Prepolitical Science Major

All students intending to major in Political Science must enroll as Prepolitical Science majors. After completion of preparation for the major courses, they need to petition to enter the major in the Undergraduate Office, 4269 Bunche Hall.


Preparation for the Major

Required: Any four lower division courses from Political Science 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60. These lower division courses are requisites to some upper division courses. Students must also take one statistics course from Political Science 6, 6R, Statistics 10 or Statistics 12. PS 6 or 6R may be taken for credit and is not considered a repeat of content if another of the listed statistics courses has already been taken.
Students must complete all premajor courses with a 2.0 grade-point average by the time they attain 135 units. Admission to the major is granted only after successful completion of all lower division requirements.


Transfer Students

To be admitted as Political Science majors, transfer students with 90 or more units must complete the following introductory courses prior to admission to UCLA: one statistics course and four courses from political theory, world politics, political economy, American politics, or comparative politics.


The Major

Required: Ten upper division courses (40 units) selected from Political Science 104A through 199 taken for a letter grade.  These courses must be taken for a letter grade. Students are required to maintain a 2.0 overall grade-point average in all upper division political science courses.

Upper division political science courses are organized into six fields: (I) political theory, (II) international relations, (III) American politics, and (IV) comparative politics, (V) methods and models, (VI) Race, Ethnicity and politics.

In fulfilling the requirement of 10 upper division political science courses, students must satisfy the following:

1. A concentration in one field by completing the lower division course and at least three upper division courses in that field

2. A distribution of one upper division course in each of three other fields (three upper division courses)

3. Four additional elective courses in political science to comprise the total of 10


Field Concentration Requirements

Specific requirements for the field concentration are as follows:

I. Political Theory: Any three courses in Field I

II. International Relations: Any three upper division courses in Field II

III. American Politics: Any three courses in Field III

IV. Comparative Politics: Any three courses in Field IV. Course 118 may also be applied toward concentration in this field.

V: Methods and Models: Any three courses in Field V.

VI: Race, Ethnicity and Politics: Any three courses in Field VI

Courses 119, 139, 149, 169 and 179 may be applied no more than twice toward the field concentration requirement. No more than three of these courses may be applied toward the major.

Courses 195CE, 191H, 198, and 199 may not be applied toward either the concentration or distribution requirement.

Political Science majors should be aware that the upper division course requirements in the major (40 units) do not meet the upper division requirement of 60 units (effective Fall Quarter 1997) for graduation. Additional upper division units must be taken to reach the 60-unit total. 

Major Course Substitution Policy

Please note the following change in the department’s course substitution policy, effective November 2013:

Over the past several years, we have made changes to the Political Science program with the aim of increasing course availability, removing unnecessary requirements, and improving the academic rigor and coherence of the major. As part of this evolution and improvement of our program, we have tightened the criteria for petitions to substitute other departments’ courses for the requirements of the Political Science Major. Accordingly, some courses that have been accepted as substitutes in the past may no longer be accepted.

Your best bet is always to consult with a Political Science Undergraduate Counselor before you take an outside course that you would like to count toward the Political Science Major. Typically, if a seat is available in a Political Science course that would fulfill a requirement, the counselors will steer you toward that course. Petitions to count out-of-department courses toward the requirements of the Political Science major will be approved only in rare circumstances.


Undergraduate Seminars

The department offers seminars (Political Science 191A through 191F) in each field. The requisites are two upper division courses in the field in which the seminar is offered, a 3.25 average at the upper division level in political science, or discretion of the instructor. These courses may be applied toward either the concentration or distribution requirement, and students who qualify are encouraged to take them.


Honors Program

The department honors program is open to seniors and to students who (1) have completed five upper division political science courses (two of which are in one field), (2) have a 3.5 grade-point average in upper division political science courses, and (3) are eligible for College of Letters and Science honors. Students should have substantial experience in writing research papers before they enter the honors program or course 191H.
Click here for more specific honors information.

Click here for the Honors Application