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Academics

The Political Science Department offers the following degree options:

B.A. in Political Science
Minor in Political Science
Minor in Pre-Law

What Is Political Science?

Political Science seeks to understand, to explain, and sometimes to evaluate how humans live and work together in public ways. To do so, political scientists focus on what happens in and around government and politics, how humans cooperate with and how they fight against one another, why some nations succeed and others fail.

They study voting and revolutions, the Supreme Court and the United Nations, the idea of justice and the nature of power, how governments work in cities like San Francisco and countries like India, environmental policy, criminal law, and gender roles—all in the pursuit of clearer knowledge about the characteristic ways humans interact in the public sphere.

Skills and Knowledge Students Acquire

Through a Political Science degree, students will:

  • Look in depth at the fundamental concepts and values that underlie human decision-making.
  • Examine the social and political structures and processes through which such decisions are shaped and carried out.
  • Learn to analyze complex organizational and legal phenomena.
  • Survey the inventiveness of cultures in devising ways to provide government.
  • Gain additional understanding from closely related social sciences, such as economics, history, anthropology, and psychology.

In acquiring this knowledge, Political Science majors will be challenged to extend their analytical and research skills, to polish their talents for written and oral communication, and to sharpen their abilities for rigorous and independent judgment.