Declaring the Political Science Major

Declaring the Political Science Major

For the Incoming Freshmen Class, Fall 2008 and onward and Incoming Junior Transfers, Fall 2009 and onward.

** Students admitted to UC Berkeley as Freshmen prior to Fall 2008, and as Junior Transfers prior to Fall 2009 should consult the Political Science undergraduate advisers, as an alternate set of requirements to declare and complete the major applies.

Minimum eligibility to declare

  • Students must complete two of the following introductory political science courses to declare Political Science. One of these courses should ideally be in their subfield specialization:
    • PS 1, Intro to American Politics *
    • PS 2, Intro to Comparative Politics
    • PS 4, Intro to Political Theory
    • PS 5, Intro to International Relations
  • 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 after declaring the major. However, an upper-division American politics substitute course taken to satisfy the PS 1 requirement may NOT also fulfill an upper-division requirement in the major. In other words, students will still need to complete 8 upper-division requirements in addition to the upper-division American politics substitute course.

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. You can find which lecture-based courses were approved at Assist.org: http://www.assist.org. 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.  In light of COVID19, Fall 2020 declaration sessions will now be online. Recently admitted transfer students should attend the Political Science GBO orientation, if possible. The Political Science GBO orientation is a great opportunity to learn more about the major and officially declare the major (if eligible).  Please note that you must RSVP ahead of time in order to attend. Look for an email from PS Advisers with details.

  • Declaration sessions are scheduled throughout the Fall (August-December) and Spring semester (January-May), not Summer.
  • Pick a date from the calendar below. IMPORTANT! You will be eligible to attend a Major Declaration Session after you have completed the final for your second introductory political science course from PS1, 2, 4, and/or 5.
  • A Google Docs sign-up sheet will be available an hour before the session.   A link to the Google Docs sign-up will be available next to the session date and time, listed below.  
  • Be sure to sign up 30 to 60 mins before the session, as the sign-up will close 30 mins before the start time (or possibly earlier if the number of available spots fill up).  Once a sign-up is closed, it's closed.There is no way to join a declaration session late!
  • Sessions held early and late in the semester, as well as those near Phase 1 registration, often fill.  Sign up early to secure your spot!

You will need to email us all needed transcripts after the session. This includes a transcript (unofficial is okay) for History and Political Science courses you have taken at community colleges, other universities, and UCBerkeley.  For your UCBerkeley courses, you can email us a copy of your Academic Summary from CalCentral. 

A Declaration Session 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).

Transfer Students

Once you are admitted to the university, additional steps are required at the start of your first semester at Berkeley to declare Political Science as your major. You will need to attend the GBO Political Science Orientation (details emailed, RSVP required) in August or one of the Major Declaration Sessions early in the fall semester. Be sure to bring a unofficial transcript from your previous school. Although you may have sent transfer transcripts to Berkeley, we do not have access to them.

Double Majors

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 in 206 Evans Hall and outside 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.

Are you adding Political Science as your second major? If you have not yet declared Political Science, you must attend a Major Declaration Session (see above). We will sign your double major petition at the end of the declaration session. Please note that the forms must be completely filled out before we can sign them.

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

IF you are eligible to declare now and are a sophomore or junior, it's crucial that you declare before the start of your Phase 1 registration (no later than October which is the start of Spring 2021 Phase 1 registration) so that you can directly enroll in upper-division courses.  Upper-division courses in the major are restricted to declared majors in Phase 1 and often fill before Phase 1 ends.

IF you are currently completing your second lower division Political Science course from PS1, 2, 4, and/or 5, you will be eligible to attend a declaration session upon completing the final

We start on time (NOT "Berkeley time") and sometimes earlier if a session fills before the start time (which is often the case for the first and last session of the semester as well as those near Phase 1 registration). 

See "How to Declare" above for important details.
   Please note that declarations occur in the fall and spring, not summer. 

Remaining declaration sessions for Fall 2020 are now posted.

 

  Date Time Location

September 2020

Wednesday, 9/23

10:30 am 

Sign-Up Closed

October 2020

Thursday, 10/1

11:00 am

ONLINE

 

Friday, 10/9

1:30 pm

ONLINE

  Tuesday, 10/13 11:00 am ONLINE
  Monday, 10/19 10:30 am ONLINE

 

Thursday, 10/29

3:00 pm

ONLINE
 November 2020 Wednesday, 11/4 2:00 pm ONLINE
  Friday, 11/13 10:00 am ONLINE
  Tuesday, 11/17 10:30 am ONLINE
       
December 2020 Thursday, 12/3 10:30 am ONLINE
  Monday, 12/7 2:30 pm ONLINE
  Wednesday, 12/16 10:00 am ONLINE ** see note below

**The last session of the semester is often the busiest!  If you are a second semester junior or second semester sophomore, and completing your second prerequisite, it is crucial that you sign up 60 mins before the start time for this last session to secure your spot.