Political Science (Course 17)

Department of Political Science

Bachelor of Science in Political Science

General Institute Requirements (GIRs)

The General Institute Requirements include a Communication Requirement that is integrated into both the HASS Requirement and the requirements of each major; see details below.

Summary of Subject Requirements Subjects
Science Requirement 6
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement [between two and five subjects can be from the Departmental Program]; at least two of these subjects must be designated as communication-intensive (CI-H) to fulfill the Communication Requirement. 8
Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST) Requirement 2
Laboratory Requirement (12 units) [can be satisfied by 17.803 in the Departmental Program] 1
Total GIR Subjects Required for SB Degree 17
Physical Education Requirement
Swimming requirement, plus four physical education courses for eight points.

Departmental Program

Choose at least two subjects in the major that are designated as communication-intensive (CI-M) to fulfill the Communication Requirement.

Required Subjects 1Units
17.801Political Science Scope and Methods (CI-M)12
17.803Political Science Laboratory (CI-M)15
Thesis Research Design Seminar
and Undergraduate Political Science Thesis 2
Restricted Electives
Select seven subjects, including one subject from the each of the four groups listed below and three additional political science subjects representing a coherent plan of study. Specific subjects satisfying these criteria should be chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.81-84
Units in Major132-135
Unrestricted Electives 381-120
Units in Major That Also Satisfy the GIRs(36-72)
Total Units Beyond the GIRs Required for SB Degree180

The units for any subject that counts as one of the 17 GIR subjects cannot also be counted as units required beyond the GIRs.


Students typically enroll in subjects as follows: 17.801, fall term, junior year; 17.803, spring term, junior year; 17.THT, fall term, senior year; 17.THU, spring term, senior year.


17.THT and 17.THU may be replaced by two additional elective subjects in Political Science.


This chart has been calculated based on an overlap of 36 units (three subjects) between the HASS General Institute Requirement and the departmental requirements. Students who develop a program of study with more overlap will be able to select more unrestricted electives to meet the number of total units beyond the GIRs required for an SB degree.

Restricted Electives

Political Philosophy/Social Theory

Select one subject in political philosophy/social theory from the following:12
Feminist Thought
Philosophy of Law
Introduction to Political Thought
American Political Thought
Modern Conceptions of Freedom
Power: Interpersonal, Organizational, and Global Dimensions
Humane Warfare: Ancient and Medieval Perspectives on Ethics in War
Just Code: The Ethical Lifecycle of Machine Learning

American Politics

Select one subject in American politics from the following:12
Introduction to the American Political Process
Congress and the American Political System I
Electoral Politics, Public Opinion, and Democracy
Public Opinion and American Democracy
Race, Ethnicity, and American Politics
Mass Incarceration in the United States
Public Opinion Research Design and Training Seminar
Political Misinformation in the Age of Social Media
The War at Home: American Politics and Society in Wartime

Public Policy

Select one of the following options:12
Option 1
Select one political science subject in public policy from the following:
Making Public Policy
Methods of Policy Analysis
American Public Policy for Washington Interns
Science, Technology, and Public Policy
Health Policy
US Social Policy
Leadership in Negotiation: Advanced Applications
Education, Inequality, and Politics
Human Rights at Home and Abroad
Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics: Pollution Prevention and Control
Innovation Systems for Science, Technology, Energy, Manufacturing, and Health
Global Energy: Politics, Markets, and Policy
Option 2
Select one subject in another field designated as fulfilling the public policy requirement

International Politics

Select one of the following options:12
Option 1
Select one subject in international relations / security studies from the following:
American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future
Chinese Foreign Policy
Introduction to International Relations
Causes and Prevention of War
International Relations of East Asia
International Relations Theory in the Cyber Age
Emerging Technology and International Security
US National Security Policy
The Politics of Nuclear Proliferation
US Military Power
Option 2
Select one subject in comparative politics from the following:
Introduction to Comparative Politics
How Dictatorship Works
Critical Perspectives on Data and Identity
The Rise of Asia
Politics and Policy in Contemporary Japan
Introduction to Latin American Studies
European Politics
Israel: History, Politics, Culture, and Identity 1
Russia's Foreign Policy: Toward the Post-Soviet States and Beyond
Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society: 1917 to the Present
Electoral Politics in the Developing World
Engineering Democratic Development in Africa
Riots, Rebellions, Revolutions
Research Seminar in Applied International Studies

17.567, a 9-unit version of this subject that is taught during IAP, is also acceptable.