Major and Minor Requirements

For Majors declared fall 2015 and after (Updated Fall 2018)

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 four headings):

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Public Law

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: 7-13

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.

Important Notes

At least 28 of the 40 units for the Political Science major must be upper-division courses (i.e., numbered PLSI 300 or higher). No more than 3 lower-division units may be counted as Electives.

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

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 CR/NC if those units are part of their Electives. All courses other than Electives must be taken for a letter 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 GPA. 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 different topics.

Courses

Breadth field: American Politics

  • 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 464: Race and American Politics (4 Units)
  • PLSI 465: Reason, Passion, and Political Behavior (4 Units)
  • PLSI 467: Politics and Community Organizing (4 Units)
  • PLSI 472:  Civic and Political Engagement (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 479: The United States Congress (4 Units)
  • PLSI 512: Urban Politics and Community Power (4 Units)
  • PLSI 603: Public Service Internships (3 Units)
  • PLSI 604: Internship Seminar (1 Unit)

Breadth field: Comparative Politics

  • PLSI 328: Domestic and Foreign Policy: Post-Communist Regions (4 Units)
  • PLSI 403: Cases in Comparative Politics (4 Units) * Formerly PLSI 319
  • PLSI 404: Politics of China (4 Units)
  • PLSI 406: Radical Right Politics: Far-Right Parties in Contemporary Europe (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 421: Social Movements in the Francophone World (In French) (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)
  • PLSI 396: Fascism and Communism in 20th Century Europe (4 Units) * Formerly PLSI 405

Breadth field: Public law

(Note: PLSI 478 is a prerequisite for PLSI 554, 556, 557, 561 and 609)

  • PLSI 478: 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 555: Moot Court* (4 Units)
  • PLSI 556: Constitutional Law: First Amendment (4 Units)
  • PLSI 557: Constitutional Law: The Fourteenth Amendment (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)

*PLSI 555: Moot Court May be repeated once for credit, but only 4 units may be applied to breadth.

Electives

(for Elective units towards the PLSI Major)

  • PLSI 100: Understanding Politics (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 395: Political Theory of Pedagogy (3 Units)
  • 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