Political Science

Social & Behavioral Sciences

Confused about American politics? Curious about globalization or why some countries are rich while others are poor? Take a course in political science and understand how governments work and the various factors that influence government behavior at the domestic and international levels.

View Transfer Options, Degrees & Certificates

Students majoring in Political Science learn about American government, governments of other countries, international relations, and political philosophy. Since government and politics impacts nearly all aspects of our lives, it is important to learn about how government functions, the various influences on political decision-making and the role people can play in shaping their governments and societies. Students who graduate with a degree in political science can pursue a variety of careers from law, teaching, journalism, or working for governmental and non-governmental institutions like the State Department or United Nations.

Program Length

Four semesters.

Transfer Options

The program prepares students by offering lower division undergraduate courses in American government, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory. Most transfer institutions require students majoring in political science to complete these courses during the first two years of college. Students who majored in political science at IVC have transferred to all UC and CSU campuses. Students have also transferred to Columbia University, University of Michigan, Georgetown University, and other private universities.

Program Specific Support

The Student Success Center provides writing support for students taking political science courses. 

Your Support Team

Your success is our priority! Whether you are just starting, in the middle of, or completing your time at IVC, we have a team of people in your corner to help keep you on-track to reach your goals at IVC and beyond! 

Coming Soon: Completion Teams to get students from start to goal! Look for your team beginning fall 2021!

View Your Resources

Transfer Options, Degrees and/or Certificates

Sample Academic Plans

  • This is only a sample academic plan.  Some UC majors may have additional required or recommended courses for transfer. Please see a counselor to create a customized My Academic Plan (MAP) that will best meet your specific academic goals.
Semester 1
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC GE Area/MajorUnits
WR 1College Writing 11A4
MATH 10 or PSYC 10*Introduction to Statistics or Statistical Methods2A3
PS 1American Government4 & Major3
COMM 1Communication Fundamentals1C3
PS 21Model United Nations (Recommended extra-curricular, can only be taken once for credit but can be repeated with credit)3
Semester 2
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC GE Area/MajorUnits
WR 2College Writing 2 - Critical Thinking 1B4
PS 5Political Philosophy3B3
ArtsArts GE Course3A3
HIST 20 or 21American History Course3B3
ECON 1Principles of Economics - Micro43
Semester 3
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC GE Area/MajorUnits
PS 12 or PS 14Comparative Politics or International Relations43
PS 5, 17 or 41PS Course in Middle East, Latin American, or East Asia 3B or 43
ECON 2Principles of Economics - Macro43
GLBL 1Introduction to Global Studies43
Physical SciencePhysical Science GE Course5A3
Semester 4
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleIGETC GE Area/MajorUnits
PS 12 or PS 14Comparative Politics or International Relations43
GLBL 2Introduction to Global Issues43
Bio ScienceBiologicial Science Course5B3
Bio Science LabBiologicial Science Lab Course5B1
Elective of Math 3AUC Transfer Elective or Calculus (Math 3A recommended for UCI Transfers)3 - 5
  1. Students can take Math 10, Psyc 10 or another math course that meets the UC math transfer requirement; however, Math 10 or Psyc 10 is recommended.
  • Note: This sample academic plan does not account for the Language Other than English requirement necessary to meet Full IGETC Certification.
  • This is only a sample academic plan. Some CSU majors may have additional required or recommended courses for transfer. Please see a counselor to create a customized My Academic Plan (MAP) that will best meet your specific academic goals.
Semester 1
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
WR 1College Writing 1A24
MATH 10 or PSYC 10Introduction to StatisticsB4 & Major3
PS 1American GovernmentD & Major3
Learning & Self DevelopmentLifelong Learning and Self Development GE CourseE3
PS 21Model United Nations (Recommended extra-curricular, can only be taken once for credit but can be repeated with credit)3
Semester 2
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
COMM 1Communication FundamentalsA13
Critical ThinkingCritical Thinking GE CourseA33-4
PS 5Political PhilosophyMajor3
ARTSArts GE Course C13
Life ScienceLife Science GE CourseB23
Semester 3
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
PS 12 or PS 14Comparative Politics or International RelationsMajor3
HIST 20 or HIST 21American History CourseD3
PS MajorPolitical Science AA-T Major Course from List BMajor3
HumanitiesHumanities GE CourseC23
Transfer ElectiveCSU Transferable Elective (Courses 1-199)3
Semester 4
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleCSU GE Area/MajorUnits
PS MajorPolitical Science AA-T Major Course from List BMajor3
PS 12 or PS 14Comparative Politics or International RelationsD & Major3
Physical SciencePhysical Science GE CourseB13
Physical Science LabPhysical Science LabB31
Arts/HumanitiesArts or Humanities GE CourseC1 or C23
Transfer ElectiveCSU Transferable Elective (Courses 1-199)1-3
  • This is only a sample academic plan. Please see a counselor and check IVC's catalog to create a customized My Academic Plan (MAP) that will best meet your specific academic goals.
Semester 1
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAA GE Area/MajorUnits
WR 1College Writing 11A4
MATH 10 or PSYC 10*Introduction to Statistics or Statistical Methods23
PS 1American Government8 & Major3
PS 21Model United NationsModel United Nations (Recommended extra-curricular elective course)3
Lifelong Health**Lifelong Health and Personal Development GE Course9 A/B/C2-3
Semester 2
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAA GE Area/MajorUnits
COMM 1Communication Fundamentals1B3
Critical ThinkingCritical Thinking1C3-4
PS 4Introduction to Political Science4 & Major3
PS 5Political Philosophy6 & Major3
Fine ArtsFine Arts and Languages GE Course73
Semester 3
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAA GE Area/MajorUnits
PS 14International RelationsMajor3
PS MajorPolitical Science Major Course from List A5 & Major3
Natural SciencesNatural Sciences GE Course33
GLBL 1Introduction to Global Studies (Fall Only) (Recommended Elective)4 & Major3
ElectiveDegree Applicable Elective (Courses 1-299)3
Semester 4
Sample Educational Plan for a single term.
CourseTitleAA GE Area/MajorUnits
PS 3California Government and Politics4 & Major3
PS 12Comparative Politics4 & Major3
GLBL 2Introduction to Global Issues (Spring Only) (Recommended Elective)5 & Major3
Lifelong Health**Lifelong Health and Personal Development GE Course9 A/B/C3
ElectiveDegree Applicable Elective (Courses 1-299)3
  1. Students can take Math 10, Psyc 10 or any other math course that meets the AA GE math requirement in Area 2; however, Math 10 or Psyc 10 are recommended.
  2. Take one course from two different categories among GE areas 9A, 9B, and 9C. Please refer to the AA GE pattern for details.

*Students may be eligible for one or more AA/AS/AA-T/AS-T degrees if they complete a GE transfer pattern, have specific courses, and have 60 transferable units. Please see a counselor for degree options and advisement.

  • AA = Associate of Arts
  • AS = Associate of Science
  • AA-T = Associate of Arts for Transfer
  • AS-T = Associate of Science for Transfer
  • COA = Certificate of Achievement
  • COP = Certificate of Proficiency

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Not sure if Political Science is the right fit?

That's OK!

Begin with the Exploratory Interest Area and explore Political Science while still working toward your academic goals.

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Or speak to one of IVC’s Academic Counselors to learn more about all of your options.

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