Major Requirements

Declare Pre-Political Science
Declare Political Science
Upper Division Requirements
Petitioning Upper Division Courses

Independent Study
Pass/No Pass Policy

Undergraduate Forms and Petitions 


 

Declare Pre-Political Science  

Students admitted to UCSB as freshman or transfer students are admitted as Political Science pre-majors Students admitted to other majors seeking to change their major to Political Science, or who wish to add Political Science as an additional major must satisfy the requirements listed below.

  1. Students must complete two of the following lower division courses at UCSB and earn a 2.6 GPA average in those courses. Courses must be taken for a letter grade, and cannot be satisfied by work-in-progress.
  • PS 1 Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • PS 6 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • PS 7 Introduction to International Relations
  • PS 12 American Government and Politics
  • PS 15 Introduction to Research in Political Science.  
  1. Complete a Change of Major petition. Fill out this form, except for the Department chair's signature, and return it to the advising office in 3838 Ellison Hall. The Department's Peer Advisors will review the form and obtain the chair's signature on your behalf. Double majors must also submit a Memo of Understanding.  Admission to the pre-major does not guarantee admission to the full major.                                                                                                                                                                          

Note: Students who do not make adequate progress toward completing the pre-major requirements may be subject to a block preventing them from taking additional upper division Political Science courses. 

Transfer Students: Transfer students who have officially declared Political Science with the UCSB Office of Admissions are admitted as Political Science pre-majors.  This does not guarantee admittance to the full major.  Please see below for instructions on how to declare the full major.

Transfer Orientation YouTube video --  Please view this video for helpful information on the path forward for Transfer Students.

 

Declare Political Science 

  1. In order to declare the full Political Science major, students must complete all the lower division courses listed above with a 2.6 GPA average in those courses.  Courses must be taken for a letter grade, and cannot be satisfied by work-in-progress.
    • Transfer Students: Only courses taken at UCSB will be calculated into the GPA requirement. Some exceptions may apply.
  2. All courses must be taken for a letter grade. 
  3. Economics 1 (Principles of Economics-Micro) and Economics 2 (Principles of Economics-Macro) OR Economics 9 (Introduction to Economics) are required.  Economics courses are not factored into the required 2.6 GPA for lower division political science courses.  However, they will be calculated into the overall major GPA.  
  4. Complete a Change of Major PetitionFill out this form, except for the Department chair's signature, and return it to the advising office in 3838 Ellison Hall. The Department's Peer Advisors will review the form and obtain the chair's signature on your behalf.  Double majors must also submit a Memo of Understanding.

 

Upper Division Requirements

Students do not have to complete lower division requirements before enrolling in upper division courses.  Those with upper division standing may simultaneously enroll in lower division and upper division political science courses.  Majors in political science are required to complete 40 upper division units distributed over a minimum of three subfields.  All courses must be taken for a letter grade. 

   A. CONCENTRATION: 5 courses, each worth at least 4 units (20 units) must be completed in one concentration area.   (Majors are limited to a maximum of 6 courses in the core concentration.)

       Choose ONE of the four subfields below:

      - American Politics

      - Comparative Politics

      - International Relations

      - Political Theory

   B. SECOND SUBFIELD (Breadth): 1 course (4 units) chosen from  a second subfield

   C. THIRD SUBFIELD (Breadth): 1 course (4 units) choses from a third subfield

   D. ELECTIVES: 3 elective courses (12 units) from any of the four subfields.  Courses on a students' record beyond that which satisfy the core concentration and breadth requirements are considered electives.  They can also be courses numbered POLS 106; 192; 197ABC; 199; 199RA.  Any units in any area beyond that which satisfy a requirement are automatically considered upper division major electives.

 

Petitioning Courses

Courses taken in other departments and from other universities may be petitioned for credit toward the upper division requirements of the major.

  • Students are limited to 20 upper division political science units from other universities.  University residency requirements may also apply.  Students should check with the College of Letters & Sciences as to residency requirements before attempting to take courses at another university.
  • The Department will accept up to two upper division courses (courses numbered 100 or higher) from outside the POLS major upon review of the course's syllabus (a total of two courses and eight units).   This limitation also applies to double majors who are allowed up to two courses common to both majors.  Double majors should be aware the the total allowed is 8 units or two courses - and not 16 units and four courses.   [ONLY full POLS majors may petition upper division courses toward POLS upper division degree requirements.]
  • In some cases, lower division courses may be petitioned in satisfaction of lower division POLS prerequisites.  Please contact the POLS Advising Office for questions on applicability.
  • All petitions are reviewed by the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and forwarded to the College of Letters and Science for final approval.  Approval by the College can take up to six weeks before any change is reflected on a student's record.  Please see the "Courses" page of our website for a list of courses by subfield.
  • Please see the lists below for possible courses which might be petitioned for POLS degree credit: 

            Spring 2019 

            Fall 2019 

            Winter 2020

            Spring 2020

            Summer 2020

            Fall 2020

 

EAP Courses

All Education Abroad courses must be petitioned for allocation to a student's POLS degree requirements.

  • Students should submit a course petition form and attach a course syllabus in English.  (We cannot provide translation services.)  We cannot accept course descriptions or non-English syllabi.
  • Classes with a POL SEAP designator (ex: POL SEAP101A) will be accepted and applied to the relevant sub field as demonstrated by course content in the accompanying syllabus.
  • Classes without a POL SEAP designator, but which a student believes was cross-listed, must indicate on the course petition both the course name visible on the student's transcript, as well as the EAP cross listing Political Science course number (ex. INTL EAP131I/POL SEAP 120) This information can be found on the EAP's website here: https://myeap.eap.ucop.edu/Galileo/service/coursecatalog/Coursecatalog.aspx
  • Education abroad courses with non-POL SEAP designations, and which are not cross-listed, may be accepted toward the Department's two-course limit for courses petitioned from outside of the major.

 

 

Independent Study & Research (POLS 99, POLS 199 or POLS 199RA)

Students who are interested in doing independent study or research, and who are eligible, can earn credit through work one-on-one with with Political Science faculty and researchers.  The Department offers three different programs, open to eligible Political Science students and students from other majors.  Please note that the POLS Advising Office does not match students with faculty or research projects.  

 

POLS 99 - Independent Study for Freshmen and Sophomores:

Lower division students interested in completing an independent study course and earn credit for POLS 99 must have:

  • Freshman or Sophmore status
  • a 3.0 GPA in the major and in all course work at UCSB cumulatively, and for the prior three quarters to their application for POLS 99 enrollment
  • A plan of study and project description developed in collaboration with a supervising instructor.
  • Approval from the instructor and the POLS Undergraduate Program Coordinator.

After obtaining instructor approval, students must submit an Independent Study Petition for POLS 99 to the POLS Advising Office in 3838 Ellison Hall, or via email to Advising@polsci.ucsb.edu.  Upon approval by the Undergradute Program Coordinator, the department will provide an add code for enrollment, usually via email.  Students are limited to 5 units per quarter, with no more than 8 units applied toward the major.  Petitions must be received by Wednesday of Week 2 for fall, winter, or spring quarter.  After this date, students risk increased enrollment fees.

 

POLS 199 - Independent Study for Juniors and Seniors:

Junior and Senior students interested in completing an independent study or research course and earn credit for POLS 199 or must have:

  • Junior or Senior status
  • a 3.0 GPA in their major and UCSB cumulatively, and in coursework for the last three quarters.
  • Development of a plan of study and project description in collaboration with a supervising instructor.
  • Approval from the instructor and the Undergraduate Program Coordinator.

After obtaining instructor approval, students must submit an Independent Study Petition for PS 199 to the POLS Advising Office in 3838 Ellison Hall, or via email to Advising@polsci.ucsb.edu.  Upon approval by the Undergradute Program Coordinator, the department will provide an add code for enrollment, usually via email.  Students are limited to 5 units per quarter, with no more than 8 units applied toward the major.  Petitions should be received by Wednesday of Week 2 for fall, winter, or spring quarter.  After this date, students risk increased enrollment fees.

 

POLS 199RA - Independent Research Assistance for Juniors and Seniors:

Junior and Senior students interested in assisting a POLS faculty member or researcher in an ongoing research project, and earn credit for POLS 199RA or must have:

  • Junior or Senior status
  • 3.0 GPA in their major and UCSB cumulatively, and in coursework for the last three quarters.
  • Development of a plan of study and project description in collaboration with a supervising instructor.
  • Approval from the instructor and the Undergraduate Program Coordinator.

After obtaining instructor approval, students must submit an Independent Research Assistance Petition for PS199RA to the POLS Advising Office in 3838 Ellison Hall, or via email to Advising@polsci.ucsb.edu.  Upon approval by the Undergradute Program Coordinator, the department will provide an add code for enrollment, usually via email.  Students are limited to 5 units per quarter, with no more than 8 units applied toward the major.  Petitions should be received by Wednesday of Week 2 for fall, winter, or spring quarter.  After this date, students risk increased enrollment fees.

 

Learning Objectives for Political Science Majors

 

Pass/No Pass Policy - SPRING QUARTER 2020 ONLY

The POLS Department has agreed to allow students the option of selecting P/NP for POLS courses. Students must make the choice prior to the Registrar's Office deadline of June 5th.

  • This policy applies to all Upper Division POLS courses.
  • This policy also applies to all Lower Division courses with following warnings:
  1. In allowing students the opportunity to exercise the P/NP option the POLS Department is not waiving our GPA threshold requirements of a GPA of 2.6 in the lower division prerequisites taken here or at another UC campus – either for students petitioning to become POLS pre-majors, or for current POLS pre-majors attempting to advance to the full POLS major.

  2. Students taking POLS lower division courses in Spring quarter 2020 - POLS 1, 6, 7 or 15 - are advised that taking these courses for P/NP credit can have implications for the GPA calculations used in either petitioning to become a POLS pre-major or for advancing to the full POLS major. Pass credit will indicate satisfaction of a lower division requirement ONLY and will reduce the number of available units a student has in order to achieve the GPA threshold requirement of a 2.6 GPA in the classes taken at UCSB or another UC campus.

  3. In petitioning to become a POLS pre-major, students will still need two letter graded POLS prerequisite courses, taken either here at UCSB or at another UC campus, with a cumulative GPA of 2.6 or higher in those classes.  Courses taken for Pass credit, or at another non-UC school, cannot be used to demonstrate GPA-eligibility.

Students with questions or concerns about their progress to the full POLS major should email POLS Advising at Advising@polsci.ucsb.edu.

 

Undergraduate Forms and Petitions