrorist activity not as the work of the mad, but of self-interested and calculating political actors. After an introduction that includes a definition of terrorism and an exploration of its geneses, the course focuses on the rational and psychological aspects of the individual terrorist, terror types, strategies, and tactics, and the difficult task of counterterrorism. The final part of the course illustrates and highlights each of these aspects by examining cases culled from recent history, including the Zionist-British conflict over Palestine in the 1940s, the Algerian drive for independence in the 1950s, and the ongoing standoff between the USA and Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. Note: Civilizations & Cultures Course (X).
  
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    IS 422 - Domestic Politics and International Conflict


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    How does domestic politics affect the ability and willingness of states to fight wars abroad, and how do wars affect domestic politics? Surveying historical and contemporary scholarship, this course will familiarize students with various theories about these relationships. General topics to be covered include (a) the influence of institutional characteristics – such as general regime type, the separation of powers, and procedural and election rules – on war initiation and war outcomes; (b) the peculiar relationship between public opinion and war; and (c) how these and other factors impact the political strategies of war-time leaders, domestic opposition groups, and international opponents. In addition to applying these theories and lessons to various historical cases, the course will afford students the opportunity to engage in interactive exercises that illustrate the complex linkages between the domestic and the international.
  
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    IS 423W - Studies in Grand Strategy


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    IS 423W examines the theory and practice of grand strategy in an international context using both historical and contemporary case studies. Initial attention is given to classical cases including the Peloponnesian War and Bismarck as grand strategist. Consideration then shifts to an examination of grand strategy in the twentieth century including cases related to the two world wars, the interwar period, and the Cold War. The course concludes with an examination of two case studies of a more contemporary nature. A major research paper is required. Note: IS 423W is jointly-listed as HNL 375W, Studies in Grand Strategy. Writing Intensive (W)
  
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    IS 424WX - Regional Politics and Powers


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course examines regional sub-systems in international politics, with a specific focus on regional conflict, security, and integration. A primary focus of the course will be the behavior of regional powers - those states with sufficient capabilities, willingness, and status to shape politics within their regions - and whether they provide the stability necessary for peace or facilitate violent conflict. As an extension of these peaceful or conflictual patterns of political interaction is the formation of formal intergovernmental organizations, such as  the Arab League or the European Union. Careful attention will also be paid to those regional subsystems lacking a regional power, as is the case in the contemporary Middle East. Finally, students will relate regional politics to the broader international order within which it is nested, examining how international system dynamics, such as competition between major powers, shape the regional level.  Note: Writing Intensive (W) and Civilizations & Cultures Course (X).
  
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    IS 425W - Theories of War and Peace


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course provides cadets with an introduction to the scientific study of international conflict.  Simply put, the course examines existing empirical evidence to answer the question “What do we know about war?”  Cadets will begin by engaging the existing dominant theories of international conflict, broadly defined, and conclude in reviewing the relationship between different variables and conflict onset, including, but not limited to, relative power, democracy, rivalry, status, and dissatisfaction.  Throughout the course, students will be required to think critically about existing approaches, generate their own ideas about the potential correlates of war, and relate how the scientifically generated empirical findings from the course have practical applicability to American foreign policy. Note: Writing Intensive Course (W).
  
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    IS 426X - Religion and War


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    What is the relationship between religion and political violence, and how it has evolved through modern history? Given that religion preaches peace, why does it seem to be inherently prone to violence? How is religion used to mobilize popular support for secular or material causes? We will address these questions and others using theories and concepts in political science (such as those dealing with social mobilization, collective rationality and irrationality, and group psychology), as well as historical treatments of “holy war,” including the Crusades, the shifting Islamic conception of jihad, and modern-day politico-religious terrorism. Note: Civilizations & Cultures Course (X).
  
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    IS 427 - Transatlantic Security 1941-2015


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The course will consider in turn: Security and security policy issues (basics): meanings of the term security, complex security, security organizations and architecture, today’s security challenges US-European issues: historical background, common institutions and efforts, main differences of the security policy perceptions, NATO-EU issues: historical background, institutions, NATO’s development after the cold war, relationship before 9/11, relationship after 9/11, 2003 Iraq War, possible future, differences between security perceptions.  Case studies: Middle East, Balkan, International Terrorism, Missile Defense, Climate Change, etc.
  
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    IS 428 - US-China Relations


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The most consequential international relationship in the 21st century is, and will continue to be, that between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China. Understanding the nature of this relationship (whether it is cooperative, competitive, or something in between) is of the utmost importance, as is the complex and difficult task of explaining why the relationship is the way it is. This class is dedicated to both tasks. Cadets will examine Sino-American relations along different dimensions: military-security, regional-security and alliances, economic, domestic political, and grand strategic. In terms of its theoretical orientation, cadets will consider prominent realist, liberal, and constructivist explanations of Sino-American relations from 1949 to the present.
  
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    IS 429 - Strategy and Cybersecurity


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    While cyberspace is a relatively new domain, it is fundamentally an arena for strategic interaction. As such, the principles, concepts, and mechanisms familiar to students and practitioners of strategy can be usefully employed to better understand the causes of conflict and stability in cyberspace. In this course, we will take seriously the idea that strategic challenges and logics transcend time and space. In so doing, we not only examine cyberpower, the cyber offense-defense balance, cybersecurity dilemma, and coercion in cyberspace, but also how scholars have employed those concepts and analytical frameworks (that is, without the modifier “cyber”) to explicate other forms of conflicts well before the advent of the cyber age.
  
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    IS 430W - Democracy and Elections


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    An explanation of principles of democracy and how theory is applied on the ground in different countries. Students will learn about the meaning of democracy, how scholars define it, and how different forms are implemented. They will review the processes by which democracies of one type transition into another, or how authoritarian regimes morph into democratic systems. They will investigate how institutions vary across countries, including the roles of the executive, legislature, and judiciary. Chiefly, students will spend time reviewing how different states translate popular opinion into government action, i.e. elections. This will include examples of majoritarian electoral systems used by the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, proportional systems used by Ireland, Brazil, and Iraq, and hybrid systems, found in Taiwan, Japan, New Zealand, and Germany. The course will conclude with a discussion of which systems work better than others and whether certain countries would profit from a change in democratic system type. Writing Intensive (W)
  
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    IS 431W - Riots, Protests, Social Movements


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Social movements and protest have become a part of the political landscape. This class explores the dynamics of political contention, from collective looting to revolution, involving tactics that go from reform-mongering to foot dragging to collective violence, and targeting power-holders whose authority may or may not be formally institutionalized. We will review the development of the scholarship in contentious politics, including its theoretical foundations, approaches, and applications. Comparisons will be made between different approaches to the same event and between different types of political contention. Writing Intensive Course.
  
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    IS 434WX - Authoritarianism


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Authoritarian rule has been the norm throughout human history. Despite recent waves of democratization, today roughly half of the global population lives under non-democratic regimes. In this course, we will investigate the politics of authoritarian regimes. We will pay particular attention to where and why these regimes are established, what sustains them, and when and how they decline. Note: Writing Intensive (W) and Civilizations & Cultures Course (X).
  
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    IS 435WX - Comparative Political Economy


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    In this course, we will evaluate the important interaction of economic and political systems across several countries and systems.  We will review how the economic framework of a given state impacts the workings of the political process. In addition, we will learn how political decisions often impact the growth and development of markets.  Examples will be drawn from a number of different countries, from the United Kingdom, Poland, and Spain to China and Japan.  We will place special emphasis on the oft-debated link between capitalism and democracy; we will also study the tension between political ideology and economic growth, as well as the influence of business cycles and perceptions of economic performance on voter preference during elections. Note: Writing Intensive (W) & Civilizations and Cultures (X)
  
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    IS 438WX - Ethnic Conflict and Politics


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The course is designed to provide cadets with an overview of the relationship between ethnicity and politics. We will seek to understand both what ethnic groups are and why they often seem to be so important in a wide variety of political systems across the globe. We will pay special attention to understanding the causes of ethnic conflict. We will also spend considerable time examining various possible means of fostering inner-ethnic peace. Attention will also be paid to questions regarding the effect of ethnicity on democratic politics, economic development, and public policies. Our approach to this topic will be broadly comparative; we will draw on cases from Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Note: Writing Intensive (W) and Civilizations & Cultures Course (X).
  
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    IS 439 - Authoritarian Environmentalism in China


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    In this course, we evaluate the contention that the People’s Republic of China centralized system of governance is best suited to address the environmental challenges of the twenty-first century. Proponents of “authoritarian environmentalism” contend that the leaders of a political system, insulated from popular will, possess the ability to make unilateral decisions that are needed to combat long-term issues, such as air and water pollution, and implement reforms. As we progress through this course, however, we will find that there are numerous scholars who call this argument into question. We proceed by taking stock of the environmental problems that China faces, before learning about the legal and political frameworks through which policy is made and enforced. Next, we observe how the central and local governments in China confront environmental issues to varying degrees of success. We also consider the different challenges urban and rural residents face, and the impetus for “green” movements that have emerged over the last decade. Finally, we learn of the external forces that have influenced the path China has taken, before concluding with extensive discussions of student research. All told, China’s leaders may have an understanding of what environmental threats they face, but they are frequently stymied in how they approach addressing these problems; a failure to curb the dangers of environmental degradation can not only put citizen lives in jeopardy but also undermine the Chinese Communist Party’s legitimacy as the ruling power and moral force at the helm of the Chinese state.
  
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    IS 440 - American Political Thought


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course will examine the competing ideals at the center of the American political tradition and how they have interacted and evolved over time. Students will not only gain a clearer understanding of American intellectual history and how the great debates over the nature of the American regime have in fact played out, but will also consider the merits and demerits of the various claims being made. Readings will include Federalist and Antifederalist writings, Thomas Jefferson, Alexis de Tocqueville, John C. Calhoun, Abraham Lincoln, Edward Bellamy, John Dewey, Herbert Croly, and others.
  
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    IS 441 - Conservative Political Thought


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    An examination of competing strains of thinking within conservatism organized around a series of debates. Some of the themes that will be covered include: the definition of conservatism, America as a propositional nation vs. a common culture, the aims of U.S. foreign policy, Lincoln’s America vs. the Old South, aristocratic vs. populist impulses, theories of jurisprudence, the purpose of the economic order, and the meaning of progress.
  
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    IS 442 - Law, Morality, and Power


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course will examine the nature of law and the role that morality and power play in constituting the law. Is law fundamentally moral, discoverable by reason and necessarily conducive to the common good of society? Or is law nothing more than the commands issued by whoever has the most power? Do citizens have a moral obligation to obey the law, or are such claims, themselves, expressions of power? When judges interpret the law, do they too have obligations, or must we simply expect them to act as agents of a particular social, political, and economic group? These and other questions related to a deeper understanding of law and legal systems will be the focus of this course.
  
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    IS 443 - The Morality of War


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course will examine the criteria that are used to make determinations regarding the justice and injustice of warfare. Both contemporary and classical philosophers will be examined, and a variety of historical examples will be considered so that students can acquire experience in applying these criteria. Specific questions to be considered include: What are the just purposes for which one may go to war? What is the manner in which a just war must be fought? Who has the authority to make such determinations? Must one discriminate between combatants and non-combatants? Can war be morally distinguished from other types of conflict, such as terrorism? These and other related questions within the just war tradition will be explored throughout the term.
  
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    IS 459 - The Law of International Armed Conflict


    Lecture Hours: 1
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 1

    This course provides students with a general understanding of the international legal regulation of armed conflict – including humanitarian law and international criminal law. The aim of the course is to give the students an understanding of the legal challenges of current and future-armed conflicts, as well as enable them to critically analyze and evaluate cases using both legal and political analysis. This will be achieved from specific readings and class discussion and the application of several case study scenarios where the students will be required to analyze the issue at hand and recommend a solution using their understanding of international law as it applies to armed conflict. NOTE: Students will not be taught the use of the law, but rather how and where to find the law and how to apply it to the scenarios presented.  This course will be open to those students selected to compete in the International Competition of the Law of Armed Conflict in San Remo, Italy
  
  •  

    IS 460W - Research Design for Political Science


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    This course focuses on philosophies of and approaches to political science for facilitating cadets’ research objectives. The two central goals of the course are (a) to introduce cadets to the methods traditionally used to design, conduct, and report political science research; and (b) to allow cadets to apply these methods to their individual research questions. Cadets will frame research questions about politics, develop rigorous theories and hypotheses about politics, identify reasonable measures to test relationships, collect political data, develop a research design on a topic of their choosing that is acceptable by professional political scientific standards, and publicly present this research design. Prerequisite(s):  ERH 102 IS 201  with a minimum grade of C.
  
  •  

    IS 470 - Advanced Special Seminar


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Upper-division elective seminars on special topics in politics as suggested from time to time by members of the faculty or groups of cadets.
  
  •  

    IS 479 - Advanced Special Seminar


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Upper-division elective seminars on special topics in politics as suggested from time to time by members of the faculty or groups of cadets.
  
  •  

    IS 485 - National Security Minor Capstone


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    First class cadets pursuing the National Security Minor or other cadets approved by the professor will participate in this seminar styled course. The discussions will be built largely around the ideas and research of the cadets themselves. IS Faculty will be invited to discuss their on-going research and to share experiences and observations on successful and often unsuccessful research efforts. The course may include a discussion of the current security issues driving debates in the broader national security community.
  
  •  

    IS 490 - Independent Study


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 2
    Credit Hours: 3

    Research and writing of a substantial paper on an approved topic, under the direction of International Studies faculty. Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department head.
  
  •  

    IS 491 - Reading for IS Honors


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Cadets will develop an agenda of inquiry for the purpose of writing an original piece of political science research. To this end, cadets must, under the supervision of a faculty sponsor: choose an appropriate general topic; conduct in-depth reading in a selected subfield of political science; select an appropriate method of inquiry; and present and defend a formal research proposal. Prerequisite(s): Admission to the IS Honors Program.
  
  •  

    IS 492 - Writing for IS Honors


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Cadets will write an original piece of political science research based on the preparation undertaken in IS 491 . Specific requirements include: the completion of theoretical arguments or the execution of empirical hypothesis testing; scheduled draft and final paper submissions (to be accomplished in close consultation with a faculty sponsor); and a public oral presentation of the completed project. The successful completion of this course will result in the conferral of Department Honors. Prerequisite(s): Grade of B or better in IS 491 .
  
  •  

    IS 493 - International Studies Senior Thesis


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Research and writing of a substantial paper under supervision of a faculty sponsor. Oral examination by an ad hoc faculty committee. Open only to international studies majors. Prerequisite(s): Grade of B or better in IS 491  and IS 492 .

LEADERSHIP STUDIES AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Department of Psychology 
Department Head: Colonel Gire

  
  •  

    LS 350 - Leadership and Career Development I


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 0

    Required for those cadets not being commissioned in the Armed Forces and who are enrolled in AS 303 , MS 309 NS 308 , or NS 303 . The class focuses on knowing yourself, career discovery and planning, resume writing, and personal development.
  
  •  

    LS 351 - Leadership and Career Development II


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 0

    Required for those cadets not being commissioned in the Armed Forces, and who are enrolled in AS 304 , MS 310 , NS 205 , or NS 304 . The class focuses on career preparation and research. networking skills, critical thinking, time management, and values and ethics in the workplace.
  
  •  

    LS 450 - Leadership and Career Development III


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 0

    Required for those cadets not being commissioned in the Armed Forces, and who are enrolled in AS 403 , MS 409 , or NS 408 . The class focuses on job search and graduate school admission activities, business correspondence, building a portfolio, recruitment, advanced interviewing skills, dressing for success, business etiquette, and using the internet in the job search.
  
  •  

    LS 451 - Leadership and Career Development IV


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 0

    Required for those cadets not being commissioned in the Armed Forces, and who are enrolled in AS 404 , MS 410 , NS 402 , or NS 404. The class focuses on post-VMI career transition, salary negotiation, business ethics, employment law, income tax preparation, basic money management and investing for the future, 401 (k) plans, starting your own business, and how much insurance is enough.

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Department Head: Colonel Hardin

Requirements for a major in mechanical engineering are specified in Mechanical Engineering .

  
  •  

    ME 105 - Introduction to Mechanical Engineering


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 2
    Credit Hours: 1

    Introduction to the diverse career opportunities available in Mechanical Engineering and to the ME curriculum; discussion of participation in study abroad, internships, and undergraduate research and of specific academic skills required for success; and hands-on technical projects in both the Machine Design and Energy areas.
  
  •  

    ME 109 - CAD Applications and Solid Modeling


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 2
    Credit Hours: 1

    Selected CAD applications such as Orothographic and Isometric Design. Use of CAD to solve engineering applications and Solid Modeling Applications.
  
  •  

    ME 110 - Materials


    Lecture Hours: 2
    Lab Hours: 2
    Credit Hours: 3

    The atomic structure and microstructure of engineering materials. Classroom and laboratory analysis of the physical properties of metallic and non-metallic compounds; ferrous, nonferrous, ceramic, polymer, and composite materials. Material stress-strain diagrams, fatigue, creep, phase diagrams and heat treatment diagrams will be emphasized.
  
  •  

    ME 201 - Statics


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Vector and scalar methods in the composition and resolution of forces; moments of forces; equilibrium in two or three dimensions; simple structures including trusses and frames; shear and moment in beams; distributed loads; friction; centroids and centers of gravity. Corequisite(s): MA 124  unless previously completed.
  
  •  

    ME 203 - Programming Tools for Mechanical Engineers


    Lecture Hours: 1
    Lab Hours: 2
    Credit Hours: 2

    Programming fundamentals and introductory instruction in the use of mathematical application software. Focus will be upon problem solving techniques and logical solution development.
  
  •  

    ME 206 - Solid Mechanics


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    A study of the behavior of non-rigid bodies when subjected to external tension, compression, bending, torsional loads, or combination of these loads. Development of mathematical expressions that relate external loads, member properties, and internal stresses, strains, and deflections. Includes elastic and plastic stress theory. Prerequisite(s): MA 124 , ME 109 , ME 110  and a grade of C or higher in ME 201 .
  
  •  

    ME 243 - ME Design Competition Participation


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 0.5

    Participation in a student design team competition team for underclassmen. Prerequisite(s): Permission of a team adviser.
  
  •  

    ME 244 - ME Design Competition Participation


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 0.5

    Participation in a student design team competition team for underclassmen. Prerequisite(s): Permission of a team adviser.
  
  •  

    ME 255 - Summer Research


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 2-6
    Credit Hours: 1-3

    Offered to mechanical engineering cadets engaged in summer research. Prerequisite(s): Permission of department head.
  
  •  

    ME 256 - Summer Research


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 2-6
    Credit Hours: 1-3

    Offered to mechanical engineering cadets engaged in summer research. Prerequisite(s): Permission of department head.
  
  •  

    ME 302 - Dynamics


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Vector and scalar methods in kinematics, including absolute and relative motion of particles and rigid bodies; kinetics, with solutions of rigid bodies by the methods of force, mass and acceleration, work and energy, and impulse and momentum. Prerequisite(s): ME 201 .
  
  •  

    ME 311 - Thermodynamics I


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    A study of the first and second laws of thermodynamics; basic energy concepts; the properties of liquids and vapors including enthalpy and entropy; ideal gas concepts and relationships. Prerequisite(s): MA 124  and ME 203  Corequisite(s): ME 203 
  
  •  

    ME 313 - Thermodynamics II


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 3.5

    Gas-vapor mixtures, psychrometry and air conditioning process; real and ideal power, refrigeration, heat pump, and air compression cycles; fuels and combustion processes; energy system design and computer applications; laboratory experience to reinforce theoretical concepts to include engineering team experience and report writing. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in ME 311 .
  
  •  

    ME 314 - Fluid Mechanics


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 3.5

    Elementary mechanics of fluids. fluid properties; hydrostatics; fluid kinematics; equations of motion; energy equation; momentum principles; flow of liquids and gases in closed conduits; compressible flow; principles of dimensional analysis and dynamic similitude; laboratory experience to reinforce theoretical concepts to include engineering team experience and report writing. Prerequisite(s): MA 124,  , ME 311 
  
  •  

    ME 321 - Dynamics of Machinery


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Application of kinematics and dynamics to the design of mechanical components. Analysis and synthesis of the relationship between machine forces and motions. Prerequisite(s): ME 302 .
  
  •  

    ME 322 - Mechanical Analysis and Design


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Review of stress and stiffness analysis. Introduction to failure theories, fatigue, finite elements, and material selection as it pertains to design of machine elements. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in ME 206 .
  
  •  

    ME 325 - Instrumentation Laboratory


    Lecture Hours: 1
    Lab Hours: 2
    Credit Hours: 2

    Measurement of temperature, pressure, flow, strain, stress, force, velocity and displacement. Interpretation of data curve fitting, statistics. Signal conditioning, digital data acquisition, data recording. Static and dynamic systems. Prerequisite(s): ERH 102  and ME 203 .
  
  •  

    ME 336 - Heat and Mass Transfer


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 3.5

    Fundamental principles of heat transfer by conduction, convection, and radiation are examined. Provides an introduction to mass transfer. Contains elements of design of fins and composite walls. Finite difference techniques are introduced. Includes laboratory experience to reinforce theoretical concepts to include engineering team experience and report writing. Prerequisite(s): ME 311  and MA 311 .
  
  •  

    ME 342 - Analysis and Control of Dynamic Systems


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Analysis of dynamic system in both the time and frequency domain, with application to the design of basic feedback control systems. Mechanical, electrical, thermal, and fluid systems are considered. Topics include transfer function determination, frequency response, error analysis, root locus techniques, stability analysis, linear and non-linear systems. Prerequisite(s): MA 311  and EE 351 .
  
  •  

    ME 343 - ME Design Competition Participation


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 0.5

    Participation in a student design team competition team for underclassmen. Prerequisite(s): Permission of a team adviser.
  
  •  

    ME 344 - ME Design Competition Participation


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 0.5

    Participation in a student design team competition team for underclassmen. Prerequisite(s): Permission of a team adviser.
  
  •  

    ME 350X - History of Technology


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    A study, from both an historical and current perspective, of the role of technology in influencing both the development of distinctive cultural practices and the spread and globalization of specific cultures (western, eastern, and the Americas) in order to gain a better understanding of the cultural catalyst that technology has played in the past and may play in the future. Civilizations & Cultures (X)
  
  •  

    ME 355 - Summer Research


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 2-6
    Credit Hours: 1-3

    Offered to mechanical engineering cadets engaged in summer research. Prerequisite(s): Permission of department head.
  
  •  

    ME 356 - Summer Research


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 2-6
    Credit Hours: 1-3

    Offered to mechanical engineering cadets engaged in summer research. Prerequisite(s): Permission of department head.
  
  •  

    ME 413 - Aircraft Propulsion Systems


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Design and analysis of atmospheric propulsion engines and systems. Thermodynamics, combustion fundamentals, turbo machinery and the aerothermodynamics of inlets, diffusers, combustors, and nozzles as related to the design of gas turbine and rocket engines and components. Matching of propulsion system to vehicle requirements. Prerequisite(s): ME 313 .
  
  •  

    ME 414 - Turbomachinery


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Theory and performance characteristics bearing on the design of fluid dynamic machines such as centrifugal and axial flow pumps, fans, compressors, and turbines. Prerequisite(s): ME 314  and ME 311 .
  
  •  

    ME 415 - Flight Mechanics


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Properties of the earth’s atmosphere. Aerodynamic parameters, generation of lift, airfoils and wing theory. Boundary layer, aerodynamic drag. Aircraft performance: climb, range and endurance. Introduction to stability and control. Prerequisite(s): 2nd class standing or higher.
  
  •  

    ME 416 - Fundamentals of Aerodynamics


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Introduction to differential analysis of fluid motion, incompressible external inviscid flow, incompressible external viscous flow, steady one-dimensional compressible flow: Fanno Line Flow, Rayleigh Line Flow, Normal Shocks. Prerequisite(s): ME 311  and ME 314 .
  
  •  

    ME 417 - Aircraft Structural Analysis


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Introduction to the linear, static structural behavior relating to aircraft design. Classical methods of analysis will be applied to practical problems. Prerequisite(s): ME 201  and ME 206 .
  
  •  

    ME 418 - Thermal Environment Engineering


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Analysis and synthesis of systems to produce control of the thermal environment of enclosures for human occupancy, processes of special equipment. Psychrometrics of air, heating and cooling load calculations, and systems design. Prerequisite(s): ME 311 .
  
  •  

    ME 419 - Thermal-Fluid Systems Design


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 2
    Credit Hours: 4

    Application of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer to energy conversion processes. Design of engines, heat exchangers, compressors, valves, fans, blowers, vessel design, and power and refrigeration cycles. Prerequisite(s): ME 313 , ME 314 , ME 336 .  
  
  •  

    ME 420 - Flight Mechanics II


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    Continuation of ME 415 Flight Mechanics. Includes more advanced investigation of aerodynamic parameters, aircraft performance and dynamic behavior, and aircraft stability and control. This is a project-based course where models are developed using a variety of software tools. Prerequisite(s): ME 203 , ME 342 , & ME 415 .
  
  •  

    ME 425 - Mechanical Design


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 2
    Credit Hours: 4

    Design of mechanical components subject to static and fatigue loads. Practical design and applications of materials to power screws, fasteners, springs, bearings, gears, chains, and belts. Design of power transmissions. Introduction to the finite element method. Prerequisite(s):  .
  
  •  

    ME 427 - Introduction to Automated Manufacturing Systems


    Lecture Hours: 2
    Lab Hours: 2
    Credit Hours: 3

    Introduction to computer-aided manufacturing. Familiarization with standard manufacturing processes. Study of commercial CNC programming languages, CNC mill operation and CNC lathe operation, and pick-and-place robots. Extensive hands-on-operation of robots, CNC units and machinery. Open-ended design of manufacturing processes and design for manufacturability. Prerequisite(s): ME 110  and ME 109 .
  
  •  

    ME 431 - Power Plant Design


    Lecture Hours: 3
    Lab Hours: 0
    Credit Hours: 3

    The production of power from the Rankine, Brayton, and combined cycles will be studied. Realistic cycles similar to those found in current use will be analyzed. Consideration will be given to economics, materials selection, and environmental concerns. Each cadet will perform an economic analysis on a cycle design. The use of nuclear energy as a source of thermal energy will be considered. Prerequisite(s): ME 313 , ME 336 , and ME 314 .
  
  •  

    ME 443 - ME Design Competition


    Lecture Hours: 1
    Lab Hours: 4
    Credit Hours: 3

    The first semester of a two semester sequence. A cadet team will design and build a working device in order to compete in a national design competition. This first course is intended to be coupled with ME 444 in the spring semester. Prerequisite(s): Permission of department head.
  
  •  

    ME 444W - Mechanical Engineering Design


    Lecture Hours: 1
    Lab Hours: 4
    Credit Hours: 3

    A full-semester team-project internship. Cadets in three-person teams serve as consultants to an industrial client.  Emphasis on conducting a professional-level design study, and the preparation of a verbal, plus written, report to industry. Prerequisite(s): Take ME 419  or ME 425 
  
  •  

    ME 455 - Summer Research


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 2-6
    Credit Hours: 1-3

    Offered to mechanical engineering cadets engaged in summer research. Prerequisite(s): Permission of department head.
  
  •  

    ME 456 - Summer Research


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 2-6
    Credit Hours: 1-3

    Offered to mechanical engineering cadets engaged in summer research. Prerequisite(s): Permission of department head.
  
  •  

    ME 457 - Seminar


    Lecture Hours: 0
    Lab Hours: 1
    Credit Hours: 0.5

    Weekly seminars will cover job placement, graduate schools, ethics, design safety and preparation for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Oral and written reports on engineering ethics case studies are required.
 

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