Political Science

Major

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Bayramian Hall 190
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91300-8212

Phone: (818) 677-2967

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Understand the relationship between a government and its citizens. Learn to analyze institutions and policies. With our classes and internships, you'll be prepared for careers in law, politics and more.

Why Study Political Science?

What is the role of government? How much power should politicians have, and how should citizens keep them accountable? By majoring in political science, you study laws and the ethics of government. You will examine the effects of political institutions and interest groups. You will learn how policies intersect with race, gender and social class.

You will also understand the American government from local to national levels. You'll look globally to understand the government systems of other countries. You will also strengthen your critical thinking and writing skills through research and analysis. Be prepared for law school, public service or a political career.

Why Study Political Science at CSUN?

An Option for You

The Department of Political Science offers three options to prepare you for your career. The Politics and Government option gives you broad training in political science. It prepares you for graduate school study. The Public Policy and Management option will open the doors to a career related to public service. The Law and Society option will prepare you to apply for law school.

Internship Opportunities

Apply for unique internships in the Los Angeles Superior Court system, Sacramento or Washington DC. In our Judicial Internships, you will observe courtroom operations and assist judges. In our Sacramento Internships, you will participate in state government activities for a semester. In the DC Internship Program, you will work in congressional offices, advocacy organizations or law firms for a semester.

Study Abroad

Make your political science classes come to life through studying overseas. The department encourages you to experience political systems in foreign countries firsthand. You can fulfill degree requirements with CSU International Program Study Centers. Consult your departmental advisor or the campus International Programs advisor for more information.

What You'll Learn

In the Political Science major, you'll learn about political systems and their values. You'll study the role of law and government and how they intersect with morality. You'll also receive training in critical thinking and writing, which applies to many careers.

All Political Science majors take the same foundation courses. You will take additional classes depending on which option you choose:

  • Politics and Government
  • Public Policy and Management
  • Law and Society

You will choose classes that give you a foundation for your major. You may select from courses including:

  • Principles and Methods of Political Science
  • American Political Institutions
  • European and Comparative Government
  • International Relations
  • Modern Western Political Theory

This option offers a wide variety of courses in domestic and global politics. It is the most flexible of the three options. This option is designed for students who want to:

  • Pursue a graduate degree in political science or other fields
  • Begin public service careers
  • Teach in junior high or high schools
  • Have a liberal arts education

In your classes, you'll cover both domestic and global politics and policies. You will be able to create a program of study that fits your future goals and interests. Some of the courses you can choose from include:

  • State and Local Government
  • Policy Framing and Agenda Setting
  • American Political Thought
  • Congress and the Legislative Process
  • Politics of Latin America
  • Globalization, Gender and Democratization

You'll also take elective courses to complete your major. This includes two semesters of research seminars or internships. In the research seminars, you will perform advanced research in a topic such as political theory or American government. You may also find a political science internship, judicial internship or join our Model U.N. team.

Curriculum

This option focuses on government policies and implementation. You should choose this option if you want to:

  • Prepare for a career in government or politics
  • Work within organizations that deal with public policy and interact with the government

In your option, you will study public policy classes. Among the courses you can choose from are:

  • Policy Framing and Agenda Setting
  • Analyzing Policy Problems
  • Policy Implementation and Program Evaluation
  • United States Foreign Policy
  • Congress and the Legislative Process
  • Environmental Policy
  • Comparative Public Policy

You will take additional courses in both Domestic Politics and Policy and Global Politics and Policy. These include courses such as:

  • Media and Politics
  • Women in Politics
  • Jurisprudence
  • Nation-state Security
  • Government and Politics of the Middle East

For professional experience, you will complete two semesters of research seminars or internships. In the research seminars, you will perform advanced research in a topic such as political theory or American government. You may also find a political science internship, judicial internship or join our Model U.N. team.

Curriculum

This option provides in-depth study of public law and our legal system's philosophies. This focus is useful if you want to:

  • Apply to law school
  • Pursue a career in government or public office or public-facing industries

You will take elective courses that will prepare you for law school. Some of the courses you can choose from include:

  • Jurisprudence
  • Criminal procedures
  • Constitutional law
  • Advanced Writing Composition
  • Advanced Social and Political Philosophy
  • Advanced Ethical Theory
  • Sociology of Law

You will also study Domestic Politics and Policy and Global Politics and Policy. These include courses such as:

  • Ethics in Politics and Administration
  • American Political Thought
  • Elections and Voting Behavior
  • International Law
  • Political Ideologies
  • Women in Politics

As part of your major requirements, you will complete two semesters of research seminars or internships. In the research seminars, you will perform advanced research in a topic such as political theory or American government. You may also find a political science internship, judicial internship or join our Model U.N. team.

Curriculum

Careers & Outcomes

The Political Science major will prepare you for law school, public service or a political career. Your critical thinking and writing skills will help you thrive in a variety of fields. You can work in a legislative office, nonprofit organization or a classroom as a teacher. Our classes on comparative governments can also help you find international job opportunities.

members of the CSUN model United Nations team

Perfect the art of diplomacy.

Learn research, writing and debate skills through CSUN's Model United Nations program. You'll write papers, discuss proposals and deliver speeches at mock UN conferences. Our top notch-team placed first in 2021 and 2022 competitions. See what sets us apart.

Teach Social Studies

Your Political Science major can help you become a middle school or high school social studies teacher. Combine your major program with the Single Subject Social Science Subject Matter Program to meet requirements for entering a Single Subject Credential Program. Talk to your advisor about coordinating the two programs. View Social Science Subject Matter Program for Secondary School Teachers for more information.

Explore Related Programs

Become a Matador

Start your application

Student Outreach & Recruitment

Admission Office


Bayramian Hall 190
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91300-8212

Phone: (818) 677-2967

Send email

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