Alerts: COVID-19 | Return to Campus | CARES Act

Political Science Degrees and Programs

The Department of Political Science offers a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Political to accompany other majors. 

Requirements for the Major in Political Science (51 units)

All majors must satisfactorily complete at least twelve courses in Political Science, of which at least nine must be at the upper-division level.  Required lower and upper-division courses for majors must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better.  Students who fail to achieve a "C-" or above may repeat the course.  The Department encourages students to develop their degree plans in close consultation with their faculty advisor. 


Open All/Close All

General Core Requirements (21 units)

A. Lower Division Required Courses (6 units)

PLSI 1018 and any one of the following with a C or better: MATH 1009, 1040, 1050, 1209, or PSYC 2018

B. Upper Division Required Courses (12 units)

PLSI 3020, 3030, 3040, 4900 (Before taking PLSI 4900 you must have completed PLSI 1018, 3010, 3020, 3030, 3040 and senior standing).

C. Methods (3 units)

PLSI 3010


Program Emphases (24 units)

A. Pre-Law (12 units)

This course of study is designed to facilitate learning the basic concepts, theories, and methods of research that are important to attorneys and to others whose work requires an understanding of common and statutory law.

Select four of the following courses: PLSI 3140, 3150, 3170, 3420, 3450, 3470, 3510, 4410

B. Power and Justice (12 units)

This course of study is designed to facilitate learning the basic concepts, theories, and methods of study of relations between individuals, groups, and systems that determine the social and economic opportunities and outcomes for individuals.  This includes focusing on the roles played in these relations by U.S. national, regional, State, and local institutions. 

Select four of the following courses: PLSI 3210, 3220, 3230, 3248, 3250, 3260, 3270, 3290, 3420, 3450, 3470, 3610, 3620, 3630, 3648, 4410, 4640, 4650

C. Global Politics (12 units)

This course of study is designed to facilitate learning the basic concepts, theories, and methods of study of complex relations between domestic politics in the U.S. and other nations and the interactions beyond national borders.  Although the nation-state remains a primary actor in these relationships, students will also study many non-state actors, including "interest groups" such as business and industry sectors, non-governmental organizations advocating for change, and para-military terrorist and anti-state actors.

Select four of the following courses: PLSI 3320, 3330, 3340, 3350, 3360, 3370, 3380, 3510, 3610, 3620, 3630, 3648, 4640, 4650

D. American Politics (12 units)

This course of study is designed to facilitate learning the basic concepts, theories, and methods of institutions and behaviors of American government to train students in research, analytical, and communication skills that focus on the uses of American Government and policy.

Select four of the following courses: PLSI 3140, 3150, 3210, 3220, 3230, 3250, 3270, 3418, 3420, 3610, 3620


Political Science Elective Courses (6 units)

Any upper-division Political Science courses, whether taken at CSUB or transferred in, will count toward this requirement, except for lower-division activity courses.


Minor Requirement

The requirement for a major in Political Science mandates the completion of a minor.  This can be accomplished by completing one of the three options listed below; 

1. Completion of a minor program approved by another discipline and listed in the catalog. 

2. An interdisciplinary concentration or minor listed in the catalog (see "Interdisciplinary Concentrations and Minors"). 

3. A special minor approved by the student's advisor and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.


Honors Requirements

The Department recognizes two types of graduation with distinction:

1. Graduate with Honors: The requirements to graduate with Honors in Political Science are a 3.0 overall GPA, a 3.3 GPA in the major, and a Directed Research course (PLSI 4081, offered in the Spring Semester) with a minimum grade of B. Note: Consent of the instructor and GPA of 3.00 in the major are required to participate in PLSI 4081.

2. Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society: The requirements for Pi Sigma Alpha are a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.3 GPA in the major.


Requirements for the Minor in Political Science

Four courses totaling 12-semester units in Political Science (at least three of which must be upper-division) with an average of "C" or better.  No more than three units in the minor may be an internship, cooperative education, or applied course work.


Special Minor in Pre-Law for Political Science Majors and Special Minor in Pre-Law for Economics and Philosophy Majors

Four courses selected from the following.  Two courses must be taken from Economics and two from Philosophy.  Courses that qualify are those approved by the Department Chairs of Economics or Philosophy respectively.  Courses that satisfy the Special Minor in Pre-Law for Economics and Philosophy majors are PLSI 3140, 3150, 3170, 3420, 3450, 3470, 3510, 4410.


"Waiver" Exams

The Department administers the U.S. Constitution and California State & Local Government exams for students seeking to satisfy these State requirements without taking a course.  There is a fee for the exam administration.  Students are allowed to take the exam twice.   Consult the Department office to find out the test dates for the Spring 2019 semester, how to prepare for either exam and to sign up for the exam.  The Department administrative coordinator is the primary contact person.  Email ppadilla2@csub.edu with any questions.