Welcome to the Department of Political Science

For over half a century, the Department of Political Science at UC Santa Barbara has been home to top scholars engaged in cutting edge research. Housed in a world-class university widely known for its interdisciplinarity, the department is committed to rigorous quantitative and qualitative research, as well as to normative theory. describe the thing at the place for the stuff

In addition to its commitment to research, the department prides itself on first-rate teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Our research and teaching cover the traditional fields of International Relations, Comparative Politics, American Politics, Political Theory, and Research Methods. We are distinctive because of our additional emphasis on the Politics of Identity and Politics of the Environment.


Message From the Chair

July 1st, 2024Professor Alison Brysk, Department Chair

Welcome to Political Science @ UCSB!  We are a diverse and engaged community of scholars, teachers, and students building knowledge and understanding of the  critical political issues of our times.  Political Science is the study of the sources, patterns, and impacts of power, authority, and governance--from the local to the national to the global. 

We offer courses and research in the traditional subfields of American PoliticsComparative PoliticsInternational Relations, and Political Theory--plus enriched Focus Areas in Environmental Politics and Identity with interdisciplinary outreach across campus.  Our award-winning faculty and doctoral students use a full range of social science methods to advance innovative research, from statistics to experiments to case studies to international fieldwork. 

Political Science students are campus leaders, and many pursue careers in law, government, academics, the nonprofit sector, and business.  Our dedicated staff provide support tailored to each sector of our community--including a robust team of peer advisors.  Our website will guide you to how you can participate in our majorgraduate studyresearchevents and support.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Awards and Announcements

Welcome Distinguished Professor Dr. Alison Brysk. She will be the new chair effective 7/1/2024....

Thank you Dr. Kaplan for your outstanding service and dedication to the field of political...

Congratulations Julien.