BA in Political Science

Units required for Major: 39
Minimum required GPA in the Major: 2.0

Program Description

The Government major complements a student's liberal arts education with an emphasis on understanding the theoretical and practical aspects of government and politics. The department offers a BA in Government, two concentrations, and the minor in Government. The Government major is structured to provide students with a background in the basic fields of political science, as well as to permit them a range of choice in completing the program. The Political Science Department offers several courses integral to interdisciplinary programs such as California Studies, Environmental Studies, Ethnic Studies, Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies, and Women’s Studies.

The department emphasizes its expectation that students seek faculty advice when planning their program. Students may ask any faculty member's assistance initially. As specific interests are developed, students may wish to seek the advice of faculty sharing their interests.

Note: Although it is not a requirement of the major, the department strongly recommends that students take an introductory statistics course as part of their undergraduate work. A course in statistics may be used to satisfy the GE requirement in mathematics.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Courses (3 Units)
GOVT 1Essentials Of Government 13
Required Upper Division Courses (15 Units) 2
GOVT 100Introduction to Research Methods in Political Science3
GOVT 110Political Thought I3
or GOVT 111 Political Thought II
GOVT 120AConstitutional Law3
or GOVT 120B Constitutional Rights and Liberties
GOVT 130International Politics3
GOVT 170Public Policy Development 33
Electives (21 Units)
Select 21 units 421
Total Units39

GOVT 150 may be used in place of GOVT 1 to satisfy the requirement


The Department recommends students take no more than two of these required courses a semester.


GOVT 170 should be taken in the final year of a student's undergraduate work.


18 of the 21 elective units must be upper division even though all 21 required elective units may be satisfied with upper division courses. GOVT 10 and GOVT 35 may be taken to fulfill 3 lower division units of the elective requirement.

Select courses from the following Fields below. A seminar and/or internship is strongly recommended.

  • Political Theory
  • Public Law and Judicial Studies
  • International and Comparative Politics
  • American Governments, Politics and Policy

These courses must be selected in consultation with an advisor from the Political Science Department.


  • GOVT 150 may not be counted as an elective toward the major, but may be used in place of GOVT 1 or as its equivalent as a prerequisite;
  • Students may take a maximum of 6 units of a GOVT 195 (Internship) within the major, but may use no more than 3 of those units to complete the 33 units of required upper division work.
  • Students should be aware that the Department offers a concentration in International Relations that is distinct from a field emphasis within the major. See complete International Relations Concentration description.