Political Science

The mission of the Saddleback College Political Science program is to provide students with the necessary vocabulary, theoretical frameworks, and inquiry methods to understand and analyze political issues in the United States and globally. Coursework is intended to promote civic engagement, foster intellectual growth, and encourage student success. 

Our department offers a variety of baccalaureate-level political science courses both in person and online for students working toward transferring, preparing them for continued success at four-year institutions.


Political scientists:

  • Research political subjects, such as the U.S. political system and foreign relations

  • Collect and analyze data from sources such as public opinion surveys

  • Develop and test political theories

  • Evaluate the effects of policies and laws on government, businesses, and people

  • Monitor current events, policy decisions, and other related issues

  • Forecast political, economic, and social trends

  • Submit research results by giving presentations and publishing articles

  • Work in multiple industries and organizations around the world

                           Why Major in Political Science?


Studying Politics is important, even if your aim is a career outside Political Science. Studying Politics means you: 

  • Become a more knowledgeable member of your political community 

  • Learn about your rights and responsibilities as a political agent 

  • Clarify what you believe about how our society should be run 


Students who study politics are closely guided in developing skills relevant to many careers, including: 

  • Critical thinking 

  • High-level writing and reading 

  • How to analyze and research the world around you 


Employment of political scientists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. 



Full-Time Faculty


Anwar Hijaz View profile information for Staff Member Sharon MacMillan, Ph.D. 
Office BGS 322
(949) 348-6881

Anthony Szczurek View profile information for Staff Member Sharon MacMillan, Ph.D.

Dept. Co-Chair

Office BGS 322
(949) 582-4733


Part-Time Faculty (link sends e-mail)


  Macias, Alexandra  
Duella, Dina  Pieri, Glenna View profile information for Staff Member Sharon MacMillan, Ph.D.  
Gonzales, Steven  Pino, David View profile information for Staff Member Sharon MacMillan, Ph.D.  
Kehlenbach, Stefan  Quinlan, Emily (FT Business) View profile information for Staff Member Sharon MacMillan, Ph.D.  
Knight-Finley, Misty  Sangervasi, Michael View profile information for Staff Member Sharon MacMillan, Ph.D.  
Lopez, Aldo  Wadley, Jonathan View profile information for Staff Member Sharon MacMillan, Ph.D.  



There are five main subfields of political science, including:

American Politics

Focuses on the study of federal, state, and local government structures and relationships in the United States.  Also explores important processes and institutions like civil rights and civil liberties, elections, and the roles of public opinion, the media, and political parties.

Political Theory

Considered the oldest subfield of political science.  Investigates historical and current questions about the meanings and purposes of politics, divided between describing the world and proposing changes to it.

International Relations

Focuses on the political interactions between nation-states. Explores important topics in contemporary world politics like war, international organizations, development, diplomacy, trade, and environmental concerns like climate change.  

Comparative Politics

The comparison of political processes and institutions between different nation-states. Includes studying political institutions and structures, electoral behavior and processes, public policy, and social movements and organizations. 

Political Economy 

Focuses on the intersection of politics and economics, both domestically and internationally.  Engages with three other subfields in the discipline (American politics, comparative politics, and international relations).  Includes studying globalization, international trade and finance, micro- and macro-economics, and development economics.






Students who complete this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and problems of politics in the United States and globally.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic systems, theories, ideologies, and models of political analysis.
  • Explore specialized fields of study, including international relations, comparative politics, and political philosophy and theory.


Student Learning Outcomes


Political Science Courses

Core Courses

  • PS1 or PS1H American Government
  • PS4 Introduction to Political Science
  • PS11 International Political Economy
  • PS12 Comparative Politics and Government
  • PS14 International Relations

Elective Courses

  • PS10H Honors Political Theory
  • PS80 Introduction to Contemporary Africa


Zero Textbook Cost

Zero Textbook Cost Classes

What is ZTC?

ZTC (Zero-Textbook-Cost) classes have no textbook-related costs, including access fees for online materials. Such classes often use Open Educational Resources (OER) created under a Creative Commons (a public copyright license) that give people the ability to share, use, and build upon a work that has been created. They may also use library e-books or other sources so there is no cost to the student. Saddleback College faculty have adopted and created OER to provide high-quality educational materials to you at no cost online, and low-cost print options. Click here for more information about our ZTC classes.