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Online Degrees & Certificates

AA in Political Science

Political Science as a social science discipline is the systematic analysis of political power. Informed by theory and the scientific method, political scientists examine a variety of social and political phenomena including but not limited to social and political behavior, public policy, and institutions. Major areas of specialization in the discipline include American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, public policy and political economy.

The value of a political science degree is recognized in both the public and private sectors as it demonstrates development of critical, analytical and research skills demanded by higher education institutions and the labor market.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to demonstrate critical, analytical, research and writing skills in political science and its sub-fields using basic scientific tools underlying modern social science.
  • Students will be able to analyze the major theoretical formulations and concepts of political science and its sub-fields and the philosophical basis of those formulations.

Career Opportunities

A major in political science is excellent preparation for students who plan to enter the legal profession, government service, public office, business, the armed forces and/or teaching. Graduate degrees are necessary for teaching at the college or university level and can prepare students for a variety of career options including but not limited to the foreign service.

Associate Degree Requirements

Units required for Major: 35
English proficiency: ENGL 1A, 1AH, 1S & 1T, or equivalent.
Mathematics proficiency: MATH 105, 108 or any MATH course approved for Foothill GE Area V, Communication & Analytical Thinking.

A minimum of 90 units is required to include

  • Completion of one of the following general eduation patterns:
    • Foothill General Education
    • CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or
    • the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • Core courses (18 units)
  • Support courses (17 units)
  • Additional elective course work may be necessary to meet the 90-unit minimum requirement for the associate degree.

NOTE: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core and support courses used for the degree.

Online Courses for Political Science

The courses listed BELOW are offered as online courses at least once every two years. Please see online Schedule of Classes for verification.

NOTE: Students having difficulty attaining an associate degree because of timing or availability of classes should consult with a counselor to submit a petition for course substitution.


Core Courses (18 units)

POLI 1 Political Science: Introduction to American Government & Politics 5
POLI 2 Comparative Government & Politics 4
Introduction to Political Philosophy/Political Theory 5
or POLI 3H
Honors Introduction to Political Philosophy/Political Theory 5
International Relations/World Politics 4


Support Courses (17 units)

Select 9 units from the following:
ECON 1A Principles of Macroeconomics 5
HIST 17A History of the United States to 1815 4
or HIST 17B
History of the United States from 1812 to 1914 4
or HIST 17C
17C History of the United States 1914 to the Present 4
POLI 9 Political Economy 4
or ECON 9
Political Economy 4
SOSC 20 Cross-Cultural Perspectives for a Multicultural Society 4
AND 8 Units of the following: *
ECON 25 The Global Economy 4
HIST 8 History of Latin America 4
HIST 18 Introduction to Middle Eastern Civilization 4
HIST 20 History of Russia & The Soviet Union 4
GIST 11 Introduction to Mapping & Spatial Reasoning 4
or GEOG 11 Introduction to Mapping & Spatial Reasoning 4
SOC 15
Law & Society 4

 * Students may also use courses listed in the first section of support courses to fulfill the requirement for the second section of support courses.

Note that this is a list of fully online courses that satisfy degree requirements.

For a list of on-campus courses that satisfy degree requirements, please visit  Political Science 2020-2021 Degree & Certificates.

Based on the 2020 - 2021 degree program.