Political Science SF Scholars Roadmap

The San Francisco State Scholars program provides undergraduate students with an accelerated pathway to a graduate degree. Students in this program pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. This program allows students to earn graduate credit while in their junior and/or senior year, reducing the number of semesters required for completion of a master’s degree.

This roadmap is a suggested plan of study and does not replace meeting with an advisor. Please note that students may need to adjust the actual sequence of courses based on course availability. Please consult an advisor in your major program for further guidance.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterUnits
ENG 114 Writing the First Year: Finding Your Voice (A2) 1 3
PLSI 200 Introduction to American Politics (Major Core, USG/CSLG) 3
GE Area A 2 3
GE Area B: Quantitative Reasoning (B4) 3 3
GE Area C 3
Spring Semester
PLSI 250 Comparative Politics (Major Core) 3
GE Area A 3
GE Area B: Physical Science (B1) and Laboratory Science (B3) 4 3-4
GE Area E 3
Complementary Studies or SF State Studies or University Elective 5 3
Second Year
Fall Semester
PLSI 275 Introduction to Political Theory (Major Core) 3
GE Area B: Life Science (B2) and Laboratory Science (B3) 4 3-4
GE Area C 3
GE Area D 3
Complementary Studies or SF State Studies or University Elective 5 3
Spring Semester
PLSI 303 Fundamentals of Political Science (Major Core) 2
GE Area C 3
GE Area D 3
GE Area F ± 3
Complementary Studies or SF State Studies or University Elective 5 3
Third Year
Summer Semester
Complementary Studies or SF State Studies or University Elective - Take Two 5 6
Fall Semester
PLSI 302 Political Science Writing Workshop (Major Core) 1
PLSI 302GW Writing for Political Science - GWAR (Major Core) 3
PLSI 304 Scientific Inquiry in Political Science (Major Core) 4
GE Area UD-B: Upper-Division Physical and/or Life Sciences 3
Complementary Studies or SF State Studies or University Elective - Take Two 5 5
Spring Semester
Breadth Requirement - Take Two 6 6-8
GE Area UD-C: Upper-Division Arts and/or Humanities 3
Complementary Studies or SF State Studies or University Elective - Take Two 5 6
Fourth Year
Summer Semester
Complementary Studies or SF State Studies or University Elective - Take Two 5 6
Fall Semester
PLSI 700 Research Methods (Graduate Core) 3
Breadth Requirement - Take One 6 3-4
Major Electives - Take One 7 3-4
Political Science Topic Seminar 8 3
GE Area UD-D: Upper-Division Social Sciences 3
Spring Semester
PLSI 780 Seminar in Political Theory (Graduate Core) 3
Major Electives - Take One to Two 7 3-6
Culminating Experience 9 3-4
Additional Graduate Elective 10 3
Complementary Studies or SF State Studies or University Elective - Take up to One 5 0-3
Fifth Year
Fall Semester
PLSI 740 Seminar in American Politics (Graduate Core) 3
PLSI 760 Seminar in Comparative Politics (Graduate Core) 3
Political Science Topic Seminar 8 3
Spring Semester
Select One (Culminating Experience): 3
Preparation for Written Comprehensive Examination
and Culminating Experience Examination
Master's Thesis
Additional Graduate Electives - Take Two 10 6
 Total Units150-157

ENG 114 can only be taken if you complete Directed Self-Placement (DSP) and select ENG 114; if you choose ENG 104/ENG 105 through DSP you will satisfy A2 upon successful completion of ENG 105 in the second semester; multilingual students may be advised into alternative English courses.


To avoid taking additional units, it is recommended that you meet the SF State Studies (AERM, GP, ES, SJ) requirements within your GE or major.


To determine the best B4 course option, students should complete the online advising activity at mathadvising.sfsu.edu. Questions? Contact Gator Smart Start.


Consider taking a class combined with a laboratory or a separate lab to fulfill B3 if not already satisfied.


Complementary Studies

12 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 that are not cross-listed with Political Science. Students can 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 12 Complementary Studies units may count toward the major as elective units if approved in advance by a Political Science advisor. Students must consult with an advisor in the department to ensure that their choices fulfill the department’s requirements.
Courses from the following departments will be considered to be part of Complementary Studies for Political Science. Any minor automatically fulfills Complementary Studies and, depending on one’s emphasis, foreign languages can also fulfill Complementary Studies if they are associated with a focus on comparative politics and/or area studies.
Africana Studies
American Indian Studies
Asian American Studies
Criminal Justice
Environmental Studies
Ethnic Studies
International Relations
Latina/Latino Studies
Sexuality Studies
Urban Studies and Planning
Women and Gender Studies
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.

Breadth Requirement (9-12 units)

Upper-division Political Science courses selected to include at least one course in three of the four sub-fields. Students can also take extra courses from the breadth and seminar areas as an elective as well as other upper-division PLSI courses not listed below.

American Politics

PLSI 400/P A 400 Introduction to Public Policy in the U.S. (3 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) (AERM, SJ)
PLSI 464 Race and American Politics (4 units) (UD-D, AERM, SJ)
PLSI 467 Politics and Community Organizing (4 units)
PLSI 468 Women and American Politics (4 units)
PLSI 469 Women's Political Movements in the United States (4 units)
PLSI 470/SXS 470/WGS 470 The Politics of Sex and Reproduction (4 units)
PLSI 472 Civic and Political Engagement (4 units)
PLSI 473 California Politics and Government (4 units) (CSLG, SJ)
PLSI 475/USP 485 San Francisco Political Issues (4 units)
PLSI 476 The American Presidency (4 units)
PLSI 477 Congress and the Presidency (4 units)
PLSI 479 The United States Congress (4 units)
PLSI 512/USP 512 Urban Politics and Community Power (4 units)
PLSI 603/USP 603 Public Service Internships (3 units)
& PLSI 604/USP 604 Internship Seminar (1 unit)

Comparative Politics
PLSI 307/I R 307 Qualitative Methods in Political Science and International Relations (4 units)
PLSI 403 Cases in Comparative Politics (4 units) (GP, SJ)
PLSI 404/I R 404 Politics of China (4 units) (UD-D, GP)
PLSI 407/I R 407 Politics of Russia (4 units) (UD-D, GP)
PLSI 408/LTNS 670 Mexican Politics and Society (3 units) (UD-D, AERM, GP, SJ)
PLSI 411/I R 411 East Asian Politics (4 units) (UD-D, GP)
PLSI 412/I R 412 South Asian Politics (4 units) (GP)
PLSI 416/I R 416 Ethnicity and Nationalism (4 units) (UD-D, GP)
PLSI 418 Political Transitions in East & Southeast Asia (4 units)
PLSI 419 Comparative Political Economy (4 units) (UD-D, GP)
PLSI 422/I R 422 Law and Courts in Comparative Perspective (4 units)
PLSI 423 Video Games, Politics, and The State (4 units) (GP)
PLSI 424/I R 424/SOC 424 Social Movements (4 units)
PLSI 425/I R 425 Imagining Power in the Middle East (4 units) (GP)
PLSI 459/I R 459 Refugees in Global Perspective (4 units) (UD-C, AERM, GP)

Political Theory
PLSI 309 Methods and Approaches in Political Theory (4 units)
PLSI 351 Political Theory: The Classical Tradition (4 units)
PLSI 352 Political Theory: Reformation to Nineteenth Century (4 units)
PLSI 354 Politics, the Environment, and Social Change (4 units) (UD-D, ES, SJ)
PLSI 355/PHIL 355 Politics and Ethics of the Consumer Society (3 units) (UD-D, ES, SJ)
PLSI 356 Political Theories of Neoliberalism (4 units)
PLSI 360 Development of American Political Thought (4 units)
PLSI 371 Marxist Political Theory (4 units)
PLSI 372/HUM 372/I R 372 Critical Political Theory (4 units)
PLSI 381 Political Theories of Sexuality (4 units) (UD-D, SJ)
PLSI 382 Politics and Literature (4 units)
PLSI 386/CST 300 Introduction to Critical Social Thought (3 units) (UD-D, SJ)
PLSI 388 Politics and the Popular (4 units) (UD-D, SJ)
PLSI 389 Latin American Revolutionary Societies (4 units)
PLSI 392 Latin American Political Thought (4 units)
PLSI 393 Anarchist Political Theory (4 units) (UD-D, SJ)
PLSI 394/LABR 394 Political Theories of Work, Labor, and Free Time (4 units)
PLSI 396/I R 357 Fascism and Communism in Europe (4 units) (UD-D, GP, SJ)

Public Law
PLSI 308 Research and Writing for Public Law (4 units)
PLSI 478 Judicial Process (4 units) (SJ)
PLSI 481 Race and Public Law (4 units)
PLSI 552 Individual Rights and the Constitution (4 units) (SJ)
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 562 Jurisprudence Writing Workshop (3 units)
PLSI 610 Judicial and Legal Internship (3 units)
&PLSI 611 Judicial and Legal Internship Seminar (1 unit)


Electives (7-11 Units)

Select enough Political Science courses (PLSI prefix) to reach a total of 42 units for the major. No more than 3 units of major electives can come from lower-division coursework. With permission of a major advisor, up to 4 units of courses from closely related departments may be used as electives.

PLSI 100 Understanding Politics (3 units) (D1, SJ)
PLSI 105 Principles of Government and Politics (3 units)
PLSI 106 Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy: Introduction to Political Economy (3 units) (D1, SJ)
PLSI 150/PHIL 150 Contemporary Moral/Political Issues (3 units) (C2, SJ)
PLSI 216 The 2024 Presidential Election: Issues and Analysis (2 units)
PLSI 318 Modern Citizenship: Pundits, Podcasts, and Political Know-How in the 21st Century (2 units)
PLSI 320 Political Issues (2 units)
PLSI 321/I R 321 Development and Foreign Policy: Africa (4 units)
PLSI 322/I R 322 Policy Analysis: The Latin American Cases (4 units) (UD-GP, SJ)
PLSI 325/I R 325 Chinese Foreign Policy (4 units)
PLSI 342/I R 342 Modern Conflict: Cyber Warfare, Food Security, and Crises in the International System (4 units)
PLSI 362/I R 362/C J 362 The Making of US Foreign Policy (4 units) (GP)
PLSI 373 Essentials of California Politics (1 units) (CSLG)
PLSI 395 Political Theories of Pedagogy and Community Activism (3 units) (SJ)
PLSI 421/FR 421 Social Movements in the Francophone World (3 units) (GP)
PLSI 430/JS 430/I R 430 Israeli Democracy: Politics, Institutions, and Society (3 units) (UD-D, GP)
PLSI 492/USP 492 Research Methods (4 units)
PLSI 493/USP 493 Data Analysis (4 units)
PLSI 500/LABR 500 Labor and Government (3 units)
PLSI 514/GER 514/HIST 514/I R 514 Political Violence and Terrorism in German History, Film, and Visual Media (3 units)
PLSI 544/I R 544 Women in the World (4 units) (UD-D, GP, SJ)
PLSI 560/USP 560 Urban Poverty and Policy (4 units) (UD-D, SJ)
PLSI 570/USP 570/LABR 570 Urban Health Policy (3 units)
PLSI 580/USP 580 Housing Policy and Planning (3 units) (UD-D, AERM, GP, SJ)
PLSI 685 Projects in the Teaching of Political Science (1-4 units)
PLSI 699 Independent Study (1-4 units)


Political Science Topic Seminars (6 units)

Take two topic seminars from courses chosen from among the following: PLSI 705, PLSI 714, PLSI 741-759, PLSI 761-779, PLSI 781-797. Graduate students must register from the graduate section of any paired PLSI course.


Bachelor Culminating Experience (3-4 units)

PLSI 602 Senior Seminar: Politics As Story (3 units)

PLSI 605 Seminar: Student's Choice Empirical Research Project (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 613 Senior Seminar: The Politics of Harry Potter (3 units)

PLSI 614 Seminar: Politics of Abortion in the United States (3 units)


Electives (8-9 units)

Select enough electives to reach 30 units for the major. Electives include:

  • PLSI 701, PLSI 707, PLSI 708
  • Additional courses from the seminar area not used to fulfill that requirement.
  • Graduate courses outside the Political Science department closely related to political science, with prior approval by the graduate coordinator.
  • Up to 9 units of upper-division (300-level or above) PLSI courses with prior approval by the graduate coordinator.

Note: for students who do not have a Political Science BA and/or seek more writing instruction in political science, we strongly recommend PLSI 302GW


PLSI 460 is a variable topic course and may be taken more than once for credit. If taken more than once, any additional semesters count towards the Political Science Electives.


Moot Court (PLSI 555) may be repeated once for credit, but only 4 units may be applied to the Breadth requirement.


Given catalog rights, fall 2023 transfer students do not need to complete an Area F course.