The Politics Major 2012-13
The most significant purpose of the politics major is to help educate a reflective and activist citizenry capable of sharing power and responsibility in a contemporary democracy. Courses address issues central to public life, such as democracy, power, freedom, political economy, social movements, institutional reforms, and how public life, as distinct from private life, is constituted.
Study and Research Opportunities
- B.A., Ph.D.; undergraduate minor
- Combined politics/Latin American and Latino studies major available
- Many opportunities for field work and for internship placements, both locally and in Washington, D.C.
High School Preparation
No specific courses at the high school level are required for admission to the major in politics at UC Santa Cruz. Courses in history, literature, philosophy, and the social sciences, whether taken at the high school or college level, are appropriate background and preparation for the politics major.
Transfer students will find it helpful to complete college courses that satisfy campus general education requirements before coming to UC Santa Cruz. Courses from another institution may be considered for the politics major only if they appear on the student’s transfer credit list on the MyUCSC portal. Students are allowed to substitute only one course taken elsewhere to satisfy a Politics Department lower-division requirement. Students should discuss the process with the department adviser.
While it is not a condition of admission, students from California community colleges may complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz.
Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG web site.
- Administrative analysis
- Campaign management
- Congressional staffing
- Foreign service
- Government service
- International business
- Legislative research
- Policy analysis
- Political science
- Public administration
- Secondary school and college teaching
These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.
The Honorable Kelvin Filer (B.A., politics, ’77) is a State of California Superior Court Judge for Los Angeles County. At the age of 27 he argued a landmark case before the California Supreme Court that established the right of all defendants to wear street clothes in court rather than jail clothes, which could prejudice jurors. His impact goes beyond his professional dedication as a judge to his volunteer efforts in schools to help young people in the community.
Sol Lipman (B.A., politics, ’85) is the founder of 12seconds.tv, a web service that has popularized 12-second “video tweets” that users post to Facebook and Twitter.
Azadeh Moaveni (B.A., politics, ’98) is a journalist and author who writes about Iranian politics and culture. A fluent Arabic and Farsi speaker, she is the author of three books: Lipstick Jihad, Iran Awakening (co-written with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi), and Honeymoon in Tehran. She has reported on youth culture, women’s rights, and Islamic reform for Time, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.
Dana Priest (B.A., politics, ’81), a Washington Post reporter, has won two Pulitzer Prizes: one in 2008 for her exposé of the mistreatment of wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital, and one in 2006 for her reporting on the U.S. government’s secret “black site” prisons., which also won her a George Polk award in 2006. Her 2003 book, The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America’s Military, critiques the trend toward soldier-peacekeepers. Priest recently shook the blogosphere with her online report on "Top Secret America."
Katy Roberts (B.A., politics, ’74) is section editor of the New York Times “Week in Review,” one of the most influential publications in journalism.
Declaring the Major
Declaring the major in politics is a four-step process: (1) Complete and pass with a grade of C or better two lower-division Politics courses, (2) attend a declaration orientation workshop, (3) meet with your faculty adviser, and (4) meet with the politics undergraduate adviser. Each student meets with an assigned faculty adviser to discuss an intended program of study, including its breadth and purpose. The faculty adviser may suggest additional courses so that the student can achieve greater breadth or concentration. Students are encouraged to select related courses from other departments which complement their interests in politics.
Politics and Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) Combined Major
Students may pursue a combined major in politics and Latin American and Latino studies (LALS). This major offers a unique curriculum that combines courses from both the Politics and LALS Departments. Requirements for the major and information regarding the declaration process may be viewed in the Latin American and Latino Studies section of the UCSC General Catalog.
The UCDC (quarter in Washington, D.C.) Program supervises and supports students who pursue internships and academic study in the nation’s capital. The program is open through a competitive application process to juniors and seniors in all majors. Students enroll for fall, winter, or spring quarter, earn 12–15 course credits, and continue to be registered as full-time students. Courses are taught by UC faculty along with visiting faculty from the Washington, D.C. area. Applicant selection is based on academic record, a written statement, letters of recommendation, and a personal interview.
Students live in the UC Washington Center, together with students from all of the participating UC campuses. This provides a social and intellectual community throughout the quarter.
Interested students in junior or senior standing with strong academic records are encouraged to apply. For further information, contact the UCDC coordinator, 5 Merrill College, (831) 459-2855, firstname.lastname@example.org, politics.ucsc.edu/ucdc.
The comprehensive requirement in the Politics Department can be satisfied by any of the following methods:
Course Credit Options:
- successful completion of a politics senior seminar (190-series) that includes the writing of an extensive paper (no less than 15 pages) with a substantial research content. To enroll in a specific 190 seminar, students must have successfully completed prerequisite courses listed in the seminar’s catalog course description;
- successful completion of a politics graduate core seminar (enrollment in which is contingent on the written recommendation of two politics faculty) that includes the writing of an extensive paper (no less than 15 pages) with a substantial research content;
- successful completion of a senior thesis (courses 195A-B-C) of approximately 50 pages, with a substantial research content, supervised by a politics faculty member with a second reader;
- successful completion of one additional politics upper-division course with content linked to another course completed in any of the department’s “major pathways.” In conjunction with this course the student must receive faculty approval for and enroll in a two-credit independent study, Politics 199F, which requires completion of a substantial writing component (e.g., a term paper of no less than 15 pages in length).
27 Merrill College
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064