College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences


The Department of Political Science specializes in teaching students advanced skills in research methodology. "Research" is the systematic investigation of materials, sources and information to solve problems. In political science, we are interested in investigating questions about politics and government. Students who are interested in research should enroll in the our senior thesis capstone course to work on their own research project under supervision of a faculty member. 

The Office of Undergraduate Research 

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) was established by Cal Poly Pomona to increase the awareness of, participation in, and opportunities for undergraduate research across the disciplines. The OUR also actively looks for opportunities for under-represented and first-generation students. They provide numerous resources for students interested in research.  

University Research Support

  • CSU Pre-Doctoral Program (Sally Casanova): Open to juniors and seniors, the CSU Pre-Doctoral Program (Pre-Doc) program is intended to increase the pool of future CSU faculty by providing opportunities and funding for graduate degrees (masters or doctoral).  The CSU Chancellor's Office selects students from each CSU campus to be Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars.  The scholars receive up to $3000 for graduate school preparation. 
  • Kellogg Undergraduate Scholars Program: The Kellogg Undergraduate Scholars Program (KUSP) provides scholarships of up to $2,000to support mentored research or creative activities in a student’s chosen field. The goal is to support undergraduate research engagement of underrepresented students, and to encourage persistence to degree, and pursuit of graduate education. KUSP is open to all first-generation college students, economically disadvantaged students, and returning military veterans. 
  • Kellogg FuTURE Mini-Grant: Faculty mentors may apply for grants of up to $1,000 to support scholarly and creative activities with undergraduate students. Funds may be applied to various essential needs such as supplies, minor equipment, software, research travel, and preparation of reports and presentations. The goal is to support a wide range of disciplinary activities, from experimental research and fieldwork, to applied professional experiences, to artistic and creative endeavors.
  • McNair Scholars Program: Open to freshmen, sophomores and first-year transfer students, the McNair Scholars Program is a campus mentoring organization that helps first-generation and minority students interested in pursuing research in graduate school. Students are required to have a 3.0 GPA. Applications are typically due in fall semester.

External Research Support

  • APSA Minority Student RecruitmentThe American Political Science Association, the national organization for our discipline, maintains a database of college undergraduates from underrepresented populations who are interested in doctoral study in political science. The program identifies undergraduate students from under-represented backgrounds who show potential for or are interested in doctoral study, and shares their recruitment information with APSA MSRP Recruiting graduate departments.
  • Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Program: Open to juniors, the Public Policy and International Affairs Program helps students achieve a Master’s or joint degree, typically in public policy, public administration, international affairs or a related field. The organization does this through the intensive study provided by participation in a Junior Summer Institute (JSI), through partnerships with universities across the country.
  • Ralph Bunche Summer Institute: Open to juniors, the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute is open to underrepresented minorities in political science. Students spend a month in Washington DC learning about graduate work in political science. Students with an aptitiude for research are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications are typically due in January. 
  • Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and its affiliated colleges, universities, and individuals share a focus on providing undergraduate research opportunities for faculty and students at all institutions serving undergraduate students. In April, they host their own undergraduate research conference, but they also offer small travel grants for students attending their own conferences. 

Publishing Your Work

  • Cal Poly Pomona Undergraduate Journal of Political Science: Our department's scholarly research journal, providing peer-reviewed articles and essays from subfields throughout the discipline. Areas covered include American politics, public administration, international relations, comparative politics, public law and political theory. The Undergraduate Journal of Political Science is a student-run journal. 
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate JournalThe Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics is an online, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the publication of undergraduate student research from all areas of Political science. There's a fall and spring journal that you can submit your work to. 
  • Critique: Critique is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes scholarship by students of political science run at the University of Illinois. The journal provides a forum for graduate and undergraduate students of political science to express and exchange diverse ideas and to imagine new possibilities for democracy and justice.
  • PolitkionPolitikon is the flagship publication of the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS). It is recognized as one of the leading academic journals publishing the work of students from across the fields of political science and international relations. Politikon publishes high quality research papers of undergraduate and graduate students from around the world, ensured by a double blind peer-review process, handled primarily by PhD candidates, Post-doctoral students and young researchers.

Graduate Program Advising

Some students may wish to extend their research training by enrolling in a graduate program. The Department has some faculty members who "specialize" in particular types of graduate school advising. For advice on, contact the following professors:

  • Law school - Dr. Jill Hargis ( or Dr. David Speak (
  • The Master of Public Administration degree - Dr. Sandra Emerson (
  • Master's or doctoral programs in political science - any member of the department's faculty who teaches in an area of interest to you.

Also, check out our list of graduate programs in political science and law.