High school students are encouraged to take English composition and social science courses, including civics, economics and history. Experience in journalism, debating activities and student government are helpful. A foreign language is not required for the degree. However, students who plan further study at the graduate level are encouraged to take a foreign language.

Community college transfer students should contact their counseling office or the CSU Dominguez Hills Political Science office to identify appropriate lower division major/minor preparatory courses. Typically, these would include a basic course in American political institutions, which would fulfill the state code requirements for U.S. Constitution and California state and local government. Transfer students must take POL 300 (Quantitative Methods of Political Analysis) at CSUDH as community colleges do not offer an equivalent course. Other lower division courses introducing students to the discipline of political science, international relations and comparative politics also are highly recommended.

Students at CSU Dominguez Hills should complete both POL 100 and 101 as a preparation for the major.