Mar 18, 2018  
USC Catalogue 2016-2017 
USC Catalogue 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science

Return to: USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

The Department of Political Science divides political science into four broad fields: American politics, political thought, comparative politics, and law and public policy. The department offers regional specialization in six areas: Latin America, East Asia, Western Europe, Russia and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics provides local internships for students as part of their course work or as independent study. The Department of Political Science offers: the BA; minors in political science; law and society; race, ethnicity and politics; human rights; and political organizing in the digital age. The department also offers a PhD degree in Political Science and International Relations (See Political Science and International Relations ), as well as a dual PhD in Political Science and International Relations/Juris Doctor with the USC Gould School of Law.

Von KleinSmid Center 327
(213) 740-6998
FAX: (213) 740-8893

Chair: Dennis Chong, PhD


Blue Cross of California Chair in Health Care Finance and Professor of Policy, Planning and Development and Political Science: Glenn Melnick, PhD (Public Policy)

C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean's Chair and Professor of Policy, Planning and Development and Political Science: Dan Mazmanian, PhD (Public Policy)

C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Professor of Policy, Planning and Development and Political Science: Jack Knott, PhD

Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law and Professor of Law, Economics and Political Science: Edward McCaffery, JD (Law)

Emery Evans Olson Chair in Non-Profit Entrepreneurship and Public Policy and Professor of Public Policy and Political Science: James Ferris, PhD (Public Policy)

Jeffrey J. Miller Chair in Government, Business and the Economy and Professor of Public Policy and Political Science: Elizabeth Graddy, PhD (Public Policy)

Leon Benwell Professor of Law and Professor of Law and International Relations and Political Science: Edwin Smith, JD (Law)

Maria B. Crutcher Professor of Citizenship and Democratic Values: Terry L. Cooper, PhD (Public Policy)

Robert Kingsley Professor in Law and Professor of Law and Political Science: Susan Estrich, JD (Law)

Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication and Professor of Political Science: Ernest J. Wilson III, PhD (Communication)

Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics and Professor of the Practice of Political Science: Robert M. Shrum, PhD

Professors: Dennis Chong, PhD; Ann Crigler, PhD*; Richard H. Dekmejian, PhD; Mary Dudziak, PhD (Law); Philip Ethington, PhD (History); Thomas Hollihan, PhD (Communication); Jane Junn, PhD; Sharon Lloyd, PhD (Philosophy); Nancy Lutkehaus, PhD (Anthropology); John Matsusaka, PhD (Finance and Business Economics); Alison D. Renteln, PhD*; Stanley Rosen, PhD*; Eliz Sanasarian, PhD*; Shui Yan Tang, PhD (Public Policy); Priscilla Wohlstetter, PhD (Education)

Associate Professors: John E. Barnes, PhD*; Christian Grose, PhD; Ange-Marie Hancock, PhD; Juliet Musso, PhD (Public Policy); Jefferey M. Sellers, PhD

Assistant Professors: Morris Levy, PhD; James Lo, PhD; Bryn Rosenfeld, PhD

Professors of the Practice: Bill Lockyer, JD; William Simon Jr., JD

Associate Professors of the Practice: Arthur Auerbach, PhD; Anthony Kammas, PhD; Yael Wolinsky-Nahmias, PhD

Assistant Professor of the Practice: Daniel Schnur, BA

Adjunct Assistant Professors: William Fahey, JD; Jose Gomez, PhD; George Newhouse Jr., JD; Olu K. Orange, JD; Darry Sragow, JD

Emeritus Professors: Nora Hamilton, PhD; John R. Schmidhauser, PhD

Emeritus Associate Professor: Joseph L. Nyomarkay, PhD*

*Recipient of university-wide or college teaching award.

Undergraduate Degrees


The department has faculty and staff advisers who provide academic advisement, career counseling and advisement to pre-law students and those wishing to go on to graduate studies. All majors are encouraged to see their adviser.

Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy, Politics and Law

This interdisciplinary program consists of nine courses chosen from PHIL, POSC, LAW and ANTH. See Philosophy .

Interdisciplinary Russian Area Studies Minor

See Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures .

Critical Approaches to Leadership Minor

See the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies .

Political Science Honors Program

The department offers an honors program for outstanding undergraduate students in the junior and senior years. The two semester program emphasizes a specialized topic (a different area each year) in political science. The organization of the course during the first semester follows the seminar model, emphasizing independent research, discussion, and oral and written reports. In the second semester, the student is required to write a thesis under the direction of a faculty member. Students are admitted to the program after careful screening on the basis of their academic record and a personal interview. Classes are limited to about 10 students.

The department also offers an honors sequence for freshmen and sophomores, POSC 190a , POSC 190b . The first semester is a small seminar of about 10 students. The second semester is a continuation with a major research paper due as the final.

Political Science Honor Societies

There are two honor societies of special interest to political science majors. Pi Sigma Alpha stimulates scholarship and interest in the subject of government by providing tangible recognition to students who have excelled in the field. Political science majors are eligible to join after successful completion of at least three upper-division courses in political science. An overall grade point average of 3.5 or higher is required, with a minimum of 3.5 in all political science classes.

The second honor society is Blackstonians. This is a pre-law honor society for undergraduate students designed to recognize academic excellence, assist the student in his or her preparation for law school, and expand the knowledge of the legal profession. Membership is restricted to students who have completed at least 32 units (16 of which must be from USC), but not more than 118 units, and have maintained at least a 3.5 grade point average.

Mock Trial Team

The department hosts the USC Mock Trial Team. This trial advocacy training program is designed to develop students' knowledge of substantive areas of civil law, criminal law and evidence. Additionally, public speaking skills are honed and societal mores are explored. Legal concepts, sociocultural theory and presentational skills are then applied through participation in courtroom advocacy competitions nationwide and local public interest advocacy assignments. Academic credit is earned through POSC 398 . Membership on the team is required to enroll.

Graduate Degrees

Degree Requirements

These degrees are under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Refer to the Requirements for Graduation  section and The Graduate School  section of this catalogue for general regulations. All courses applied toward the degrees must be courses accepted by the Graduate School.

All graduate students are required to maintain regular contact with the graduate coordinator to assure compliance with departmental regulations.


    Bachelor's DegreeMinorDual Degree


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