Cutting-edge Tools to Change the Political World
Welcome to our Department
Our department combines world-class research with an innovative and intensive approach to teaching undergraduates and PhD students. Founded in 1974, we are by far the youngest of the globe s top departments we are rated as the #7 program by the National Research Council, #9 by US News and World Report, and #6 in the London School of Economics and Political Science rankings. UC San Diego Political Science took its place among our ivy-covered peers not by following their traditions but carving out our own paths, helping to change the way that our discipline approaches the study of the political world. We bring the same passion for non-tradition into our classrooms, where we try to provide our students with courses on subjects they never knew existed, assignments that challenge them to perform professional-level work, and research tools they can use to explore their own questions.
For our undergraduate students, we offer
- Courses that range from Insurgency and Terrorism to The Voting Rights Act: 50 Years Later, to International Politics and Drugs to Bending the Curve: Climate Change to Democracy and its Critics
- To complement courses taught by our permanent faculty, we bring in practitioners who channel their real-world experiences into courses like How to Win or Lose and Election and Science, Technology, and the Law
- A Senior Honors Thesis program and a Research Apprenticeship Program that allow students to work with mentors to engage in independent research
- A series of advanced data analytics courses in which you can develop the statistical, coding, and data visualization skills that will set you apart on the job market
For our graduate students, we offer
- A math boot camp and a sequence of methodological courses taught by leading scholars that provide you with the skills you need to conduct professional research
- A core curriculum bringing together students in every subfield that introduces you to the fundamental questions driving political science
- Workshops that include both specialized field meetings and broader general meetings so that you can receive both field-specific and discipline-wide feedback on your projects at the right stage of their development
- Opportunities to work as a research assistant on projects run by our faculty, and opportunities to fund your own fieldwork and research
- A strong placement record of our students in tenure-track jobs at universities including Harvard University, Columbia University, UCLA, New York University, U. of North Carolina, USC, U. of Texas, Austin, London School of Economics, The Ohio State University, University College, London, College of William and Mary, Emory University, U. of British Columbia, NYU Abu Dhabi, and American University in Cairo
Where do our students go?
Political Science alumni are successful in a broad range of fields:
- Tim Roemer 79 served in Congress and as Ambassador to India
- Brian Frank 91 currently runs global operations for LinkedIn
- Raj Roy 94 is the Chief Curator of Film at The Museum of Modern Art
- Samantha Begovich 91 is the deputy district attorney in San Diego
- Serge Dedina 87 is the director of WiLDCOAST/COSTASALVAjE
- Katie Babineau 09 is a Senior Communications Specialist at Sony
- Debby Buchholz 84 is the General Manager of the La Jolla Playhouse
In The News
Writing in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, William Chandler and current Ph.D. student Veronica Hoyo of Political Science highlight voter abstention, a changing French party system and the upcoming June legislative elections. Hoyo is also a research associate at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies.
Tom Wong of Political Science said to the Associated Press that the administration’s focus on immigration is generating more support for immigrant rights advocates. “Every pivot back to the issue of immigration gives the immigrant rights movement another opportunity to make its best pitch to the public,” he said.
One of the essential reads appearing in this Salon round-up is by political scientist Wayne Cornelius.
Division of Social Sciences departments in political science (ranked 9th), economics (ranked 12th) and psychology (ranked 13th) were lauded as some of the top programs in the nation. The specialty areas of behavioral neuroscience, econometrics and international politics were all ranked 4th in the nation. Cognitive psychology and public finance were both 8th, while comparative politics and development economics were both 10th. American politics and political methodology were ranked, respectively, 11th and 12th.
In this op-ed for The Hill, Thad Kousser of Political Science says the current president’s Twitter rants are keeping our eyes away from the “complex, confounding, but massively consequential” issue of Medicaid block grants. “Medicaid block grants seem at first glance like an obscure debate for the few policy wonks who care about federal funding formulas. But the outcome of this particular fight in D.C. will reverberate across all 50 states for decades to come,” he writes.
“Are people becoming more active and less apathetic about the political process?” In this Politically Speaking video segment for NBC 7, Thad Kousser of Political Science helps answer.
In the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, political scientist Erik Gartzke, director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies, explains just why “left of launch” approaches like cyber and electronic warfare may backfire. Gartzke, along with coauthor Jon Lindsay, recently published a related paper in the Journal of Cybersecurity.
Political scientist Tom Wong’s research on sanctuary cities is included in a recent op-ed by California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon.
All eyes were on the prime minister race in the Netherlands last week, where one candidate was being called the “Dutch Donald Trump.” Matthew Bergman of Political Science joined CBS News to discuss the controversial candidate.
A New York Times op-ed on the U.S.-Mexico border-wall quandary facing architects sought the opinion of Fonna Forman of Political Science and Teddy Cruz, both of the UCSD Cross-Border Initiative: “The problem for us,” they wrote back, “is that problem solving or business smartness without ethics, and without respect for human dignity, and without a sensibility toward social justice … is simply just business.”
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