Program Purpose: Students who complete Political Science courses will acquire a basic understanding of the nuances of the structure of government and will apply primary theories to analyze politics and governance at home and abroad. They will identify and analyze issues that governments face in developing domestic, foreign, and economic policies in relationship to current domestic and global issues.
The discipline of Political Science is the study of how people are governed and how they govern themselves. It examines the process by which scarce resources are allocated to an expanding population with ever-increasing demands. The discipline looks at American politics as an experience in “self-government” and highlights how our system is different from the political systems developed by other countries. The study of Political Science also includes the examination of how diversity impacts American government. The discipline also seeks to understand how nations deal with each other, what kinds of issues are likely to separate them, and how they resolve international conflict. Political Science courses help prepare students for a variety of careers, such as pre-law and various careers in government and non-government settings at the federal, state or local levels.
Students planning to transfer need to consult with a counselor, prepare a Student Education Plan, and take advantage of support services available in the Career Transfer Center located in Fountain Hall, (805) 378-1536. Transfer students interested in specializing in Political Science who wish to qualify for an Associate in Arts Degree could explore General Studies as a possible major.
Surveys the nature and scope of political science including basic concepts, terms, contending theories, institutions, and subfields in the discipline. Describes the methodology and research techniques employed by political scientists. Covers subfields such as Political Theory, American Government, Comparative Politics, and International Relations.
Examines the political behavior, institutions, interests, identities, and public policy of various governments. Includes case study examples taken from Europe and Asia.
Surveys the main characteristics, principles, structures, processes and procedures, and the historical background of the American system of government at the national, California state, and local levels. Explores the contribution of major groups to the development of the United States. Analyzes the electoral process and voting behavior.
Surveys the main characteristics, principles, structures, processes and procedures, and the historical background of the American system of government at the national, California state, and local levels. Explores the contribution of major groups to the development of the United States. Analyzes the electoral process and voting behavior. Honors work challenges students to be more analytical and creative through expanded assignments, real-world applications and enrichment opportunities.
Studies the organization and operation of the international political system. Examines the relationships between theory, powerful states, international institutions, and the contemporary issues that are presently threatening the peace and prosperity of millions of people worldwide. Covers topics in the strategic interactions between domestic and international politics as well as considering the economic, environmental, and security policy of important states.
Examines the purpose and evolution of federalism from the founding to modern times. Introduces the study of subnational units including the three branches of state government and the structure of local governments. Compares and contrasts the structure of the national government to state and local structures. Considers the challenges and problems that cities face in a federal system. Examines elections at all levels of government in order to determine how electoral systems promote diversity, representation and participation.
Examines the various approaches to political theory across time, issues, and authors. Analyzes selected political theories and ideologies, relevance of theory to contemporary problems, and new approaches to political thought. Evaluates the contribution of theories towards a comprehensive understanding of political life and political institutions.
Surveys the research methods employed in political science. Introduces the topics of research design, experimental procedures, descriptive methods, and instrumentation. Examines the collection, interpretation, and reporting of research data, as well as the ethics of research.
Provides on-the-job learning to develop effective work habits, attitudes, and career awareness in paid or unpaid internships that are related to the discipline. Involves the development and documentation of learning objectives and the completion of an internship paper, presentation, or project. Includes both workplace supervisor and faculty adviser feedback and/or written evaluations.
Allows independent study for students who wish to extend their knowledge of a particular area of Political Science through research and study. Utilizes an approved independent study project. Includes one-on-one work with instructor. Interested students should contact a Political Science instructor for assistance in developing a contract for learning about a specific topic.