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University Catalog
Student inside California State Capitol above the Assembly floor

GOVERNMENT

College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Government, or Political Science, is devoted to study of the theory and practice of government and politics. At Sacramento State the fields of study are: Political Theory; Public Law; International and Comparative Politics; and American Governments, Politics and Policy. Over 70 courses cover all the major aspects of political science. Lower division courses satisfy General Education requirements and help to prepare students for advanced work.

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 both the BA and the minor in Government. The 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 Government Department offers several courses integral to interdisciplinary programs such as Ethnic Studies, Women's Studies, California Studies, Canadian Studies, and Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies. The Department also offers a joint Government-Journalism major with the Department of Communication Studies.

Students should select a faculty advisor who shares the student's academic interests. For students who wish to pursue graduate work in Government, a Master of Arts degree is offered.

Concentrations

BA: International Relations - a concentration in International Relations that is distinct from the field emphasis within the major.

BA: Government/Journalism – an interdisciplinary program that spans the combined areas of Government and Journalism.

Special Features

  • Located in the state capital, the Sacramento State program offers unusual opportunities for the study of government and politics and especially for internships. Students have served internships with state legislators, legislative committee staffs, special interest and lobbying groups, and administrative agencies. Placement is also possible in local government executive agencies and with county supervisors, city council members, and selected political campaigns. Students applying for internships should have had (or be taking in the same semester) GOVT 180, California State and Local Government, and must have passed the Writing Placement for Juniors Examination.
  • Sacramento State students may apply for the Sacramento Semester Program, which brings students from all California State University campuses to Sacramento for one semester to take advantage of the unique learning experience at the State Capitol. The heart of this program is six units of internship with the legislature or other state offices. An accompanying 6 unit seminar course in state government and politics allows students to integrate their practical internship experience with academic work.
  • Students who work in the day will be interested to know that class scheduling permits completion of the general Government major in the late afternoon and evening hours.

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

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.

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.

Requirements - Bachelor of Arts Degree

Units required for Major: 39
Minimum total units required for BA: 120
Minimum required GPA in the Major: 2.0

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A.Required Lower Division Courses (3 units)*

(3)

GOVT 1

Essentials of Government

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

B. Required Upper Division Courses (15 units)

(3)

GOVT 100

Introduction to Research Methods in Political Science

(3)

GOVT 110

Political Thought I OR

GOVT 111

Political Thought II

(3)

GOVT 120A

Constitutional Law (GOVT 1 or equivalent) OR

GOVT 120B

Constitutional Rights and Liberties (GOVT 1 or equivalent)

(3)

GOVT 130

International Politics

(3)

GOVT 170

Public Policy Development (GOVT 1 or equivalent; GWAR certification before Fall 09, or WPJ score of 80+, or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109 M/W, or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109 M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X or WPJ score 70/71 and ENGL 109X)

Notes:
  • 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.
C. Electives (21)**

18 of the 21 elective units must be upper division even though all 21 required elective units may be satisfied with 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 Government Department.

Notes:
  • 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.

Requirements - Bachelor of Arts Degree Concentration - International Relations

Units required for Major: 42
Minimum total units required for BA: 120
Minimum required GPA: 2.0

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. Lower Division Courses (3 units)*

(3)

GOVT 1

Essentials Of Government

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

B. Required Upper Division Courses (15 units)

(3)

GOVT 100

Introduction to Research Methods in Political Science

(3)

GOVT 111

Political Thought II OR

GOVT 112

Current Political Thought

(3)

GOVT 130

International Politics

(3)

GOVT 136

International Political Economy

(3)

GOVT 140

The Study of Comparative Government and Politics (GOVT 1 or equivalent)

C. Electives (24 units)**

21 of the 24 elective units must be upper division

GOVT 35 may be taken to satisfy 3 elective units all others must be selected from Government courses numbered from 130 through 149. Students may also include GOVT 118, Just War, Natural Right, and the Law of Nations; GOVT 119A, Socialism-Marxism-Communism; GOVT 127, Elements of International Law and GOVT 162, American Film and Culture in the Nuclear Age as electives. Up to twelve (12) units of work in other disciplines that have an international relations/comparative politics content can be used to satisfy the requirements of the major, as long as approval by an International Relations advisor is obtained.

The Department strongly recommends that students select elective courses that include both thematic areas, such as globalization, internal organizations, and security studies, as well as regional concentrations such as Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle east.

*If a student has not taken GOVT 1 or its equivalent, then GOVT 150 may count as the prerequisite for the major.

**These courses must be selected in consultation with an advisor from the Government Department.

Requirements - Bachelor of Arts Degree - Government - Journalism

Units required for Major: 51
Minimum total units required for BA: 120

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.
Majors must complete each required lower and upper division Journalism course with a grade of "C -" or better.

A. Required Lower Division Courses (9 units)

(3)

GOVT 1*

Essentials of Government

(3)

JOUR 30

News Writing (Corequisite: JOUR 20)

(3)

JOUR/COMS 55

Media Communication and Society OR

JOUR 50

Mass Media and Critical Thinking

* If a student has not taken GOVT 1 or its equivalent, then GOVT 150 may count as the prerequisite for the major.

B. Required Upper Division Courses (33 units)
Government

(3)

GOVT 170*

Public Policy Development (GWAR certification before Fall 09, or WPJ score of 80+, or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109 M/W, or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109 M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X or WPJ score 70/71 and ENGL 109X)

(3)

GOVT 180

California State and Local Government

(3) Select one of the following:

GOVT 151*

Bureaucracy

GOVT 153*

The American Presidency

GOVT 154*

Political Parties and Campaigning

GOVT 155*

The Legislative Process

GOVT 156*

Pressure Groups and Lobbying

GOVT 157

Politics, Opinion and Participation

GOVT 184*

Introduction to Urban Politics

(3) Select one of the following:

GOVT 120A*

Constitutional Law

GOVT 120B*

Constitutional Rights and Liberties

(3) Select one of the following:

GOVT 130

International Politics

GOVT 131*

International Organization

GOVT 135*

American Foreign Policy

Journalism

(3)

JOUR 130A

News Reporting I (JOUR 20, JOUR 30: Corequisite: JOUR 130B)

(3)

JOUR 130B

News Reporting II (JOUR 20, JOUR 30: Corequisite: JOUR 130A)

(3)

JOUR/GOVT 134

War, Peace, and the Mass Media

(3)

JOUR 135

Public Affairs Reporting (JOUR 130A, JOUR 130B; GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X)

(3)

JOUR/COMS 153

Mass Media Law and Regulation

Internship

(3)

GOVT 195 course

Government Internship (GOVT 180, GOVT 182A, or GOVT 182B) OR

 

JOUR 195

Internship in Journalism (JOUR 130A, JOUR 130B and minimum 2.3 overall GPA)

C. Electives (9 units)

(6)

Select 6 units of upper division courses in Government.
(The Department particularly recommends at least one course in political theory.) GOVT 150 may not be used as an elective.

(3)

Select one upper division course in Journalism.

*Course prerequisite: GOVT 1 or equivalent.

Note: Government-Journalism majors should have both an advisor in the Government Department and a Journalism Advisor in the Communication Studies Department.

The University's association with the Washington Center makes it possible for California State University, Sacramento students to undertake an internship in Washington, D.C. There are many opportunities for Government-Journalism majors to do an internship to meet their unique interests through this program.

Requirements – Minor

Units required for Minor: 21, 15 of which must be in upper division. A "C" average is required in the Minor. 

(6) Select two of the following:

GOVT 110

Political Thought I

GOVT 111

Political Thought II

GOVT 120A

Constitutional Law (GOVT 1 or equivalent)

GOVT 120B

Constitutional Rights and Liberties (GOVT 1 or equivalent)

GOVT 130

International Politics

GOVT 170

Public Policy Development (GOVT 1; GWAR certification before Fall 09, or WPJ score of 80+, or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109 M/W, or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109 M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X or WPJ score 70/71 and ENGL 109X)

(15)

Select 15 units of government or political science courses, no more than six units of which may be lower division. Students may count as many as (6) units of a GOVT 195, or (3) units of a GOVT 195 and (3) units of GOVT 199 toward completion of the minor.

GOVT 1 (or its equivalent) or GOVT 150 may count as the prerequisite for the minor; however, if GOVT 150 is used as the prerequisite, it will not count toward the 15 units of upper division government courses required. GOVT 150 cannot count as an elective for the minor.

Note: Students are permitted to repeat upper division courses a maximum of two times.

GRADUATE PROGRAM

The Master of Arts program in Government is designed to orient the student toward critical investigation of problems in government and politics, and to improve the student's ability for independent study. This program is of special value to teachers of government in the public schools, to persons who contemplate public service or politics as a career, and to persons planning additional graduate study leading to the doctorate. The Government Department Graduate Coordinator acts as advisor to graduate students and should be consulted early in each student's program of graduate study.

Note: Because most graduate students work during the day, most graduate courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening hours.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in Government requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree;
  • a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units attempted and 3.0 GPA in the major;
  • a satisfactory score on the aptitude portion of the Graduate Record Examination (the Department expects the student to achieve at least the 50th percentile in the combined verbal/analytic score);
  • three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant's potential for successful graduate study;
  • a written statement explaining the applicant's purposes and goals in pursuing a master's degree in Government; and
  • an example of written work which the applicant considers evidence of his/her best scholarship regardless of the grade received.

Applicants who have deficiencies in Admission Requirements that can be removed by specified additional preparation may be admitted to the degree program with conditionally classified graduate status. Students with an undergraduate major in any subject may be accepted; no minimum number of units in Government is required. However, if a student's preparation in the field of government or political science is not adequate preparation for graduate study, he/she may be asked to complete some additional coursework before becoming classified. Any deficiencies will be noted on a written response to the student's admission application. No upper division prerequisite courses required as a condition of classification can be counted towards the degree requirement.

Admission Procedures

Applications are accepted as long as room for new students exists. All prospective graduate students, including Sacramento State graduates, must file the following with the Office of Graduate Studies, River Front Center 206, (916) 278-6740:

  • an online application for admission;
  • two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State; and
  • Graduate Record Examination scores, aptitude portion only.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please visit http://www.csus.edu/gradstudies/.

At the same time, each applicant should forward to the Graduate Coordinator in Government the following:

  • the three letters of recommendation;
  • the applicant's written statement of purposes and goals; and
  • the example of the applicant's best written work.

Approximately six weeks after receipt of all items listed above, a decision regarding admission will be mailed to the applicant.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed STAT 1 or its approved equivalent, a prerequisite to the program (does not count towards the degree) which must be taken before GOVT 200;
  • completed at least 15 units in the graduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver; and
  • submitted a thesis prospectus (if the student elects to do a thesis).

Advancement to Candidacy forms are available in the Office of Graduate Studies. The student fills out the form after planning a degree program in consultation with a Government Department advisor. The completed form is then returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Requirements - Master of Arts Degree

Units required for MA: 30

Minimum required GPA: 3.0 with no grade below a "C" (not a "C-")

A. Required Courses (15 units)

(3)

GOVT 200

Method and Scope in Political Science (STAT 1 or its equivalent)

(3)

GOVT 210

Political Theory (An upper division course in the field and/or instructor permission) OR

GOVT 219

Specialized Studies in Political Theory (Instructor permission)

(3)

GOVT 230/IA 210

Theories of International Relations (An upper division course in the field and/or instructor permission) OR

GOVT 240

Comparative Government and Politics (Advanced course in the field)

(3)

GOVT 250/IA 222

Basic Issues of American Government (An upper division course in the field and/or instructor permission) OR

GOVT 270

Political Behavior and Political Process: Californis and Beyond

(3)

GOVT 280

California Politics (unclassified graduate or a masters degree student in Government, Public Policy & Administration or Internationl Affairs) OR

GOVT/PPA 284

Urban Politics

B. Other Course Requirements (12 units)

Four additional courses which may be completed from graduate seminars in the Department, from 200-level courses in related fields (6 units allowed with graduate coordinator's prior approval), from GOVT 295 (3 units allowed), and/or from GOVT 299 (6 units allowed). However, a maximum of 6 units of GOVT 295 and/or GOVT 299 may be applied to the MA. Of these twelve units, up to 6 units may be in 100-level courses within the Government Department, chosen from a pre-approved list compiled by the graduate coordinator. Each student must choose to emphasize two of the following four fields:

  • Political Theory
  • Comparative Government/International Relations
  • American Government/Public Law/Public Policy
  • California State and Local Government

The student must complete two seminars in each of two of the above designated fields.

C. Culminating Requirement (3 units)

(3) GOVT 500 Culminating Experience

Note: Students Preparing for Further Graduate Study - The Sacramento State Government MA does not require a foreign language. Students who plan to seek admission to a Ph.D. program are advised, however, that may still impose a foreign language requirement on all students and most Ph.D. programs now impose a quantitative techniques requirement as well. Thus, the recommendation that students take a course in statistics.

Career Possibilities

Government majors are employed in Public and Private Sectors, as well as in Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's). Careers in the public (Federal, State, and Local governments) include : Policy Analysts, Specialist in Legislative and Governmental Relations, Budget Analyst, Policy Analyst, Foreign Service Officer, Civil Servant, Administrative Manager, City Planner, Elected Public Official.

Careers in Non-Profit, Non-Governmental Organizations and the Private sector include: Consultant, Analyst and Researcher, Lobbyist, Campaign Manager, Public Opinion Researcher, University Instructor and Researcher, High School Teacher, Attorney, Paralegal, Business Person.

Faculty

David Andersen-Rodgers, Mark Brown, Patrick Cannon, James Cox, William Dillon, Brian DiSarro, Buzz Fozouni, Andrew Hertzoff, Wesley Hussey, Nancy Lapp, Kimberly Nalder, Robert Stanley Oden, Monicka Patterson-Tutschka, James Rae

Contact Information

Nancy Lapp, Department Chair
Diane Kobely, Administrative Support Coordinator
Tahoe Hall 3104
(916) 278-6202
www.csus.edu/govt/



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