Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit bulletin.sfsu.edu. Any changes will appear on our errata page.

Requirements:

  • At least 28 units for the major must be from upper division courses (numbered 300 - 699).
  • Courses that fulfill the core and breadth requirements must be taken for a letter grade. CR/NC grading is not accepted for core and breadth courses.
  • Students must earn a grade of C or better in the GWAR designated course, and a C- or better in all other core and breadth courses.
  • Students in the major or minor may take up to 4 units CR/NC only for courses that satisfy part of the elective requirement.
  • At least one political science (PLSI) GWAR course must be chosen to count toward the Breadth Requirement or electives in political science.

Note: Students must take the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) (composition) course in the major even if the student has taken a GWAR course in another department. The GWAR is satisfied by earning a C in any upper division course with the suffix GW. The department offers most of its courses with a GWAR and non-GWAR option. To satisfy the GWAR requirement you must successfully complete a course that contains the GW suffix; e.g., PLSI 477GW “Congress and the Presidency - GWAR” WILL satisfy the requirement - PLSI 477 “Congress and the Presidency” will NOT satisfy GWAR

Political Science (B.A.) — 40-41 units

Core Requirements (13 units)

PLSI 200American Politics3
PLSI 250Comparative Politics3
PLSI 275Introduction to Political Theory3
PLSI 300Scientific Inquiry in Political Science4
Note: A PLSI GWAR course must be taken toward partial fulfillment of either the Breadth or Elective requirements.

Breadth Requirement (12 units)

Upper division political science courses chosen to include at least one course in at least three of these five sub-fields:

  • American politics,
  • comparative politics,
  • political theory,
  • public administration and policy, and
  • public law

Electives (12 units)

It is recommended that elective units be taken in political science. However, in some cases up to 8 upper division units may be selected from related departments with consent of a major advisor.

Culminating Experience (3-4 units)

PLSI 605Senior Seminar in Applied Research Methods4
PLSI 606Senior Seminar in American Politics3
PLSI 607Seminar in Comparative Politics3
PLSI 608Seminar in Political Theory3
PLSI 609Seminar in Public Law: Legal Issues3
PLSI 612Senior Seminar Study Abroad: At Beijing University 13
1

 Either a course that is taught by SF State political science faculty abroad or an equivalent study abroad course designated by an advisor.

Note: A minimum of 40 upper division units must be completed for the degree (including upper division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper division units required for graduation. In this case additional upper division courses will be needed to reach the required total.

Complementary Studies

Twelve units of complementary studies are required of all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. These units must come from courses bearing a prefix other that PLSI and not cross-listed with PLSI (see department website for a list of examples of majors that offer such courses). Eight of the twelve Complementary Studies units may count toward the major by completing units in related disciplines. These courses should either have a direct bearing to the study of politics, or they should be shown to deepen and enrich the study of politics in particular and articulable ways. The student will consult with an advisor in the department (or the undergraduate advisor) to ensure that their choices fulfill the department’s requirements for Complementary Studies. Students can also satisfy their complementary studies by completing a related minor or secondary major, or through an approved Study Abroad program (see department website for more details)

Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement in order to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Political Science

California legislation SB 1440 (2009), mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation, and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals sixty units and includes completion of all lower division GE and at least eighteen units in a specific major. Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and is continuing in this major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab and displays

  • How many lower division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to http://assist.org Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. As described above, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3 and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlines below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.