Major and Minor Requirements

Choosing a Catalog

The first thing each student needs to understand about course requirements is that all students do not face the same requirements. Major, Minor, and Concentration requirements usually change at least slightly with new editions of the Catalog, and different students are subject to the requirements listed in different catalogs. Thus, it is critical that you figure out which catalog requirements apply to you. Students may not pick and choose different requirements from different catalogs you must meet all the requirements from one of the catalogs that you are eligible to use.

The Evaluations Office places students on the catalog they believe to be most beneficial to the student. However, transfer students may use any catalog from the time they entered the higher education system until graduation, as long as they have not broken enrollment. You must file an official Change of Catalog Request with the Office of Academic Records if you wish to switch to a different catalog.

Further information about which catalog applies to you is available on your Poly Profile.


Once you have figured out which catalog requirements apply to you, consult the appropriate catalog for details of those requirements. View the current catalog on Cal Poly's Catalog.

Suggestions for New Students

As a first year student, we recommend choosing 12 to 16 units in the first term. You are required to take POLS 180 fall quarter of your first year. In addition, plan to take 200 level courses that are in the Political Science core. Some suggested courses are listed below. All majors should plan to take one to two Political Science courses each quarter. Remedial Math and English courses must be completed in the first year. Be particularly careful NOT to select general education courses for which you have received advanced placement credit.

Suggested Courses (Units)

Courses in the Major

  • POLS 112 American and California Government (4)*
  • POLS 180 Political Inquiry (4)
  • POLS 225 Introduction to International Relations (4)
  • POLS 229 Introduction to Comparative Politics (4)
  • POLS 230 Basic Concepts of Political Thought (4)

Support Courses/General Education

Take one of the following support courses:

  • HIST 110 (4) or HIST 111 (5)
  • ENGL 134 (4)**
  • COMS 101/102 (4)***
  • ANT 201/GEOG 150/HIST 222/223* (4)


*Also fulfills GE. Check AP credit prior to enrolling

**May be taken Winter or Spring Quarters if you have difficulty in registering for Area A courses

***If you have Advanced Placement Credit for ENGL 134

Tentative Course Schedule

To help you plan which courses to take and when to take them, we provide a list of classes that we tentatively plan to offer in the coming academic year.

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