College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Upper-Division Coursework (40 Units)

Students must complete 40 units of upper-division courses in Political Science in three areas: A) American institutions and processes, B) legal and theoretical foundations, and C) international and comparative politics. Eight units must come from EACH of these three areas.

An additional 16 units of elective upper-division units are required. These elective units can come from any of these three areas. Up to 8 units of credit from "Other Political Science Courses" MAY be used as part of the 16 units of additional elective courses towards completion of the major. These courses in "Other" may not be used to meet the Upper Division subfield distribution requirements.

Finally, in addition to the above mentioned 40 units, students are also expected to enroll in 8 additional units of the Senior Capstone Experience. In the last fall and winter quarters on campus, students have the option of completing a senior thesis project OR a senior internship. 

Should you have additional questions, please consult the 2017-2018 Catalog, the 2017-2018 Political Science Curriculum Sheet, the 2017-2018 Political Science Road Map, or contact your advisor in the department. 

American Institutions and Processes

American Politics
Faculty: Dr. Neil Chaturvedi, Dr. Mario Guerrero
  • PLS 321 - The Electoral Process (4)
  • PLS 322/322A - Political Campaign Management (3/1)
  • PLS 323 - American Ethnic Politics (4)
  • PLS 325 - The American Congress (4)
  • PLS 326 - The American Presidency (4)
  • PLS 327 - The American Judiciary (4)
  • PLS 420 - American Institutions & Behavior (4)
  • PLS 425 - Women and Politics in America (4)
  • PLS 481 - California Government (4)
Public Administration
Faculty: Dr. Brady Collins, Dr. Sandra Emerson, Dr. Charles Gossett, Dr. Lisa Nelson, Dr. Renford Reese, Dr. David Speak, Dr. Jing Wing
  • PLS 315 - Politics of Public Policy (4)
  • PLS 317 - NGO and Social Service Outreach (4)
  • PLS 416 - Public Organizations (4)
  • PLS 417/417A - Policy Analysis & Program Evaluation (3/1)

Legal and Theoretical Foundations

Public Law
Faculty: Dr. Jill Hargis, Dr. Renford Reese, Dr. David Speak
  • PLS 304 - The Criminal Justice System (4)
  • PLS 401 - Constitutional Law: Governmental Powers (4)
  • PLS 405 - Jurisprudence (4)
  • PLS 407 - Constitutional Law: Rights & Liberties (4)
  • PLS 409 - Contemporary Issues in American Law (4)
Political Theory
Faculty: Dr. Jill Hargis, Dr. David Speak
  • PLS 431 - Ancient & Medieval Political Thought (4)
  • PLS 432 - Modern Political Thought (4)
  • PLS 433 - American Political Thought (4)
  • PLS 436 - Contemporary Political Thought (4)

Comparative Politics and International Relations

Comparative Politics
Faculty: Dr. Robert Nyenhuis, Dr. Marc Scarcelli
  • PLS 342 - Politics of Developing Areas (4)
  • PLS 441 - European Government & Politics (4)
  • PLS 442 - Sub-Saharan African Governments and Politics (4)
  • PLS 444 - Latin American Government & Politics (4)
  • PLS 446 - Middle Eastern Government & Politics (4)
  • PLS 447 - Government and Politics of the Russian Federation (4)
  • PLS 448 - East Asian Government & Politics (4)
  • PLS 449 - Southeast Asian Government & Politics (4)
International Relations 
Faculty: Dr. Robert Nyenhuis, Dr. Marc Scarcelli
  • PLS 343 - Ethnic Conflict (4)
  • PLS 351 - Terrorism (4)
  • PLS 352 - Environmental Security (4)
  • PLS 353 - Transnational Crime (4)
  • PLS 451 - International Conflict, War & Peace (4)
  • PLS 452 - International Political Economy (4)
  • PLS 455 - Foreign Relations of the US (4)
  • PLS 456 - International Law (4)

Other Political Science Courses

  • PLS 308/308A - Mock Trial (3/1)
  • PLS 382 - Politics, Policy, & Pop Culture (4)
  • PLS 471 - Fieldwork in Government/Public Administration (4)
  • PLS 472 - Fieldwork in Politics (4)
  • PLS 473 - Fieldwork in International Affairs (4)
  • PLS 474 - Fieldwork in Legal Affairs (4)
  • PLS 480 - Politics of Need and Greed (4)
  • CLS 410 - Model UN Preparation: The United Nations and the World; Historical Perspectives, Salient Issues, and Current Events  (4)
  • CLS 381/381A - Judicial Internship (3/1)
  • EC 499 - Special Topics for Upper Division Students (1-4)

Note: PLS 299/299A/299L (Lecture Component Only) and PLS 499/499A/499L (Lecture Component Only) Special Topics classes many be assignes by petition to one of the subfields or may be used to meet the “Additional Political Science Courses” requirement.