Political Science  {SF State Bulletin 2013 - 2014}

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Political Science

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Paul Sherwin

 

Department of Political Science

HSS 263
Phone: 415-338-2247

Chair: James Martel
Graduate Coordinator: Sujian Guo

 

Faculty

Professors: Belkin, Graham, Guo, Kassiola, Martel, Smith, Shastri, Tsygankov
Associate Professors: Carcieri, Neely, Watts
Assistant Professors: García-Castañon, Gordy, McDaniel

 

Programs

B.A. in Political Science

Minor in Political Science

M.A. in Political Science

 


 

Program Scope

Undergraduate study in political science is designed to develop knowledge, analytical skills, and critical insight into the nature of politics and political problems. The aim is to prepare students for active engagement in political life, whether as informed citizens or in a range of possible careers. The department endeavors to acquaint students with the issues of political life that have absorbed political thinkers and actors through the ages, as well as to equip students with the most contemporary skills for research analysis and policy making.

 

Pre-law Program

No specific major is required for admission to a school of law. Since law schools generally expect their students to have a broad foundation in the social sciences and the humanities, selection of a major in such areas is recommended. For more information, the student should consult the catalog of the school of law to which s/he expects to apply for admission.

 

For pre-law students who choose a major in political science, special concentration courses appropriate as preparation for legal training are provided on advisement within the framework of the major program in political science. The Department of Political Science and the student-operated Pre-law Advising Center also provide advising and other services (e.g., mock LSAT) for pre-law students in any major who wish to improve their preparation for law school.

 

Other Programs

Upon advisement, majors and minors in political science may select options enabling them to concentrate in a variety of career-related fields: education and teaching, public service, community action, pre-professional (for students anticipating graduate study in political science), political journalism, research and policy analysis, comparative studies, and various area studies concentration and minors (with opportunity to focus on Asia, Europe, or the Mideast).

 

The Master of Arts in Political Science is designed for students who wish to proceed to further post-graduate study at the doctoral level as well as those who seek to terminate their study with the M.A. degree. Areas of specialization may include American politics, political theory, comparative politics, public law, research methods, as well as joint programs with International Relations and Public Administration. Community college credential programs and student teaching opportunities are also available in the last semester of work. Evening seminars are readily available. Limited financial aid is available in the form of teaching assistantships and research assistantships. The program is professional in its standards, substantive offerings, and levels of expectation.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Requirements:

  • At least 32 of the 41 units for the major must be from upper division courses (numbered 300 - 699).
  • Courses that fulfill the core and breadth requirements must be taken for a letter grade. CR/NC grading is not accepted for core and breadth courses.
  • Students must earn a grade of C or better in the GWAR designated course, and a C- or better in all other core and breadth courses.
  • Students in the major or minor may take up to 4 units CR/NC only for courses that satisfy part of the elective requirement.
  • At least one political science (PLSI) GWAR course must be chosen to count toward the Breadth Requirement or electives in political science.

Note: Students must take the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) (composition) course in the major even if the student has taken a GWAR course in another department. The GWAR is satisfied by earning a C in any upper division course with the suffix GW. The department offers most of its courses with a GWAR and non-GWAR option. To satisfy the GWAR requirement you must successfully complete a course that contains the GW suffix; e.g., PLSI 477 GW “Congress and the Presidency - GWAR” WILL satisfy the requirement - PLSI 477 “Congress and the Presidency” will NOT satisfy GWAR

 

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Core Requirements

Course Title Units
PLSI 200 American Politics 3
PLSI 250 Comparative Politics 3
PLSI 275 Introduction to Political Theory 3
PLSI 300 Methods of Political Inquiry 4

Total for core: 13 units

 

Breadth and Electives

Choose one PLSI GWAR course toward partial fulfillment of either the Breadth or Elective requirements.

 

Breadth Requirement (12 units)
Upper division political science courses chosen to include at least one course in at least three of these five sub-fields: American politics, comparative politics, political theory, public administration and policy, and public law.

Electives (16 units)
Choose a minimum of 8 upper division units in political science. Up to 8 upper division units may be selected from related departments with consent of a major advisor.

Minimum total: 41 units

 

Note: A minimum of 40 upper division units must be completed for the degree (including upper division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper division units required for graduation. In this case additional upper division courses will be needed to reach the required total.

 

Minor in Political Science

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Course Title Units
PLSI 200 American Politics 3
PLSI 250 Comparative Politics 3

Upper division electives in political science selected in consultation with a political science advisor to serve the student's interests and life goals: 15 units

Total: 21 units

 

Master of Arts in Political Science

Admission to Program

Most political science graduate students have an undergraduate degree in political science. While this is recommended, the department accepts applications from students with other majors.

 

The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.25. Applicants with lower GPAs may be considered if they have received scores of 550 or above on both the math and verbal portions of the GRE exam.

 

All applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation evaluating their ability, promise, and past performance.

 

All foreign students whose native language is not English are required to meet all SF State requirements, including a score that meets University requirements on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). See the University requirements for specific scores.

 

Applications are to be received by March 31st for the fall semester, and November 1st for the spring semester.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: A GRE score that demonstrates proficiency in writing (i.e., a score of 4.0 or better). Students who do not meet this requirement must take an appropriate graduate level writing course in their first year at SF State.
Level Two: Satisfactory completion of Culminating Experience requirements (Comprehensive exam in two fields or M.A. thesis.)

 

Advancement to Candidacy

Candidates for the M.A. degree must have classified status; have successfully completed PLSI 700, 740, 760 and 780; maintained an overall grade point average of 3.0; and have the approval of the graduate coordinator.

 

On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Core Requirements

Course Title Units
PLSI 700 Research Methods 3
PLSI 740 Seminar in American Politics 3
PLSI 760 Seminar in Comparative Politics 3
PLSI 780 Seminar in Political Theory 3

 

Elective Requirements (6 - 9 units)
Students choosing to do a thesis should take at least two courses; those opting for comprehensive examinations should select three courses from the following: 6 - 9 units

 

Subject Course
Topics in American Politics Any political science course with a number in the range of 741 to 759
Topics in Comparative Politics Any political science course with a number in the range of 761 to 779
Topics in Political Theory Any political science course with a number in the range of 781 to 797
or
Graduate seminar in a related field upon advisement and approval (3 - 4)

 

Related Courses (9 units)
Graduate seminars and/or upper division undergraduate courses in political science or related fields upon advisement and approval of the graduate coordinator.

 

Culminating Requirement (0 - 3 units)

Course Title
PLSI 898 Master's Thesis (3)

Minimum total: 30 units

 

Students who want to enroll in a course of independent study (PLSI 899) must have a GPA of at least 3.25.

 

 

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