Rory O'Brien, Ph.D.
Political Science

Dr. Rory O'Brien

B.A. in Philosopy, Cal. State Univ. Northridge (1987), M.A.(1988), Ph.D. (1992) in Political Science, Univ. of Southern California.
With Cabrillo College since 1998

Life can take you in a number of directions and sometimes you don't understand why. I did not set out to be a college professor. In fact, I dropped out of college in order to try to create a career for myself in the music industry. But once I went back to my local community college to jump-start my education, I found that learning and teaching can be a lifelong pursuit!

In addition to my work here at the college, I enjoy spending time taking walks, shopping at farmers' markets and preparing delicious meals with my wife. I'll admit to being something of a news junkie as I read a number of newspapers regularly. When I have a chance to spend time reading books, I tend to focus on non-fiction titles that will help me to provide new information to my students.

There are a number of reasons why people study politics. Perhaps the most important reason is to learn how our government works. That's a good thing to know whether or not you are happy about the current state of politics in the country.

During the more than twenty years that I've taught at Cabrillo I've had the opportunity to focus on a subject that I'm passionate about -- American politics. After finishing my bachelor's degree in philosophy at Cal State Northridge, I studied political science at the University of Southern California, ultimately earning both a master's and doctorate. I encourage you to explore our course offerings so you can learn more about the world of politics.

Classes I teach:
Political Science 1: American Government and Institutions
Political Science 1 Online
Political Science 5: American Political Thought

Fall 2023: All office hours are through Zoom and/or email

Monday and Wednesday I hold virtual office hours from 11:30- 12:30 by email, or we can also meet on Zoom during those times.

Tuesdays and Thursday I'm available for private Zoom sessions from 1:00-2:30 p.m. (Contact me to set up a meeting!)