This department is in the division of Social Sciences, Human Development & Physical Education.

Political Science

You can fight city hall--if you know how the process works.


The Political Science Department offers courses in American Government, International Relations, and Political Theory -- as well as service learning classes in Community and Student Leadership.

These courses will be valuable for students who are planning to transfer to a four year institution, majoring in political science, law, public administration, public relations, and related fields.

These courses will also assist students in understanding current political events and help prepare them to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens and voters.

The political science faculty at SBVC possess advanced degrees from leading universities in the United States and abroad, with specialties in a wide range of sub-fields within the discipline, as well as extensive experience in practical politics. They are well equipped to guide students through the intricacies of this challenging but vital subject.


Political Science Transfer Degree, AA-T

Political Science is the academic discipline that investigates the institutions and processes by which human societies are ruled. Political scientists use the techniques of empirical research and historical analysis, along with normative consideration of the ends of political action, to explore the outcomes of various governmental arrangements and alternatives. The study of political science will prepare students for careers in law, politics, governmental service, social science teaching, and journalism, as well as for active participation in the political system of the United States.

The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (Senate Bill 1440, now codified in California Education Code sections 66746-66749) guarantees admission to a California State University (CSU) campus for any community college student who completes an "associate degree for transfer", a newly established variation of the associate degrees traditionally offered at a California community college. The Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or the Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelor's degree in a similar major at a CSU campus. Students completing these degrees (AA-T or AS-T) are guaranteed admission to the CSU system, but not to a particular campus or major. In order to earn one of these degrees, students must complete a minimum of 60 required semester units of CSU-transferable coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students transferring to a CSU campus that does accept the AA-T or AS-T will be required to complete no more than 60 units after transfer to earn a bachelor's degree (unless the major is a designated "high unit" major). This degree may not be the best option for students intending to transfer to a particular CSU campus or to a university or college that is not part of the CSU system. Students should consult with a counselor when planning to complete the degree for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

To earn this AA-T degree, students must meet the following requirements:

  • completion of the following major requirements with grades of C or better;
  • completion of a minimum of 60 CSU transferable semester units with a grade point average of at least 2.0; and
  • certified completion of the CSU General Education-Breadth (CSUGE) or Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) for CSU, which requires a minimum of 39 units.

It is highly recommend that students complete courses that satisfy the U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals requirement as part of CSUGE or IGETC before transferring to a CSU.

Students planning to transfer to a four-year institution and major in political science should consult with a counselor regarding the transfer process and lower division requirements.

Required Core Courses: Units
POLIT 100 American Politics 3
List A: Select 3 courses from the following (9 units minimum): Units
POLIT 110 Introduction to Political Theory 3
POLIT 110H Introduction to Political Theory Honors 3
POLIT 140 Introduction to Comparative Politics 3
POLIT 141 Introduction to World Politics 3
ECON 208 Business and Economic Statistics 4
MATH 108 Introduction to Probability and Statistics 4
PSYCH 105 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences 4
List B: Select 2 courses from the following (6 units minimum): Units
ANTHRO 102 Cultural Anthropology 3
ECON 100 Introduction to Economics 3
ECON 200 Principles of Macroeconomics 3
ECON 200H Principles of Macroeconomics - Honors 3
ECON 201 Principles of Microeconomics 3
ECON 201H Principles of Microeconomics - Honors 3
ENGL 102 Intermediate Composition and Critical Thinking 4
ENGL 102H Intermediate Composition and Critical Thinking - Honors 4
HIST 100 United States History to 1877 3
HIST 101 United States History: 1865 to Present 3
HIST 137 Racial and Ethnic Groups in United States History 3
HIST 150 Introduction to Latin American History 3
HIST 170 World History to 1500 3
HIST 171 World History Since 1500 3
POLIT 138 Service Learning: Student Leadership 3
POLIT 139 Service Learning: Community Leadership 3
PSYCH 100 General Psychology 3
PSYCH 100H General Psychology - Honors 3
RELIG 100 Introduction to Religious Studies 3
RELIG 100H Introduction to Religious Studies-Honors 3
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology 3
SOC 100H Introduction to Sociology - Honors 3
Major Total: 18-20 Units
CSU GE-Breadth or IGETC for CSU requirements: 39-42

CSU electives (as needed to reach 60 transferrable units): 10-20

Total Units 60
  1. Students completing Political Science courses included in the Political Science AA/T program will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the domestic governmental institutions and political practices of the United States – at the national, state, and local levels – including their Constitutional bases; the special functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches and their associated bureaucratic and regulatory agencies; and the activities of leading participants in the political process including organized special interest groups, political parties, and grass-roots activists.
  2. Students completing Political Science courses included in the Political Science AA/T program will demonstrate a keen awareness of the world beyond our national borders and know the principal players in world politics--state actors (countries) and non-state actors such as international governmental  organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), and their respective role in creating world order; employ the principle of levels of analysis to explain a major development in world politics such as the outbreak of war or a complex foreign policy decision; understand the principal parameters around which to compare different political systems; have an understanding of how different historical and cultural forces end up creating different regimes--authoritarian regimes or democratic regimes; and have a general knowledge of the fundamental components of political economy—public goods, taxation, regulations, trade policies, employment, and money supply.
  3. Students completing Political Science courses included in the Political Science AA/T program will demonstrate an understanding of the practical skills needed for employment, or other participation, in governmental and political contexts.

Career Opportunities


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