Political Science, B.A.

Department

Department of Political Science

David Schecter, Chair
McKee Fisk Building, Room 244
559.278.2988
www.fresnostate.edu/polysci

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Political Science, B.A.
MN in Political Science, Minor
MN in Public Administration, Minor
MPA in Public Administration, M.P.A. - Continuing & Global Education
MPA in Public Administration, M.P.A.

Courses and programs offered by the Department of Political Science are intended to help all students become more effective participants in a democratic society, as makers of public policy, and as individuals affected by those policies. Our programs prepare political science and public administration majors for a wide variety of careers.

Students may elect to concentrate within political science on American government and politics, international politics, comparative government, or political theory. The Public Administration Program is designed to prepare students for administrative positions in public service agencies and includes instruction in such subjects as personnel administration, budget preparation, public relations, and techniques of management appropriate to the administration of public policy. For those who achieve a high measure of proficiency in their undergraduate programs, the department offers advanced work leading to the master's degree in international relations and public administration. A Minor in Political Science is chosen by students as a means of obtaining skills and knowledge important to their primary area of interest.

Courses

Political Science

MPA 200. Administration and Society

How administration acts and is acted upon by institutional forces and values; role of history, cultural, ethical, political, social, and economic values and institutions; an emphasis on: bureaucracy, economy and democracy, centralization vs. decentralization, professionalism and society; alternatives to bureaucracy.

Units: 3

MPA 201. Quantitative Applications for Public Administration

Exploring different methods of data analysis for understanding how public decisions are made and public policies are evaluated. data collection; measurement; sampling; data analysis, including regression, are explored with practical applications. (Formerly MPA 120G)

Units: 3

MPA 210. Organizational Theory in Public Administration

A study of the key issues involved in the management of public organizations. This examination of organizational behavior and theoriess of complex organizations includes the following: Leadership styles; communication; organizational change; hierachy and organizational structure; and organizational culture.

Units: 3

MPA 215. State and Local Government

State and local government will prepare students to understand the history of these governmental units and how they interact with the Federal government. Legislatures, executives, courts and city, and county councils are studied, particularly in terms of their emphasis on public policy.

Units: 3

MPA 230. Public Budgeting

This course examines the budget process, the use of economic analysis in evaluating taxation and expenditure issues, and the development and analysis of budget proposals. The course also includes discussion of burdens and effectiveness of different taxes and considers potential reforms to the budgeting process.

Units: 3

MPA 240. Seminar in Public Management

An inquiry into contemporary issues facing public managers. Topics that can be covered include: Accountability; performance management; development of information technology; e-government; public management reforms; implications of privatization/contracting out; and public governance.

Units: 3

MPA 241. Resource Management

Prerequisite: MPA 240. Administration of fiscal and human resources. Emphasis on resource acquisition, allocation, and development strategies; budgeting skills, debt, and financial management. Human asset management, labor relations, position classification and analysis, quality of work life and employment equity issues.

Units: 3

MPA 245. Human Resources Management

This course explores the development of the merit system in government; hiring and termination; career development; human resource planning; management-labor relations; equal opportunity; affirmative action; workplace diversity; and the legal dimension of the public personnel system.

Units: 3

MPA 250. Ethics and Public Administration

(MPA 250 same as AETH 202.) Prerequisite: MPA 210. The moral dimensions of public administrative decision-making. The nature of public and private morality; psychological and ethical egoism; relativism; utilitarianism and deontological theories; rights and goods in the public service context; sensitive applications of rules in public agencies.

Units: 3

MPA 260. Public Policy Administration

Prerequisites: MPA 120G, MPA 200, MPA 210, MPA 240. A study of policy initiation, formulation, and implementation and a public manager's role in them; management processes and functions in the policy process; policy justification and advocacy, policy analysis, and implementation evaluation.

Units: 3

MPA 280T. Topics in Public Administration

Selected topics meeting student needs and interests that are not met in other university courses.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 6 units

MPA 280T. Nonprofit Management and Leadership

This course includes the following components: (1) Brief introduction to the social, political, and historical context of nonprofit organizations; (2) Examine important organizational systems and practices, which include finances, human resources, strategic planning, and contracting out/outsourcing; (3) Leadership/management practices and board governance; (4) Concept of accountability; (5) Use of performance measurement and program evaluation; and (6) The practice of collaboration and how it is impacting nonprofit organizations.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 6 units

MPA 280T. Program Evaluation

This course explains the approaches and tools for evaluation of public programs. Topics will include identifying issues and formulating questions, needs assessment, measuring and monitoring program outcomes, different evaluation designs, analyzing and interpreting program effects, and communicating the results to stakeholders. The course will also examine how evaluations affect public policy and public administrators and the challenges evaluators confront when conducting evaluations.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 6 units

MPA 287. Internship in Public Administration

Supervised work experience for a realistic exposure to an organizational-bureaucratic environment for students in the M.P.A. program who lack significant work experience in a public or nonprofit organization. CR/Nc grading only.

Units: 3

MPA 289T. Issues in Education Policy

The Bush Administration's "No Child Left Behind" policy has created widespread controversy between educators and policy makers. This has resulted in confusion in the implementation of this policy. This seminar explores the implications this policy has for a "shift in power" between educators and policy makers in the arena of educational policy.

Units: 1, Repeatable up to 6 units

MPA 289T. Issues in State and Local Government

Graduate level seminar examines democracy in California and its history. Secondly, examine K-12 education and transition from Revenue Limit to LCFF. Students will analyze public budgets, audit, and present findings; resulting in practical knowledge of public budgeting and auditing.

Units: 1, Repeatable up to 6 units

MPA 289T. Issues in Public Budget

The course will begin with a brief introduction of public budgeting at the City of Fresno. We will build a foundation to understand the City's current budget components by reviewing the Fiscal Year 2014 Adopted Budget. Next we will identify macro budgetary challenges faced by the City. This course will then discus the role and responsibilities of a Budget Analyst among the common challenges faced under this position. Finally, we will perform a decision support assignment as a Budget Analyst. We will cover the steps to reviewing and costing a Memorandum of Understanding salary contracts.

Units: 1, Repeatable up to 6 units

MPA 290. Independent Study

See Academic Placement --Independent Study. Approved for RP grading.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 6 units

MPA 299. Thesis

Prerequisite: See Criteria for Thesis and Project. Preparation, completion, and submission of an acceptable thesis for the Master's degree. Approved for RP grading.

Units: 3

MPA 299C. Thesis Continuation

Pre-requisite: MPA 299 Thesis. For continuous enrollment while completing the thesis. May enroll twice with department approval. Additional enrollments must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Units: 0

PLSI 1. Modern Politics

Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation A2. Introduction to the study of democratic and authoritarian political systems; evaluation of the historical, cultural, and economic contexts of modern politics around the world; institutional structures and functions; political ideologies; individual and group participation in the political process; current issues. G.E. Breadth D3.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: D3

PLSI 2. American Government and Institutions

Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation A2. Meets the United States Constitution requirement and the federal, California state, and local government requirement. Not open to students with credit in PLSI 101. The development and operation of government in the United States; study of how ideas, institutions, laws, and people have constructed and maintained a political order in America. Not available for CR/NC grading. G.E. Breadth D2. (CAN GOVT 2)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: D2

PLSI 71. Introduction to Environmental Politics

Introduction to study of environmental politics and policy making in the United States; a brief history of environmentalism; basic principles in environmental policy making, including policy making for interest groups, legislatures, and levels of government; and selection of current topics in environmental issues. G.E. Breadth D3.

Units: 3
GE Area: D3

PLSI 90. Methods of Analysis of Quantitative Political Data

An introduction to hypothesis testing in political science, with applications to the analysis of quantitative political data; the formulation of research problems and hypotheses; accuracy and precision in measurements; problems of evidence and inference; basic techniques of statistical analysis.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

PLSI 102. California Government and Institutions

Not open to students with credit in PLSI 2. Open only to students who have satisfied United States Constitution requirement but have not satisfied California state and local government requirement. Examination of legislative, executive, judicial, and local government problems in California. Not available for CR/NC grading.

Units: 1
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

PLSI 103. California Politics

Satisfies California state and local government requirement, if not used for political science major. Emphasis on the historical development of politics in California and the factors and institutions important to contemporary politics: characteristics of the electorate, voter registration, primaries and general elections, candidates and campaigning, party organizations and leaders, interest groups, and current issues.

Units: 3

PLSI 107. Women in US Politics

(WS 107 same as PLSI 107). Prerequisites: at least one 3 unit WS or PLSI course. The course examines how women have shaped and been shaped by U.S. politics along with how gender impacts U.S.political thought, institutions, and practices.

Units: 3

PLSI 110. Seminar in History of Political Thought to Machiavelli

Development of political thought from Plato to Machiavelli: law, justice, the state, authority, forms of government, and church-state relations in light of the philosophy of history.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

PLSI 111. Seminar in History of Political Thought Since Machiavelli

Freedom and individual rights, democracy, majority rule, equality, law and authority, power, constitutionalism, property, social class and structure, and revolution traced through the writings of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Burke, Bentham, Hegel, Tocqueville, and Mill.

Units: 3

PLSI 114. Seminar in American Political Thought

Analysis of democracy, majority rule and minority rights, constitutionalism, federalism, representation, pluralism, property, separation of powers, and judicial review based on the perspectives of representative early and contemporary American thinkers.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

PLSI 119T. Topics in Political Theory

Possible topics include theories of democracy; the Marxian tradition; political thought of specific authors, historical periods and countries; peace and war; church-state relations; the nature of politics and of political science.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 119TZ. British Political Thinkers

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 120. International Politics

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Dynamics of political interactions of nations; nationalism, imperialism and interdependence; national power and diplomacy; types of conflict, including war; peaceful settlement of disputes; current issues involving competing foreign policies, national development, energy, and national liberation movements. G.E. Multicultural/International MI.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: M/I

PLSI 120Z. International Politics

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Dynamics of political interactions of nations; nationalism, imperialism and interdependence; national power and diplomacy; types of conflict, including war; peaceful settlement of disputes; current issues involving competing foreign policies, national development, energy, and national liberation movements. G.E. Multicultural/International MI.

Units: 3
GE Area: M/I

PLSI 121. American Foreign Affairs

Prerequisite: PLSI 2. Formulation and execution of American foreign policy; constitutional frame work; role of the president and the executive branch, Congress, pressure groups and public opinion; contemporary problems and policies.

Units: 3

PLSI 122. Politics of Foreign Aid

Theory and practice of foreign aid, including U.S. policy, current debates, continuing challenges, approaches, issue-areas, and key actors (governmental and non-governmental, domestic and international organizations). (Formerly PLSI 128T)

Units: 3

PLSI 125. Russian Foreign Policy

Historical and ideological sources of foreign policy of Russia and other former Soviet republics; continuity and change in methods, strategy, and tactics; policy formulation and application in specific geographic and subject matter areas.

Units: 3

PLSI 126. International Law and Organization

The sources and subjects of international law; state jurisdiction and responsibility; international agreements; the regulation of force and the peaceful settlement of disputes through international law and organization, including the League of Nations, the United Nations, and regional organizations.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

PLSI 128T. Topics in International Relations

Politics of military power; arms limitation and control; peace theory; ecopolitics; regionalism and cooperation; shifts in balance of power; nationalism; imperialism; neutralism and nonalignment; foreign policies of specific nations.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 128T. Global Governance & Human Rights

This course involves an examination of interplay between global governance and the issue of human rights. This would necessitate a discussion of the basic concepts global governance and the human rights. The course would then move to an analysis of the interplay between states, international organizations, and non-state actors that have allowed human rights to become a core component for global governance. The remainder of the course would examine the challenges presented by human abuses.

Units: 3

PLSI 140. Approaches to Comparative Politics

Prerequisite: PLSI 1. Exploration of theories, models, and conceptual frameworks for the comparative study of political systems and subsystems; methodological rather than an area emphasis.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

PLSI 141. Russian Politics

A study of the political systems of Russia and other former Soviet republics. Changes in relations between state and society; change and continuity in political culture; trends in policy making; issues of relations between nationality groups.

Units: 3

PLSI 142T. Area Studies in Western Europe

Government and politics of Western Europe (Britain, France, Germany, and Italy), Northern European Countries (Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden); or government and politics, of selected countries.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 142T. Western Europe

This course looks at Western Europe by using an interdisciplinary examination of their current political structures and policies, recent history, economics, and societies. It includes select national and public issues including the European 'welfare' state, the European Unions, and the contemporary US-West European relations. It requires a great deal of reading, research, and writing culminating in a traditional country study.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 143T. Area Studies in Eastern Europe

Government and politics of Eastern Europe; or government, politics, and institutions of selected countries.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 144T. Area Studies in Africa and Middle East

Government and politics of Sub-Sahara Africa, Middle East; or government, politics, and institutions of selected countries.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 144T. Middle East Politics

Politics of the Middle East countries, the study of Middle Eastern governments and American relations with the Middle East.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 145T. Area Studies in Asia

Government and politics of selected countries in East and Southeast Asia.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 146T. Area Studies in Latin America

Possible topics include politics of South America; politics of Central America and Caribbean countries; roles of selected groups in Latin American politics.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 146T. Comtemporary Political Issues

Political philosophies, goals, and strategies of Chicanos and Latinos as reflected in their attempts to gain political power.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 147. East Asian Politics

Examines the governments, institutions, politics, and policy of China, Japan, North and South Korea, and selected Southeast Asian Nations. (Formerly PLSI 145T)

Units: 3

PLSI 148. Latin American Politics

Discusses the role of the military and violence in Latin American politics, the role of civilian groups with emphasis on democratization, and the influence of other nations - especially the United States - on Latin American politics. (Formerly PLSI 146T)

Units: 3

PLSI 149T. Seminar in Comparative Government

Parliamentary systems, problems and goals of developing nations, federal systems, comparative local government, parties and pressure groups, and multi-party systems.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 149T. The British Parliament System

This course will explore Britain's politics, and critical elements of its political development, touching on relations with the European Union and its member states, America, and Commonwealth nations. In so doing, such critical issues as constitutional development and history, the first model parliament, and the development and workings of the modern parliament will be explored. The course will focus on "British particularism" through several lenses: formal legal and political structures, ideas, the workings of the economy, class structure, and culture.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 150. Public Policy Making

Examines the institutional and political processes by which public policy is formulated, adopted, and implemented. Individual instruction on student papers (students with fundamental writing deficiencies will be required to enroll in ENGL 1L, 1 unit, concurrently).

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

PLSI 151. Political Participation and Political Parties

Political parties; nature and extent of citizen political activity; election of public officials; political organization of government.

Units: 3

PLSI 152. Public Opinion and Political Behavior

Examines the origins and expression of political attitudes and beliefs, including voting and other political participation, and how public opinion influences public policy. Special attention is given to partisanship, elections, and voting. (Formerly PLSI 156T)

Units: 3

PLSI 153. Presidential Politics

Examines the history, development, and operation of the U.S. Presidency. Special attention is given to the rise of the modern presidency, presidential power (constitutional and extra-constitutional), presidential speech, presidential elections, and the importance of public opinion for presidential power. (Formerly PLSI 159T)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

PLSI 154. Congressional Politics

Examines the history, development, and operation of the U.S. Congress. Special attention is given to congressional elections, congressional-presidential relations, and the policy-making process. (Formerly PLSI 159T)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

PLSI 155. Interest Group Politics

In this course students learn why people join interest groups, study the size and ideological diversity of the national interest group system, and learn the circumstances under which lobbyists for these groups can influence how American public policy is made.

Units: 3

PLSI 156T. Topics in Political Behavior

Voting behavior, political alienation, leadership, political perceptions and knowledge, environmental effects on political participation, group processes, and political socialization.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 157. Environmental Politics

Examines theory, concepts, and practices in U.S. environmental politics and policy. Topics include ecological principles, the history and philosophy of environmentalism, the contemporary political conflict over environmental policy, and environmental policy analysis. (Formerly PLSI 189T)

Units: 3

PLSI 158. Internship in Political Science

Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Maximum credit toward the political science major, 3 units. Supervised work experience in legislative offices and/or political campaigns to provide student with an opportunity to fuse theory and practice. CR/NC grading only.

Units: 2-6
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

PLSI 159T. Seminar in American Government and Politics

Congressional committee operations, policy making by the courts, political implications of civil service, executive initiation of legislation, minority groups and politics, political implications of news reporting; jurisprudence and legal philosophy; legal institutions; conflict resolution.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 160. State and Local Governments

The organization, structure, powers, and functions of state and local governments.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

PLSI 161. Social Movement Politics

Students will learn how and why social movements form, including what kinds of grievances lead to political organization. They will also study the tactics movements use, and why some movements are successful in their political advocacy while others are not.

Units: 3

PLSI 163. Municipal Government

Organization, powers, and functions of city government; types of city charters, relationship between city and state government; police and fire protection, education, water supply, health and sanitation, city planning, debts and taxation, public utilities.

Units: 3

PLSI 169T. Seminar in Metropolitan Government and Politics

Regional and area intergovernmental relations, urban renewal, human relations agencies, and taxation methodologies.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 169T. Political Economics

The course will review US political economic history beginning with Alexander Hamilson and the first national bank system. The course will also focus on the current recession, financial regulation, the effect of the economy on voting, the role of the Federal Reserve Bank, and the use of government policy by the national government and local governments to advance economic growth.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 170. Constitutional Law, the Federal Structure

Judicial Review, powers of the president, powers of Congress, federalism, and the contract clause and due process -- economic rights through case studies of leading Supreme Court decisions.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

PLSI 171. Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights

Free speech and association, freedom of press, commercial free speech, obscenity, religion guarantees, fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth amendment issues, and social and political equality through case studies of leading Supreme Court decisions.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

PLSI 174. Politics and the Court

An introduction to the judicial process: jurisprudence, courts and social policy, instruments and limitations of judicial power, fact finding, precedents and legal reasoning, statutory and constitutional interpretation, and the search for standards.

Units: 3

PLSI 175. Water Politics and Policy

This course focuses on the development of policy regarding the ownership and use of surface and ground water in the American West, California, and the Central Valley. It also examines the political clash between economic and environmental demands for water.

Units: 3

PLSI 179T. Moot Court Oral Advocacy

The purpose of this course is to educate undergraduate students about the American legal system, jurisprudence, and appellate advocacy. Students receive training in oral advocacy and deliver arguments before a panel of judges.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 8 units

PLSI 181. Public Administration

General analysis of the field of public administration; administrative theories; policy and administration; behavioralism; budgeting, planning, and legal framework.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

PLSI 182. Administrative Analysis: Management and Organization

Administrative organization; methods; systems and procedures; problem solving; systems analysis; reports and records; resources management.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

PLSI 183. Comparative Administration

Theories of comparative public administration; cross-national comparisons of administrative processes; institutions, policy formation, and behavior with consideration of cultural, social, and economic environments.

Units: 3

PLSI 184. Public Budgeting and Economy Policy

Examines the administrative and political considerations of revenue generation and expenditure; budget types; the budgetary process and analysis; capital budgeting and debt administration; intergovernmental fiscal relations; monetary and fiscal policy.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

PLSI 185. Public Personnel Management

Examines the evolution of public personnel administration including the development of merit principles, equal employment opportunity, and affirmative action; recruitment, selection, and career development; classification techniques; theories of motivation; public sector labor relations.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

PLSI 187. Internship in Public Administration

Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Maximum credit toward public administration major, 3 units. Supervised work experience in public agencies to provide the student with an opportunity to fuse theory and practice. CR/NC grading only.

Units: 2-6
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

PLSI 188T. Topics in Public Administration

Treatment of current topics and problems in fiscal administration, public personnel administration, and planning.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 9 units

PLSI 188T. Tribal Governance

Politics and Government of U.S. Indian Tribes; Constitutions, Administration, Interactions with Federal, State, and Local Governments, Economic development, Cultural preservation, Self-determination, Tribal sovereignty, Recognition, Membership, etc.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 9 units

PLSI 190. Independent Study

See Academic Placement --Independent Study. Approved for RP grading.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

PLSI 191. Directed Readings

Directed readings and supplemental and original source material for enrichment of regular offerings in the subdiscipline.

Units: 1

PLSI 200. Seminar in Methods and Political Systems

Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Systematic analysis of major political cultures and economic systems. Emphasis upon the leading theoretical models of the contemporary international system, issues of political economy, and methods of cross-cultural research.

Units: 3

PLSI 210. International Relations and Political Theory

(PLSI 210 same as AETH 201.) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Inquiry into philosophies of international relations with particular emphasis on moral foundations of international law in light of Western political theory. Some contemporary problems selected for in-depth analysis and student research.

Units: 3

PLSI 220. Seminar in Politics and Conflict

Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Analysis of sources of political conflict and methods of conflict resolution with application to selected topics, such as the foreign policy of major powers, the dynamics of political transformation, interaction in regional subsystems, or national defense and arms control.

Units: 3

PLSI 240. Seminar in Politics of Resources and Modernization

Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Analysis of global interdependence and national examples in selected resource areas. Emphasis on approaches to modernization in developing nations and relations between rich nations and poor nations.

Units: 3

PLSI 250. Seminar in Politics and Policy

Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation from a comparative perspective. Examines substantive policy issues common to modern industrial and developing nations from the perspectives of policy analysis and decision-making; considers the role of bureaucracy, the welfare state, political economy, and competing ideologies.

Units: 3

PLSI 270. Advanced Research and Writing in International Relations

Students will conduct primary research on IR topics of their choice, deepening their understanding of key issues, literature, and the application of theory, and gaining essential skills in research, analysis, and writing up to the journal level standard in IR.

Units: 3

PLSI 290. Independent Study

See Academic Placement --Independent Study. Approved for RP grading.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units

PLSI 299. Thesis

See Criteria for Thesis and Project. Approved for RP grading.

Units: 3-6

Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
Political Science Major

Major requirements (36 units)
(see Notes 1 and 2)

Lower-division core:
PLSI 1, 90 (6 units)
(to be completed prior to or concurrently with enrollment in the first 6 units of upper-division major courses)

Upper-division core:
PLSI 110 or 111, 120, 140, 150 (12 units)

Upper-division Political Science electives:
(PLSI exclude 102, 187) (18 units)

General Education requirements (51 units)

Electives and remaining degree requirements (33 units)
(see Degree Requirements); may be used toward a double major or minor

Total (120 units)

Advising Notes

  1. CR/NC grading is not permitted in the political science major.
  2. No General Education Integration or Multicultural/International course offered by the Political Science Department may be used to satisfy the General Education requirements for public administration majors. In addition, PLSI 120 may not be used to satisfy the General Education Multicultural/International requirement for public administration majors.
  3. General Education and elective units may be used toward a double major or minor (in something other than political science; see Double Major or departmental minor). Consult the appropriate department chair, program coordinator, or faculty adviser for further information.
  4. The department highly recommends that the student select upper-division electives in at least three of the following disciplines: anthropology, African American studies, economics, English, geography, history, Chicano and Latin American studies, philosophy, sociology, or city and regional planning. Consult adviser for specifically recommended courses.
  5. Grading Requirement. Students majoring in political science must earn a grade of C or better in each of the six core courses in the major: PLSI 1, 90 (lower-division) and PLSI 110 or 111, 120, 140, and 150 (upper-division).

Faculty

In most instances, the faculty in the department have had experience practicing what they teach. All bring to their classes extensive backgrounds that permit them to combine the theories of political science and public administration with the practical applications of those theories.

Most upper-division classes are small enough to allow extensive student-faculty interaction. The usual course involves a mixture of lecture and class discussion and encourages the expression of a variety of viewpoints about political issues. With smaller classes come greater opportunities for individualized instruction and assistance.

Name Degree Email Phone
Abosch, Yishaiya Doctor of Philosophy yabosch@csufresno.edu 559.278.8396
Arvanigian, Kimberly R Master of Arts karvanigian@csufresno.edu 559.278.2114
Becker, Michael R Doctor of Philosophy mikebe@csufresno.edu 559.278.2779
Bryant, Lisa A Doctor of Philosophy lbryant@csufresno.edu
Cha, Marn J Doctor of Philosophy marnc@csufresno.edu 559.278.5415
Cline, Kurt D Doctor of Philosophy kcline@csufresno.edu 559.278.2865
Driggers, Dennis S Doctor of Philosophy ddriggers@csufresno.edu 559.278.8350
Evans Jr, Alfred B Doctor of Philosophy alfrede@mail.fresnostate.edu
HagamanCummins, Jeffrey M Doctor of Philosophy jcummins@csufresno.edu 559.278.6693
Hansen, Kenneth Doctor of Philosophy kennethh@csufresno.edu 559.278.2260
Holyoke, Thomas T Doctor of Philosophy tholyoke@csufresno.edu 559.278.7580
Lukens, Michael J Master of Public Admin mlukens@csufresno.edu
Mardon, Russell J Doctor of Philosophy russm@csufresno.edu 559.278.3998
Ram, Melanie H Doctor of Philosophy meram@csufresno.edu 559.278.5324
Somma, Mark S Doctor of Philosophy markso@csufresno.edu 559.278.8408
Tafoya, Marcus K Master of Arts mtafoya@csufresno.edu
Wallace, Gina Juris Doctor gwallace@csufresno.edu

Roadmap

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Year One

Fall

  • GE Area A1-Oral Communication
  • GE Area A2-Written Communication
  • GE Area B4-Quantitative Reasoning
  • Lower-Division Major Course:
  • Free Elective:

Spring

  • GE Area A3-Critical Thinking
  • GE Area B1-Physical Science
  • GE Area C1-Arts
  • Lower Division Major Course
  • Free Elective:

Year Two

Fall

  • GE Area B2-Life Sciences

  • GE Area C2-Humanities
  • GE Area D1-American History
  • GE Area D3-Social Science

  • Free Elective :

Spring

  • GE Area D2-American Government
  • GE Area C1-Arts
  • GE Area E1-Lifelong Understanding
  • Free Elective :

Year Three

Fall

  • GE Area IB-Physical Univ & Life Forms

  • Major Course:
  • Political Science Elective:
  • Political Science Elective:
  • Major Course:

Spring

  • GE Area IC-Arts & Humanities
  • Major Course:
  • Political Science Elective:
  • Political Science Elective:
  • Major Course:

Year Four

Fall

  • GE Area ID-Soc, Pol, Econ Inst & Beh, Hist
  • Political Science Elective:
  • Free Elective:
  • Free Elective:
  • Free Elective:

Spring

  • GE Area MI-Multicultural/ International
  • Political Science Elective:
  • Free Elective:
  • Free Elective:
  • Free Elective:

Careers

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Political science is more than just examining government structures and discussing elites currently in office. It is the study of who has the power to make laws for a society, the institutional structures that guide how this power is used, who benefits and who loses when this power is used, and the relationship between and policies in a society. Political science students therefore study voting, elections, the structures of government institutions, and how governments around the world differ and interact.

Many of our graduates have served and do serve in Congress, in the state legislature, as city managers, as urban planners, as city council members, as judges, as mayors, as union leaders, as educators, as non-profit managers, as military officers, and as civic organizers. Numerous leaders in the San Joaquin Valley are our graduates.

What You Can Earn

Public Relations Specialist I
$47,107 (in our region)

Urban Planner
$43,943 (in our region)

Source: Source: HR Reported data from salary.com as of December 2012

What You Can Do

  • Prepare for administrative positions in public agencies
  • Pursue a career in public office or law

Interesting Classes You Might Take

  • Contemporary Issues in Politics
  • American Foreign Affairs
  • Approaches to Comparative Politics
  • Presidential Politics

What You Can Learn

  • Political parties; nature and extent of citizen political activity; election of public officials; political organization of government
  • Politics of military power; arms limitation and control; peace theory; ecopolitics; regionalism and cooperation; shifts in balance of power; nationalism; imperialism; neutralism and nonalignment; foreign policies of specific nations
  • Freedom and individual rights, democracy, majority rule, equality, law and authority, power, constitutionalism, property, social class and structure, and revolution

About the College

The College of Social Sciences studies the human experience, including the depth of the past and the breadth of the entire planet.

We place emphasis on learning practical skills to aid you in your career. Our students do internships, participate in archaeological digs, or do service-learning projects with a non-profit agency. Students can assist on research projects or organize a social change project.

Whatever a student's major, they enjoy our witty and talented faculty and our caring staff as they discover our social world.

College Contact Information

email
Phone: (559) 278-3013
FAX: (559) 278-7664

Address:
5340 N. Campus Drive MS/SS91
Fresno CA 93740-8019

Department Contact Information

Department of Political Science 
Phone: 559-278-2988 
Fax: 559-278-5230

Office Location:

McKee-Fisk Building 
2225 East San Ramon Avenue 
Mail Stop MF 19 
Fresno, California 
93740-8029