Requirements for the Major
For students who entered UC Berkeley prior to Fall 2008, and incoming junior transfers admitted to UC Berkeley prior to Fall 2009.
- Rules governing the major
- Lower-Division Requirements
- Upper-Division Requirements
- Course Enrollment Strategies
- Taking Courses Elsewhere
Rules governing the major
The Political Science major is comprised of 5 lower-division requirements and 7 upper-division political science courses, for a total of 12 courses.
All 12 major requirements must be taken for a letter grade.
Independent studies, honors, De-Cals, and P/NP courses, labs, simulations, and similar non-lecture courses do not fulfill requirements in the major.
Courses cannot be double-counted in the major (i.e. one course satisfying two requirements).
AP credit does not fulfill a major requirement, however, students who scored a 4 or 5 on the American Government AP exam may opt to take an upper-division American Politics course instead of PS 1 (American Politics courses number from 101B to 111B, or 157A/B, or 171). This course, which may be taken either before or after declaring the major, may not also be used to fulfill an upper-division requirement.
All of the lower-division courses, with the exception of PS 3, can be taken at other colleges or universities. There are no equivalents to PS 3. To determine which lecture-based courses at California community colleges fulfill our lower-division requirements, please contact a Political Science undergraduate adviser.
- PS 1, Introduction to American Politics (* required to declare the major)
- PS 2, Introduction to Comparative Politics (* required to declare the major)
- PS 3, Introduction to Empirical Analysis and Quantitative Methods
- U.S. History (see pre-approved course list below)
- History of a geographic region outside the U.S. (see pre-approved course list below)
TIP! * PS 1, 2, and 3 are not sequential courses. You can take them in any order. However, it's best to take PS 1 and 2 first since they must be completed to declare the major. Click here to learn more about the requirements to declare.
Seven (7) Political Science courses from those numbered 102-189, 191 (the junior seminars), and/or c196w (the UC in DC program) in accordance with the following provisions:
All 7 upper division courses must be offered within the Department of Political Science.
Graduate Political Science courses (numbered 200/above) may be counted.
It is not necessary to specialize in the major; courses may be drawn from any of the nine sub-fields.
Up to 3 upper division Polisci requirements may be satisfied by courses taken at other 4-year institutions, either in the U.S. or abroad. All courses must be approved by the department and must conform to the same standards used for our own UCB courses. For requirements and procedures on getting courses approved see either: Transferring Coursework (for U.S. schools), or Studying Abroad (if you are going abroad).
For informational purposes, check out these sample schedules. (coming soon!)
Utilize this major requirement worksheet to track your major status. (coming soon!)
Courses Approved for American History
Effective Spring 2006, only courses currently on the Table of Approved American History Courses (pdf) will be accepted for the US history requirement.
Courses Approved for History of a Geographic Region Outside the US
Effective Spring 2006, only courses currently on the Table of Approved History Courses (pdf) will be accepted for the regional history requirement.