About the Program
Political scientists analyze governmental institutions and the political behavior of human beings. Our courses offer specialization within the major, and the ADT degree makes for easier transfer to a CSU.
The value of a political science degree is recognized by business, law schools and government agencies as it involves insights and a variety of critical, analytical skills demanded by higher education institutions and the labor market.
My name is Lilian Juarez Armenta and I am a student at Foothill College. When I first came to Foothill I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to major in Political Science. It was after I took Introduction to American Government & Politics (Poli 1) and Introduction to Political Philosophy/Theory (Poli 3), that I knew Political Science was what I wanted to major in.
I was also able to take my skills and knowledge to the California State Capitol where I advocated for community college students' needs
The faculty of the Political Science Department has taken me under their wing in preparing me to succeed in this field. It was thanks to my Poli 1 professor that I was able to join the Faculty Association Political Action Committee (FA-PAC) Intern cohort. Through this internship, I was able to learn about political organization and advocacy. On top of that, I was also able to take my skills and knowledge to the California State Capitol where I advocated for community college students’ needs, such as financial aid for part-time, undocumented and homeless students.
Prior to my enrollment in Poli Sci I had little knowledge of what impact I could have on my community and on politics itself. After learning the basics I was able to apply it to an internship in the FHDA-PAC and made real changes in the community to better the lives of students around me.
Why Major in Political Science?
The value of a political science degree is recognized by business, law schools, and government agencies as it involves the develpment of a variety of critical and analytical skills demanded by higher education institutions and the labor market. Our students have successfully acquired internships with campaigns, government offices, and grassroots organizations and have transferred to many competitive universities including Stanford and U.C. Berkeley.
$56.52 2018 median hourly pay for political scientists
What can you do with a degree in Political Science?
- Public sector
- Community advocacy
- Government service
- Journalism & Communications
- Legal profession
- Teaching in elementary and secondary schools
Degree & Program Types
Check out this list for a quick view of our business programs. For program requirements and full course listings, view degrees and certificates information.
Associate in Arts Degree
Associate Degree for Transfer
POLI 1: Introduction to American Government & Politics (5 units)
Contemporary analysis of the structure and function of American Government and California state government, both their constitutional and political systems at the federal, state and local levels. Focus on the following topics: paradigms in the social sciences, models of justice and models of democracy, evolution of American elites and American constitutionalism, role of media in American political culture, political parties and political socialization, concept of the separation of powers: legislative, executive and judiciary branches, protest and protest movements, Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991.
POLI 2: Comparative Government & Politics (4 units)
Introductory analysis of comparative governmental systems and politics emphasizing a variety of political forms, theory of political differentiation and development, and patterns, processes and regularities among political systems in developing and developed world.
POLI 3: Introduction to Political Philosophy/Political Theory (5 units)
Analysis of the history of political thought, the development of forms of political ideologies and their manifestation in forms of the state. Philosophical formulations of concepts of state of nature, natural law, natural rights, civil and political society explored as integral parts of philosophies of: Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, Machiavelli and Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, Bentham and Mill, Hegel, Marx, and Antonio Gramsci.
POLI 9: Political Economy (4 units)
Analysis of the contending theoretical formulations of International Political Economy (IPE), emphasizing the interconnection between economics and politics in the broad context of a global economy and the formulation of national public policy. Economic and political policy issues of current national and international significance are emphasized.
POLI 15: International Relations/World Politics (4 units)
Analysis of the central elements of international relations, including: contending theoretical formulations of international relations, factors of sovereignty, nationalism, relations between the core, semi-periphery and peripheral countries, the role of the World Trade Organization in international trade relations, international terrorism and global warming. The international struggle for global hegemony and the impact of terrorism on world politics are systematically analyzed in the context of an increasingly unipolar world.
POLI 54H: Honors Institute Seminar in Political Science (1 unit)
A seminar in directed readings, discussions and projects in political science. Specific topics to be determined by the instructor.
While you can take the above courses in any order you choose, the department urges you to take them in the sequence listed.
Courses in business principles, geography, computer science and statistics should be taken as electives to increase your marketability if you choose to major in political science.
See the course catalog for descriptions and links to currently scheduled classes.
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