Declaring the Political Science Major
For students who entered UC Berkeley prior to Fall 2008, and incoming junior transfers admitted to UC Berkeley prior to Fall 2009.
Minimum eligibility to declare
- PS 1, Intro to American Politics,* and PS 2, Intro to Comparative Politics must be completed to declare.
- A 2.0 GPA overall and in courses counting for the major.
*Students who received a 4 or 5 on the American Government AP exam may substitute an upper division American Politics course for PS 1, before or after declaring the major. The upper-division American politics substitute course taken to satisfy the PS 1 requirement may not also fulfill an upper-division requirement in the major.
The lower-division requirements for the major can be satisfied by courses offered at community colleges and four-year universities. All but one of the lower-division requirements can be fulfilled at community colleges. To determine which lecture-based courses at other colleges fulfill our lower-division requirements, please contact a Political Science Undergraduate Adviser. FYI: There are no PS 3 equivalents at junior colleges; it must be taken at UC Berkeley.
Note: UCB students are free to take lower-div courses elsewhere during the summer, but should have the courses approved by a major advisor or an L&S advisor (depending on the requirement you wish to fulfill) in advance. To take courses elsewhere during the academic year, students must officially withdraw from UCB for that semester. Students may not take courses at another school and UCB at the same time unless they receive special permission from L&S.
How to declare
You must attend a Major Declaration Session to get declared in the major. Here's how:
- See the calendar below.
- Gather your transcript(s) and make copies of them to submit. See more on transcripts below.
- Arrive early! We will accept the first 25 students who arrive at each session. Sessions held early in the semester and during Telebears time are usually full. Come early to ensure a place.
Declaration Sessions are held in Room 202 Barrows (unless otherwise noted on the calendar).
Do not come to a Declaration Session without all needed transcripts. You cannot declare without a complete set of relevant transcripts. This includes transcripts (unofficial is okay) for courses you have taken at community colleges, other universities, and UCB (for your Berkeley courses, you can print out a Bearfacts transcript). DARS reports are not acceptable. We keep the transcripts, so bring copies you can spare. (You need not bring transcripts for courses that do not count for our major.)
A Declaration Session generally takes about an hour and includes a brief orientation to the major and Q&A, after which declaration forms are completed (we supply the forms - you supply the transcripts).
Although you were admitted to the university, additional steps are required to declare Political Science as your major. If you attended the Political Science CalSO orientation at UC Berkeley, you need not attend a Declaration Session. In order to declare, just bring your transcripts, including a Bearfacts transcript if you have completed a semester or more at Berkeley, and come to the Undergrad Office in 296 Barrows during regular drop-in hours: 9am-12noon and 1:30-4pm Monday to Friday.
However, if you did not attend the Political Science CalSO orientation at UC Berkeley, you must attend one of the Major Declaration Sessions. Be sure to bring transcripts from your previous school as well as UCB. Although you may have sent transfer transcripts to Berkeley, we do not have access to them.
To declare a double major, you must complete the Double Major Petition forms. These forms must be signed by an advisor in each department and then submitted to 206 Evans Hall. Double Major Petitions can be downloaded from the L&S Web Site. Hardcopies are available at 206 Evans Hall and at the Political Science Undergraduate Advising Office in 296 Barrows. You may declare both majors at one time or declare one major first and add the second major later.
If you have not yet declared Political Science, you must attend a Major Declaration Session (see above) before the Double Major Petition forms are signed. If you are already a declared Political Science major and are adding a second major, bring the forms to the Undergrad Office during office hours for review and signatures. The double major petition can take several weeks for L&S to process (single major petitions take a few days), so be sure to submit it at least one full semester before your intended graduation date.
Schedule of Declaration Sessions
Please e-mail email@example.com as soon as possible to let us know that you are an intended Political Science major.