Political Science Courses

These listings are sourced from Curricunet, and some courses may not be offered every semester. For additional information, contact the academic department, speak with counseling or refer to the current Class Schedule and College Catalog.

POSC 1 - Introduction to American Government    ( 3.00 Units )
Introduction to the historical development and current structure of American political ideals and institutions, including the Federal and California Constitutions, civil liberties and civil rights, political parties, campaigns and elections, and citizenship duties.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Develop a basic understanding of the American Political system-it's origins, structure and institutions-to enable students to be active and informed citizens.
  2. Strengthen students' ability to take and persuasively support a political position with evidence/argumentation.
  3. Understand of the origins, structure, and institutions of American Political system and the value of this knowledge in sustaining American democracy.

POSC 12 - Introduction to California State and Local Government    ( 3.00 Units )
Organization and operation of government and politics at the state, county and municipal level; emphasis on current issues and the influences of historical, geographical, political, economic and social factors on California public policy.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Define direct democracy, explain its historical development in California, and analyze its strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Identify, discuss, and analyze contemporary policy issues facing California and local governments.
  3. Describe the structure of California state government, explain the duties of each branch of government, and compare/contrast its structure with the federal government.

POSC 15 - Introduction to Public Policy    ( 3.00 Units )
Introduction to key themes in American public policy at a national, state, and local level. The roles of institutions and stakeholders are discussed in the context of theories of public policy and public administration. Students are introduced to tools used to evaluate and analyze public issue areas and the public policies created to address them.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Describe public policy concepts such as agenda setting, the structure and evaluation of the policymaking process, policy ethics, and policy budgeting.
  2. Effectively analyze one or more public policies in written and/or oral form.
  3. Heightened sense of civic responsibility and desire to apply knowledge and skills learned in local, state, or national contexts.

POSC 20 - Comparative Politics    ( 3.00 Units )
Introduces basic concepts and methods of comparative analysis. Covers contemporary forms of governments and institutions; survey of political regimes and political problems of selected governments.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Student will be able to analyze the relationship between the historical and cultural value systems upon which national governments are based, and government type, structure, and policies.
  2. Student will be able to compare and contrast different governmental systems, national institutions, and political problems of selected governments.
  3. Student will be able to define “government” and describe the structure, institutions, and major policy challenges of at least five countries (other than the United States) spanning at least three continents.

POSC 25 - Introduction to Political Theory    ( 3.00 Units )
An introduction to various theoretical approaches to politics, including selected political thinkers from ancient times to the present, and the application of political theory to current political realities.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Ability to summarize, compare and analyze a variety of primary source political philosophical texts.
  2. Ability to apply abstract political theoretical concepts to concrete social issues.
  3. Distinguish between various forms of political organizations (governmental structures)

POSC 30 - International Relations    ( 3.00 Units )
An introduction to international politics, theories, and global institutions, focusing on international actors and their interactions with one another. Emphasis on current events.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Demonstrate basic understanding of international system: actors, institutions, nature of actor interactions and relationships.
  2. Apply international relations, theoretical concepts to real world situations.
  3. Able to express ideas and opinions about international relations orally.

POSC 35 - Politics of Race and Gender: History, Governance, and Public Policy    ( 3.00 Units )
An overview of the historical and contemporary political issues and concerns affecting the status and power of groups that have traditionally been politically and socially disadvantaged in the United States. These groups include, but are not limited to, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, Latinx, LGBT, and Women. The political histories of each group from their arrival in the territory today known as the United States through modern times will be discussed. Students will analyze how group identity impacts the processes of democratic governance. Public policy issues (i.e. education, health, criminal justice) will be considered in light of their impact upon marginalized groups.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. discuss one or more important events in the political history of African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinx Americans, American Women, and LGBT Americans;
  2. discuss the importance of political representation and political participation of marginalized groups on the outcomes of the American political process;
  3. effectively analyze how one or more public policies disproportionately affects women, people of color, and LBGT Americans;
  4. accurately explain intersectionality and effectively examine the impacts of intersectional identities in American politics today.

POSC 95 - Political Science Internship    ( 1.00 - 3.00 Units )
The Political Science Internship course provides an opportunity for students to receive academic credit for participating in the Political Science Internship program. Units earned are based on hours worked in the internship during the semester. Please contact a Political Science faculty member to enroll.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Apply academic knowledge in successfully executing the duties and responsibilities of an internship in Political Science, public policy, or political advocacy.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of career opportunities, job requirements, employer expectations, and modes of career advancement in the fields of Political Science, public policy, or political advocacy.
  3. Self-identify areas where they need to hone their discipline-specific knowledge or professional acumen in order to succeed in a career in Political Science, public policy, or political advocacy.
  4. Self-identify their own personal, academic, and professional strengths for jobs in Political Science, public policy, or political advocacy, and demonstrate the ability to articulate them in a professional portfolio or final project.