Political Science majors must complete at least 28 units within their concentration. Students can select one of four concentrations. Note that different catalogs have slightly different requirements for concentrations.
Students must declare a concentration during their time at Cal Poly (though a student may begin taking classes in a concentration prior to declaring a concentration). We recommend that first year students declare their concentration by Winter or Spring of their sophomore year and that junior transfer students declare a concentration in their first year.
In order to declare your concentration virtually, please email the concentration advisor and they will send you a link.
The Political Science Concentrations are:
The study of global issues, the political systems of foreign countries, and U.S. foreign policy. This concentration prepares students for careers in government, business, non-profits, and related agencies that deal with international relations. It also prepares students for graduate studies. The Global Politics faculty advisor is Professor Anika Leithner.
The study of American constitutional law, civil liberties, jurisprudence, and the judicial process. This concentration prepares students for careers in the several fields of law. Some students seek admission to law school to continue their preparation for the legal profession; others pursue professions in law enforcement, judicial administration, or legal assistance. The Pre-Law faculty advisor is Professor Ron Den Otter.
The study of American government and politics, including government institutions, elections, parties, interest groups, and policy making. This concentration is designed to prepare students for political science or public policy graduate programs; law school; or careers in government, interest groups, political campaigns, and other political organizations. The American Politics advisor is Professor Chris Den Hartog.
Individualized Course of Study (ICS)
This concentration is designed to provide a unique field of study for students who do not select any of the above concentrations and instead desire a set of courses that meets their individual needs and interests. It consists of 28 units of coursework at the 300-400 level selected by the student and recommended by the student's faculty advisor. As a whole, the courses must represent a coherent and justified field of study. The ICS faculty advisor is Professor Jean Williams.