Political Science Department

BA - Political Science

The BA - Political Science provides students with an understanding of politics and the political process and prepares them for their lifelong responsibilities as citizens, as well as furthering their skills in critical analysis and communication. The major in political science may lead to a wide variety of careers, including teaching, the law, business and public service.

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, and GPA requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Policies and Procedures.

4-Year Program Roadmap

Students may find a roadmap for this program here. These roadmaps are an advising tool that outlines a path of courses a student can take to complete requirements for graduation. Roadmaps should be used in consultation with the catalog and your advisor to identify additional requirements for completing the major (for example course grade minimums).

Course Requirements

University Graduation Requirements47
Core Lower Division General Education30
Of the 39 units required by the university, 9 units may be satisfied by coursework outlined below. Courses that meet GE Areas A1, A2, A3 or B4 must be passed with a "C-" or better to meet the requirement. Consult with major advisor for details.
Note: Students who have completed the ADT Transfer Degree (under SB 1440) for this major will have completed all Lower Division GE Requirements and should follow the 60 unit guarantee roadmap. Meet with an advisor prior to registering for your first semester for the 60 unit roadmap or specific questions.
Upper Division General Education9
Of the 9 units required by the university, 0 units may be satisfied by coursework outlined below. Consult with major advisor for details.
American Institutions6
Coursework shown below for the 6 units required by the university are double counted within GE. Other courses do meet the American Institutions requirement, but may not include additional GE areas. Consult with major advisor for details.
Complete one sequence from:
African American Studies6
AFAM 002A. African-Americans and the Development of America's History and GovernmentD23
AFAM 002B. African-Americans and the Development of America's History and GovernmentM73
Asian American Studies6
AAS 033A. Asian Americans in U.S. History ID23
AAS 033B. Asian Americans in U.S. History IIM73
U.S. History and Government6
HIST 015A. Essentials of U.S. HistoryM123
HIST 015B. Essentials of U.S. & California GovernmentM113
Can be taken as POLS 015 A/B as well.
Mexican American Studies6
MAS 010A. Mexican Americans and the Development of U.S. History and GovernmentD23
MAS 010B. Mexican Americans and the Development of U.S. History and GovernmentM73
Physical Education2
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass both the SJSU Writing Skills Test (WST) and a 100W course. For additional information on the WST, please see Exceptions to the GWAR may be found at
A grade of C or better (C- not accepted) is required to meet graduation requirement.
Requirements of the Major44-46
Lower Division Core Courses12
POLS 001. American Government3
POLS 002. Introduction to Comparative PoliticsD23
POLS 003. Introduction to Political ThoughtC23
POLS 004. Introduction to International RelationsD33
Upper Division Core Courses18
POLS 100W. Writing WorkshopZ3
Additional Upper Division Core Courses15
Complete 15 units from the following. One course from each of the four fields is required.
U.S. Government and Politics4
Complete one course from:
POLS 102. State Government and Politics4
POLS 103. Local Government and Politics4
POLS 105. The Legislative Process4
POLS 106. The United States Presidency4
POLS 107. Politics and Public Opinion4
POLS 108. Political Participation4
POLS 114. Introduction to Public Administration4
POLS 122. Judicial Politics4
POLS 130. American Public Policy4
Comparative Politics4
Complete one course from:
POLS 140. European Union4
POLS 141. Eurasian Politics4
POLS 142. African Politics4
POLS 144. Middle Eastern Politics4
POLS 145. Asian Politics4
POLS 146. Latin American Politics4
POLS 147. Globalization4
POLS 148. Nationalism and Comparative Political Cultures4
POLS 149. Comparative Public Policy and Administration4
International Relations4
Complete one course from:
POLS 152A. International Organizations and NGOs4
POLS 154. U.S. Foreign Policy: Formulation and Administration4
POLS 155. The Wealth of Nations4
Political Thought3
Complete one course from:
POLS 160A. Classical Political Thought3
POLS 160B. Modern Political Thought3
POLS 160C. Recent Political Thought3
POLS 163. American Political Thought3
Additional Upper Division Courses14-16
Upper Division Electives6-8
Two additional upper division courses from POLS 102-199.
Political Inquiry4
POLS 195A. Political Inquiry4
Capstone Course4
POLS 190. Senior Seminar4
University Electives27-29
Students may choose Political Science or other electives.

Total Units:120