The Department Today

The Travers Department of Political Science has long been regarded as one of the finest places to study politics and government. From the telling insights of bargaining models in international conflicts to the pivotal role of critical junctures and path dependence in political change to fresh readings of Thomas Hobbes and the concept of tolerance, many of the most influential developments in the discipline are associated with UC Berkeley Political Science. The Department has also educated generations of undergraduates and graduate students, many of whom are now eminent scholars, public servants, and community leaders.

There are approximately 45 faculty, 850 undergraduate students and 125 PhD students in the department. We offer an unusual combination of depth and breadth in the major subject areas of political science, covering not only the traditional subfields of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory but supplementing those subfields with substantial strength in areas such as formal theory, methods, organizations and public policy, political behavior, and public law, as well as the politics of every major region across the globe.

Delivering excellent undergraduate courses is a point of pride for our professors. Our most recognized faculty take pride in teaching our undergraduates and believe that outstanding undergraduate education is central to our mission. In recent years, the department created a series of small, faculty-led seminars designed to develop research and writing skills among undergraduate political science majors in their junior year.

The Department has an outstanding Doctoral program, designed to prepare students for careers in university teaching and to conduct advanced research. Our graduate students take courses that offer state-of-the-art training in the conduct of research, combined with a very wide-ranging curriculum addressing fundamental issues in politics. We also seek to integrate them into an intellectual community that prizes scholarly development through the exchange of ideas and the sharing of work in progress. After completing their studies here, many will go on to take jobs at the country's leading colleges and universities.

On behalf of the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, I welcome you to this website, which is designed to provide detailed and easily accessible information about our programs and the people who make this such an exciting place to study politics.