Political Science: Ideas & Methods Concentration


  • 1st year composition (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102, or ENGL 109H, or ENGL 107 and ENGL 108, or equivalent transfer courses)
  • Math 107 or higher, or equivalent transfer courses (math substitutions not accepted)
  • 4th semester second language proficiency required

General Education

  • 6 units Tier 1 Individuals & Societies – 150
  • 6 units Tier 1 Traditions & Cultures – 160
  • 6 units Tier 1 Natural Sciences – 170
  • 3 units Tier 2 Arts
  • 3 units Tier 2 Humanities
  • 3 units Tier 2 Natural Sciences
  • 3 units Diversity


A minor is required for this program. Minors typically are 18-21 units.

See list of UA minor options

Core Courses

  • Complete 5 courses

Required courses:

National and international economic issues. An introduction to economic analysis.
General survey of the constitutional bases, organization, and functioning of the American national government; recent and current trends.
An introductory course in the fundamentals of modern statistics with applications and examples in the social and behavioral sciences. Topics include: methods for describing and summarizing data, probability, random sampling, estimating population parameters, significance tests, contingency tables, simple linear regression, and correlation.

Introductory Concentration course:

Basic issues in political thought, with emphasis on contemporary problems of democracy, liberty, authority, obligation, and ideology.

Choose one course:

Study of the international system, its actors and their capabilities; ends and means of foreign policy; international tension, conflict, and cooperation.
Survey of the major political systems and analysis of comparative political concepts, with a view to preparation for more advanced study.
Theory and practice of executive agencies, including policy making and other functions, processes, personnel and fiscal management, and administrative law.
Focus on the politics of diversity and inclusion in a fast-changing world. Attention to national-ethnic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, religious, and socioeconomic factors, among others, that underlie human diversity and the political conditions for cooperation, conflict, and well-being. Consideration of decision-making and political-institutional settings that may extend from the local and regional to the national and international.

Ideas & Methods Concentration Electives

  • Choose 5 courses (15 units)
  • At least 6 units must be completed through UA
  • No more than 6 units can be approved cross-listed courses
  • See the major checklist for current course options and details
  • Additional upper division courses from this list beyond the 5 required courses can be used as SGPP electives

Additional Electives

  • Choose 3 courses (9 units)
  • Up to 6 units can come from POL internship units
  • See the major checklist for current course options and details