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B.A. in Political Science

Political science is fundamentally about who has power in our society, why they have it, and how they use it. It is also about how people can become involved determining who wields power by learning to better understand and participate in political process locally, nationally, and internationally.

Students working towards a bachelor's degree can take a wide variety of courses in American government, state and local government, protest politics, international relations, law, and political research methodology.  Students can choose one of our optional tracks depending on their area of interest:

Our students have gone on to find rewarding careers as lawyers, congressional aides, public servants, staff in international organizations, professors, and several have even been elected to public office (please see our home page for a list of especially notable alumni). They live and work here in the Central Valley, in Sacramento, in Washington, D.C., and all over the world.

Capitol Rotunda Dome


Total units required for major: 36 (all courses are 3 units)

Required lower division core courses (6 units)

PLSI 1 - Modern Politics (must first complete GE Area A2 class with a grade of C or better)

PLSI 90 - Methods of Analysis

NOTE: These courses must be completed before, or concurrently with, enrollment in the first 6 units of upper division major courses.

Required upper division core courses (12 units)

PLSI 120 - International Politics (must first complete all GE Foundation classes, A1, A2, A3, and B4, with grades of C or better.  Must also have passed GE Breadth Area D courses with a grade of D or better.  Freshmen may not take this course.)

PLSI 140 - Approaches to Comparative Politics (must first pass PLSI 1 with a grade of C or better)

PLSI 150 - Public Policy Making (must first pass PLSI 90 with a grade of C or better, unless you enrolled prior to 2012-13 in which case you must have a D or better)

And one of these two courses:

PLSI 110 - History of Political Thought to Machiavelli

PLSI 111 - History of Political Thought Since Machiavelli

Remaining 18 units (6 courses) must be selected from the political science upper division (level 100 or higher) courses offered in the catalogue ( not including PLSI 101, PLSI 102, or PLSI 187).

NOTE: Credit / No Credit grading is not permitted in the political science major. Also, no course used to satisfy a General Education requirement may be used to satisfy a political science major requirement.


Total units required for minor: 21 (all courses are 3 units)

All students who desire a minor in political science must take PLSI 1 (Modern Politics) as well as either PLSI 110 (History of Political Thought to Machiavelli) or PLSI 111 (History of Political Thought Since Machiavelli). Six (6) units total.

The minor also requires students to take five courses (15 credits) of upper division political science electives.