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Department ofPolitical Science

Academic Programs

The Department of Political Science offers a degree program leading to the bachelor of science in political science. The department introduces students to the analysis of political behavior, values, institutions, and governments. It also offers preparation for various graduate and professional studies and for careers in public service, education, and the private sector.

The department offers opportunities to participate in a variety of programs that combine practical field experience and academic credit. It assists students in arranging academic credit for internships. Placements include government agencies, legislative or judicial bodies, political parties, and nongovernment organizations. On the national level, Santa Clara partners with American University's Washington, D.C., program, in which students receive credit for internships and intensive seminars in the nation's Capitol. Santa Clara also participates in the Panetta Institute's Congressional Internship Program, which fully subsidizes students who study and intern with the California Congressional delegation on Capitol Hill. On the international level, the department encourages student participation in the numerous University-operated and approved study abroad programs around the world.

Please reference the Undergraduate Bulletin for more info.

To declare or change a major, minor, or emphasis, fill out the SCU Registrar's Program Petition form.

Alert icon Helpful Documents for Course Planning A list of POLI double dippers and tentative course offerings for the current academic year can be found on this SCU Google drive (you must be logged in to your SCU Google account to access the file). Please note, tentative course listings on the Registrar's website are not updated regularly. We strongly encourage you to use the department file linked above for the most up-to-date information. For a list of POLI courses that count towards a Pathway requirement, please visit the Provost's website.


An undergraduate majoring in another field may achieve a minor in political science by completing seven Political Science courses.


  • Pre-Law
  • Public Sector Studies
  • International Relations

Power & Identity Courses

Power & Identity courses examine the dynamics and consequences of power differentials, inequalities, and divisions among social groups and the relationship of these issues to politics. These courses explicitly address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion using a political science lens and can be offered across all subfields in political science.


Course Title Course Instructor
1 Introduction to U.S. Politics Harrigan
125 International Law Cheikhali
142 Politics in the Middle East Senzai
149 Special Topics in Comparative Politics: Indigenous Movements in Comparative Perspective Vera-Adrianzén
154 Women and Politics Morlang
168 Special Topics in Public Policy: Criminal Justice Reform Chen
169 Special Topics in U.S. Politics: Race and Ethnicity in American Politics Leung
173 Sports and Politics in the U.S. Harrigan
192 Seminar in Comparative Politics: Revolutionary Politics in Latin America Mosinger
192AW Seminar in Comparative Politics: Identity Politics in Comparative Perspective Levy
Contact Us

Elsa Chen, Ph.D., Department Chair
Pam Doherty, Academic Department Manager
Phone: 408-554-4508

Location: The Department of Political Science is located in Vari Hall, 230.

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