Major and Minor in Political Science

Major in Political Science

The political science major allows students to choose from a wide range of courses and subjects within a general framework.  A common core of courses studies the relationship between values, ideology, and politics (POLS 201); fundamental issues in American politics (POLS 202); the logic of research in political science (POLS 302); comparative approaches and politics (POLS 303); analysis of international politics (POLS 304); and a senior research seminar POLS 498).

Beyond this common core, as part of the additional 20 units required for the major, each student must complete at least one upper-division course in each of the four major fields of political science: political theory, international relations, comparative government, and American government and politics. Since politics and economics are so closely tied together, the department recommends each student complete a basic course in economics.

In addition, the department encourages international study for political science students and will arrange for appropriate credits for courses of study at international universities.

Political science majors must take at least 40 units of history coursework.

B.A. Degree Requirements

General education
Major requirements*
General electives

Total units needed for graduation

51 units
40 units
29 units

120 units

*Major requirement units (except internships) must be taken for a letter grade.

For further information regarding requirements for the major, see the links below.  For specific course descriptions, please see the SSU catalog.

Major Core Requirements

Sample Four-Year Program for a Political Science B.A.

Minor in Political Science

To earn a political science minor, students must take a total of 20 units of political science coursework. 

POLS 200 American Political System (3) or
POLS 202 Issues in Modern American Politics (4)
POLS 201 Ideas and Institutions
Upper-division courses in political science

Total units in the minor


3-4 units
4 units
12-13 units

20 units


Code Requirements

POLS 200 The American Political System or POLS 202 Issues in Modern American Politics fulfills state code requirements in U.S. Constitution and California state and local government. Upper-division courses may also be used to satisfy certain of these code requirements upon approval by the department chair.