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Political Science Undergraduate Program

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 two major programs.

  • Political Science
  • Political Science - Public Service

The Political Science major aims to provide the student with a broad understanding of political concepts, political institutions, political behavior, and political processes.  The Political Science - Public Service major is 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.

Student Learning Objectives for the Major

Students who earn a B.A. in Political Science at UC Davis will be able to:

  • identify and explain key behavioral and institutional characteristics of political systems, including those within countries and the international political order;
  • understand and assess systematic forces that underlie political processes in the United States and abroad;
  • analyze and critically assess political theories and concepts, including theories developed both in the history of political philosophy and in contemporary social scientific approaches;
  • employ scholarly standards to assess the quality of political science research;
  • effectively write about political systems, processes, and theories in a rigorous manner.


(Sample Three Year Degree Plan for Political Science)