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Minors in Political Science

POSC offers several minors that provide a political science perspective on key issues and help prepare students for careers in law, public service, business, and teaching. The minor programs are open to all students and have no prerequisites. Political science minors are designed to enrich students’ program of study at USC and complement many majors in Dornsife College including Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Environmental Studies, as well as majors in other colleges such as the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the Marshall School of Business.

IMPORTANT: As with all minors at USC, at least four courses must be unique to the POSC minor and cannot fulfill any other department major or minor requirements. 

Political Science Minor

Political Science Minor

This minor program offers a detailed survey of one of four sub-fields of political science: American Government, Comparative Politics, Law and Public Policy, or Political Thought. Students may also develop their own specific area of concentration, with the approval of a political science undergraduate advisor. This minor is NOT available to Political Science Majors.

Requirements: Five courses (20 units), including one introductory core class and four 300- or 400-level courses, three of which must be in the chosen sub-field. Four of the 5 courses must be unique to the minor.

Download the PDF for more information.

Human Rights Minor

Human Rights Minor

The protection of human rights has become a significant international issue. The minor in human rights examines the theoretical foundations of human rights, historical and current developments, case studies and policies. This interdisciplinary minor encourages students to take courses in political science and in other Dornsife departments, as well as in other USC colleges. Students also take their learning outside the classroom in a course-required internship and teaching human rights to the community. Students are encouraged to join relevant student organizations. This minor is open to both political science and non-political science majors.

Requirements

Non-political science majors: Five courses (18 units), including one core class, two 300- or 400-level  courses on international human rights issues, one course on domestic human rights, and an approved internship or independent project through the Department of Political Science. Four of the 5 courses must be unique to the minor.

Political science majors: Six courses (22 units), four of which must be taken outside of political science. Courses include: one core class, three 300- or 400-level courses on international human rights issues, and two additional “Taking Action” courses. Four of the 6 courses must be unique to the minor.

Download the PDF for more information.

Law and Society Minor

Law and Society Minor

This interdisciplinary program focuses on the effect of law on society as well as the ways in which social forces influence the legal system. The program encourages students to look beyond “law on the books” to “law in action.” Thus, it includes the study of key legal institutions such as the legal profession, the judiciary, juries, the police, legislatures, and administrative agencies. In addition, the minor introduces students to legal policies like plea bargaining, the death penalty, and to the constitutional principles that underlie political debates about these policies, e.g., equal protection, due process, and privacy.

Requirements

Non-political science majors: Seven courses (28 units) including one core class (POSC 130); three 300- or 400-level courses in political science on Constitutional Law, International Law, and Policy Analysis; three elective courses in other related areas (Philosophy, Sociology, and other fields).

Political science majors: Eight courses (32 units) including one core class (POSC 130); three 300- or 400-level courses in political science on Constitutional Law, International Law, and Policy Analysis; four elective courses (16 units) in other related areas (Philosophy, Sociology, and other fields).

*Courses for this minor are often offered only during one semester each year so be sure to plan ahead*

Download the PDF for more information

Practical Politics

Practical Politics

This new minor provides students a unique opportunity to study the theory and practice of American Democracy. The Minor includes courses on campaigns, elections, political communications, legislative politics, and governing. Students will engage with faculty who possess a wealth of knowledge and experience in electoral politics and campaign strategy. The Minor will help students develop a multitude of skills applicable to the job market, such as problem solving, polling, social media analytics, micro-targeting, research, writing, and public speaking. Students will also complete an internship that will provide them with professional training and exposure to different careers. In addition, students can pursue courses through Maymester and the Dornsife in Washington D.C. program toward the Minor.

Requirements

Non-political science majors and political science majors: Five courses (20 units), including two courses in American Politics, two courses in Applied Politics, and one course in Practical Experience (POSC 395: Political Science Internship, Internship in Washington, D.C., or Maymester in Washington, D.C.)

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Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Minor

Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Minor

The U.S. has experienced momentous changes in race relations in the last century. The role of race and ethnicity in the political sphere has become even more complex with large-scale immigration and socioeconomic changes that have fostered multiple and overlapping racial identities, unique policy challenges, and new possibilities of coalition building among racial and ethnic groups. This minor helps students understand contemporary race relations and critically evaluate how race and ethnicity matter in today’s politics.

Requirements

Non-political science majors: Five courses (20 units) including one core class (POSC 421), two 300- or 400-level courses in political science on race and gender in global context, and on comparative racial politics, and two elective courses in related areas (History, Sociology and American Studies).

Political science majors: Seven courses (28 units) including one core class (POSC 421), two 300- or 400-level courses in political science on race and gender in global context, and on comparative racial politics, and four upper-division elective courses in related areas (History, Sociology and American Studies).

Download the PDF for more information