American Institutions Requirement: California Component

If you have taken a course in American Government at a college or university outside California or at a college or university in California that is not part of the California State University (CSU) or California community college systems, or if you earned credit for American Government through an AP exam in high school, you may have been told that you still need to take a test in order to demonstrate knowledge of California government.

You can meet the requirement by taking a test offered by the Department of Political Science. You get only one chance at the test. If you fail it, you can satisfy the requirement by taking PLS 201 or PLS 481.

Do not wait until your last quarter at Cal Poly Pomona to take this test. Several students have waited until their last quarter to take this test and then they did not pass it. As a result, they did not graduate when they thought they would have and were required to come back for one more term or find a comparable course at a community college. You are encouraged to take this test as soon as possible after arriving at Cal Poly Pomona so that in the event you do not pass it, you will have plenty of opportunities to meet the requirement through coursework.

If you decide to take the test offered by the Department of Political Science, do the following:

  1. Go the University Library Reserve desk and ask for California Government, 5th edition, by John L. Korey. Be sure that you have the 5th edition. The call number is rbrKOR1.
  2. Study it thoroughly! There are some practice questions available at (click on "Navigate by Chapter"). These are not the questions that will be on the test, but they should give you some idea of how well you know the material.
  3. You must make an appointment with the Test Center for a specific time and date. Go to and, when prompted, indicate the following: Computer Test? Yes; Professor Info? Nelson; Course Name: CGE000. Schedule the test for 90 minutes. (Note: Conversely, you can register by using the following link:
  4. Email Prof. Lisa Nelson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) and let her know the date and time for which you have scheduled the test. During the regular academic year, contact her at least one week before the test. During the Summer Quarter, contact her at least two weeks in advance. You should provide her with your Cal Poly e-mail address and your Bronco ID number. The test is given on Blackboard; once Dr. Nelson has enrolled you in the test site it will appear in the My Blackboard section of your account under Organizations' (not Classes). Verify that this has happened before the day of the test.
  5. Bring a picture ID with you to the Test Center (located in the CLA building: 98-P2-004). The test will consist of 50 multiple choice questions. You will have 90 minutes for the test. The passing grade is 60%.
  6. Email Dr. Nelson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) and let her know that you have taken the test so that she will know to check to see if you have passed. If you have passed, she will notify the Registrar's Office. Once this has been posted to your records, you will be notified by email. Allow a couple of weeks for this chain of events to take place.

If you have any questions, email Dr. Nelson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated: August 26, 2014