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, select from the following: 34
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 or Individualized Course of Study28
Select from the following:4
Cultural Anthropology
Human Geography
Western Civilization: Ancient to Renaissance
Western Civilization: Reformation to the Present
World History, 1000-1800
World History, 1800 - Present
Comparative Societies
STAT 217Introduction to Statistical Concepts and Methods (B4) 14
Select any 200 or 300-level ES or WGQS course(s)4
(See GE program requirements below.)64
Free Electives 424
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.
  • If any of the remaining 64 units is used to satisfy a Major or Support requirement, additional units of Free Electives may be needed to complete the total units required for the degree.
  • See the complete GE course listing.
  • A grade of C- or better is required in one course in each of the following GE Areas: A1 (Oral Communication), A2 (Written Communication), A3 (Critical Thinking), and B4 (Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning). 
Area AEnglish Language Communication and Critical Thinking
A1Oral Communication4
A2Written Communication4
A3Critical Thinking4
Area BScientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
B1Physical Science4
B2Life Science4
B3One lab taken with either a B1 or B2 course
B4Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (4 units in Support) 10
Upper-Division B4
Area CArts and Humanities
Lower-division courses in Area C must come from three different subject prefixes.
C1Arts: Arts, Cinema, Dance, Music, Theater4
C2Humanities: Literature, Philosophy, Languages other than English4
Lower-Division C Elective - Select a course from either C1 or C24
Upper-Division C4
Area DSocial Sciences - Select courses in Area D from at least two different prefixes
D1American Institutions (Title 5, Section 40404 Requirement) (4 units in Major) 10
D2Lower-Division D4
Upper-Division D4
Area ELifelong Learning and Self-Development
Lower-Division E4
Area F Ethnic Studies
F Ethnic Studies4
GE Electives in Areas B, C, and D
Select courses from two different areas; may be lower-division or upper-division courses.
GE Electives8
Total units64