Academic Catalog

Political Science

Program Description

Political Science as a social science discipline is the systematic analysis of political power. Informed by theory and the scientific method, political scientists examine a variety of social and political phenomena including but not limited to social and political behavior, public policy, and institutions. Major areas of specialization in the discipline include American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, public policy and political economy.

The value of a political science degree is recognized in both the public and private sectors as it demonstrates development of critical, analytical and research skills demanded by higher education institutions and the labor market.

Learn more about the program on the Political Science website.

Associate Degree for Transfer

This program also offers an Associate Degree for Transfer. Learn more and review the degree requirements on the Political Science AA-T listing.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to demonstrate critical, analytical, research and writing skills in political science and its sub-fields using basic scientific tools underlying modern social science.
  • Students will be able to analyze the major theoretical formulations and concepts of political science and its sub-fields and the philosophical basis of those formulations.

Career Opportunities

A major in political science is excellent preparation for students who plan to enter the legal profession, government service, public office, business, the armed forces and/or teaching. Graduate degrees are necessary for teaching at the college or university level and can prepare students for a variety of career options including but not limited to the foreign service.

Award Type(s)

  • AA = Associate in Arts Degree

Units Required

  • Major: 35

Additional Information

Note: Students having difficulty attaining an associate degree because of timing or availability of classes should consult with a counselor to submit a petition for course substitution.

Associate Degree Requirements

English Proficiency
Select one of the following:
ENGL 1ACOMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1AHHONORS COMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1S
ENGL 1T
INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
and INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
8
or equivalent
Mathematics Proficiency
Select one of the following:
MATH 105INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA5
MATH 180QUANTITATIVE REASONING5
or any MATH course approved for Foothill GE Area V, Communication & Analytical Thinking

A minimum of 90 units is required1 to include:

  • Completion of one of the following general education patterns: Foothill General Education, CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • Core courses (18 units)
  • Support courses (17 units)


Note: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core and support courses used for the degree.

Core and Support Courses

Core Courses
POLI 1POLITICAL SCIENCE: INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN GOVERNMENT & POLITICS5
POLI 2COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS4
or POLI 2H HONORS COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
POLI 3INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY/POLITICAL THEORY5
or POLI 3H HONORS INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY/POLITICAL THEORY
POLI 15INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS/WORLD POLITICS4
or POLI 15H HONORS INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS/WORLD POLITICS
Support Courses
Select nine units from the following:9
PRINCIPLES OF MACROECONOMICS
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES TO 1815
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES FROM 1812 TO 1914
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES FROM 1914 TO THE PRESENT
HONORS HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES FROM 1914 TO THE PRESENT
CALIFORNIA POLITICS & GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL ECONOMY
HONORS POLITICAL ECONOMY
POLITICAL ECONOMY
HONORS POLITICAL ECONOMY
CROSS-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES FOR A MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY
And eight units from the following: 18
THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
HISTORY OF LATIN AMERICA
INTRODUCTION TO MIDDLE EASTERN CIVILIZATION
HISTORY OF RUSSIA & THE SOVIET UNION
INTRODUCTION TO MAPPING & SPATIAL REASONING
INTRODUCTION TO MAPPING & SPATIAL REASONING
LAW & SOCIETY
Total Units35