5229 Social Science Plaza B; (949) 824-5361
Mark P. Petracca, Department Chair
The Department of Political Science offers a wide variety of courses at the introductory, lower-division, and more specialized upper-division levels. Courses in both micropolitics (individual and group politics) and macropolitics (politics at the state and international levels) are offered. The curriculum is organized into five areas: American politics and society, political theory, international relations, comparative politics, and public law. The Department also offers an Honors Program in Political Science for juniors and seniors, culminating in a senior honors thesis.
The Department is composed of a strong and diverse faculty especially interested in analyzing central questions of political science related to such topics as policy-making, political structures, participation, conflict, change and development, power and authority, and interstate relations. The faculty has particular strength in interdisciplinary approaches, in comparative analysis, and in the application of quantitative data to political science issues.
University Requirements: See pages 54-59.
School Requirements: See page 346.
Departmental Requirements for the Major in Political Science
School requirements must be met and must include 11 courses (44 units) as specified below:
A. Three introductory courses (12 units) in political science, Political Science 6A, 6B, and 6C. It is recommended that these courses be taken during a student's first two years as a Political Science major at UCI.
B. Two lower-division courses in political science (eight units).
C. Six upper-division courses in political science (24 units) chosen from one of the political science modules numbered 120-179. Three of these courses must be from one module. In addition, the lower-division introduction course to that module also is required.
Honors Program in Political Science
The Honors Program in Political Science is open to all junior and senior Political Science majors who meet the minimum academic qualifications (3.5 GPA in Political Science courses and 3.2 GPA overall).
During their junior year, Honors program students must enroll in at least one Honors Seminar (Political Science H180). These courses include intensive reading and discussion of the most influential works and fundamental issues in modern political science, and prepare students for rigorous independent research. Students should also prepare a written proposal for their senior thesis. Proposals are approved by their faculty advisor and filed with the Department and Undergraduate Counseling offices.
During their senior year, students must enroll in the Honors Thesis Workshop (Political Science H182A, offered during the fall quarter), and three quarters of the Senior Thesis course (Political Science 190). Students write their senior thesis, which is designed and completed under their faculty advisor's supervision. Upon successful completion of their senior thesis, students graduate with Honors in Political Science and their transcripts note that they were in the Honors Program in Political Science.
Public Affairs Internship Program
The Public Affairs Internship Program, sponsored by the Department of Political Science, is designed to provide Political Science and other students with professional experience in the fields of government, nongovernmental organizations, the media, law, business, consulting, and others. The program is open to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
This program provides a selection of internship opportunities open to students by intern-sponsors, as available. Students also may create their own internship opportunities, consistent with Departmental guidelines. Students are required to enroll in Political Science 183 during the quarter of their internship. This course, supervised by the internship coordinator and participating members of the faculty, is offered Pass/Not Pass and cannot be used to satisfy upper-division Political Science requirements.
Information and applications are available in the Department office.
Political Science Minor Requirements
Requirements for the minor in Political Science are met by taking seven political science courses (28 units) as specified below:
A. One course selected from Political Science 6A, 6B, or 6C.
B. Three upper-division political science courses, chosen from one Political Science module.
C. Three additional courses in political science, chosen from those numbered Political Science 6A, 6B, 6C, 20-79, or 120-179.
Alison Brysk: International relations, Latin American politics, human rights
Michel Crozier: Organizational sociology, public administration
Russell J. Dalton: West European politics, mass political behavior
James Danziger: Urban political systems, public policy analysis, and technology and politics
David Easton: Political systems, political structures
Creel Froman: Human analysis
Bernard Grofman: Mathematical models of collective decision making, formal democratic theory, sequential decision making, and politics of small groups
Helen Ingram: Public policy, U.S.-Mexico relations, American politics
Claire Kim: Racial and ethnic politics, protest and social movements, contemporary political theory
Cecelia Lynch: International relations, peace politics, and international law
Richard Matthew: International politics, environmental policy
Kristen R. Monroe: Political economy, rationality, American politics, methodology
Patrick Morgan: National security policy, American foreign policy, international politics, U.S.-European relations, Soviet politics
Jack W. Peltason: Constitutional law and civil liberties
Mark P. Petracca: American political institutions (presidency and congress), interest organizations, public policy, power and political discourse
M. Ross Quillian: Mass communication, participatory forms of social organization, sociological theory, sociology of science, and artificial intelligence
Shawn Rosenberg: Political psychology, cognitive psychology, public opinion
Wayne Sandholtz: International political economy, European community
William Schonfeld: Authority, democratic theory, and comparative politics
Caesar Sereseres: U.S. foreign policy, U.S.-Latin American relations, Mexican-American politics
Elora Shehabuddin: International political economy, comparative politics of Islam, South Asian studies
Etel Solingen: International relations theory, international political economy, and world politics
Dorothy J. Solinger: Chinese domestic politics and political economy, comparative politics, history of political philosophy
Alec Stone Sweet: Comparative politics, comparative judicial behavior, international relations
Rein Taagepera: Mathematical models and quantitative analysis of elections, inequality, arms races, growth-decline phenomena and Baltic area studies
Katherine Tate: African-American and minority politics, voting behavior, public opinion and American elections, state and urban politics
Carole J. Uhlaner: Comparative political participation, formal models of political behavior
Robert Uriu: International relations, international political economy, Japanese political economy
Martin Wattenberg: American political behavior and institutions
The Department of Political Science offers a program of study leading to the Ph.D. in Political Science. The graduate program emphasizes empirical democratic theory, with an emphasis on the United States and other industrialized and industrializing nations, within a comparative context. Faculty interests include political behavior, political psychology, public choice theory, political economy, international relations, systems theory, mass media, and authority relations. Institutions of interest include the executive branch, bureaucratic politics, political parties, and representation and electoral systems. The strengths of the Political Science graduate program include its small size, its personalized attention to students, and its location within an interdisciplinary school.
Three Organized Research Units, the Institute of Transportation Studies, the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations, and the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, offer opportunities for participation in ongoing faculty research. One group of Political Science faculty share interests in applied Public Choice with faculty members in both Economics and Philosophy; another group is involved with the program in Global Peace and Conflict Studies; and others are involved in the Center for the Study of Democracy.
The deadline for application for fall quarter admission is January 15. Students are admitted for winter or spring quarters only under exceptional circumstances. Additional information is available in the general section on admission to Social Science graduate programs. Please note especially the required examinations.
First-year students must take a core program of graduate seminars, focusing on major substantive areas as well as research methods. Students are required to complete one year of statistics, preferably before enrollment but no later than their first year. Competence in a foreign language is required. Students may substitute mastery of an advanced research skill in place of a foreign language. To acquire such a skill (which could involve course work in such disciplines as economics, mathematics and computer science, or statistics), students could take courses in econometrics, advanced multivariate regression, or computer science. Attendance in a colloquium series also is required for all graduate students during their first two years in residence.
Reviews and Examinations
Students ordinarily are expected to maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or better. At the completion of the first year, a review of performance in the graduate program will be conducted for each student by the Political Science faculty.
A set of three papers, normally completed by the third year of study, tests the student's competence in a set of major domains for intellectual inquiry. These domains are determined by the student and the Political Science Graduate Director. Upon successful completion of these papers and demonstration of competence in mathematics and a foreign language or an advanced research skill, a candidacy committee is appointed to oversee the qualifying examination and the formal advancement to candidacy. Students are expected to advance to candidacy by the ninth quarter of graduate study.
After the student advances to candidacy, the doctoral committee, usually composed of three members of the candidacy committee, reviews a dissertation prospectus and supervises work toward completion of the dissertation. Within six months of the oral qualifying examination (the formal advancement to candidacy), students are expected to meet with their doctoral committee, in order to discuss with the members a dissertation prospectus.
Concentration in Public Choice
Public Choice is an interdisciplinary field, at the intersection of political science and economics, which draws on sophisticated quantitative tools to model the functioning of political institutions. Public Choice examines such areas as theories of voter and party choice; the theory of constitutions; the theory of committees and elections; models of regulation; problems of public goods and externalities; rent-seeking models; and issues in social choice, social welfare, and demand revelation.
This concentration is administered by an interdisciplinary committee of faculty from the Departments of Political Science and Economics. Students who elect this concentration are admitted under the normal procedures for the program in Political Science and must fulfill all the requirements for the Political Science degree, with the following modifications:
(1) Students must complete the three-quarter core sequence in Public Choice, which is taught jointly by Political Science and Economics faculty. This sequence is usually taken in the student's second or third year.
(2) Students must complete three additional graduate-level, four-unit courses in related fields with the consent of their graduate advisor, chosen from a set of courses designated by the interdisciplinary committee. The courses chosen are to be tailored to the individual interests and academic background of the student and usually will include at least two Economics courses (such as Econometrics, Game Theory, and Law and Economics) and one Political Science course (such as those on electoral systems, party systems, constitutions, courts).
(3) Students are expected to write their dissertation on a topic related to Public Choice. Usually the dissertation advisor will be a Political Science member of the interdisciplinary committee.
Concentration in Political Psychology
The last two decades have seen an explosion of interest in the field of political psychology. UCI's graduate concentration is part of this development, but enjoys a rather distinctive place. The concentration offers students a broader education than is typically available at other institutions. In this vein, the program aims to provide: (1) a strong background in both political science and psychology; (2) an emphasis on theoretical and conceptual issues as well as empirical and methodological ones; and (3) a familiarity with research being done outside of the United States as well as within it. In this context, a number of research concerns central to the participating faculty are considered, including: social change and democratization, ideology, altruism, social and political identity, public policy, community building, mass media effects, voting behavior, and international integration. Believing in academic community, the concentration's sponsoring faculty offer a host of activities including colloquia, reading groups, and joint research opportunities to facilitate contact between students and faculty and among the students themselves.
Requirements. The purpose of the concentration is to provide a course of study which supplements the Ph.D. degree in Political Science. Therefore, students are required to complete all degree requirements for the Ph.D. stipulated by the Department of Political Science. As part of or in addition to these requirements, students must take five courses: Introduction to Political Psychology I and II (Political Science 285A and 285B), and three graduate psychology courses which provide a strong background in psychology (selected from an approved group which includes courses such as Personality in Development, Society and Pathology, Personality Assessment, Proseminar in Cognitive Science, and Human Information Processing). These courses are taught in the Department of Cognitive Science in the School of Social Sciences and the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior in the School of Social Ecology.