Academic Catalogs

Political Science, Associate in Arts Degree

Banner code: 2_AA_POLS
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
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 Micro Economics3
ECON G175Principles of Macro Economics3
ECON G130Environmental Economics and Policy3
Major Total18-19
GE Pattern (Local, CSU GE-Breadth, or IGETC)18-39
Total Units60