Academic Catalogs

Political Science, Associate in Arts Degree

Banner code: 2_AA_POLS
Control number: 18415
Financial aid: Eligible 

Political science, the systematic and rigorous study of government, public policy and of the political behavior of individuals, groups, and institutions, is becoming increasingly crucial in a complex and controversial world. Most social, economic and moral issues have political implications; and governmental policy affects most aspects of daily life. The goal of the Associate of Arts Degree in Political Science is to provide students with an understanding of the American political system and other political systems within the context of global forces, international conflicts, ideological systems and diversity. Courses in this major are designed to introduce students to the field of political science and the primary subfields of political science and to equip students with specialized research and analytical skills necessary to examine political issues. This analytical framework will familiarize students with more generalized communication and problem solving skills sufficient to allow them to make valuable contributions to any vocation or enterprise they pursue. Students will be prepared for a baccalaureate degree in Political Science. The successful student will be able to demonstrate knowledge of important findings, theories, and changing issues relevant to political science; demonstrate critical thinking about political issues and evaluate theories’ and arguments’ major assertions, background assumptions, the evidence used to support assertions, and their explanatory value; utilize appropriate investigative methods and appropriate technologies to access relevant research; manage information and prepare and present their work effectively. 

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of important findings, theories, and changing issues relevant to political science.
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking about political issues by evaluating the major assertions, background assumptions and the evidence used to support assertions, as well as their explanatory value.
  3. Utilize appropriate investigative methods and appropriate technologies to access relevant research.
  4. Manage information and prepare and present their work effectively.

Associate Degree Graduation Requirements

(See GWC website for the most up-to-date information on Associate Degree Requirements.)

  1. Completion of General Education Requirements by one of the following methods:
    1. Completion of a minimum of 18 units as listed under Areas A through E, including the Cultural Diversity Requirement.
    2. Completion of a minimum of 39 units of CSU General Education requirements. Students who complete this pattern are also eligible to receive the Certificate of Achievement in CSU General Education Breadth.
    3. Completion of a minimum of 34 (UC) or 37 (CSU) units of Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) requirements. Students who complete this pattern are also eligible to receive the Certificate of Achievement in IGETC.
  2. Completion of a Major or Area of Emphasis—a minimum of 18 units.
  3. Completion of additional elective units to a total of 60 units.
  4. 2.0 overall Grade Point Average at GWC and 2.0 overall Grade Point Average for all colleges attended.
  5. At least 12 units completed at GWC.

Students should consult a GWC counselor in order to select the best pathway to meet their educational goals. For students who intend to transfer, the choice of general education will be specific to both their major and transfer institution.

Course Title Units
Required Courses
Select three of the following:9
PSCI G180American Government3
PSCI G110International Relations3
PSCI G185Comparative Politics3
PSCI G150Political Philosophy3
List A
Select one of the following:3-4
MATH G160Introduction To Statistics4
PSYC G140Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences4
ECON G160Statistics for Business and Economics3
List B
Select two from the following:6
PSCI G105Introduction to Global Studies3
PSCI G205Global Issues3
PSCI G101Survey Of Current Issues3
PSCI G100Introduction To Political Science3
PSCI G130Law In American Society3
HIST G180Western Civilization 13
HIST G185Western Civilization 23
HIST G161World History 13
HIST G162World History 23
ECON G170Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON G175Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECON G130Environmental Economics and Policy3
Major Total18-19
GE Pattern (Local, CSU GE-Breadth, or IGETC)18-39
Total Units60

Recommended Program Sequence

These sequences are general course maps for students to finish all major and general education requirements for two-year completion of degrees, completion of short-term certificates, and/or fulfillment of transfer requirements. However, this may not be an appropriate path for all students.  The two-year sequence is based on English and Math placement and meeting other course prerequisites. Students are advised to meet with a GWC Counselor to review course selections and sequences to ensure that completion of this program will meet a student's transfer and career goals.

Students are advised to use the IGETC pattern of general education when pursuing this AA degree. Students are advised to speak with a GWC Counselor to identify specific requirements for transfer.

Year 1:

Course Title Units
Semester 1
ENGL G100Freshman Composition ^4
Area 3A: Arts course3
COMM G110Public Speaking (CSU only)3
or COMM G100 Interpersonal Communication
or Area 3B: Humanities course (HIST G161, HIST G162, HIST G180, or HIST G185) recommended
UC Transferable elective coursework for a total of 3 units3
Select one of the following:3
PSCI G180American Government (recommended)3
PSCI G110International Relations3
PSCI G185Comparative Politics3
Units16
Course Title Units
Semester 2
MATH G160Introduction To Statistics3-4
or PSYC G140 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
or ECON G160 Statistics for Business and Economics
PHIL G125Critical Reasoning and Writing (or Area 1B: Critical Thinking course)3-4
UC Transferable elective coursework for a total of 6 units6
Select one of the following NOT already taken: 3
PSCI G110International Relations3
PSCI G180American Government3
PSCI G185Comparative Politics3
Units15-17

Year 2:

Course Title Units
Semester 3
Area 5A: Physical Science course (with or without lab) *3-4
Area 3: Arts & Humanities course3
UC Transferable elective coursework for a total of 3 units3
Select one of the following NOT already taken:3
PSCI G110International Relations3
PSCI G150Political Philosophy3
or PHIL G150 Political Philosophy
PSCI G185Comparative Politics3
Select one of the following NOT already taken:3
PSCI G105Introduction to Global Studies3
PSCI G205Global Issues3
PSCI G101Survey Of Current Issues3
PSCI G100Introduction To Political Science3
PSCI G130Law In American Society3
HIST G180Western Civilization 13
HIST G185Western Civilization 23
HIST G161World History 13
HIST G162World History 23
ECON G170Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON G175Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECON G130Environmental Economics and Policy3
Units15-16
Course Title Units
Semester 4
Area 5B: Life Science course (with or without lab) *3-4
Area 4: Social & Behavioral science course (other than PSCI, if not already satisfied with Major course)3
Cultural Diversity Requirement #3
Area 6: Languages other than English (if not satisfied in High School) 4-5
UC Transferable elective coursework to reach a minimum of 60 units
Select one of the following NOT already taken:3
PSCI G100Introduction To Political Science3
PSCI G101Survey Of Current Issues3
PSCI G105Introduction to Global Studies3
PSCI G110International Relations3
PSCI G130Law In American Society3
PSCI G150Political Philosophy3
PSCI G205Global Issues3
HIST G161World History 13
HIST G162World History 23
HIST G180Western Civilization 13
HIST G185Western Civilization 23
ECON G170Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON G175Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECON G130Environmental Economics and Policy3
Units12-14
Total minimum units required60