Undergraduate Program

the white house

The Department of Political Science offers an undergraduate degree program to prepare students for professional careers in public service, law, international relations, and teaching, and for more effective civic participation as a citizen, public servant, or elected official. Undergraduate study in political science is designed to develop knowledge, analytical skills, and critical insight into the nature of politics and political problems. The department seeks to acquaint students with the broad questions that have occupied political thinkers and theorists for millennia, as well as contemporary issues in this country and abroad. 

Students should consult with an advisor in the College of Natural and Social Sciences Academic Advisement Center to review the current requirements in the major and develop a plan for prompt completion. The political science department chair can also provide advisement.

More detail on the BA program can be found in the online University Catalog. Information on applying for graduation (a necessary step to receive your degree) is available from the University Graduation Office

Useful student forms, including course withdrawal and add petitions, can be found here.

Why Major in Political Science? A Student Perspective

Two students (not from Cal State LA, but CSU-system political science majors), explain why they chose their major:

College Vine offers some useful thoughts on choosing political science as a major

Why Choose Cal State LA?

Cal State LA: A Public University for the Public Good from Cal State LA on Vimeo.

Core Requirements

The Political Science Major consists of a common core of two lower-division and five upper-division courses to be taken by all political science majors, plus seven elective courses (including four in a selected political science option). It is recommended that 2000- and 3000-level requirements are completed prior to enrolling in 4000 level courses.

The common core for all students in the major:

POLS 1000 - Power, Politics, and Engagement
POLS 2810 - Quantitative Methods in Political Science 

Foundations Courses

POLS 3710 - Foundations of American Politics 
POLS 3720 - Foundations of Political Theory 
POLS 3730 - Foundations of Comparative Politics 
POLS 3740 - Foundations of Global Politics 

Senior Capstone Seminar (POLS 4980 or 4981 or 4982)

In addition to the core, seven elective courses are required. 

B.A. Options and Roadmaps

In addition to the core requirements, all students must choose one of the four options offered in the B.A. program. Each option is adapted to a different objective as described below. 

The General Political Science Option (Course Planner) is a general program of undergraduate preparation for graduate study that allows students to choose their own upper-division courses to prepare for professions in both the public and private sectors. General Option Roadmap - Four-Year Plan and Two-Year Transfer Plan.

The Global Politics Option (Course Planner) is a program of undergraduate preparation for graduate study that focuses on the changing nature of international politics and the emergence of a global political space. Global Politics Option Roadmap - Four-Year Plan and Two-Year Transfer Plan.
The Pre-Legal Option (Course Planner) provides undergraduate preparation for professions in law, education, and public service. While a strong emphasis is placed on developing skills of legal analysis and research, courses in this option also provide students with a critical understanding of the interrelationship between law and politics in American society. Pre-Legal Option Roadmap - Four-Year Plan and Two-Year Transfer Plan

The Public Administration Option (Course Planner) provides undergraduate preparation for career government service or positions in nonprofit organizations. Public Administration Option Roadmap - Four-Year Plan and Two-Year Transfer Plan