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    Irvine Valley College
    Apr 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog: September 2022 Edition 
2022-2023 Catalog: September 2022 Edition [ARCHIVED]

Political Science

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Dean: Traci Fahimi, EdD
Academic Chair: Shirin Sahani
Faculty: Joon Kil, PhD, Shirin Sahani


Since exposure to other political systems and ideas is vital in this increasingly interdependent world, students of all interests and backgrounds will find political sc­ience courses relevant and of value. The political science curriculum includes both required and elective courses appropriate for a general liberal arts education and for the major in political science. The core course, American Government, meets the general education requirement in American Institutions and lays a broad analytical framework that may be employed in examining political issues. Other courses in the curriculum meet general education requirements in the social sciences.


Most social, economic and moral issues have political implications; and governmental policy affects most aspects of daily life. Political science is an excellent liberal arts major for students interested in learning how groups of people govern themselves; how policies are made; and how we can improve our government policies at the local, state, national, and international levels. Those interested in American politics, international affairs, critical issues such as civil rights, health care, the environment and the deficit should consider this course of study. 

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the political science program, students will be able to

  • Identify the institutions, actors and processes in both American national and state government.
  • Understand the importance of citizenship and political participation.
  • Analyze the exercise of power in formal governmental institutions and non-governmental institutions.
  • Differentiate and classify political systems, their historical context and development, and the social and economic systems with which they interact.
  • Compare the U.S. political system to the political systems of European, Asian, African, Latin American, and Middle Eastern states.
  • Describe the political and economic relations among states and the transnational relations practiced by people, organizations, and institutions.
  • Identify the methods, approaches, or theories used in accumulating and interpreting information applicable to the discipline of political science.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary political issues and be able to present differing viewpoints.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and formulate and defend an argument about politics in a written and/or oral format.
  • Demonstrate the basic research skills necessary to write a paper in the discipline of political science.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the content of the major subfields in political science: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory.

Potential Careers (For Non-Transfer Degree Recipients)

Examples of careers for the political science major include the following:

  • Teaching in Secondary and Post-secondary Schools
  • Law
  • Government Employment
    • Campaign Manager
    • Legislative Staff Member
    • State, Local, and Federal Elected Office Holder
    • Government Agency Employee
  • Business and Private Agencies
    • Insurance
    • Agriculture
    • Finance
    • Consulting
    • Research
  • Communications and Journalism
  • International Trade and Organizations
    • United Nations
    • International Business
    • International Relief and Aid Group


    Associate in ArtsAssociate in Arts for Transfer

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