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The Political Science Major Program

Political science is the study of politics and political systems at the local, national, and international levels. It concerns not only the institutions of government but also the analysis of such phenomena as political behavior, political values, political change and stability, parties, pressure groups, bureaucracies, administrative behavior, justice, national security, and international affairs.

The Program. The Department of Political Science offers two major programs: political science and political science-public service. The political science major aims to provide the student with a broad understanding of political concepts, political institutions, political behavior, and political processes. The political science-public service major is for students who desire opportunities for practical hands-on experience in their major. It differs in particular from the political science major in its internship requirement and its focus on the American political system.

Internships and Career Alternatives. Both the proximity of UC Davis to the state capitol and the programs offered by the UC Center Sacramento and the UC Washington Center afford exceptional internship possibilities in local, state, and national government offices, providing students with actual experience in politics and government service while still attending school. A student who majors in political science acquires research and analytic skills relevant to many professional fields. Consequently, the majors offered in political science are valuable not only in providing students with a better understanding of politics and political systems, but also as a first step toward careers in teaching, law, management, government, urban planning, journalism, politics, administration, or for graduate studies in numerous fields.

The International Relations Major Program

Ethan Scheiner, Ph.D., Program Director

Program Office. 464 Kerr Hall 530-754-8098

Problems of security, development, ethnic conflict, human rights, health, and the environment are increasingly confronted at a global rather than a national level. With its theoretical models and real-world application, the study of international relations is an exciting and highly relevant interdisciplinary major.

The Program. Graduation with a major in international relations requires completion of introductory courses in political science, economics, statistics, and history. The major also requires fluency in English and a working knowledge (approximately 24 to 30 units of course credits or equivalent fluency) of one other modern language. Students choose one of four tracks that encompass major topical areas in combination with an area studies emphasis:
(1) World Trade and Development;
(2) Peace and Security;
(3) Global Environment, Health, and Natural Resources;
(4) Peoples and Nationalities. Upper division course work for Tracks I, II and III is composed of twelve courses. Students choosing Track IV, Peoples and Nationalities, are required to study or work abroad for a minimum of one quarter; upper division course work is reduced to nine classes in recognition of the experience gained through education abroad.

Programs, Internships, and Career Alternatives. One program of special interest to international relations majors is the Education Abroad Program, which provides insights into the life and culture of other countries. At UC Davis, the Internship and Career Center assists students in obtaining legislative, legal, and business internships. In addition, the UC Davis Washington Center and UC Center Sacramento arrange internships and run full-credit academic program in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento respectively with a full range of opportunities for International Relations majors (see also UC Washington Program (UCDC). International relations graduates are prepared for employment in government agencies (such as the Foreign Service), state agencies, international or non-governmental organizations (such as the United Nations), foundations, and companies having interests in international business, trade, or finance. The stringent language requirement of the major program enhances career prospects in jobs which demand knowledge of the language and culture of other countries.

International Relations Abroad. International Relations strongly encourages all students to participate in the UC Education Abroad Program; those who choose to study Track IV, Peoples and Nationalities, must study or work abroad for a minimum of one quarter. A maximum of five courses taken abroad may be applied toward the 12 upper division courses in Tracks I, II, and III of the International Relations major. In Track IV, the four Area Studies courses may be done abroad. Courses are selected with the approval of an adviser for the International Relations program.

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Updated: November 21, 2017 12:17 PM