Political science major Gavin Baird is the first Fresno State student ever to win the prestigious Marshall Scholarship to attend the London School of Economics and Political Science in pursuit of a graduate degree. Only four other CSU students have ever received this scholarship, and other winners this year include students from Harvard and Yale Universities. For more information click here.
Political science is more than just examining government structures and discussing elites currently in office. It is the study of who has the power to make laws for a society, the institutional structures that guide how this power is used, who benefits and who loses when this power is used, and the relationship between and policies in a society. Political science students therefore study voting, elections, the structures of government institutions, and how governments around the world differ and interact.
Our diverse faculty hold degrees from some of the most prestigious universities in the nation and are specialists in the politics of Fresno and the Central Valley, California, Washington, D.C. and all around the world. They have published research and teach classes on American politics, environmental politics, the philosophy of law, public policy, and international relations. To see a list of recent faculty publications, please click here.
We offer four degree programs: a bachelor in political science, a bachelor of public administration, a master of public administration, and a master in international relations. Our students have gone on to work in city, county, and state government. Many now work in Washington, D.C. or around the world. Others have gone on to law school and doctoral programs in political science. Several have even been elected or appointed to public office.
Please click here to read the inaugural issue of the political science department's newsletter.
We believe that all of our alumni are notable, but here are a few you may have heard of, or who may give you an idea as to some of the career possibilities open to political science majors.
Cruz Bustamante, Lt. Governor of California
Tony Capozzi, Attorney and former president of the California State Bar Association
Luis Chavez, Fresno Unified School District Board of Education
Jim Costa, California State Senator and Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Larry Farnsworth, Legislative Assistant to U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert
Diane Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of History and Political Science, Lebanon Valley College
Ernest Kinney, Attorney
Peter Mehas, Fresno County Superintendent of Education and CSU Board of Trustees
Harry Papadakis, Judge
Jim Patterson, Mayor of Fresno and California State Assembly
Rosendo Peña, Jr. - Associate Justice, California Court of Appeals
Henry Perea, Jr., Fresno City Council and California State Assembly
Armando Rodriguez, Fresno County Superior Court Judge
Victor Salazar, Fresno County Clerk
Philip Sanchez, U.S. Ambassador
Edward Sarkisian, Judge
Mark Scott, Fresno City Manager
Arthur Svenson, Professor of Political Science (University of Redlands)
Mike Villines, Member of Assembly and Assembly Republican Leader
Ian Wieland, Attorney