Political Science, B.A.
Department of Political Science
Melanie H. Ram, Chair
McKee Fisk Building, Room 244
Degrees and Programs Offered
BA in Political Science, B.A.
MN in Political Science, Minor
MN in Public Administration, Minor
MPA in Public Administration, M.P.A. - Continuing & Global Education
MPA in Public Administration, M.P.A.
Courses offered by the Department of Political Science are intended to help all students become more effective participants in a democratic society, both as makers of public policy and as individuals affected by those policies. Students study voting, elections, the structures of government institutions, and how governments around the world differ and interact. They also explore local, national, and global issues. We prepare our majors for a wide variety of careers in government, education, business, journalism, the nonprofit sector, and international affairs, as well as law school and graduate school.
Students may elect to concentrate within political science on American government
and politics, international politics, legal studies, or public policy. Detailed course
and career information on each of these optional tracks is available. For those who
achieve a high measure of proficiency in their undergraduate program, the department
offers advanced work leading to the master’s degree in public administration.
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
Political Science Major
1. Major requirements (39 units)
(see Notes 1 and 2)
Upper-division Political Science electives:
(exclude PLSI 102) (18 units)
2. General Education requirements (49 units)
3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)**
4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)
(See Degree Requirements); may be used toward a double major or minor
5. Total units (120)**
* For political science majors, in addition to PLSI 120, one MI course (3 units) will be taken outside the Department of Political Science.
** G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. See advisor for details.
- CR/NC grading is not permitted in the political science major.
- General Education and elective units may be used toward a double major or minor (in something other than political science; see Double Major or departmental minor). Consult the appropriate department chair, program coordinator, or faculty advisor for further information.
- Grading Requirement. Students majoring in political science must earn a grade of C or better in each of the six core courses in the major: PLSI 1, 90 (lower-division) and PLSI 110 or 111, 120, 140, and 150 (upper-division) and Capstone Course (select from: PLSI 158, 192, 193; SSCI 102H).
Our full-time faculty are experts in their fields and hold doctoral degrees and/or law degrees. Prolific researchers, they have published numerous articles and books, and often bring to their courses prior practical experience from their work in government, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations.
Courses typically provide a mixture of lecture and class discussion and encourage the expression of a variety of viewpoints. Our faculty are dedicated to working closely with students to engage them in learning about politics and advise them throughout their college careers.
For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.
For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.
Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.
If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.
Political Science is the study of who has the power to make laws for society, the institutional structures that guide how this power is used, and the impact of public policies on society. Our graduates have gone on to serve in Congress, in the state legislature, as city managers, as urban planners, as city council members, as lawyers and judges, as mayors, as union leaders, as business owners, as educators, as non-profit managers, as military officers, as civic organizers, and more. Numerous leaders in the San Joaquin Valley are our graduates.
What You Can Do
- Manage political campaigns
- Pursue a career in public office or law
- Advocate for policy change
- Join the Peace Corps or Foreign Service
Interesting Classes You Might Take
- Presidential Politics
- Constitutional Law
- Water Politics and Policy
- International Law and Organization
- American Foreign Affairs
What You Can Learn About
- Political parties; citizen political advocacy; election of public officials; political institutions
- Military and economic power; political violence; democratic peace; international organizations; globalization; nationalism; imperialism; environmental politics; foreign policies of specific nations
- Freedom and individual rights, democracy, majority rule, equality, law and authority, power, constitutional foundation of American government, social class and structure, revolution
About the College
The College of Social Sciences studies the human experience, including the depth of the past and the breadth of the entire planet.
We place emphasis on learning practical skills to aid you in your career. Our students do internships, participate in archaeological digs, or do service-learning projects with a non-profit agency. Students can assist on research projects or organize a social change project.
Whatever the students' major, they enjoy our witty and talented faculty and our caring staff as they discover our social world.
College Contact Information
Phone: (559) 278-3013
FAX: (559) 278-7664
5340 N. Campus Drive MS/SS91
Fresno CA 93740-8019
Department Contact Information
Department of Political Science
2225 East San Ramon Avenue
Mail Stop MF 19