Course Description:

This course is a overview of the American Government. We go over 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:

  • Verbally identify and differentiate between the three different branches of the government.
  • Write down the origins, purposes, and types of governmental systems.
  • Gain an appreciation of the origins, foundations, and evolutionary nature of the American Government.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • List the factors that affect elections, and describe current campaign finance regulations and their impact.
  • Write the processes by which foreign and defense policies are made.
  • 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%
  • Weekly Assignments: 30% (10 assignments, 3% each)
  • Attendance:  10%
  • Mid-Term exam:  10%
  • Final exam:  10%
  • Oral exam:  20%
  • Research paper:  20%

Guidelines for Research Paper:

 1- A part of the course requirements is to submit a research paper, except for certain courses.

 2- The chosen topic must be relevant to the course and approved by the Instructor.

 3- Joint project / research is allowed, up to 3 students, and upon the instructor’s approval.

 4- The paper must meet the following requirements:

  • Consider either MLA or APA guides for writing research papers
  • 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 Hadeeth, a notation indicating its authenticity must be clearly

E-LibraryPlease log in with your user ID & password 

Communication Etiquette:

  • If sending emails directly to the Instructor, 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 Instructor to the office hours only.
  • When leaving a voicemail, please clearly state your name, course code, and contact number.

Additional Information:

Log in 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

Guidance College 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.
  • Your work will be checked and graded on weekly basis, in sha Allah.

Vision Statement:

Guidance College shall be one of the top well-recognized universities in the United States that offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in specialized Islamic fields aiming at preparing moral and well-knowledgeable leaders who provide research-based Islamic alternatives that enable the Muslims to contribute to the success of their country.

Mission Statement:

Guidance College is the place where students gain their undergraduate degrees in authentic and professional specialized Islamic knowledge that recognizes modern-time realities and allows them to examine different branches of knowledge from an authentic Islamic perspective which enables them to think ethically, logically, analytically, and critically while making responsible and moral decisions aiming at improving the quality of life for all inhabitants of the earth with a full understanding and appreciation of the cultural and human differences.