POSC Undergraduate Program

USC’s Political Science undergraduate program offers a systematic study of political institutions and processes. Our students are exposed to normative and empirical political theories, acquire training in analytical thinking and research methods, and become familiar with the diversity of political systems, peoples, cultures, and nationalities. Our program prepares students for careers in government, law, administration, research, public policy, consulting, and related professions.

The POSC curriculum covers the core theories and concepts in political science, providing majors with knowledge of American Politics, Comparative Politics, Law and Public Policy, and Political Theory.  The department also offers minors in several focused fields of study, such as Law and Society; Race, Ethnicity, and Politics; Human Rights; and Applied Politics.

Many POSC students complement their studies at USC with study abroad programs, internships, and programs on state and federal government in Sacramento, CA and Washington, D.C. The Department also offers the multi-semester, award-winning Trial Advocacy Program, preparing participants for law school and other post-graduate education.

Our selective Honors Program provides an outstanding experience of intensive study and research for our best undergraduate students. All of our Honors students are introduced to the rigors of intellectual debates and the challenges and rewards of conducting research. Freshmen and sophomores admitted to the program learn theoretical and methodological approaches to research and social science writing. Junior and senior Honors students formulate and complete an original research project under the close supervision of the Honors Program instructor. Outside of our honors classes, Political Science students have opportunities to develop research projects in independent study classes under the close supervision of a faculty member.

Political Science is also the home of USC's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, which bridges the academic study of political science and the practical world of public policy and electoral politics. POSC and the Unruh Institute offer weekly talks on public affairs, sponsor classes taught by elected officials and practitioners, and help students obtain internships in government and political organizations.

The Political Science department faculty are often honored for their teaching excellence and dedication to students. We are proud to have more winners of USC’s highest teaching honor, the Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching, than any other department on campus.

  • Department of Political Science