Political Science, B.A.
As a political science major at UCI, you explore how politics works at the individual, group, national, and international levels. Students are introduced to the findings and the methods for gathering information about political behavior and political processes. Course work emphasizes the development of analytic thinking and clear writing skills. Upper-division courses are organized around general areas of study, including American society and politics, comparative politics, international relations, public law, and political theory.
Students have many opportunities to pursue special topics in political science through independent study courses, field studies, the department’s honors program and internships. Many political science majors participate in such programs as the UC/DC Internship Program, in Washington, D.C. and the University's Education Abroad Program. Political science majors learn how to understand politics and acquire the skills for effective performance in many professional fields.
To major in the program, contact the Social Science Undergraduate Student Affairs.
All students must meet the University Requirements.
All students must meet the School Requirements.
Departmental Requirements for the Major
School requirements must be met and must include 12 courses (48 units) as specified below:
|A. Select four lower-division (one or two digit) POL SCI courses below. One must be the introductory course for the module selected under II below.|
|Introduction to Political Science: Political Analysis|
|Introduction to Political Science: Micropolitics|
|Introduction to American Government|
|Introduction to Political Theory|
|Introduction to International Relations|
|Introduction to Politics Around the World|
|Introduction to Race and Ethnicity in Political Science|
|Introduction to Law|
|Complete any one additional lower-division POL SCI course (not used above) (4 units)|
|B. Seven upper-division POL SCI courses (28 units) chosen from among the POL SCI modules numbered 120–179. Three of these courses must be from one module.|
American Politics and Government (POL SCI 120-129)
Political Theory and Methods (POL SCI 130-139)
International Relations (POL SCI 140-149)
Comparative Politics (POL SCI 150-159)
Public Law (POL SCI 170-179)
The Honors Program in Political Science is open to all senior political science majors who meet the minimum academic qualifications (3.5 GPA in political science courses and 3.2 GPA overall). Students submit an application to the department office before the end of their junior year. In addition to satisfying the requirements for the major in political science, honors program participants must complete additional course work as specified below.
During the year prior to the year in which the thesis will be written, a prospective honors program student should identify a Department of Political Science faculty member who is willing to supervise the student’s thesis. Students are ordinarily expected to take an upper-division political science course or a POL SCI 199 Independent Study course with the advisor prior to their senior year.
During their senior year, students must enroll in the Honors Thesis Workshop (POL SCI H182A), offered during the fall quarter. This course is in addition to the seven upper division courses required for the regular major. Honors students also enroll in three quarters of the senior thesis course with their advisor (two quarters of POL SCI 190 and one quarter of POL SCI 190W in the spring quarter). The POL SCI 190W course does not count toward the upper-division political sciences courses required for the major although they are counted as "other" upper-division social science courses towards graduation requirements. Students write their senior thesis, which is designed and completed under their faculty advisor’s supervision. Upon successful completion of the program, including approval of their senior honors thesis by the faculty advisor and a GPA of at least 3.5 in their political science courses, the students will graduate with honors in Political Science and their transcripts will note that they were in the Honors Program in Political Science.