Political Science

Option Representative: R. Michael Alvarez

The political science option provides students with training in the substance and methods of modern political science, including the analysis of representative democracy, electoral institutions, the allocation of public goods, and regulatory behavior. The option emphasizes formal tools like game theory, social choice theory, and formal political theory along with quantitative methodologies to test those theories. In addition, the option encourages original research. The design of the political science option ensures that students will be well suited to pursue careers in government or the private sector, as well as to pursue graduate work in political science.

Students who complete the political science option can expect the following learning outcomes:

  • an understanding of and ability to use the theoretical tools of social choice and game theory as applied to politics;
  • an understanding and knowledge of how to apply quantitative methods to study politics;
  • the ability to present complex theoretical and quantitative material in research reports and presentations; and
  • the skills necessary to pursue graduate education and careers in law, government, politics, or public policy.

NOTE: The official source on requirements for graduation is the Caltech catalog from the year in which a student began studies at Caltech. Please see the catalog online, from this and previous years, for information regarding the applicable option requirements.