BA Political Science

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Program Learning Objectives

  1. Subject Matter Expertise: Through their curricular and co-curricular work, students will demonstrate expertise in political science and its subfields, as well as its relationship to the broader worlds of study and practice.
  2. Critical Thinking: Students will demonstrate critical thinking through their coursework and/or co-curricular activities.
  3. Working Productively and Communicating Effectively: Through their coursework and/or co-curricular activities, students will demonstrate their ability to work productively, both alone and in groups, their knowledge of the principles of effective communication, and their ability to communicate the results of their work effectively through a variety of tools and techniques.
  4. Ethics, Diversity and Sustainability: In the context of coursework and/or co-curricular activities, students will demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to make reasoned decisions, and that they can bring an understanding of the politics surrounding and the value of ethics, diversity and sustainability to bear on those decisions.
  5. Lifelong Learning and Positive Contribution: Through their coursework and/or co-curricular activities, students will demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills to engage in lifelong learning aimed at making a positive contribution to society.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

In addition to the program requirements listed on this page, students must also satisfy requirements outlined in more detail in the Minimum Requirements for Graduation section of this catalog, including:

  • 60 units of upper division courses
  • Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
  • 2.0 GPA
  • U.S. Cultural Pluralism (USCP)

Note: No major, support or concentration courses may be selected as credit/no credit.

POLS 112American and California Government (D1) 14
POLS 180Political Inquiry4
POLS 225Introduction to International Relations4
POLS 229Introduction to Comparative Politics4
POLS 230Basic Concepts of Political Thought4
POLS 359Research Design4
POLS 361Data Analysis in Political Science4
POLS 461
POLS 462
Senior Project I
and Senior Project II
Political Science Electives (300-400 level) 216
Political Science Diversity and Inclusion Course 3
Select from the following:4
Political Violence and Conflict Resolution
The Politics of Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality (USCP)
Civil Rights in America (USCP)
Religion and Politics in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Feminist Legal Theory
Social Movements and Political Protest
Voting Rights and Representation (USCP)
U.S. Reproductive Politics
The Politics of Poverty
Concentration courses or individualized course of study28
Support Courses
Select from the following: 44
Cultural Anthropology (D3)
Human Geography (D3)
Western Civilization: Ancient to Renaissance
Western Civilization: Reformation to the Present
World History, 1000 - 1800 (D3)
World History, 1800 - Present (D3)
Comparative Societies (D3)
STAT 217Introduction to Statistical Concepts and Methods (B1) 14
Select from the following: Any 200 or 300-level ES or WGS course4
(See GE program requirements below.)64
Free Electives24
Total units180

Concentrations or Individualized Course of Study (select one)

Individualized Course of Study

A minimum of 28 units of coursework are selected by the student and approved by the student's academic advisor. 20 of these must be at the 300–400 level and 16 units must carry a POLS prefix.

General Education (GE) Requirements

  • 72 units required, 8 of which are specified in Major and/or Support.
  • See the complete GE course listing.
  • Minimum of 12 units required at the 300 level.
Area ACommunication
A1Expository Writing4
A2Oral Communication4
A3Reasoning, Argumentation and Writing4
Area BMath, Science, and Quantitative Reasoning
B1Mathematics/Statistics (4 units in Support plus 4 units in GE) 14
B2Life Science4
B3Physical Science4
B4One lab taken with either a B2 or B3 course
B5Area B elective (select one course from B1-B5)4
B7Upper-division elective 24
Area CArts and Humanities
C3Fine/Performing Arts4
C4Upper-division elective 24
Area D Society and the Individual
D1The American Experience (Title 5, Section 40404 requirement) (4 units in Major) 10
D2Political Economy4
D3Comparative Social Institutions 24
D5Upper-division elective 24
Area ELifelong Learning and Self-Development
ELower-division elective4
Total units64