History

The Department of Political Science is, perhaps, the lengthened shadow of one man, Bernard Moses. Appointed professor of history and political economy in 1875, he became head of the Department of History and Political Science, established in 1883, playing a vital role in the development of the social sciences and in bringing about the creation of a separate Department of Political Science in 1903.

A man of extraordinary depth, breadth, and vision, Moses' influence in the early days of the department was immense. Under his leadership, the curriculum was broadened to include courses which became permanent offerings. His immediate successor in 1911, David P. Barrows, carried these beginnings forward vigorously and was followed by chairmen who, in turn, left their clearly distinguishable imprints: E. M. Sait, R. G. Gettell, P. O. Ray, F. M. Russell, Peter Odegard, Charles Aikin, Robert Scalapino, and again, Charles Aikin. Barrows placed new emphasis upon international relations and foreign governments. His introductory course, Foreign Government, attracted 600-700 students.

The expansion of American colonial responsibility was reflected in the evolving curricula. The 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition stimulated even greater interest in international studies and interracial problems, although the real impetus came after World War I and the establishment of the League of Nations. By 1921-22, the curriculum was modified to fall into four main fields: political theory, international relations, national government , and local government and administration. In 1927-28, a seven-field structure was developed. This program persisted until 1952-53. After some ten years, the growing emphasis upon political behavior was formalized. The 1965-66 curriculum reorganization eliminated the seven groups as such; lower division requirements were increased along with greater flexibility in electing specialized upper division courses. The undergraduate honors program, inaugurated in 1957-58, was expanded.

The graduate curriculum saw constant development since the first offering in 1904, leading to M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science. In 1933, an M.A. degree in international relations was offered (terminated in 1965) and in 1962-63, an M.A. degree in public administration was authorized.

Of interest is the growth in course enrollments--189 registrations in 1903 to a count of 5,111 enrollments in the fall of 1964. Undergraduate majors increased from 288 in 1933 (earlier official figures are not available) to more than 825 in the fall of 1965. Graduate students numbering 20 in 1921 rose to a high of 375 in the 1962 fall semester.

A tabulation of courses shows four political science courses announced for 1903-04 by a faculty of two. The listings in 1965-66 carried 59 undergraduate courses and 70 graduate courses and seminars, with 44 full-time and eight part-time faculty members.

Associated interests and activities of the department began to emerge soon after its creation. Beginning with Moses and Barrows, an impressive list of members over the years participated in public affairs at all levels--local, state, national, and international. The Bureau of International Relations came into being in 1921, to be assimilated in 1955 by the Institute of International Studies. The Bureau of Public Administration, encouraged by Rockefeller Foundation support in 1930, evolved into the Institute of Governmental Studies.

At the invitation of the Italian government and the American Embassy in Rome, the department undertook in 1956 a program of graduate instruction in administrative science at the University of Bologna. Other extended programs, with liberal foundation support--Ford, Rockefeller, and Falk--were: the California Legislative Internship Program; a Rotating Professorship in Governmental Affairs; an extensive research project in Political Theory and Theories on International Relations with local and overseas aspects; and a Program of Training and Research in American Government and Politics.

Faculty service to the University was constant since the early years of the department through the cooperation of the deans and other administrative officers, committee members, conference chairmen, advisers, consultants, etc. Three buildings on campus bore the names of distinguished department members: Moses Hall, Barrows Hall, and the Hans Kelsen Graduate Social Science Library.

Excerpt from The University of California History Digital Archives