All of the members of the Department of Political Science are devoted to our students' success. We want you to have a positive, productive, and empowering experience with us. We are here to help you regarding coursework but we would also like to discuss your future plans, how to make the most of your time in college, and how to effectively work your way through the major (minor or emphasis). Angelee Hammond, our Academic Department Associate, is also available during normal business hours on weekdays (usually 8am to 4pm) and is eager to help students in any way. She is a great problem-solver!
Professor Simmons is available for advising sessions during office hours or at other times by appointment, but here are some general rules about working your way through the major and tips that you might find useful. There are four main divisions of Political Science: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory. Majors must take an introductory course in each of the first three areas and a 300-level course in all four areas. Majors must also take Political Methodology (PS 245) and our Senior Capstone course (PS 401). That accounts for a total of 27 credits, as each course counts for three credits. To complete the major you need to take three more Political Science courses, two of which must be at the 300-level.
Get to know your professors; in Political Science we strive to be approachable and helpful.
Be thirsty for knowledge about all sub-fields of Political Science; you want to learn about politics in all its phases.
Take a wide variety of courses from multiple professors to get a well-rounded and eclectic experience.
Try to complete all 100-level classes relatively early in your college years.
Take 245 before you take most 300-level classes, as it is helpful in reading comprehension and coming up with research ideas.
Internships grant important practical experience and we encourage Political Science students to do one for credit. You will need a departmental sponsor who will assign readings and give you assignments designed to enhance your experience.
Save papers, either electronically or in hard copy, because you will need to include examples of your past work in your 401 portfolio. If an instructor asks you to upload a paper to D2L, do it -- it is yet another way to archive your work in the major.