Graduate Program

The primary aim of our program is to foster an understanding of government and politics in general and also to promote the development of analytic and other scholarly skills. Our view of the discipline is broad and, in some respects traditional. We encourage students first to acquire a good foundation in basic course work and the tradition of political discourse along with some exposure to the many subfields of political science before pursuing more specialized interests. Those interested in more specialized programs should consult the Master's in Public Policy and Administration, the Master's in Business Administration.

At the same time, we try to keep our program flexible enough to meet individual student needs. Our students come from a great variety of backgrounds (undergraduate majors have ranged from government to chemistry, ages from 21 to 65, occupations from lawyer to gardener). They have a variety of interests and a variety of goals. Our program is of special value to teachers of government in the public schools, to persons who contemplate public service or politics as a career, and to persons planning additional graduate study leading to the doctorate. To the extent we can, we try to tailor each program to each student. So while we encourage breadth, our structure is loose enough to allow room for specialization. In addition, we allow a student the opportunity partially to "create" his/her own program by taking up to six units of special study (Political Science 299), by taking up to six units in related disciplines (such as economics, history, business or psychology), and, of course, by doing his/her own research project in the form of a Master's Thesis. Another option we offer is the practical application of an internship work experience--in the state capital!


The Graduate Coordinator advises all prospective and incoming students. Once a student is established in the program, his/her advisor is his/her major professor (that is, the professor he/she works most closely with and who supervises his/her thesis or comprehensive exams).

Financial Aid

The Department of Political Science is unable to provide financial assistance to its graduate students. Graduate students are eligible, however, to apply for the Douglas McDaniel Memorial Scholarship, the Livingston Fellowship, and the Donald R. Gerth Scholarship in Political Science which are available to be awarded each year. Students seeking assistance should contact the CSUS Financial Aid Office.

Further Reference

All graduate degree programs are subject to general University requirements for graduate degrees, explained in the "Graduate Studies" section of the CSUS Catalog. The Office of Research and Graduate Studies also has published the Guide to Graduate Studies: The Official CSUS Guide to Policies, Procedures and Format. This is available at the Hornet Bookstore.

For more information on the graduate degree program contact:

Brian DiSarro
Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator
Phone: (916)278-3572; E-mail:

California State University, Sacramento
Political Science Department
6000 J Street, Tahoe Hall Room #3104
MS 6089
Sacramento, CA 95819