Welcome to the Political Science Department

Welcome to the Political Science Department at SJSU. The department has a long and rich history. Formed in 1962, a time when San Jose State University was known as San Jose State College, more than 4,000 students have earned a bachelor's degree in political science. Faculty, students and staff of the Department of Political Science engage in teaching and learning critically and systematically about politics, public affairs, public institutions, and their problems. Our mission thus embraces elements of the liberal arts, citizenship, and social science education. A major strength of SJSU's student body is its diversity. Our students vary in their economic status, ethnic background, age, experience, and educational objectives. The department's courses and programs respond to this diversity, offering our students knowledge and skills essential to citizenship as well as pre-professional education in preparation for a variety of careers or for graduate school.

Spring Ceremony

Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate program offers a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and three minors: Political Science, Public Administration and Public Policy, and Applied Research Methods. The Political Science major provides students with an understanding of politics and government, prepares them to be active, engaged, and informed citizens, as well as furthering skills in critical analysis and communication. The major in political science leads to a wide variety of professional careers, including teaching, the law, business, public service, and public policy.
Undergraduate Advising

Undergraduate Advising 

Department faculty provide academic advising for political science majors or students minoring in Political Science, Public Administration and Public Policy, or Applied Research Methods.  Advisers can assist students with major and minor course requirements, course planning, the graduation application process, internships, and department scholarships.  Many faculty advisors are also happy to discuss career planning or preparing for graduate school or law school. 


The Political Science Department is fortunate to be able to award more than 10 scholarships to our students each year–this is an extraordinary level of support that surpasses what any other department on campus can offer. The scholarships were created by generous benefactors–often former faculty, students, and friends of the department–who desired to ease the financial burden on our students as they seek to earn their degrees in Political Science. The department encourages all of our students to apply for one or more of these awards.
Political Science logo


The Political Science Department currently has twelve tenured or tenure-track faculty, and fourteen lecturer faculty.  To learn more about our teaching, research, and service to the university, community, and profession, please visit our faculty pages.
Department News

Department News 

Political science faculty in the department have a long tradition of providing commentary in local, national, and international media outlets. We believe helping to inform the public about political and social issues (both past and present) is an important part of being a faculty member at a public university.  For news on our faculty’s latest media appearances, op-ed articles, academic publications, and public lectures, please visit our Department News page.