The offerings of the Department of Political Science are designed to help students become more effective citizens of our democracy, as makers of public policy and as citizens affected by those policies. Democracy depends on an active and informed electorate. This is why democracy has been described as "the most demanding system of government yet devised." It requires that people make choices rather than having choices made for them. Through its General Education courses, the department provides student with the tools of citizenship: information about our government and its policies and the skills with which to analyze them.
Bachelor's degrees are offered in Political Science and in Public Administration. Students can concentrate on subjects of particular interest, from American politics and international relations to urban affairs and the management of local government. Master's programs are offered in Public Administration and in International Relations. Graduates from these programs enter careers of public and political service, law, and management. The university's Kenneth L. Maddy Institute for Public Affairs, established by the California legislature, will provide public leadership training and encourage civic engagement.