GEN102 American Government

Course Description:

This course is a study of the structures, processes and issues related to national, state, and local government in the United States. It provides a detailed examination of the three main branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial) and explores the responsibilities and rights of citizenship.  The course promotes the understanding of government to obtain skills necessary for critical thinking and wise decision-making.

Course Code: GEN102

Credit hours: 3

Pre-Requisites: None

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will be able to verbally identify and differentiate between the three different branches of the government.
  • Students will be able to write down the origins, purposes, and types of governmental systems.
  • To gain an appreciation of the origins, foundations, and evolutionary nature of the American Government.
  • Students will be able to write a short essay on the substantive changes made in the U.S. Constitution through the amending process, and describe the informal methods for changing the U.S. Constitution.
  • Students will be able to compare and contrast in an essay, the positions of the two major parties today, describing the reasons for the two-party system in the United States, and describing the minor parties and their impact.
  • Students will be able to list the factors that affect elections, and describe current campaign finance regulations and their impact.
  • Students will be able to write the processes by which foreign and defense policies are made.
  • Students will choose a public/social/environmental issue and simulate U.S. political culture and political ideology through a Power Point or video presentation where they will define public opinion, describe the methods for measuring public opinion, and describe the impact of public opinion on U.S. government and politics. This will help students develop critical thinking skills and the ability to incorporate wisdom into decision-making.

Course Outline:

  • Introducing Government in America
  • The Constitution
  • Federalism
  • Civil Liberties & Public Policy
  • Civil Rights and Public Policy
  • Public Opinion and Political Action
  • The Mass Media and the Political Agenda
  • Political Parties
  • Campaigns and Voting Behavior
  • Interest Groups
  • Congress
  • The Presidency
  • The Federal Bureaucracy
  • The Federal Courts
  • The Politics of Taxing and Spending
  • Social Welfare Policy making
  • National Security Policy making

Main Textbook:

Government in America by:  Charles S. Matzke

Additional on-line Readings:

American Government by: James Wilson & John Dilulio

Grading and Evaluation:

  • Minimum passing grade 70%
  • Participation: 40% (10 assignments, 4% each)
  • Oral exam: 20%
  • Mid-Term exam: 10%
  • Research paper: 20%
  • Final exam: 10%

Guidelines for Research Paper:

As part of the course, you are required to submit a research paper. The topic chosen must be relevant to the course and approved by the Instructor.The paper must meet the following requirements:

  • At least ten (10) double-spaced pages (not including the introduction and conclusion)
  • 1 inch margins
  • 12 pt size (Times New Roman)
  • Follow the standard research paper structure with a Table of Contents, Abstract or Executive Summary, Introduction, Main Body, Conclusion, List of Reference
  • The Main Body should be organized into logical chapters and paragraphs
  • When quoting Hadith, a notation indicating its authenticity must be clearly

Please Watch:

      How to Write a Research Paper

Communication Etiquette:

  • Post all your questions related to the course to the (Online Test) forum.
  • If sending emails directly to the lecturer, please include appropriate label in the subject line (Action Required/Info/Admin) and allow up to 3 working days for reply.
  • Limit telephone communication with the Lecturer to within specified office hours only.
  • When leaving a voicemail, please clearly state your name, course code, and contact number.

Login Instructions:

To attend live – online lectures (on their scheduled time):

Virtual Class Room

Access the course on-line by logging into Online School, accessible from.

Al-Huda Online School

You will need a user name and password to:

  • View the recorded lectures if you missed the live online ones.
  • Interact with your teacher and classmates.
  • Upload and submit your assignments, research papers, and exams.
  • View your grades.
  • All attempt must be made to submit assignments by the agreed due dates. Late submissions will be penalized.
  • Weekly materials and graded assignments will be posted onto the site by Monday – in sha Allah.


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