Degrees and Programs

Program Description

The political science curriculum helps students to acquire an organized body of knowledge about government and to think analytically about public policy, law, and politics. The political science degree prepares graduates to enter careers in government, public service, public administration, public policy analysis, legislative advocacy, business, international relations, and teaching. Many Cal State East Bay political science graduates continue their academic careers in law school, or in the pursuit of graduate degrees in political science or public policy analysis.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from Cal State East Bay will:

  1. know the techniques for skillfully reading and interpreting different types of writing, such as textbooks, scholarly books and journal articles, case law, newspaper articles, government documents (including those that employ statistics), and original philosophical texts;
  2. be able to assess information, including demonstrating the ability to distinguish between the central and peripheral aspects of a piece of writing, and between well-substantiated arguments and unsupported assertions;
  3. be able to write knowledgeably, correctly, clearly and logically.


For Advanced Placement course equivalencies, see Registration chapter.

Major Requirements (B.A.)

Please consult an advisor in your major department for clarification and interpretation of your major requirements. The regular major consists of 39 units; the Pre-Law option consists of 39 units; the Public Affairs and Administration option consists of 39 units. The B.A. degree requires a total of 120 units.

Also see "Pre-Law Students" later in this chapter.

Students taking this option will focus their coursework in legal studies. Completion of this program will lead to a B.A. degree, major in Political Science with an option in Pre-Law. The total required for the major with Pre-Law option is 39 units. The total required for the B.A. degree is 120 units.

The semester before you expect to graduate, complete a major check sheet and inquire about other requirements for graduation. The following is an outline indicating specific courses and options necessary for completing the option in pre-law.

  1. Core Requirement Courses (24 units)

    • POSC 101 American Political Institutions (3)
    • POSC 102 Public Policy/California Politics (3)
    • POSC 300 The Study of Political Science (3)
    • One upper division course in American Government (3)
    • One upper division course in Public Policy and Administration (3)
    • One upper division course in Comparative Government and Policy (3)
    • One upper division course in International Relations (3)
    • One upper division course in Political Theory (3)
  2. Electives (12 units)

    • BUS 370 or any course not already taken listed as American Government or Public Policy and Admin groups  (3)
    • Concentration Elective (3)
    • Concentration Elective (3)
    • Concentration Elective (3)
  3. Capstone (3 units)

    • POSC 499 Political Science Seminar (3)
  1. Core Requirement Courses (24 units)

    1. POSC 101 American Political Institutions (3)
    2. POSC 102 Public Policy/California Politics (3)
    3. POSC 300 The Study of Political Science (3)
    4. American Government (3)
    5. Public Policy and Administration (3)
    6. Comparative Government and Policy (3)
    7. International Relations (3)
    8. Political Theory (3)
  2. Traditional Concentration (12 units)

    1. Public Law (3)
    2. Concentration Elective (3)
    3. Concentration Elective (3)
    4. Concentration Elective (3)
  3. Capstone (3 units)
    1. POSC 499 (3)

Students taking this option will concentrate their coursework in American political institutions, public policy, and administrative processes. Completion of this program will lead to a B.A. degree major in Political Science, with an option in Public Affairs and Administration.

The major with this option consists of 39 units; the B.A. requires a total of 120 units. The course requirements for this option are as follows:

  1. Core Requirements Courses (24 units)

    • POSC 101 American Political Institutions (3)
    • POSC 102 Public Policy/ California Politics (3)
    • POSC 300 The Study of Political Science (3)
    • American Government (3)
    • Public Policy and Administration (3)
    • International Relations (3)
    • Political Theory (3)
  2. Public Affairs and Administration Concentration (12 units)

    1. ACCT 210 or STAT 100 (3)
    2. Service Requirement POSC 495 or POSC 498 (3)
    3. Concentration Elective (3)
    4. Concentration Elective (3)
  3. Capstone (3 units)
    1. POSC 499 (3)

Pre-Law Students

The study of law is a postgraduate professional program, requiring three years of full-time study beyond the completion of the bachelor's degree. No specific pre-law undergraduate program is required for admission to law schools. However, students wishing to focus on legal studies at Cal State East Bay, may complete the Pre-Law option in the Political Science major.

The pre-law student's undergraduate plan of study should include among its objectives a facility in the proper use of written and spoken English, a sampling of undergraduate law courses, one or more critical/logical thinking courses, and a basic understanding of government and economics. Some law schools recommend that students take a basic accounting course, particularly if they are interested in business or tax law.

Most accredited law schools require that applicants complete the Law School Admission Test. The LSAT is typically given in September, December, February, and June at one or more testing centers in the Bay Area. Pre-law students should obtain LSAT registration materials and law school applications early in their senior year.

Other Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described in the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements chapter in the front of this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.

Minor Requirements

The minor consists of 18 units of Political Science courses of which at least 12 units must be in upper division. The purpose of the Minor in Political Science is to provide a general background in political science to complement majors in such areas as business administration, environmental studies, science, humanities, and the other social sciences. The student should consult with a Political Science department advisor or the chairperson in selecting courses.