Political Science

University of California, Berkeley


The Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science has long been one of the finest centers of political science research and teaching in the world. We pride ourselves on a deep commitment to intellectual excellence and to inquiry and teaching that combines rigor, relevance, and openness to a variety of methodological and analytical approaches. With over 50 faculty and lecturers, the Department covers a vast range of issues important to political life. We offer an unusual combination of depth and breadth in the major subject areas of political science, from the traditional subfields of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory to the more specialized subfields of formal theory, methods, political behavior, public policy & organization, public law and race & ethnic politics. Our research and teaching cover the politics of every major region on the globe. Reflecting the department's broad understanding of our subject matter and enduring commitment to interdisciplinary inquiry, many members have joint appointments in other schools and departments (including Economics, Business, Information, Law, and Public Policy), as well as strong connections to a variety of research centers around campus.

Each year, the department serves over 1,000 declared and intended undergraduate majors, and graduates approximately 450 students with a BA degree. Outstanding undergraduate education is central to our mission. To reflect our commitment to undergraduates, we have made several major innovations in recent years, including a new set of requirements for graduation, a substantially enhanced Honors program, and a new seminar program to increase opportunities for undergraduates to work with faculty in small groups.

The department has an outstanding doctoral program designed to prepare students for careers in university teaching and to conduct advanced research. Approximately 10-20 students enter our program each year and roughly 90 are enrolled at any given time. Our graduate students take courses that offer state-of-the-art training in the conduct of research, combined with a very wide-ranging curriculum addressing fundamental issues in politics. We also seek to integrate them rapidly into an intellectual community that prizes scholarly development through the exchange of ideas and the sharing of work in progress. After completing their work here, many will go on to take jobs at the country's leading colleges and universities.

Undergraduate Program

Political Science: BA

Graduate Program

Political Science: PhD

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Political Science

Contact Information

Department of Political Science

210 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-6323

Fax: 510-642-9515

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Department Chair

Scott Straus, PhD

221 Social Sciences Bldg.


Department Vice-Chair

Sean Gailmard

750 C Social Sciences Bldg.

Phone: 510-642-1624


Director of Graduate Affairs

Gabriel Lenz

742 Social Sciences Bldg.


Director of Undergraduate Affairs

Jonah Levy, PhD

762 Social Sciences Bldg.

Phone: 510-642-4686


Director of Administration

Serena Groen

Phone: 510-642-1025


Curriculum Planner Enrollment Manager

Bryana McBride

Phone: 510-642-9830


Graduate Student Advisor

Erin Blanton

Phone: 510-642-6467


Graduate Student Advisor

Katie Jo Johnson

Phone: 510-643-4408


Undergraduate Adviser

Suzanne McDermott

Phone: 510-643-1908


Undergraduate Adviser

Efrat Amanda Cidon

Phone: 510-643-2258


Undergraduate Adviser

Emma Wolfgram


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