Undergraduate Degree Programs

Students at Sonoma State can earn a minor or bachelor of arts in political science.

  • Political Science minors must take a total of 20 units of political science coursework.
  • Political Science majors must take at least 40 units of political science coursework.

Code Requirements

POLS 200 - American Political System fulfills state code requirements in U.S. Constitution and California state and local government. Upper-division courses may also be used to satisfy certain of these code requirements upon approval by the department chair.


Students graduating with the baccalaureate who are judged by their departments to have made outstanding contributions to their disciplines graduate “with distinction.” The Political Science Department awards distinction for a combination of academic excellence and outstanding service to the department, university or community.

The “with distinction” honor is noted on the student’s university transcript and diploma, and in the commencement program. Students are also entitled to wear a special Distinction cord as part of their graduation regalia.

Political Science BA Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Upon completion of the program, students will:

  1. Have developed critical thinking skills necessary for the evaluation of social scientific concepts, including the ability to distinguish between, and use, techniques of deductive and inductive reasoning.
  2. Develop persuasive analytical thinking and writing skills (e.g., the ability to articulate, support, and defend an argument).
  3. Understand the research process in the social sciences (e.g., differences between normative and empirical perspectives; the differences between probabilistic and deterministic reasoning; and the differences between the major analytical approaches used in applied research).
  4. Have a developed understanding of the concept of power and how it is manifested in various ways in political interactions, including through the processes of democracy itself.
  5. Develop the requisite skills for sophisticated information competency and civic literacy.
  6. Comprehend the obligations and expectations of citizenship at all levels.
  7. Understand the dynamics between citizens and political institutions for shaping political outcomes.
  8. Comprehend the multiple motivations and constraints underlying political behavior
  9. Be able to identify the multi-causal nature that characterizes the political world.
  10. Be able to present a reasoned argument in support of a policy position of relevance to Social and Political Science topics.
  11. Have designed, implemented, written up, and presented to their capstone seminar an original primary source research project.