Undergraduate Program Requirements

Declaring a Major or Minor

Students wishing to declare a major in Political Science of Environmental Policy or a minor in Political Science may do so on WebSTAC. At the time the major is declared, students will be assigned a faculty advisor. Further information can be obtained from Dr. Zoe Ang.

Advising Procedures

Students beginning their undergraduate work in political science may plan their programs in consultation with their assigned Undergraduate Advisor. It is important that students keep their Undergraduate Advisor fully informed of their progress so that misunderstandings or disagreements can be kept to a minimum.

Political Science Major Requirements

Majors in Political Science must complete 10 Political Science Courses (30 graded units) with a C or better. Please note that if you use an AP credit to place out of an introductory course, or do not take PS 363 or 263 (Political Methodology), then you must replace these with other political science classes. See below for more specific course requirements.

Introductory

2 of the following introductory courses:

  • 101B: Intro to American Politics
  • 102B: Intro to Comparative Politics
  • 103B: Intro to International Politics
  • 106 or 107: Intro to Political Theory

If you scored a 4 or 5 in AP credit, you may place out of the associated introductory course and replace it with an upper-level course in a related subfield.

Methods

1 required methods course:

  • 363: Political Methodology OR
  • 263: Data Science for Politics

You may place out of this requirement if you have completed a pre-approved alternate course with a C or better. If you take an alternate course, you must take an additional Political Science course to make up for the credits.

Pre-approved alternate courses include:

  • U25 323 Intro to Quantitative Methods (subject to the limit of six "outside" credit units; do not need replacement course)
  • B59 121 Managerial Statistics II (QBA II)
  • Math 3200 Elementary to Intermediate Statistics and Data Analysis
  • E35 326 Probability and Statistics for Engineering

Distribution

6 upper-level (300 or 400) distribution courses (18 units), with at least one course in three of the five subfields:

  • American             
  • Comparative
  • International
  • Political Theory
  • Methods

Click here to view the subfield designations for your courses

Elective

3 units of a Political Science course (any level)

Capstone

Every student must take one 400-level course home based in Political Science as a capstone experience for the major.

*This became a requirement for students who first declared a major or minor in Political Science after July 1st, 2021. Students who declared prior to this due not have this requirement.

Cross-Listed Courses

Courses cross-listed with Political Science change on a semester-by-semester basis. A cross-listed course includes the designation L32; this is the designation you should choose if you want to count credit from cross-listed courses toward your Political Science major/minor. Please note:

  • If you are using a course for another major or minor, you may not count it as an advanced credit for your Political Science major.
  • The department does not consider petitions to count non-cross-listed courses for credit in Political Science.
  • If you have questions about the status of any course, please contact the director of undergraduate studies in political science.

Limitations

  • No more than 6 units from the following may count toward the major: internship, directed reading, directed research, or teaching practicum.

  • No more than 6 units from the following may count toward the majorstudy abroad, summer school, University College, or transfer credit.

  • You cannot double-count any upper-level credits (300 and above) for both a political science major and a second major or minor.

Environmental Policy Major Requirements

Environmental Policy Overview Flyer

Students who major in environmental policy will be required to complete 40 graded units (13 courses) distributed as follows:

  • 16 units from required foundation courses
  • 9 units from research methods requirements
  • 9 units from the list of upper-division courses in political science and cognates
  • 3 units from a social science breadth requirement
  • 3 units from a substantive distribution requirement

 

At least 24 of those total units must be at the 300-400 level.

 

We also strongly recommend that students complete a capstone experience. Possible options include a senior honors thesis, the environmental law clinic, or an appropriate internship. We intend to develop more capstone possibilities in the future.

 

Note that as courses related to environmental policy become available across campus, students can petition Environmental Policy to count them for credit in one of the following divisions by providing the syllabi to the director of the major. Students should do so before enrolling in the courses, as we cannot guarantee that it will count for the major.  

Required Courses

Students need to take the following five courses (16 units) to fulfill the foundations requirement:  

  1. EEPS 202: Introduction to Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science  

  1. Bio 2950: Intro to Environmental Biology  

  1. Pol Sci 2010: Intro to Environmental Policy  

  1. Pol Sci 331: Topics in Politics: Theories of Social Justice* 

  1. Anth 361: Culture and Environment 

  

*Pre-Approved Substitutions for Pol Sci 331:  Topics in Politics: Theories of Social Justice  

Pol Sci 4070: Global Justice  

EnSt 235F: Environmental Ethics  

Pol Sci 338 Topics: Environmental Ethics  

Research Methods Requirements

Students need to take the following three courses (nine units) to fulfill the research methods requirements:  

  1. Pol Sci 363: Quantitative Political Methodology or 263 Data Science for Politics**  

  1. Econ 1011: Microeconomics  

  1. Pol Sci 4043: Public Policy Analysis or Pol Sci Topics: Politics of Public Policy

 

**Pre-approved alternate courses (please note, using one of these will require student to take an additional upper-level Political Science course to complete the 40 credits) 

CAPS Pol Sci 323: Introduction to Quantitative Methods 

Business School - Data Analytics 121: Managerial Statistics II 

Math 3200: Elementary to Intermediate Statistics and Data Analysis 

Engineering - Electrical and Systems Engineering: 326 Probability & Statistics for Engineers 

 

Upper-Division Requirements: Political Science

Students need 9 units (three courses) that must come from upper level political science or cognate courses with environmental politics content. The following courses are recently offered examples that fulfill this requirement. See the “Pre-Approved Courses List” document here for other courses that have fulfilled this requirement.

 

Pol Sci 3211: Public Opinion and American Democracy

Pol Sci 332B: Environmental and Energy Issues

Pol Sci 3760: Globalization, Urbanization, and the Environment

Pol Sci 4043: Public Policy Analysis

Pol Sci 4070: Global Justice

Pol Sci 4792: Globalization and National Politics

Upper-Division Requirements: Social Science

Students need 3 units (one course) that must come from upper level social science courses with environmental politics content not in political science.  The following courses are recently offered examples that fulfill this requirement. See the “Pre-Approved Courses List” document here for other courses that have fulfilled this requirement.

 

ANTH 3472 Global Energy & the American Dream

ANTH 379: Archaeology and Climate Change

ANTH 4282: Political Ecology

ANTH 4456 Ethnographic Fieldwork: Energy Politics

ECON 451: Environmental Policy

SOC 4810: Global Structures

Upper-Division Requirements: Substantive Distribution Requirements

Students need 3 units (one course) that must come from upper level courses with environmental politics content outside of the core divisions above.  The following courses are recently offered examples that fulfill this requirement. See the “Pre-Approved Courses List” document here for other courses that have fulfilled this requirement.

 

Anth 373 Intro to GIS for Anthropologists

Bio 381: Intro to Ecology

EEPS 323: Biogeochemistry

EECE 210: Introduction to Environmental Engineering

EnSt 407 RESET: Renewable Energy & Decarbonizing the Grid

EnSt 539: Interdisciplinary Environmental Law

INTER D 405: Sustainability Exchange

Limitations

  • No more than 6 units from the following may count toward the major: internship, directed reading, directed research, or teaching practicum.

  • No more than 6 units from the following may count toward the majorstudy abroad, summer school, University College, or transfer credit.

  • You cannot double-count any upper-level credits (300 and above) for both a environmental policy major and a second major or minor.

Subfield Concentrations

All political science majors have the option of "concentrating" their six course distribution requirements by successfully completing three upper-level courses in one of six subfields: 

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Methodology
  • Political Theory

About the Concentrations

Subfield concentrations signal that students have depth in a particular subfield of the discipline. They also prepare students for writing their senior theses in that subfield. Because of this, students may count classes as part of their subfield concentration whether or not they are using that class to fulfill the 30 credits required for their major. For example, students may complete L32 3255 and count it towards a legal studies minor, but use it as part of their subfield concentration in American politics. 

Limitations

  • Consistent with its aim of encouraging subject mastery, to count for a subfield concentration students must complete the class for a quality grade.
  • A course that counts for two different subfields may only be used towards one subfield concentration.

Declaring a Subfield Concentration

To declare a subfield concentration, complete a subfield concentration form and submit it to Dr. Zoe Ang. Concentrations will appear on the student's transcript after graduation and may be particularly helpful for students interested in graduate or professional school. 

Subfield Concentration Form

Minor Requirements

Students choosing Political Science as a minor field must take a minimum of 15 graded units of course work with a C or better, including at least 9 advanced units. No more than three units may be counted from among the following: Directed Readings, Directed Research, Teaching Practicum, University College, or credits from another institution including study abroad. You cannot double-count any credits for a political science minor with any other major or minor.

Senior Thesis Program

All majors who meet eligibility requirements may write a senior thesis. The program involves independent work by the student, guided by a faculty advisor, and enrollment in a senior thesis seminar during the fall and spring semesters of a student's senior year.

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