What is Politics?

In the Political Science Department at De Anza College we believe that politics is at the heart of every society. The essence of political life is the process of deciding who gets the benefits and who bears the burdens in every society and how this happens.

Politics is Real

This is not just an abstract idea. It touches on such important questions as who can go to school and who succeeds there, how much people make at their jobs and what kind of work is available for people to do, who goes to war, who gets health care, who can buy a house or who will be homeless. This field of study is based on the notion that human beings living in a society set up structures of ideas, values and world-views as well as systems of norms, rules, laws, and behaviors that affect the outcomes of these kinds of decisions. Political Science is the study of these social structures and the ideas supporting them as well as the the study of how to improve the real lives of people in our society by using the tools available to us as citizens.

Engaged Learning

At the De Anza Political Science Department we have figured out a variety of ways to make the study politics engaging, meaningful and fun. We have a range of classes taught by instructors with varying philosophies and teaching methods, all of whom are dedicated to helping students succeed.

Core General Ed Classes

  • POLI 1- American Government and Politics
  • POLI 2- Comparative Politics
  • POLI 3- International Relations
  • POLI 5- Introduction to Political Thought
  • POLI 15- Grassroots Democracy: Race, Politics and the American Promise
  • POLI 16- Grassroots Democracy: Social Movements Since the 1960s
  • POLI 17- Grassroots Democracy: Leadership and Power

Civic Engagement and American Cultures Credit

In addition, several instructors offer classes that fulfill hours and credit towards De Anza's certificate in Community and Civic Engagement. (See the webpages of Bob Stockwell , Jim Nguyen and Nicky González Yuen.)  And, two classes – POLI 15 and POLI 16 – fulfill the American Culture's graduation requirement for students transferring to UC Berkeley.


Finally, we offer a number of classes cross-listed with Intercultural/International Studies, Women's Studies, Paralegal Studies and Administration of Justice programs. We're glad you have decided to check us out and we hope you'll enjoy the classes you take in political science.

Internship and Fellowship Opportunities

Local elected officials offices are seeking students from De Anza College to serve as interns in their offices. Although typically unpaid, these internships are a wonderful way to gain skills and experience working in a political office!


California Assemblyman Evan Low (District 28)

For an internship in the Cupertino District Office, contact:

Cassie Mancini, Email: Cassie.mancini@asm.ca.gov
20111 Stevens Creek Blvd, Suite 220
Cupertino, CA 95014
Fax (408) 446-2815
Phone (408) 446-2810

California State Senator Jim Beall (15th Senate District)

For more information or to email your resumes contact Senior District Representative Alphonse Le-Duc at Alphonse.Le-Duc@sen.ca.gov or call the Senate District 15 local office.

Campbell District Office
2105 S. Bascom Avenue Suite 154
Campbell, CA 95008
Phone: (408) 558-1295
Fax: (408) 558-1296

County of Santa Clara Government Fellowship Program

The Fellowship Program was developed to create an exciting partnership opportunity with a mutually beneficial and value-added experience for both your students and the County. The specific goal of this Program is to engage and motivate students so that some would seriously consider a career in County government.

The Program will match/place students according to their major/minor and areas of interest, as they relate to:

  1. County departments that are working on the development and/or implementation of a Board Priority, Initiative and/or Policy.
  2. County departments that typically have job classifications that are in high demand.

For more information, please see the attached informational flier, Application and/or visit our website at www.sccgov.org/fellows

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