The Political Science minor offers broad coverage of the study of politics. Political science is the social scientific study of political processes involving political institutions and political behavior. The study of political institutions includes topics such as the effect of the design of electoral systems on the quality of representation in government, the formal and informal elements of the legislative process and their implications for the making of law, and the impact of domestic political institutions on the incidence of international conflict. Under the rubric of political behavior, political scientists study how and why people choose to participate in politics, the determinants of vote choice, and the nature and origins of public opinion.
Students studying political science at UC Merced develop a strong substantive understanding of both political institutions and behavior. Students also learn the theories that help us better understand the political world and the methods by which these theories are tested and refined.