Frequently Asked Questions

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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. For advising please make an appointment via Nexus or come to walk-in hours as listed on the advising page.

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.

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Majoring in Political Science

How do I declare my major?

If you are declaring 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 Nexus:


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 submitted in Student Administration by the 4th week of the semester in which you expect to graduate. Hard copies of the plan of study are available 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 Nexus

What are the grade requirements for a major?

You need to maintain a “C” average (2.0) for the political science courses listed on your final plan of study.

How do I calculate my GPA?

Please use the ACES GPA calculator for help calculating your GPA.

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.

Can I get credit for an internship through Political Science?

Yes, you may earn credit for internships. Please review the requirements on the internship page.

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, Human Rights, Philosophy, Public Policy and Sociology will meet this requirement. Any course within these departments that is cross-listed with POLS will count towards the major and not as a related. 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.

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Minoring in Political Science

How do I minor in Political Science?

The minor can be declared at Please be sure to submit your minor final plan of study in Student Administration by the fourth week of your final semester. For questions regarding the minor please make an appointment with Suzanne Waterman. Hard copies of the plan of study can be found under “forms“.

Which courses do I have to take for a minor?

  • Students must complete an introductory 1000-level course selected from among POLS 1002, 1202, 1207, 1402, or 1602. At least one additional 1000-level course is recommended.
  • 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.
  • Of these 15 credits, nine credits (three courses) must be taken from three of the six subdivisions. Cross listed courses may only count once towards this distribution.
  • POLS 3991 and 3999 may not count towards the minor. POLS 3995 will count towards the minor but will only count towards the subdivision requirement with the consent of the advisor.
  • POLS 2998 courses apply to minor and may count towards the subdivision requirement. The subdivisions that these courses are assigned to can be found here.
  • Completion of a minor requires that a student earn a C (2.0) grade or better in each of the required courses for that minor.
  • No substitutions are allowed.

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.

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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 to fill out an excess credit form. The form will not be approved until your most recent semester GPA posts.

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