Major and Minor Requirements

For freshman and transfer students fall 2015 and beyond

For freshman and transfer students before fall 2015

For Majors declared fall 2015 and after (Updated spring 2015) - New Plan

The Political Science major requires:

  • 4 core courses
  • 3 breadth courses
  • 1 GWAR writing-emphasis course (double counts as a breadth or elective course)
  • 1 culminating experience course
  • Electives to reach at least 40 units

(For a course to count towards the Political Science major, students must earn a grade of C- or better in all core, breadth and culminating experience courses. The Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) is satisfied by earning a C- in any upper-division course with the suffix GW.)

Core Requirement:

  • PLSI 200: American Politics (3 Units)
  • PLSI 250: Comparative Politic (3 Units)
  • PLSI 275: Introduction to Political Theory (3 Units)
  • PLSI 300: Scientific Inquiry in Political Science (4 Units)

Total Core Units: 13

Breadth Requirement

Three upper-division courses, representing work across the discipline. Take one course in three of the following subfields (the breadth courses are listed below, under these five headings):

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Public Law
  • Public Administration and Policy

Total breadth units: 9 – 12

GWAR Requirement

At least one upper-division writing-emphasis course. These are ordinary courses that emphasize writing skills, and are indicated with a GW suffix in the class schedule (e.g., the GWAR version of PLSI 418 is PLSI 418GW). A GWAR course also counts as either a breadth or elective course.

GWAR units: 3 – 4 (counted in either the breadth or 3lectives subtotals)

Culminating Experience Requirement

One of the following must be taken in the senior year (beginning with the freshman class of fall 2015):

  • PLSI 605: Senior Seminar in Applied Research Methods (4 Units)
  • PLSI 606: Senior Seminar in American Politics (3 Units)
  • PLSI 607: Senior Seminar in Comparative Politics (3 Units)
  • PLSI 608: Senior Seminar in Political Theory (3 Units)
  • PLSI 609: Senior Seminar in Public Law (3 Units)
  • PLSI 612: Senior Seminar-Study Abroad* (3 or 4 Units)

*Either a course that is taught by a SFSU Political Science professor abroad or an equivalent study-abroad course designated and approved in advance by an adviser.

Total Culminating Experience units: 3 – 4

Electives

Electives in the major are courses taken in addition to the requirements listed above and usually have a PLSI prefix. However, in some cases, with prior approval by an adviser, up to eight units may be taken in related departments. A maximum of three units of electives may be lower-division (with course number less than 300).

Total elective units: 11 – 15

Total units for the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science: 40

Complementary Studies

Twelve units of complementary studies are required of all candidates for the B.A. degree in Political Science. These units must come from courses bearing a prefix other than PLSI and that are not cross-listed with Political Science. Students can also satisfy this requirement by completing a related minor, a secondary major, or through an approved study-abroad program.

Complementary studies courses should have a direct bearing on the study of politics, or deepen and enrich the study of politics. Such courses are typically found in departments like International Relations, Urban Studies and Planning or Philosophy and in the College of Ethnic Studies.

Eight of the twelve Complementary Studies units may count toward the major as elective units, if approved in advance by a Political Science adviser. Students must consult with an adviser in the department to ensure that their choices fulfill the department’s requirements.

Notes

At least 28 of the 40 units for the Political Science major must be upper-division courses (numbered PLSI 300 or higher). No more than three lower-division units may be counted as electives.

The breadth requirement may be met with Political Science courses other than those listed in the five subfields below, but only if approved in advance by an adviser.

For a course to count towards the Political Science major, students must earn a grade of C- or better in all core, breadth and culminating experience courses; a C- or better is required in the GWAR course.

Political Science majors and minors may take up to four units credit no credit (CR/NC), as long as those units are part of their electives. All courses other than electives must be taken for a grade.

The GWAR (writing-emphasis) course must be taken in the Political Science Department, even if a student has completed a GWAR course in another department.

Students who want to do an independent study/special study must arrange it with faculty, fill out a Petition for Course by Individual Study (PLSI 699) form and have at least a 3.0 grade-point average. Independent Study units count only as electives.

Variable topic courses below are marked with an asterisk (*) and may be taken up to two times for credit, as long as they are taken with a different instructor.

Courses

Breadth field: American Politics

  • PLSI 390  Politics and Community Organizing (4 Units)
  • PLSI 460: Topics in American Politics* (4 Units)
  • PLSI 461: Voting Behavior, Campaigns, and Elections (4 Units)
  • PLSI 462: Applied Public Opinion Research (4 Units)
  • PLSI 463:The Politics of Immigration in the United States (4 Units)
  • PLSI 465: Reason, Passion, and Political Behavior (4 Units)
  • PLSI 466: Race and American Democracy (4 Units)
  • PLSI 473: California Politics and Government (4 Units)
  • PLSI 475: San Francisco Political Issues (4 Units)
  • PLSI 477: Congress and the Presidency (4 Units)
  • PLSI 512: Urban Politics and Community Power (4 Units)

Breadth field: Comparative Politics

  • PLSI 328: Domestic and Foreign Policy: Post-Communist Regions (4 Units)
  • PLSI 404: Politics of China (4 Units)
  • PLSI 407: Politics in Russia (4 Units)
  • PLSI 408: Mexico Politics and Society (3 Units)
  • PLSI 410: Middle East Politics (4 Units)
  • PLSI 411: East Asian Politics (4 Units)
  • PLSI 412: South Asian Politics (4 Units)
  • PLSI 415: Politics of India (4 Units)
  • PLSI 416: Ethnicity and Nationalism (4 Units)
  • PLSI 417: Gender, Equality and Politics: A Comparative Perspective (4 Units)
  • PLSI 418: Political Transitions in East and Southeast Asia (4 Units)
  • PLSI 419: Comparative Political Economy (4 Units)
  • PLSI 420: State-Society Relations in the Middle East (4 Units)
  • PLSI 424: Social Movements (4 Units)
  • PLSI 425: Imagining Power in the Middle East (4 Units)
  • PLSI 431: Constructing Kurdistan (4 Units)
  • PLSI 435: Politics of Global Finance and Crisis (4 Units)

Breadth field: Political Theory

  • PLSI 351: Political Theory: The Classical Tradition (4 Units)
  • PLSI 352: Political Theory: Reformation to the 19th Century (4 Units)
  • PLSI 353: Political Theory: The 20th Century (4 Units)
  • PLSI 354: Politics, the Environment, and Social Change (4 Units)
  • PLSI 355: Politics and Ethics of the Consumer Society (3 Units)
  • PLSI 356: Political Theories of Neoliberalism (4 Units)
  • PLSI 357: Political Movements:Lessons from Freedom Summer (4 Units)
  • PLSI 360: Development of American Political Thought (4 Units)
  • PLSI 371: Marxist Political Theory (4 Units)
  • PLSI 372: Critical Political Theory (4 Units)
  • PLSI 381: Political Theories of Sexuality (4 Units)
  • PLSI 382: Politics and Literature (4 Units)
  • PLSI 386: Introduction to Critical Social Thought (3 Units)
  • PLSI 387: Non-Western Comparative Political Thought (4 Units)
  • PLSI 388: Politics and the Popular (4 Units)
  • PLSI 389: Latin American Revolutionary Societies (4 Units)
  • PLSI 392: Latin American Political Thought (4 Units)
  • PLSI 393: Anarchist Political Theory (4 Units)
  • PLSI 394: Political Theories of Work, Labor and Free Time (4 Units)

Breadth field: Public law

(Note: PLSI 478 is a prerequisite for PLSI 552,553, 554 and 561)

  • PLSI 478: Judicial Process (4 Units)
  • PLSI 513: Politics, Law, and the Urban Environment (4 Units)
  • PLSI 552: Individual Rights and the Constitution (4 Units)
  • PLSI 553: Legal Issues (4 Units)
  • PLSI 554: Separation of Powers and Federalism (4 Units)
  • PLSI 561: Jurisprudence (4 Units)
  • PLSI 610: Judicial and Legal Internship (3 Units)
  • PLSI 611: Judicial and Legal Internship Seminar (1 Unit)

(610/611 must be taken concurrently)

Breadth Field: Public administration and policy

  • PLSI 301: Public Administration and Democracy (3 Units)
  • PLSI 400: Public Policy Process (3 Units)
  • PLSI 480: Introduction to Urban Policy and Analysis (4 Units)
  • PLSI 603: Public Service Internship (3 Units)
  • PLSI 604: Sem-Internship (1 Unit)

(603/604 must be taken concurrently)

Additional courses

(for Elective units; fulfills the breadth requirement only with approval of adviser)

  • PLSI 100: Understanding Politics (3 Units)
  • PLSI 103: The Politics of Protest and Resistance (3 Units)
  • PLSI 105: Principles of Government and Politics (3 Units)
  • PLSI 106: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy: Intro to Political Economy (3 Units)
  • PLSI 150: Contemporary Moral/Political Issues (3 Units)
  • PLSI 276: Public Lecture Series in Politics (2 Units) (Credit/No Credit)
  • PLSI 320: Political Forum: Current Topics* (2 Units)
  • PLSI 321: Development and Foreign Policy: Africa (4 Units)
  • PLSI 322: Latin American Policy Analysis (4 Units)
  • PLSI 325: Chinese Foreign Policy (4 Units)
  • PLSI 329: U.S.-Japan Politics (4 Units)
  • PLSI 342: Strategy and War (4 Units)
  • PLSI 362: Domestic and Transnational Sources of U.S. Foreign Policy (4 Units)
  • PLSI 373: Essentials of California Politics (1 Unit)
  • PLSI 430: Israeli Democracy: Politics, Institutions and Society (3 Units)
  • PLSI 492: Research Methods (4 Units)
  • PLSI 493: Data Analysis (4 Units)
  • PLSI 500: Labor and Government (3 Units)
  • PLSI 544: Women in the World (4 Units)
  • PLSI 560: Urban Poverty and Policy (4 Units)
  • PLSI 570: Urban Health Policy (3 Units)
  • PLSI 580: Housing Policy and Planning (3 Units)
  • PLSI 660: The Roles of Nonprofit Organizations in Urban Life (3 Units)
  • PLSI 685: Projects in the Teaching of Political Science (1 - 4 Units)
  • PLSI 699: Independent Study (by petition and consent of instructor) (1 - 4 Units)

Requirements for the minor in Political Science

  • PLSI 200: American Politics (3 Units)
  • PLSI 250: Comparative Politics (3 Units)

Upper-division electives in Political Science are selected in consultation with Political Science adviser to serve the student’s interests and life goals.

Electives 15

Total for minor in Political Science: 21

For Majors declared before fall 2015 (Updated fall 2011) - Original Plan

(At least 29 of 41 units for the major must be in upper-division courses)

Core courses

  • PLSI 200: American Politics (3 units)
  • PLSI 250: Comparative Politics (3 units)
  • PLSI 275: Political Theory (3 units)
  • PLSI 300: Methods of Political Inquiry (4 units)

Total units required for core requirements: 13

Breadth requirements

Political Science courses chosen to include one upper-division course in each of at least three of these five fields:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Public Law
  • Public Administration and Policy

(courses accepted in these fields are listed on following pages. Please note that this list is suggestive rather than exhaustive. Other courses may also fit these criteria; ask your adviser about such courses)

Total units for breadth requirements: 12

Electives: At least eight units in Political Science and up to eight units may be selected from related departments with consent of major adviser.

Total units for elective requirements: 14 - 16

Total units for Bachelor of Arts in Political Science: 41

Variable topic courses (marked with an asterisk *) may be taken up to two times for credit, as long as they are taken with a different instructor.

Breadth field: American politics

  • PLSI 460: Topics in American Politics* (4 units)
  • PLSI 461: Voting Campaign Elections (4 units)
  • PLSI 462: Applied Public Opinion Research (4 Units)
  • PLSI 463:The Politics of Immigration in the United States (4 Units)
  • PLSI 465: Reason, Passion and Politics (4 units)
  • PLSI 466: Race and American Democracy (4 units)
  • PLSI 473: California Politics and Government (4 units)
  • PLSI 475: San Francisco Political Issues (4 units)
  • PLSI 477: Congress and the Presidency (4 units)
  • PLSI 512: Urban Politics and Community Power (4 units)

Breadth field: Comparative politics

  • PLSI 328: Domestic and Foreign Policy: Post-communist Regions (4 units)
  • PLSI 404: Politics of China (4 units)
  • PLSI 407: Politics in Russia (4 units)
  • PLSI 408: The U.S./Mexico Connection (3 units)
  • PLSI 410: Middle East Politics (4 units)
  • PLSI 411: East Asian Politics (4 units)
  • PLSI 412: South Asian Politics (4 units)
  • PLSI 415: Politics of India (4 units)
  • PLSI 416: Ethnicity and Nationalism (4 units)
  • PLSI 417: Gender, Equity and Politics: A Comparative Perspective (4 units)
  • PLSI 418: Political Transitions in East and Southeast Asia (4 units)
  • PLSI 419: Comparative Political Economy 4 units)
  • PLSI 420: Middle East State-Society (4 units)
  • PLSI 424: Social Movements (4 units)
  • PLSI 425: Imagining Power in the Middle East (4 Units)
  • PLSI 431: Constructing Kurdistan (4 units)

Breadth field: Political theory

  • PLSI 351: Political Theory: The Classical Tradition (4 units)
  • PLSI 353: Political Theory: The 20th Century (4 units)
  • PLSI 354: Politics, Environment and Social Change (4 units)
  • PLSI 355: Politics and Ethics of Consumer Society (3 units)
  • PLSI 357: Political Movements (4 units)
  • PLSI 360: Development of American Political Thought (4 units)
  • PLSI 371: Marxist Political Theory (4 Units)
  • PLSI 381: Political Theories of Sexuality (4 units)
  • PLSI 382: Politics and Literature (4 units)
  • PLSI 386: Introduction to Critical Social Thought (3 units)
  • PLSI 387: Non-Western Political Thought (4 units)
  • PLSI 388: Politics and the Popular (4 units)
  • PLSI 389: Latin American Revolutionary Societies (4 units)
  • PLSI 392: Latin American Political Thought (4 units)

Breadth field: Public law

(Note that PLSI 551 is a prerequisite for PLSI 552,553, 554 and 561)

  • PLSI 513: Politics, Law and Urban Environment (4 units)
  • PLSI 551: Judicial Process (4 units)
  • PLSI 552: Individual Rights and the Constitution (4 units)
  • PLSI 553: Legal Issues (4 units)
  • PLSI 554: Separation of Powers and Federalism (4 units)
  • PLSI 561: Jurisprudence (4 units)
  • PLSI 610: Judicial and Legal Internship (3 units)
  • PLSI 611: Judicial and Legal Internship Seminar (1 unit)

(610/611 must be taken concurrently)

Breadth field: Public administration and policy

  • PLSI 301: Public Administration and Democracy (4 units)
  • PLSI 400: Public Policy Process (4 units)
  • PLSI 480: Introduction to Urban Policy and Analysis (4 units)
  • PLSI 603: Public Service Internship (3 units)
  • PLSI 604: Internship Seminar (1 unit)

(603/604 must be taken concurrently)

Additional courses

(some of these may also count towards your breadth requirements)

  • PLSI 100: Understanding Politics (3 units)
  • PLSI 106: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (3 units)
  • PLSI 150: Moral/Political Issues (3 units)
  • PLSI 320: Political Forum: Current Topics (2 units)
  • PLSI 321: Development and Foreign Policy: Africa (4 units)
  • PLSI 322: Latin American Policy Analysis (4 units)
  • PLSI 325: Chinese Foreign Policy (4 units)
  • PLSI 329: U.S.-Japan Politics (4 units)
  • PLSI 342: Strategy and War (4 units)
  • PLSI 430: Israeli Democracy: Society (3 units)
  • PLSI 492: Research Methods (4 units)
  • PLSI 493: Data Analysis (4 units)
  • PLSI 500: Labor and Government (3 units)
  • PLSI 544: Women in the World (4 units)
  • PLSI 560: Urban Poverty and Policy (4 units)
  • PLSI 580: Housing, Policy and Planning (3 units)
  • PLSI 660: Nonprofit Organizations: Urban Life (3 units)
  • PLSI 685: Projects in the Teaching of Political Science (1 - 4 units)
  • PLSI 699: Independent Study (1 - 4 units)

Requirements for a minor in Political Science

  • PLSI 200: American Politics (3 units)
  • PLSI 250: Comparative Politics (3 units)

Upper-division electives in Political Science are selected in consultation with a Political Science adviser to serve the student’s interests and life goals.

Electives: 15

Total units for minor in Political Science: 21

Notes

  • Students in the Political Science program must have a grade of C- or better in their core courses and the courses they choose to fulfill their breadth requirement to obtain the major (Effective from fall 2005).
  • Political Science majors and minors may take up to four units Credit/No Credit, as long as those units are part of their elective requirement. All of the courses that fulfill the core and breadth requirements must be taken for a grade.
  • Forty-one units is a minimum. If students finds they have fulfilled all of their requirements with less than 41 units, they must take extra units to reach 41.
  • Students must take a GWAR (composition) course in the major. Even if students have already taken a GWAR course in another department, they must take a Political Science GWAR course as well.
  • The Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) is satisfied by earning a C in any upper-division course with the suffix GW.
  • Students who want to do an independent study/special study must fill out a "Petition for Course by Individual Study" (PLSI 699) form. Undergraduate students must have at least a 3.0 grade-point average.