Catalog 2023-2024

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Political Science

Associate in Arts Degree

A student obtaining an A.A. degree in Political Science will be able to demonstrate critical thinking, analytic problem solving, research and communication skills, all of which are valued by institutions of higher education and the labor market. Students will apply these skills to understand the structure and functions of American government; the institutions, players, and processes in American national and state governments; the exercise of power in governmental institutions; comparison of the U.S. political system to others in the world; and political relations among nations and the transnational relations practiced by people, organizations, and institutions across national boundaries. The Political Science Program at West Valley College is primarily transfer oriented. It prepares students to enter 4-year Political Science or any Political Science-related program at the university level. Students are required to earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 and earn a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major.

Major Core Requirements (12 units)

Course NumberCourse TitleUnits
Select one:

American Government
Honors American Government

3 units
3 units
POLI002Comparative Governments3 units
POLI004International Relations3 units
Select one:

Critical Thinking and Writing
Honors Critical Thinking and Writing

3 units
3 units

Major Electives (9 units)

Course NumberCourse TitleUnits
ANTH001Introduction to Physical Anthropology3 units
ANTH002Introduction to Archaeology3 units
Only one:

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Honors Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

3 units
3 units
Only one:

Principles of Macroeconomics
Honors Principles of Macroeconomics

4 units
4 units
Only one:

Principles of Microeconomics
Honors Principles of Microeconomics

4 units
4 units
GEOG001Intro Physical Geography 3 units
GEOG002Introduction to Cultural Geography3 units
HIST004AWestern Civilization I: Prehistory to 1500 CE3 units
HIST004BWestern Civilization II: 1500 CE to Present3 units
HIST005AWorld History: Prehistory to 15003 units
HIST005BWorld History from 15003 units
HIST012African American History3 units
HIST014History of the Native North Americans3 units
HIST016Mexican-American History3 units
HIST017AUnited States History3 units
Only one:

United States History
Honors United States History

3 units
3 units
HIST020History and Geography of California3 units
Only one:

Introduction to Political Science
Honors Introduction to Political Science

3 units
3 units
Only one:

General Psychology
Honors General Psychology

3 units
3 units
Only one:

Experimental Psychophysiology
Honors Experimental Psychophysiology

4 units
4 units
PSYC007Physiological Psychology3 units
PSYC009Psychology of Women: A Multicultural Perspective3 units
PSYC012Human Growth and Development3 units
PSYC025Introduction to Abnormal Psychology3 units
SOCI001Introduction to Sociology3 units
Only one:

Social Problems
Honors Social Problems

3 units
3 units
SOCI020Sociology of Race and Ethnicity3 units
SOCI028Sociology of Gender3 units
SOCI040Marriage and Family Sociology3 units
SOCI045Sociology of Human Sexuality3 units

Total Major Units: 21 units

To be awarded an Associate Degree, a student must:

  1. Achieve a grade of “C” or better in the major requirements.
  2. Completion of WVC, CSU-Breadth, or IGETC General Education patterns. Students whose goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree should complete the CSU-Breadth or IGETC General Education pattern.
  3. Complete additional degree applicable units to meet the minimum 60-unit Associate Degree requirements.

Upon successful completion of this program a student will be able to:

  • Describe the political relations among nations and the transnational relations practiced by people, organizations, and institutions across national boundaries
  • Compare the U.S. political system to others in the world
Last Updated 7/19/23