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Chair's Message

Chair's Message
Jeffrey Lewis
Welcome to the UCLA Political Science Department.

In 2011 the Department of Political Science celebrated ninety-one years of teaching, research and public service within one of the nation’s finest universities. Instruction in Political Science began on September 14, 1920 with a staff of one assistant professor, Dr. Charles E. Martin, offering three year-long courses (Comparative Government, U.S. Foreign Policy, and International Law).

Today the department is among the best in the country. The most recent ranking by the highly respected National Research Council ranks us nationally in the top ten. Among the department's many strengths, we have gained notable distinction in political economy, comparative politics including the politics of developing nations, and political theory.

The department's greatest resource is its distinguished faculty. The faculty's teaching and research continues to put the program at the forefront of its field.  The department’s leadership in the field has recently been recognized by the arrival of the American Political Science Review, to be led by a collective editorship of department members.  In 2011 the department includes 50 faculty members, 10 emeritus professors, 4 visiting faculty, 42 teaching assistants and 13 support staff.

The department's primary goal remains focused on providing the best possible education for students seeking to develop an expertise in the field of political science by instilling solid skills in research and analytic reasoning.  Political Science is the second largest undergraduate major at UCLA.

Our graduate program is structured to enhance creativity and the exploration of new ideas.  Our PhDs are competitive in every field at all types of institutions, and have been placed in tenure track jobs in top ten departments and the top five departments in American, Comparative, and International Relations.

Established subfields in our department include: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Methods and Models, Political Theory, and Race, Ethnicity, and Politics.  The UCLA Political Science Department is home to six members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, four Guggenheim Fellows, and many other prestigious honorees.

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