Political Science

California Component Exam Information

American Institutions Requirement: California Component

Do I need to take the California Component Exam? 

Do any of the following circumstances apply to you? 

  • Taken a course in American Government at a college or university outside the state of California
  • Taken a course in American Government at a college or university not part of the California State University (CSU) or California community college systems
  • Taken the AP United States Government and Politics Exam with a score of 3 or higher

If any of these circumstances apply to you, you may still need to take the California Component Exam! 

Why do I have to take an additional exam if I completed the American Government credit? 

In August 2011, the Chancellor of the California State University system passed Executive Order 1061 (EO 1061). EO 1061 mandates that students have to have course credit that examines the California state political system and Constitution. Although you may have taken an American Government course elsewhere, many of these courses or exams do not adequately cover California. Thus for students who meet any of the above circumstances, in order to graduate, you must take the California Component Exam.  

When and how do I take the California Component Exam? 

The Department of Political Science administers the California Component Exam on Canvas.

Do not wait until your last semester at Cal Poly Pomona to take this test. You are encouraged to take this exam as soon as possible after arriving at Cal Poly Pomona so that in the event you do not pass the exam, you will have plenty of opportunities to meet the requirement through coursework. Do NOT jeopardize your graduation date by taking the exam in your last semester. 

If you decide to take the California Component Exam, do the following:

  1. Go the University Library Reserve desk and ask for Governing California, 6th Edition by J. Theodore Anagoson, Gerald Bonetto, J. Vincent Buck, Richard E. DeLeon, Jolly Emrey, James Kelleher, and Nadine Koch. Be sure that you have the 6th edition.
  2. Study it thoroughly!
  3. When you are ready to take the exam, email Dr. Mario Guerrero (mag@cpp.edu) and let him know the following information:
    1. Subject Line of email: California Government Exam
    2. Your full name
    3. Your Bronco ID number
    4. Information about existing American Government credit:
      • Your AP American Government test score (needs to score 3 or above) or
      • Your American Government course & institution where you took the course

During the regular academic year, please allow at least two weeks for Dr. Guerrero to reply to your email. During summer, allow at least a month. The test is given on Canvas; once Dr. Guerrero has sent you an email invite, you will be able to complete the exam. 

What if I don't want to take the test or I fail the exam? 

You get only one chance at the test. A passing score on the exam is 30 correct answers, or a 60%. There are no exceptions to this rule.

If you fail or do not want to take the exam, you can satisfy the requirement by enrolling in either of these courses (offered every semester):

  • PLS 2010 (Introduction to American Government)
  • PLS 4811 (California Government) -- will double-count as GE D4 (Social Science Synthesis)

You do not need to receive special permission to enroll in either these courses. They will automatically satisfy the American Government and California Component credit. Both courses carry no prerequisites. 

For additional questions, email Dr. Mario Guerrero directly at mag@cpp.edu

Dr. Mario Guerrero

California Component Exam Advisor