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Academic Program

Political Science Program

The Political Science Program trains you to become a responsible and effective participant in political communities at the local, state, national, or international level and to develop the skills to participate actively and effectively in the process of community building. These skills include analyzing and formulating arguments, identifying research strategies, evaluating data, working cooperatively with other students, and developing an appreciation for multiple and diverse points of view. Through TCC’s Political Science Program, you will be well-prepared for a career teaching Political Science, working in museums and media centers or serving in various governmental departments, including Federal Civil Service and the intelligence community. You will also have a great foundation if you choose to enter law school or public administration.

TCC’s Political Science Program offers courses that cover the first 2 years of a typical 4-year college Political Science program (college-level courses designed for transfer to a bachelor degree program) as well as courses to develop skills needed for college-level Political Science courses. Most courses offered can be applied to meet Social Sciences Distribution requirements for transfer and degree purposes.


Our Mission

The mission of the TCC Political Science Program is to enable our students to become responsible and effective participants in political communities, whether at the local, state, national, or international level and to help our students develop the skills to participate actively and effectively in the process of community building.


Contact and Advisor Information



Associate in Arts Degree (Option A) (PDF) The Associate in Arts degree – Political Science track is a 90 credit hour program. Upon completion of your AA degree, you can transfer as a junior to a Bachelor’s program at a 4 year university.

Guided / Recommended Pathways

  • Fulltime (under construction)
  • Part time (under construction)

Students should check the specific requirements of the four-year institution of their choice, as admission and degree requirements vary across colleges and universities.  Also see World Language Requirements for Bachelor Programs in the region (WA).



Our Political Science Faculty Advisors look forward to supporting you on your educational and professional pathway. Faculty advisors are available throughout the academic year and can provide general and detailed advising and career counseling to help you achieve your educational goals.  We recommend that you reach out to us if a career in Political Science interests you so that our faculty advisors may guide you toward completion of your Associate Degree and successful transfer into a bachelor degree program.

Our faculty advisors will help you establish an educational pathway that meets your goals from start to finish and will be available to support you throughout your studies at TCC.  Make your first appointment today!



Political Science courses are offered under two prefixes, POLS& and POLS and provide:

  1. A comparative introduction to the concepts, methods, and subject areas of the discipline of political science; and exploration of the various forms of political beliefs, behaviors, institutions, and processes at the individual, group, national, and international levels.
  2. A basic understanding of the American political system, including the structural foundations of American politics, the various political institutions which serve as a link between citizens and government, and the branches of the federal government.
  3. An introduction to the concepts, methods, and subject areas of the field of international relations within the discipline of political science. Exploration of the various forms of political beliefs, behaviors, institutions, and processes shaping the relationships between states and other non-governmental actors in the international system.
  4. An examination of political and legal issues through their portrayal in contemporary cinema.
  5. Internship opportunities with a political party, interest group, or an elected official.

Also see:


At TCC we are committed to helping you reach your educational and career goals.  In Political Science this typically requires a bachelor degree or higher.  Here are some of the local options available: 

Pacific Lutheran University: Political Science

St. Martin’s University: Political Science, BA

University of Puget Sound: International Political Economy, Politics & Government, Environmental Policy & Decision Making

University of Washington, Seattle:Pre-Law, Political Science

University of Washington Tacoma: Law and Policy (TLAWPL), Politics, Philosophy and Economics (TPPE)

Western Washington University: Interdisciplinary Concentration: Law, Diversity & Justice Emphasis, BA, Political Science, BA, Political Science/Social Studies, BA, Politics/Philosophy/Economics, BA, Environmental Policy, BA, Energy Policy and Management, BA, Economics/Political Science, BA



Academic Program Overview: Introduction to the Academic Program, Associate Degree Options

Academic Program: Academic Program, Degree Planning and Advising, Curriculum, Bachelor Degree and Transfer Options (current page)

Academic Resources: Faculty and Advisor Contact Information, Community Engagement, Scholarships

InsideTCC: Get personalized email updates about your programs of interest and access the students-only website.

Jobs and Careers: Research jobs and careers for this area of study.



Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or if you have any questions, suggestions or need guidance. Thank you!

Tacoma Community College, Building F2

*      Political Science Program Chair: Dr. Elizabeth Fortenbery

*      Political Science Faculty Advisor Team:  Steve Sandweiss and Katrina Taylor

*      Dean for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: Dr. Yvonne Unnold

*      Administrative Specialist: Melanie Johnson

*      Faculty Support: Deborah Lewis

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