Politics & Government | Academic Advising Handbook

The first step in considering a major in Politics and Government is to speak with one of the department’s faculty members. If you don’t know where to start, contact the Department Chair, Professor Jules Boykoff, at boykoff@pacificu.edu

Major Requirements

A major in Politics and Government requires courses inside of the department, as well as a variety of electives that total 37 credits. 

13 required Credit Hours in POLS:

·       POLS 140 or 180 (4 credits)

·       POLS 399 (spring junior year) (4 credits)

·       POLS 498 (fall senior year) (4 credits)

·       POLS 499 (spring senior year) (1 credit)

24 Additional Credit Hours in POLS courses that include the following:

·       One upper-division course in American Politics (4 credits)

·       One upper-division course in International Politics (4 credits)

·       One course in Political Philosophy (4 credits)

·       12 other credits, at least 8 of which are upper-division (16 credits)

Courses that fulfill the area requirements (American, International, Philosophy) above are as follows:

American Politics

International Politics

Political Philosophy

  • 301
  • 302
  • 304
  • 306
  • 321
  • 322
  • 323
  • 326
  • 330
  • 331
  • 340
  • 345
  • 209
  • 212
  • 213
  • 310
  • 325
  • 386

Introductory Courses: After one has taken a 100- or 200-level course in the department, a student should be able to handle any 300-level course. For any students who have never had a political science course, we strongly recommend talking with the instructor prior to registering. 

Requirements for the Minor

·       At least one course in American Politics at 300-level (4 credits)

·       At least one course in International Politics at 300-level (4 credits)

·       POLS electives, at least 4 credits of which must be at the upper-division level (12 credits)

TOTAL: 20 credits

Internships and Study Abroad

Students are strongly encouraged to pursue an internship or study abroad and should plan to have those experiences in their sophomore or first semester of their junior year. Students interested in internships are encouraged to speak with any member of the department for help; those interested in study abroad should see Professor Jeff Seward; and those interested in law school should consult with Professor Paul Snell.

Timing for Internships and Study Abroad

We encourage our students to do internships and to study abroad. However, timing is key. The optimal time for students to do this is during their sophomore year or the fall semester of their junior year. While planning to do an internship or to study abroad, it is important that students remember that we have a three-course thesis sequence that begins in the spring semester of junior year and concludes in the spring semester of senior year: POLS 399 (junior year, spring semester), POLS 498 (senior year, fall semester), and POLS 499 (senior year, spring semester). In rare instances, students could study abroad to the spring of their senior year, but this would entail making special arrangements in advance for the public presentation of their senior thesis. We have done this in the past, so it is possible, but it does require planning.

A Four-Year Schedule for the Major

Below is simply one example of many that a student could follow in pursuit of a POLS degree. We have had many students who did not begin to focus on POLS until the end of their sophomore year.

Years One and Two:

·       POLS 140 and/or POLS 180

·       POLS 200 Level on Political Philosophy

·       POLS 200 Level elective

·       Study Abroad in Spring of Sophomore Year

o   If studying abroad for all of junior year, consider POLS 399 spring sophomore year

Year Three

·       POLS 399 in Spring (offered every year)

·       300 level POLS courses for major requirements

·       Consider Internship

·       Study Abroad in Fall of Junior Year

Year Four

·       POLS 498, the Senior Seminar in Fall

·       POLS 499, the Senior Seminar in Spring

·       300 level POLS courses for major requirements

·       Consider Internship

 

Transfer Students & Changing Majors to Politics & Government

The courses that transfer students must take in order to complete a Politics and Government major in two years will depend on the coursework that each student has taken previously. The following plan assumes that a student has completed, with transferable credits, either Introduction to US Politics or Introduction to World Politics prior to beginning the junior year.

Junior year

Fall

• Upper-Division US Politics course

• Political Philosophy course

• POLS elective (any level)

 

Spring

• Upper-Division International Politics course

• POLS 399: Theory and Methodology in Political Science (Junior Seminar)

 

Senior year

Fall

• POLS 498: Senior Seminar I

• POLS elective (upper-division)

 

Spring

• POLS elective (upper-division)

• POLS 499: Senior Seminar II

 

Annual Class Planning Guide

This planning guide shows the predicted offerings for certain courses in this program. Use the guide to help you think about future terms. For a list of classes currently offered and how they fulfill core requirements, please see BoxerOnline and cross-reference this page as needed. Meet with your advisor and/or reach out to the department if you have questions.

Course number

Course name

Fall

Winter

Spring

notes

POLS 140

Introduction to U.S. Politics

X

 

 

Every year

POLS 180

The United States in World Affairs

 

 

X

Every year

POLS 209

Ideas in Action: Pol Phil & Modern Soc

X

 

 

 

POLS 212

Conservatism & Its Critics

 

 

X

 

POLS 213

Socialism & Its Critics

 

 

X

 

POLS 221

Politics in Literature & Film

 

X

 

 

POLS 224

Environmental Politics

 

 

X

Every other year

POLS 231

Contemporary Middle East

 

X

 

4-unit variant

POLS 232

Current Events in the Middle East

 

X

 

Every other year

POLS 239

Latin America I: Conquest-Independence

 

 

X

 

POLS 241

Latin America II: Independence-Present

 

 

X

 

POLS 255

New Topics

 

 

 

 

POLS 275

Internship

 

 

 

 

POLS 295

Independent Study

 

 

 

 

POLS 301

Politics and The Media

X

 

 

Every other year

POLS 302

Parties and Elections

X

 

 

Every other year

POLS 304

Community Politics

X

 

 

Taught occasionally (when Moore rotation changes in the future)

POLS 306

Presidency and Congress

 

 

x

Every other year

POLS 310

Markets, Politics & Justice

X

 

 

 

POLS 321

Protest, Dissent, & Social Change

 

 

 

Every year, see department

POLS 322

  The Suppression of Dissent

 

X

 

Sometimes offered in Fall or Spring as well

POLS 323

Politics & Policing

 

 

X

Every third year

POLS 325

Constitutionalism I

 

 

x

Every other year

POLS 326

Constitutionalism II

 

 

x

Every other year

POLS 330

National Systems & Global Challenges

 

 

X

 

POLS 331

Modern Dictatorship

X

 

 

 

POLS 340

Security, Rights & Globalization

 

 

X

Every other year

POLS 345

International Political Economy

 

 

X

Every other year

POLS 350

Special Topics in Political Science

 

 

 

 

POLS 351

Social Policy & Social Justice

X

 

 

 

POLS 352 Politics and Sports     X Every other year
POLS 353 Politics, Media, and Sports     X Every third year

POLS 355

New Topics

 

 

 

 

POLS 386

Race and U.S. Political Thought

X

 

 

Every third year 

POLS 395

Independent Study

 

 

 

 

POLS 399W

Theory & Methodology in POLS

 

 

X

Every Year

POLS 475

Internship

 

 

 

 

POLS 495

Independent Research

 

 

 

 

POLS 498

Senior Seminar & Thesis I

X

 

 

 

POLS 499

Senior Seminar & Thesis II

 

 

X