Committees and Parties in Congress

Woodrow Wilson once noted that Congress in committees is Congress at work. However, the parties and their leaders play a key agenda-setting role, one of increasing importance in recent years. This course examines the role of congressional parties and committees, the inherent tension between the two, and their development over time.

Specific topics may include:

  • The structure and functions of congressional parties and committees
  • Development of the congressional committee system
  • How committee rosters are determined and the role of chairs
  • The role of committee staff
  • The evolving role of party leaders and their importance
  • The powers of party leaders versus committees
  • Congressional polarization trends over time
  • Contemporary reform issues

Research Seminars meet approximately four times for two hours, over the course of 12 weeks. The first meeting date is published, with the others determined at the first class.

Download the Certificate Program Application (PDF) and review the Application Procedures.


September 16, 2020 (first class meeting)

Tuition: $1,250

Next Course: September 16, 2020 first class meeting