Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

General Questions

Where is the Political Science Department located?

The Political Science Department is located on the 4th floor of Oak Hall. Political Science faculty and graduate students have offices on the 3rd and 4th floors of Oak Hall. The main office is in room 409.

When is the department office open?

The department office is open from 8:30AM -4:30PM Monday through Friday. You do not need to make an appointment to come by, but you may want to call 860 486-2440 if you want to check on individual hours.

Where are the faculty mailboxes?

The Political Science faculty mailboxes are located in room 409, which is open whenever the department office is open. The graduate student boxes are located in room 409. Some courses are taught by graduate students, so please check both offices if you are not sure or feel free to ask the office staff.

How do I find my professor’s office?

A list of offices, office hours, and phone numbers can be found on our office hours page. Office hours are also posted in the main office.

I need the department head’s signature for a form. How do I get it?

Bring your form to the main office and the staff can help you. Most forms will be ready for pick up by the next day.

Back to top

Majoring in Political Science

How do I declare my major?

If you are delcaring a CLAS major for the first time or are changing from one CLAS major to another CLAS major you can log on to and follow the steps. If you are declaring a double major then you need to schedule an appointment with Suzanne Waterman through Advapp:

Fall 2014 Semester new majors will be accepted September 13th through October 21st and again November 14th through December 18th.

Spring 2015 Semester new majors will be accepted January 31st through March 16th and again April 9th through May 6th,

What is a plan of study?

A plan of study is a form that summarizes all the courses that you need to take for your major. Your final plan of study needs to be filled out, signed by your major advisor and then turned into the Degree Auditor in Wilbur Cross by the 4th week of the semester in which you expect to graduate. They are available in the main office (OAK 409) and on this website under forms.

Which catalog year do I follow for my plan of study?

Your catalog year is the academic year in which you declared any major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You will need to look on your Academic Requirements Report for your “Requirement Term.” If you are still not sure, check with your academic advisor.

I can’t meet with my advisor during his/her regular office hours. What should I do?

First try and email your advisor to schedule a mutual time.  If you can’t set up a mutual time, you are welcome to schedule an appointment with Suzanne Waterman through Advapp

What are the grade requirements for a major?

You need to maintain a “C” average for the political science courses listed on your final plan of study. This means that some of your political science grades can be “C-“, “D+”, “D”, or “D-” as long as your grades in other political science classes are high enough to keep your “major gpa” at a 2.0 average.

TIP : If you have taken more political science classes than you need, you can list the classes with the highest grades on your final GPA to get your average up to a “C”.

How do I calculate my GPA?

It can be rather complicated, especially if you have classes with different number of credits. The undergraduate catalog tells you how to do it in the section on grading.

Click here:

Can I retake one of my political science courses to raise my GPA?

Any retake of a course means that the grade received during the retake is used in the GPA calculation. Students should note that repeating a course that was previously passed can have negative consequences. For example, if a student fails a class previously passed, the student would lose credit for the first, passed, attempt and not earn credit for the second, failed, attempt. Repeating a previously passed course may also have an effect on financial aid. Students considering repeating previously passed courses should consult their advisors and Student Financial Aid Services staff. All grades received do remain on the transcript, but only the most recent grade is calculated into the GPA.

Students interns and their site supervisors are required to complete a contract by the end of the add drop period. Failure to complete the contract may result in dismissal from the internship program and POLS 3991.

Absolutely no retroactive credit will be awarded for internship work completed without registering in POLS 3991.

Government related interns submit weekly journal entries and complete paper assignments that are designed to integrate academic theory with the practical experience of the internship.

What courses qualify as “related” courses?

At least 12 credits in courses related to Political Science courses taken from one or more other departments.  These courses must be numbered 2000 or above and cannot be taken on a pass-fail basis.  All 2000-level courses in Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Philosophy, Public Policy and Sociology will meet this requirement.  Certain other courses have been approved as related. Courses not in the departments listed above or included on the pre-approved list may be approved as related courses at the discretion of your adviser.

Back to top

Minoring in Political Science

How do I minor in Political Science?

After you have completed the required courses, fill out a minor plan of study form and then schedule an appointment with Suzanne Waterman through Advapp The form then gets handed in to the Degree Auditors in Wilbur Cross along with your final plan of study. The form is available in the main office (OAK 409) and on this website’s forms page.

Which courses do I have to take for a minor?

  • Students must begin preparation by taking at least one introductory 1000-level course selected from among POLS 1002; 1202; or 1402; or 1602. At least one additional 1000-level course is recommended (It is advisable to build upon this foundation when selecting 2000 or higher level courses.)
  • Students must complete at least 15 credits of course work at the 2000 level or higher. A W or Q course may be substituted for the same numbered course.
  • POLS 2998 and 3995 may be counted toward the minor only with consent of the adviser. Political Science 3991 and 3999 may not be counted toward the minor.
  • Courses must be selected from at least three of the five disciplinary subdivisions.
  • Only courses listed on the minor plan of study will count towards the POLS minor.

The minor plan of study is available in the main office (OAK 409) and on this website’s Minor page.

What are the grade requirements for a minor?

You need to obtain a grade of “C” or better in all courses for your minor. Note: This is different than the major, which requires you to have a “C” average for all major courses.

Will the minor be listed on my diploma?

No, the minor will only be listed on your transcript.

For more information on minoring in Political Science, see our Political Science Minor page.

Back to top


Which classes is the Political Science Department offering next semester?

To see current classes, check Peoplesoft.

I need to overenroll in a class. Who should I talk to?

You can ask the instructor of the course if you can over-enroll. Only the instructor can grant this permission.

Can I take a Political Science course pass/fail?

Yes you can, but you can not apply any pass/fail course to the major or general education requirements.

What if I want to take more that 17 credits next semester?

If you earned a 2.6 GPA in your last semester you can take 18 credits by stopping by the Registrar’s Office. Otherwise you need an excess credit form signed by your advisor and your academic dean. You get the Dean’s signature at the Academic Services Center.

Back to top