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  • Policy Number: SP.04.024
  • Version: Original
  • Drafted By: Scott A. Frisch
  • Approved By: Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date: September 2004
  • Effective Date:
  • Supersedes:


Political Science is the study of government, public policies and political behavior.  Political Science uses both humanistic and scientific perspectives and skills to examine all countries and regions of the world.  The major in Political Science will be based on the university mission.  Courses will be divided into four categories:  International Politics (such as international relations, comparative politics, area studies, and American foreign policy); Multicultural and gender Politics (Latino politics, African American Politics, Women and Politics); Interdisciplinary Politics (Politics and Film, Science, Technology and Public Policy, Politics of Economic Policymaking) and Civic and Political Engagement/Service Learning (Capstone).  All students will be required to take coursework in all four areas. 

All majors will be required to take a Capstone course that will integrate prior learning in a community focused service learning project.


Political Science is a foundation major as listed in Academic Programs and Resource Planning in the California State University, 1980, p. 33.

Political Science is a popular major throughout the California State University system.  In academic year 2002-2003, 1,112 Political Science degrees were awarded throughout the system.  If programs that are frequently included in a department of Political Science (such as Public Administration, and International Relations) are included in the Political Science total, the number of majors jumps to 1,586.  CSUN graduated 93 political science majors in 2003.



Political Science Program






List of other California State University campuses currently offering or projecting the proposed degree major program; list of neighboring institutions, public and private, currently offering the proposed degree major program.

  • All other CSU campuses offer political science (or Government) except CSU Monterey Bay and the California Maritime Academy.
  • USC, UCLA and UCSB all offer B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science
  • California Lutheran University offers a B.A. in Political Science
  • Pepperdine offers a B.A. in Political Science

Differences between the proposed program and programs listed in Section 2a above.

  • Unlike traditional programs in Political Science, the CSUCI B.A. develops breath of knowledge by requiring that students take coursework in four mission related areas – international, multicultural and gender, interdisciplinary, and civic engagement/service learning. 
  • All CSUCI Political Science majors must complete a capstone course that integrates knowledge through undertaking a community oriented service learning project.

 Professional uses of the proposed degree major program.

  • The Political Science major will prepare students for careers in federal, state and local governments; law; business; international organizations; nonprofit associations and organizations; campaign management and polling; journalism; education; electoral politics, research and advocacy.  In addition, the major in Political Science prepares students for graduate and professional study in the field of Political Science as well as International Relations and Public Administration.

Community/Regional/Statewide need for the proposed program.

  • Ventura County is home to a large number of government employers who would benefit from a four year degree in Political Science.  According to the Census Bureau, there are 31,576 state and local government employees in Ventura County as well as 8,700 civilian employees of the federal government and 6,883 military employees of the federal government.  Traditionally, government employees have been attracted to the political science degree, especially coursework in public administration.  Government employment is considered more stable than many other fields and there is an ongoing need for government services.  Anecdotal information indicates that there is significant demand for a political science major among students already attending CSUCI. 

The expected number of majors in the year of initiation and three years and five years thereafter.  The expected number of graduates in the year of initiation and three years and five years thereafter.

                                                                Number of Majors              Number of Graduates

                Initiation Year                                      20                                           0

                Third year                                             30                                           10

                Fifth year                                              50                                           20

Resources Needs for the Proposed Degree Major Program (faculty, instructional, library, other)

  • Existing.
    • Classroom Space
    • The CSUCI Library already has the basic electronic databases necessary to begin a political science program – JSTOR, CQ Weekly Report, CQ Researcher, Lexis-Nexis (Congressional Universe), ProQuest, Countrywatch Forecast, Factiva, Rand California.  Additional books will need to be purchased to fill out the political science collection.
  •  Future.
    • An additional faculty member will be needed to begin the program.
    • Additional faculty as the program expands commensurate with growth
    • Classroom space to accommodate growth



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