Political Science

Political Science is a dynamic discipline that focuses on the study of political behavior, political cognition, political institutions, and political economy, among other subfields.


Political Science is part of the


Social and Behavioral Sciences


department at Cuyamaca College.


The motto of the Political Science program is: "With you every step of the way".


If you have questions about the program, please email Dr. Josh Franco at josue.franco@gcccd.edu


Opportunities for Students

Students taking Political Science courses, considering earning an Associate of Arts-Transfer (AA-T) in Political Science, or who are declared major have a range of opportunities, including:

  • Forming a Political Science club
  • Starting a Pi Sigma Alpha: The National Political Science Honor Society chapter
  • Forming a Model United Nations club
  • Forming a Mock Trial club
  • Joining the Speech and Debate Team to develop their critical thinking and communication skills
  • Visiting 4-year colleges and universities to transfer to

For more information, please email Dr. Josh Franco at





Political behavior includes how individuals decide to vote, volunteer for campaigns, participate in political parties, and be civically involved in their local, state, or national government. This subfield leverages psychology and sociology to explain political behavior.


The study of political cognition focuses on how individuals process political information, how their explicit and implicit biases affect their attitudes towards political actors and institutions, and how they react to information, like a news report or television broadcast. This subfield leverages psychology, physiology, neuroscience, and cognitive science to explain political cognition.


Political institutions focus on how governmental entities at the national (ex. U.S. Presidency, Senate, House of Representatives, and Supreme Court) or subnational level (ex. California State Government) are organized and interact. This subfield also focuses on how individuals who hold power in these institutions (aka The Presidency, Senators, Members of the House, Supreme Court Justices) exercise their formal and informal power. This subfield leverages philosophy, economics, law, history, psychology, and sociology to explain political institutions.


The study of political economy focuses on how political institutions and the economy (i.e. firms and individuals) interact. For example, how do economies grow in democratic versus autocratic countries? Or, how do political institutions help or hinder the accumulation, distribution, and concentration of wealth? This subfield leverages economics, history, and sociology to explain political economies.


Cuyamaca College currently offers six courses and currentlt developing 2 courses in political science:

  • POSC 120: Introduction to Politics and Political Analysis
  • POSC 121: Introduction to US Government and Politics
  • POSC 130: Introduction to International Relations
  • POSC 124: Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics
  • POSC 140: Introduction to California Governments and Politics
  • POSC 165: Introduction to the Politics of Race and Gender (Fall 2021)
  • POSC 166: Native American Politics and Policy (Spring 2022)
  • POSC 170: Introduction to Political Science Research Methods

Additionally, students can earn an Associates of Arts-Transfer (AA-T) in Political Science.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Students who earn an AA-T in Political Science from Cuyamaca College will obtain valuable knowledge, skills, and abilities that will serve them in the public sector, private sector, or non-profit sector.


Knowledge includes principles of political science as an academic community, structure of U.S. government and interaction between its political actors, dynamics of international relations and international institutions, principles of comparative government, and organization of California state and local governments.


Skills include proficiency in reading a variety of political information and discerning their veracity, reading constitutions, laws, and regulations and determining how their alteration can affect governments, firms, and individual behaviors, viewing a real-world phenomenon and abstracting away the complexity to produce a general model, and reasonably contributing verbally and in writing to political ideological and policy conversations and debates.


Abilities obtained include the capacity to discern between credible and less credible information sources, capacity to rigorously analyze peer-reviewed journal articles and books, capacity to robustly analyze national and subnational constitutions, laws, regulations, norms, and cultures, and the capacity to model networks of political actors and political institutions.


There are dozens of career options for students who earn degrees in political science. Below is a list by degree level, starting with an AA degree to a PhD degree.


Students are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Josh Franco at josue.franco@gcccd.edu to discuss career interests an opportunities. He has 5 years of professional experience working in the California State Capitol and Washington D.C.. Dr. Franco welcomes your inquires and looks forward to helping you on your career journey.


Students who earn an AA-T in Political Science can pursue a wide-range of careers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, especially if they further their education.


Students who go on to earn a Bachelors degree in Political Science are prepared to assume the following positions:

  • Political campaigns: statewide, legislative, Congressional
  • Foreign Service
  • Civil service position in state government or federal government
  • Political service position in State Legislatures, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, or the Executive Branch
  • Staff member at a non-profit organization or local government

Students who go on to earn a Masters degree in Political Science are better prepared to assume the following positions: 

  • Instructor at college or university
  • Senior civil service position in state or federal government
  • Partner at Public Affairs and Lobbying firms
  • Senior staff member at a non-profit organization, local government or regional government
  • Staff member at an international institution, like the United Nations

Students who go on to earn a Doctorate in Political Science are best prepared to assume:

  • Teaching professor at a college or university
  • Research professor at a college or university
  • Senior management role/civil service position in local, state or federal government
  • Fellow at a research institute or think tank
  • Consultant for local, state, and national organizations, campaigns, or industries 


Josh Franco, Ph.D., University of California, Merced


Related Resources

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College Catalog

Class Schedule


Course Descriptions