Academic Catalog

Political Science

Political Science Program Learning Outcomes

College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences    
Department of Political Science
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Roadmap

General Political Science Concentration


Salvatore Russi, Department Chair
Hyo Joon Chang, David Dixon, Christopher Hallenbrook, Yea Ji Kim, Hamoud Salhi, Annie Whetmore

Department Office: SBS G-322, (310) 243-3435

Emeriti Faculty

Alan Fisher, Linda Groff, Jay Kaplan, Wayne Martin, Richard Palmer

Program Description

The Political Science Program at CSU Dominguez Hills offers excellent opportunities for the study of government and politics.

Over 30 courses cover all the major aspects of the discipline. Students develop an understanding of human behavior as it relates to politics. They learn to discuss and analyze critically current public policy issues facing the United States and the world. They are taught how to critically observe and understand world affairs and comparative politics. They are trained in appropriate research techniques for the study of political processes.

The General Political Science Concentration is a relatively "open" one, allowing students to choose from a wide range of courses and subjects within a general framework. It is designed for students seeking broad exposure to the diverse subjects of the discipline.

A five-course minor in political science also is available. While the minor most often is used in conjunction with such majors as communications, human services, history, economics and sociology, it can be paired with almost any major offered at this university.


The political science faculty is an interesting and diverse group of scholars actively involved in their own research projects. Most have traveled extensively in this country and abroad.

Political science internships are available. One opportunity at the state level is the Sacramento Semester Program, which brings students from all 23 California State University campuses to Sacramento for one semester to take advantage of a unique learning experience at the State capital. Another is The Washington Center program in the nation's capital. Through the International Education Center, students can participate in study abroad programs. The Lyman G. Chaffee Endowment includes, in addition to a $1.5 million Chair of Global and Comparative Politics, includes $100,000 to fund political science studies abroad. The Department of Political Science is classified as an "Engaged Department" for outstanding work in the community.  This classification is granted by the campus office of community engagement (Center for Service Learning, Internships and Civic Engagement).

The department offers annually the Lori Cardenas Memorial Scholarship and Michael O'Hara Memorial Scholarship to outstanding students majoring in political science, sponsors the active Association of Political Science Students, and participates in Model United Nations conferences.

Students who work during the day should know that class scheduling permits completion of a political science major in the late afternoon and evening hours.

Academic Advisement

Political Science faculty recommend that new and continuing students visit the department for information regarding graduation requirements, transfer of credit, program planning, lifting of academic holds, and graduation approval. Student records and graduation change of major, add/drop, and other forms are kept in the department office.

Students needing assistance for more specialized interests should see specific faculty members for supplementary academic advising. For pre-law preparation contact Salvatore Russo; for internship opportunities, see Salvatore Russo; for American politics see Jay Kaplan, Salvatore Russo or Annie Whetmore, and for international and comparative politics see chair of the department.


High school students are encouraged to take English composition and social science courses, including civics, economics and history. Experience in journalism, debating activities and student government are helpful. A foreign language is not required for the degree. However, students who plan further study at the graduate level are encouraged to take a foreign language.

Community college transfer students should contact their counseling office or the CSU Dominguez Hills Political Science office to identify appropriate lower division major/minor preparatory courses. Typically, these would include a basic course in American political institutions, which would fulfill the state code requirements for U.S. Constitution and California state and local government. Transfer students must take POL 300 (Quantitative Methods of Political Analysis) at CSUDH as community colleges do not offer an equivalent course. Other lower division courses introducing students to the discipline of political science, international relations and comparative politics also are highly recommended.

Students at CSU Dominguez Hills should complete both POL 100 General Education Political Science: World Perspectives (3) and POL 101 American Institutions (3) as a preparation for the major.

Career Planning

Graduates with Political Science majors or minors from CSUDH have pursued a broad variety of careers. These include teaching, law, law enforcement, public administration, business, journalism, and international service. CSUDH graduates, including those with advanced graduate and law degrees, are employed as attorneys, public administrators, business executives, and teachers in schools and universities. Others work as labor union officials and a few have been elected to public office. Graduates from our program are employed both within and outside the United States.

The best undergraduate education for all careers develop critical thinking, communication and research skills. Course work and extra-curricular activities such as participation in Model United Nations conferences, writing for the campus newspaper and experiential internships will improve these skills. Some professions require graduate or law school training after the Bachelor's degree. Faculty advisers in the department will help you select the courses and an academic program most appropriate for your career goals. They also will explain interesting extra-curricular opportunities supported by the department.


An undergraduate degree in Political Science is recommended for entrance to graduate school in Political Science, with the doctorate essential for teaching at the four-year college or university level. Students may prepare for a career in teaching History/Social Science at the secondary level (junior high or high school) by completing an approved "Subject Matter Preparation Program." Completion of such a program is the first step in meeting the state requirements for a teaching credential. As the program requirements for the "Subject Matter Preparation Program" in Social Science have changed recently, interested students should contact the History Department for current information.


Many Political Science majors intend to practice law as a career. We advise pre-law students to select the General Political Science Concentration and work closely with a pre-law adviser who will explain law school undergraduate preparation, entrance requirements, school choice and career possibilities.

Public Administration

A major in Political Science with a public administration or public policy emphasis can prepare students for civil service careers at international, national, and local levels of government. These careers require both specialized skills and a general understanding of political processes. The General Political Science Concentration, internship experience and possibly graduate training are recommended for those interested in public administration.


A Political Science major can prepare students for an attractive career in journalism. The General concentration along with practical experience working on the university newspaper is highly recommended.


Many Political Science graduates have found employment in business. Preparation for this career involves a broad liberal arts background, combined with knowledge of governmental processes and organization, public administration, finance, decision-making, organizational behavior and the processes by which political decisions are made about economic policy. Political Science majors interested in business should consider selecting a business minor.


Enterprising individuals can use their Political Science degree to pursue a variety of interests in the field of politics. These include international and foreign service as well as political campaign management, speech writing, survey research, policy research, public relations, lobbying, fund raising and so forth. Opportunities result from the initiative of the individual, proper skill development and academic advising. All students should make a regular habit of discussing their academic and career plans with faculty advisers and fellow students including members of the Association of Political Science Students. The Association maintains a small library of materials on career and internship opportunities, law and graduate school catalogs and courses texts.

Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in Political Science provided the student meets the following criteria:

  1. A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;
  2. A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;
  3. Recommendation by the faculty of the Political Science Department.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree

See the "Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree" in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

Elective Requirements

Completion of elective courses (beyond the requirements listed below) to reach a total of a minimum of 120 units.

General Education Requirements (49 units)

See the "General Education" requirements in the University Catalog or the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education requirements and course offerings.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

See the "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" in the University Catalog.

Minor Requirements

Single field major, no minor required.

Major Requirements (39 units)

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree.

Political Science Concentration (39 units)

Upper Division Requirements
A. Core Requirements (15 units)

1. Quantitative Methods (3 units)

POL 300 Quantitative Methods of Political Analysis (3)

Note: POL 300 Quantitative Methods of Political Analysis (3) must be completed by the student within the first two semesters of taking any upper division course for the major.

2. History of Political Thought (3 units)

Select one course from the following (3 units):
POL 350 History of Political Ideas (3)
POL 351 Modern Political Thought (3)
POL 354 American Political Thought (3)

3. American Politics (3 units)

POL 315 Congress and the President (3)

4. Comparative Politics (3 units)

POL 340 Political Change in First and Third World Countries (3)

5. International Relations (3 units)

POL 335 International Politics (3) 

B. Depth in Political Science (9 units)

1. American Politics (3 units)

Select one course from the following (3 units):
POL 310 Current Issues in American Government (3)
POL 312 State and Local Government: Organization and Problems (3)
POL 314 American Political Parties and Elections (3)
POL 320 Urban Government and Policy Choices (3)
POL 360 American Constitutional Law: Distribution of Power (3)
POL 361 American Constitutional Law: Civil Rights (3)
POL 370 Public Opinion and Propaganda (3)

2. Comparative Politics: Select one course from the following (3 units):
POL 341 Gov and Politics of East Asia (3)
POL 342 Government and Politics of the Middle East (3)
POL 343 Political Behavior in Latin America (3)
POL 344 Latin America: The Revolutionary Tradition (3)
POL 349 Government and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa (3)

3. International Relations (3 units)

Select one course from the following (3 units):
POL 331 International Terrorism (3)
POL 334 American Foreign Policy (3)
POL 336 Theories of International Relations (3)
POL 338 Global Planning Future (3)
POL 339 Model United Nations (3)

C. Electives (15 units)

Select five additional upper division political science courses with departmental advisement.

D. Capstone Research Requirement

With the consultation and approval of the instructor, the student shall designate one of the Elective courses to meet the program capstone research requirement. The Capstone Research Requirement involves a 15 page (minimum) research paper. Completed papers will be reviewed by a committee of program faculty as part of the student outcomes assessment plan for the program.

Minor in Political Science (15 units)

Upper Division Requirements (15 units)

  1. Select three upper division courses from three of the four categories: Political Thought, American Politics, Comparative Politics, or International Relations (9 units).
  2. Select any two additional upper division courses in political science. No course may be repeated for credit toward the minor (6 units).