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. 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). Associate Transfer Degrees (ADT) pathway roadmaps can be found here.

Course Requirements

University Graduation Requirements44
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 Institutions3
The 6 units of American Institutions (US123) coursework shown below also fulfills GE Areas D2 and D3. Other courses meet the American Institutions requirement, but may not include additional GE areas. The American Studies (AMS 1A/B) and Humanities Honors (HUM 1A/B, 2A/B) programs both offer larger integrated packages that meet this requirement. Consult with major advisor for details.
Consult Major Advisor for department recommended coursework to meet GE requirement.
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 Major46-50
Lower Division Core Courses12
POLS 002. Introduction to Comparative PoliticsD23
POLS 003. Introduction to Political ThoughtC23
POLS 004. Introduction to International RelationsD33
Complete one course from:
POLS 001. American GovernmentUS233
POLS 015. Essentials of U.S. & California GovernmentD3+US233
Upper Division Core Courses21-22
POLS 100W. Writing WorkshopZ3
POLS 100M. Political Inquiry4
Additional Upper Division Core Courses14-15
Complete 14-15 units from the following. One course from each of the four fields is required.
U.S. Government and Politics3-4
Complete one course from:
POLS 102. State Government and PoliticsUS34
POLS 103. Local Government and Politics4
POLS 105. Congress4
POLS 106. The United States Presidency4
POLS 107. Politics and Public Opinion4
POLS 108. Political Participation4
POLS 114. Introduction to Public Administration3
POLS 121A. Constitutional Law: Institutional Powers4
POLS 122. Judicial Politics4
POLS 130. American Public Policy4
Comparative Politics4
Complete one course from:
POLS 141. Politics of Post-Communist Countries4
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 153. European Union4
POLS 154. U.S. Foreign Policy: Formulation and Administration4
POLS 155. The Wealth of Nations4
POLS 157. International Security4
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 Courses13-16
Upper Division Electives9-12
Three additional upper division courses from POLS 102-199 (except POLS 120, 150 or 170V).
Capstone Course4
POLS 190. Senior Seminar4
University Electives26-30
Students may choose Political Science or other electives.

Total Units:120