STatue of Liberty

Major in Political Science

The Political Science major is designed to maximize flexibility for students so they can pursue a unique course of study that focuses on their interests. Preparation for the political science undergraduate major requires the completion of four courses which introduce students to political concepts and provides training in analytical and critical thinking. Students need to receive a grade of C or better in these four courses and have an overall GPA of 2.4 of higher in order to move from the premajor to the major.

Majors take a minimum of nine upper division courses in Political Science with at least one class in each of four subfields (Political Theory, American Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Politics). Four additional electives can be chosen from any upper-division Political Science courses. In their senior year students complete a capstone, which can either be an internship, thesis, or 500-level course. Even though it is not required many Political Science majors obtain a minor, as the flexibility of the major allows students to complete a minor (or in some cases a second major) and still graduate in four years. 

The political science major is an impacted program. To be admitted to the political science major, students must meet the following criteria:

Complete with a grade of C or higher (12 units):

  • Political Science 101
  • Political Science 102
  • Political Science 103 or 104
  • Three units of either statistics or logic chosen from: Political Science 201, Economics 201,  Psychology 280, Sociology 201, Statistics 119, 250, or Philosophy 120. 

A minimum of 30 upper division units.

Students must take at least three units from each field:

  • Political Theory: Political Science 301A, 301B, 302, 305, 406, 507, 510
  • American Politics: Political Science 320, 321, 322, 331 [or American Indian Studies 331], 333, 334 [or Sustainability 334], 335, 336, 338, 346, 347A, 347B, 348, 422, 425, 426, 428, 430 [or Latin American Studies 430], 435, 436, 440 [or Geography 440], 531, 533, 535, 541
  • Comparative Politics: Political Science 356, 359, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366 [or Latin American Studies 366], 370, 530, 555, 560, 562, 564, 565, 566, 567, 568
  • International Politics: Political Science 375, 380, 393, 479, 482, 485, 575, 577 

3 unit capstone requirement

Fulfilled by taking: Political Science 495, 497B, 498, or any 500-level political science course.

15 units of major electives

See your degree evaluation and the major advisor for approved major electives.

Download the Major Worksheet

For more information, please visit our Program FAQ’s page.

  • Explain the nature and structures of political power globally and in diverse societies.

  • Analyze the various and complex ways in which politics serves the pursuit of justice or injustice.

  • Develop and refine your own political voice by engaging a diversity of political worldviews.

  • Demonstrate effective oral and written argumentation skills about contested political phenomena.

  • Ask important questions about politics and answer them by utilizing methods and evidence appropriate to the questions.

Download the Course Matrix


Undergraduate Advising

See our Advising Assistance page for more information.

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