Political Science

Major Requirements (SF State Bulletin: Degree Requirements)

Roadmap (SF State Bulletin: Roadmap)

GE Requirements (SF State Bulletin: General Education)

Major Department Website

Your major advisor answered a few questions to assist you with your first semester courses — see below.

General Information

What are some of the highlights and features to know about this major?

B.A. and M.A. degrees

Coursework in American politics, comparative politics, political theory, public law, quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Particular strengths in comparative/non-Western political theory, the politics and electoral behavior of traditionally under-represented groups in the United States, contentious politics and social movements, public law.
Rigorous and interdisciplinary research and engaged pedagogy.
Mostly "brick-and-mortar" courses but many online courses.
Does your department have a major planning sheet for me as a guide?

Yes, we have 2 downloadable links for our major planning sheet.

Students who declared this major during the Fall 2015-Spring 2020 semesters, see this road map.

Students who decarled this major Fall 2020 and after, see this road map.

Both road maps can be found on the Department of Political Science Advising Page and the Department of Political Science Checklists and Roadmaps webpage.

When should I first meet with my major department? Attend new student orientation beginning of fall semester, take PLSI 303 which includes advising, and attend advising open houses every semester!
How will I be assigned to a major advisor, and how do I contact them?
Students assigned to faculty member advisors alphabetically according to letters of last name. Please see department web site under Advising for assignment. Contact by email or link to calendar.
Where can I find information about major advising?
For majors declared fall 2020 and after:
For majors declared 2015-spring 2020
Also we hold advising open houses every semester in the weeks before registration opens, and a new student orientation for incoming freshmen and transfer students.
Does this major require any pre-work from me before I attend orientation or register for classes? No.
What should I do if my major core and/or prerequisite courses are full? Contact professor by email to ask to get on their personal waiting list. Write clear, clean request via email!
Is there anything else I need to know about starting in this major?
  • All core classes and the GWAR require a C- or above to count for graduation.
  • Only 3 units of lower-division classes can count towards the PLSI electives. 
  • Take PLSI 300 as soon as you can, since it is required for some other important courses that can help you develop important skills in empirical research. 
  • We have several internship courses, PLSI 603/604 for general political internships, and a judicial internship, PLSI 610/611. These offer important opportunities for work experience related to the major.
  • The department has some scholarships and awards. Apply for them!

Transfer Student Info

What upper division courses should I take in my first semester as a transfer student for this major?
PLS 303

PLSI 304 either fall or spring


Are there any prerequisites to these upper division courses for the major?

No, but PLSI 303 recommended to help prepare for PLSI 304.

Are there any registration blocks or holds in the system for this major, and if so, what do I do/who do I contact to clear them? No.
Is there an approved ADT (Associate Degree for Transfer) roadmap for the major?

Yes, Political Science (AA-T).

[ Click here for ADT roadmap ]

Freshmen Student Info

Are there any courses I should take first as a Freshman to get started in this major and/or are there any lower division GE course requirements that I can take that will also count toward this major?
PLSI 200 Intro to American Politics
PLSI 303
Are there entry or prerequisite requirements for these Freshmen courses?


Can any of my AP or IB tests count toward requirements in this major?

Yes. AP U.S. Government, AP Comparative Government. Scores 3-5.



College of Liberal and Creative Arts Advising Resource Center (ARC)

Services provided for: Undergraduate students pursuing a major, minor or certificate in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts.

Services offered: Academic planning, general education advising, academic probation advising, petition consultation, career prep and planning, major career exploration, graduation check (GE and graduation requirements), study abroad, connecting with communities and discovering campus resources.

Phone: (415) 338-1486
Website: advisinglca.sfsu.edu
Email: achieve@sfsu.edu