Political Science—Public Service, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

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 three majors:

  • International Relations — Explores problems of security, development, ethnic conflict, human rights, health, and the environment at a global level.
  • Political Science — Aims to provide the student with a broad understanding of political concepts, political institutions, political behavior, and political processes.
  • Political Science—Public Service — 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.

Major Advisors

Contact the Department of Political Science

Internships & Career Alternatives

Both the proximity of UC Davis to the state capitol and the programs offered by 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.

American History & Institutions

This University requirement may be satisfied by passing any one of the following Political Science (POL) courses:1

POL 001American National Government4
POL 005Contemporary Problems of the American Political System4
POL 100Local Government & Politics4
POL 102Urban Public Policy4
POL 104California State Government & Politics4
POL 105The Legislative Process4
POL 106The Presidency4
POL 108Policy Making in the Public Sector4
POL 109Public Policy & the Governmental Process4
POL 113American Political Thought4
POL 130Recent U.S. Foreign Policy4
POL 131Analysis of U.S. Foreign Policy4
POL 160American Political Parties4
POL 163Group Politics4

See also under American History & Institutions Requirement.

Graduate Study

The Department of Political Science offers a program of graduate study and research leading to a Ph.D. degree or an M.A./J.D. joint degree. The M.A./J.D. joint degree is done only in conjunction with UC Davis School of Law. Information concerning admission to these programs and requirements for completion are available in the Graduate Program Coordinator's office.

Graduate Advisor

Contact the Department of Political Science

The major requirements below are in addition to meeting University Degree Requirements & College Degree Requirements; unless otherwise noted. The minimum number of units required for the Political Science—Public Service Bachelor of Arts is 68.

Preparatory Subject Matter
POL 001American National Government4
or POL 001Y American National Government
POL 051Scientific Study of Politics4
Choose three:12
Introduction to Comparative Politics
International Relations
Basic Concepts in Political Theory
Contemporary Problems of the American Political System
Contemporary Issues in Law & Politics
Choose one:4
Data Visualization in the Social Sciences
Elementary Statistics
Elementary Statistics
Gateway to Statistical Data Science
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal24
Depth Subject Matter
Core Program
Choose three:12
Local Government & Politics
Urban Public Policy
California State Government & Politics
The Legislative Process
The Presidency
Policy Making in the Public Sector
Public Policy & the Governmental Process
American Political Thought
Quantitative Analysis of Political Data
Bureaucracy in Modern Society
Choose one:6
Internship in Public Affairs
Internship in Public Affairs
Internship in the UC Davis Washington Program
Research Paper
WAS 193/POL 193WWashington Center Research Seminar2-4
or POL 193 Research in Practical Politics
Fields of Concentration
Select six upper division courses from two or three fields of concentration listed below with at least two courses in each field selected; at least 16 of the units must be in Political Science; No overlap between Core Program courses and Fields of Concentration allowed.24
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal44-46
Total Units68-70

Fields of Concentration

Field (1) Policy Process

POL 100Local Government & Politics4
POL 102Urban Public Policy4
POL 104California State Government & Politics4
POL 105The Legislative Process4
POL 106The Presidency4
POL 108Policy Making in the Public Sector4
POL 109Public Policy & the Governmental Process4
POL 140AComparative Political Institutions: Electoral Systems 4
POL 160American Political Parties4
POL 162Elections & Voting Behavior4
POL 163Group Politics4
POL 164Public Opinion4
POL 165Mass Media & Politics4
POL 166Women in Politics4
POL 168Latino Politics4
POL 170Political Psychology4
POL 171The Politics of Energy4
POL 172American Political Development4
POL 174Government & the Economy4
POL 175Science, Technology, & Policy4
POL 180Bureaucracy in Modern Society4
POL 183Administrative Behavior4
POL 187Administrative Theory4
POL 195Special Studies in American Politics4
ECN 130Public Microeconomics4
ECN 131Public Finance4

Field (2) Policy Interpretation (Public/Pre-Law)

POL 119Contemporary Political Thought4
POL 150Judicial Politics & Constitutional Interpretation4
POL 151Constitutional Politics of the First Amendment & the Right to Privacy.4
POL 152The Constitutional Politics of the Equality4
POL 153The Constitutional Politics of the Justice System4
POL 155Judicial Process & Behavior4

Field (3) State & Local Policy

POL 100Local Government & Politics4
POL 102Urban Public Policy4
POL 104California State Government & Politics4
ESP 173Land Use & Growth Controls4
SOC 143AUrban Society4

Field (4) Foreign Policy

POL 122International Law4
POL 130Recent U.S. Foreign Policy4
POL 131Analysis of U.S. Foreign Policy4
POL 132National Security Policy4
POL 134Africa & U.S. Foreign Policy4
POL 139Special Studies in Foreign Policy4

Field (5) Environmental Policy

POL 107Environmental Politics & Administration4
ESP 160The Policy Process4
ESP 161Environmental Law4
ESP 162Environmental Policy4
ESP 166Ocean & Coastal Policy3
ESP 168AMethods of Environmental Policy Analysis5
ESP 168BMethods of Environmental Policy Evaluation4
ESP 169Water Policy & Politics3
ESP 171Urban & Regional Planning4
ESP 172Public Lands Management4
ESP 173Land Use & Growth Controls4
ESP 179Environmental Impact Assessment4

Field (6) Economic Policy

ECN 100AIntermediate Micro Theory: Consumer & Producer Theory4
ECN 130Public Microeconomics4
ECN 131Public Finance4
ECN 151AEconomics of the Labor Market4
ECN 151BEconomics of Human Resources4

Field (7) Social Policy

SOC/IRE 104The Political Economy of International Migration4
SOC 124Education & Inequality in the U.S.4
SOC 141Industrialization & Social Change4
SOC 150Criminology 4
SOC 151The Criminal Justice System4
SOC 154 (Discontinued)4
SOC 155Sociology of Law4
SOC 175 (Discontinued)4
SOC 181 (Discontinued)4

Field (8) Policy Analysis Tools

ECN 102Analysis of Economic Data4
ECN 140Econometrics4
POL 114Quantitative Analysis of Political Data4

Field (9) Honors Thesis

POL 194HASpecial Study for Honors Students4
POL 194HBSpecial Study for Honors Students4