Frequently Asked Questions about On-Campus Political Science Advising
Where are advising offices located?
How do I schedule an academic advising appointment?
How should I prepare for advising session (My Degrees, questions, photo ID)?
What is a My Degrees?
2. Prospective Political Science Majors & Minors
I am not a major/minor, but may want to be. Can I meet with the advisor?
How do I declare a PS major or minor?
How do I declare a double major or double degree?
I am a new transfer student and need my PIN to register. Will you give it to me?
I am a brand new freshman and need my PIN to register. Will you give it me?
I am a continuing student and need my PIN to register. How do I get it?
I am not sure which math class to take first. What should I do?
I am not sure which language class to take first. What should I do?
What courses are required for this major/minor?
3. Registration Issues
Where do I find help with the registration system?
I want to take a class, but do not have the pre-requisite. Can I still get into it?
My class is full, can I still get into it (waitlists)?
How do I add a class during the second week of classes? The registration system won’t let me!
How do I add a class in the third week or later?
How many credits can I take in a term? Is it possible to exceed the normal maximum?
4. Struggling or Doing Poorly in Classes
I did poorly in a class. Is it possible to retake it? If so, how many times can I do this?
I received a grade with an “I/” (I for incomplete) in front of it. What does this mean?
I need to withdraw from a course. What should I do and how does it work?
I need to withdraw from all my courses. What should I do and how does it work?
I did poorly in some (or all) my classes due to issues beyond my control. Even though the term is over, is it still possible to withdraw from them?
I received an “academic warning”. What does this mean and what should I do?
I am on “academic probation”. What does this mean and what should I do?
I have been placed on “academic suspension”. What does this mean and what should I do?
5. Military/Veteran/ROTC Assistance
I am a veteran or active military member attending OSU. What resources exist for me?
I need help filling out a 104R, Form 48, or other military form. Where should I go?
6. Experiential Learning and Field Work Opportunities
Do I have to complete an internship or capstone to get a political science degree?
What if I want to do an internship for political science credit?
What if I want to pursue independent research or study for credit?
Where can I get information on study abroad opportunities?
7. Planning for After Graduation
I want a job after I graduate! When should I consider careers and where should I go to do so?
Where can I get information on preparing for law school?
Where can I get information on preparing for graduate school?
8. Other Questions
How do I change my major from political science to something else?
Where can I find information on financial aid or scholarships?
How do I prove that I am enrolled or have full-time status at OSU?
How do I prove that I have graduated from OSU?
What sort of clubs or organizations do political science majors choose to pursue?
1.1. Where are advising offices located?
The political science advisor is located in Bexell 418B. The College of Liberal Arts advisors are located two floors below in Bexell 214.
1.2. How do I schedule an academic advising appointment?
Appointments with the political science advisor can be made via an online scheduling system. Please see the PS advising page for a brief description of it and details on accessing it. To schedule with a College of Liberal Arts (CLA) advisor, call 541-737-0561. Please note if you attended a first-year START program, your first-year PIN can only be distributed by the CLA advisors. Political science students registering for fall term in their second year or later, or students who attended a transfer START, obtain their PIN from the PS advisor.
1.3. How should I prepare for my political science advising session (MyDegrees, photo ID)?
To protect the confidentiality of your records, you will be asked for a photo ID, so please bring one. Prior to your appointment, please review your My Degrees and make a list of questions you want answered. For additional advising expectations (for you and for your advisor), please consult the bottom of the PS advising page.
1.4. What is MyDegrees?
My Degrees is a computer program that plugs your classes into a list of graduation requirements. It is a primary tool used by the graduation office to confirm completion of your degree, so it is important to monitor it consistently. It can be accessed via your MyOregonState web page or the registrar web page (see the section labeled Degrees). Video tutorials on how to use it can be found on the registrar web site.
2. Prospective Political Science Majors & Minors
2.1. I am not a major/minor, but may want to be. Can I meet with the advisor to learn more about it?
You can certainly meet with the political science advisor to discuss major/minor requirements, classes left to graduate, and other political science-specific information. If you decide to declare, you can do that during the appointment as well. Please see the PS advising page for scheduling a PS appointment.
2.2. How do I declare a PS major or minor?
To declare the major, please set an appointment with the PS academic advisor. Minors can be declared by any OSU academic advisor, but some may want you to see the PS advisor to do so. Please see the PS advising page for scheduling a PS appointment.
2.3. How do I declare a double major or double degree?
If both majors are within the College of Liberal Arts, you can schedule an appointment with a CLA advisor to declare both of them. If one or both majors are outside CLA, you should consult with the college(s) where the major(s) are located. It may also be a good idea to consult with the advisors for the two majors prior to declaring. Links to contact information for most advisors can be found here.
2.4. I am a new transfer student and need my PIN to register. Will you give it to me?
New transfer students must attend a transfer START prior to registration. During the START program, you will meet with your major advisor and get your PIN. Links for START registration can be found here.
2.5. I am a brand new freshman and need my PIN to register. Will you give it me?
New freshmen must attend a first-year START prior to registration. During the START program, you will meet with your major advisor and get your PIN. Links for START registration can be found here.
2.6. I am a continuing student and need my PIN to register. How do I get it?
Please note if you attended a first-year START program, your first-year PINs can only be distributed by the CLA advisors. You can make an appointment to meet with one by calling 541-737-0561. Political science students registering for fall term in their second year or later, or students who attended a transfer START, obtain their PINs from the political science advisor. Please see the PS advising page for scheduling an appointment with the political science advisor.
2.7. I am not sure which math class to take first. What should I do?
Unless you are transferring college math credits to OSU, you will likely need to take the math placement test to access an OSU math course. You can find information about the test and a link to the test here. If the test does not go well, you can practice with online learning modules and take it again. If you have taken a college math course elsewhere, it may act as a pre-requisite for other courses. You can contact a College of Liberal Arts advisor (541-737-0561) for help with evaluation of a transfer math course.
2.8. I am not sure which language class to take first. What should I do?
If you have never taken a particular language, start with the 111 course. Most students with previous experience should take a placement test unless they have advanced placement or college credit. Information on how to set one up can be found here. If you have credit already from advanced placement (AP test) or transfer courses, you can speak to the political science advisor about what course to take next. For the political science BA major (the BS does not require a language), completion of a 213 language class or above with a C- or better completes the requirement. It can also be completed via a CLEP test, transfer credits, or by doing well on the placement exam.
2.9. What courses are required for this major/minor?
Requirements for the political science major can be found in the undergraduate general catalog. Minor requirements can be found in another section of the catalog. If you have officially declared the PS major or minor, these requirements also show in your MyDegrees. If you want to discuss the PS requirements in detail or have questions on them, feel free to set an appointment with the political science advisor.
3. Registration Issues
3.1. Where do I find help with the registration system?
There are links for registration on your MyOregonState web page. You can also find assistance on the registrar web page (see the section labeled Registration). Video tutorials on how to do it can be found on the registrar web site as well (see the section labeled Registration Videos).
3.2. I want to take a class, but do not have the pre-requisite. Can I still get into it?
Keep in mind that pre-requisites exist to ensure students have the proper background to be successful in the course. If you wish to have an exception made or have a transfer course checked as a pre-requisite, please contact the program offering the course. With the exception of courses in the PS 401 - 410 range (like internship, independent study, etc.), which require instructor approval, political science courses do not have pre-requisites.
3.3. My class is full, can I still get into it (waitlists)?
Prior to the start of classes and during the first full week of classes, political science courses maintain a waitlist. Once phase two of registration opens, you can join the waitlist via the registration system. If someone drops the course, the first waitlisted student is contacted via OSU e-mail. The student then has twenty-four hours to add the class. If the student does not, they are dropped from the waitlist and the next student is contacted. The process continues until the course is full again. These e-mails are auto-generated, so the twenty-four hour deadline holds regardless of weekends and holidays. Closely monitor your OSU e-mail if you are on a waitlist! Additional information on waitlists is maintained by the registrar.
3.4. How do I add a class during the second week of classes? The registration system won’t let me!
Waitlists end after the first full week of classes. During the second week, program permission is required to add a course. Each program determines its own rules for obtaining this permission. For PS courses, students should seek the instructor of the course. If the instructor is willing and believes the student can catch up in the course, they will e-mail the advisor with student and course information. The advisor will enter an override into the registration system (provided the room’s fire code capacity is not exceeded) and e-mail the student to add the course.
3.5. How do I add a class in the third week or later?
Adding courses this late in the term is very rare, as the course is already at least 20% completed. To get into the course, a petition must be filled out and approved. The student explains why they missed the add deadline and the instructor must sign the petition indicating the student can catch up in the course. Other signatures are also required, and the completed form is submitted to the registrar. Completed petitions can still be denied. See further details on the petition form.
3.6. How many credits can I take in a term? Is it possible to exceed the normal maximum?
The normal limit for credits in a term is 19 (note: the maximum is 16 in Phase 1 of registration, but 19 applies in Phase 2). However, if you completed 12 credits or more in the previous term and had a term GPA of 3.00 or better, you can ask the registrar (1st floor of Kerr Administration) to increase the limit to up to 24 credits. If you do not meet these standards, or if your request is denied, the only way to exceed 19 credits is via a written registrar petition. This petition requires the support of an advisor (either in your major or college), and the advisor cannot support you unless they believe you will be successful with the heavier load.
4. Struggling or Doing Poorly in Classes
4.1. I did poorly in a class. Is it possible to retake it? If so, how many times can I do this?
In most cases, you can retake a course once, and the second attempt (whether it is better or worse) replaces the first. This means only the second grade counts in your GPA (but both grades show on your transcript), for pre-requisites, and for credits (you could lose credits if you replace a passing grade with an F). Please note withdrawals do not count as an “attempt”, only final grades (A-F, S, U) do. Third attempts do not give credit or replace grades, so only take a class for a third time if your advisor recommends it. A-F grades can replace S/U grades, but you cannot replace an A-F with an S/U. Also, grades do not replace for courses that are repeatable multiple times for credit (for example: PAC courses and PS 299/399/499). Please see AR 20 for the official language and further details.
4.2. I received a grade with an “I/” (I for incomplete) in front of it. What does this mean?
The letter I stands for incomplete. An incomplete grade is usually assigned if the student was doing reasonably well in a course, but their performance plummeted (perhaps the final was missed or assignments were not turned in). The I is a prompt for the student to contact the instructor and to ask what work is needed to complete the course. The student and professor agree to a deadline for the work to be submitted. A written contract with assignments and due dates is strongly recommended. If the work is completed, the instructor changes the I grade to the grade the student earned.
If the missing work is not submitted, one year later the grade automatically defaults to the one listed after the slash. While the grade change is automatic after one year, the instructor can set a shorter timeframe for the missing work to be completed.
Incomplete credits/grades do not count on your transcript for credits earned or GPA. However, MyDegrees does include the credits in its totals if the grade after the slash is a passing one (an I/D- or better).
4.3. I need to withdraw from a course. What should I do and how does it work?
Provided you have time before the withdrawal deadline (the deadline cannot be extended), it is a good idea to meet with both your academic advisor (international students should also see their international advisor) and the financial aid and/or scholarship offices to discuss the implications of the withdrawal. Too many withdrawals and failed classes can jeopardize future funding.
Withdrawals begin in week two (prior to week two courses can be dropped) and the deadline for individual course withdrawals is the seventh week of a ten-week term (shorter summer sessions have earlier deadlines for drops and withdrawals). Exact dates can be seen on the academic calendar. You can withdraw via the online registration system. More precise directions can be found on the registrar web site.
Please be aware that you are normally limited to no more than 18 course withdrawals (see AR 12 for details). Withdrawals do not give credit or affect your GPA, but a W grade is visible on your transcript. Withdrawals, at best, give a partial refund on tuition, and give none after the third week of class (again, dates are earlier for shorter summer sessions). The academic calendar also includes these deadlines.
4.4. I need to withdraw from ALL my courses. What should I do and how does it work?
Although the individual course withdrawal deadline occurs in week 7, you can still withdraw from ALL your courses until just before finals (see the Academic Calendar for precise dates). This is called withdrawal from the term. As you might imagine, this is not a good idea in most cases as you will receive no credit for the courses and it is well past the date for course refunds, but it can preserve your GPA if all your classes are going badly. You are limited to no more than 18 total course withdrawals, and each class in the term counts individually toward this total (please see AR 12).
As with individual withdrawals, provided you have time before the deadline (the deadline cannot be extended), it is a good idea to meet with both your academic advisor (international students should also see their international advisor) and the financial aid and/or scholarship offices to discuss the implications of the withdrawal. Too many withdrawals and failed classes can jeopardize future funding.
If the withdrawal was due to extenuating circumstances beyond your control, please see the next question below.
4.5. I did poorly in some (or all) my classes due to issues beyond my control. Even though the term is over, is it still possible to withdraw from them?
Normally, the deadline to withdraw from individual classes is week 7 of a 10 week term, and the deadline for a withdrawal from all classes in a term is just before finals week (dates for these deadlines are earlier for shorter summer terms), but if a student experiences significant extenuating circumstances (family emergencies, registration error, serious illness, etc.) it may be possible to have late course withdrawals approved.
If you think your situation meets these guidelines, you should submit a Petition for Late Change of Registration to the Registrar’s Office. Documentation of the situation and clear explanations of the severity of the situation are helpful. Also describe why it caused you to miss the normal withdrawal deadlines. You will need signatures from several people including the course instructor(s). Petitions are considered for approval on a case-by-case basis.
4.6. I received an “academic warning”. What does this mean and what should I do?
You are given an academic warning if your GPA for the term is less than a 2.00. You stay on warning until you complete a subsequent term with a GPA of 2.00 or above. You should schedule an appointment with your advisor to discuss the situation and make plans for improving your future academic performance. To make an appointment, please see the PS advising page for a brief description of the online appointment scheduling system and a link to it.
4.7. I am on “academic probation”. What does this mean and what should I do?
You are placed on academic probation if you have attempted 24 or more credits at OSU and your OSU cumulative GPA is below a 2.00. You stay on probation until your OSU cumulative GPA reaches a 2.00 or higher. If you are on probation and you have a subsequent term GPA of below 2.00, you are suspended from OSU. See AR 22 for further details and official language. Please schedule an appointment with your advisor to discuss the situation and make plans for improving your future academic performance. To make an appointment, please see the PS advising page for a brief description of the online appointment scheduling system and a link to it.
4.8. I have been placed on “academic suspension”. What does this mean and what should I do?
You are placed on academic suspension if you were on academic probation and you received a subsequent term GPA of below a 2.00. Suspended students cannot enroll in OSU classes, and are considered for reinstatement only after two years have passed or after the completion of at least 24 quarter credits of transferable college-level work at an accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.5 or above. Please see AR 22 for further details and official language. In exceptional cases, early return from suspension may be considered by the Faculty Senate Academic Standing Committee. Please see their guidelines for more details.
5. Military/Veteran/ROTC Assistance
5.1. I am a veteran or active military member attending OSU. What resources exist for me?
There is an OSU home page for Military and Veteran’s resources, as well as a good FAQ for Veterans at OSU. The main contact person is Willie Elfering (email@example.com), the Military and Veteran Resources Advisor. He can introduce OSU resources and discuss how to best use military benefits. Our Veteran’s Certifying Official is in the Registrar (firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-737-0747).
5.2. I need help filling out a 104R, Form 48, or other military form. Where should I go?
Most academic planning forms are handled by major advisors. Political science majors should make an appointment with the advisor for political science. Appointments are made via an online scheduling system. Please see the PS advising page for a brief description of it and details on accessing it. Prior the appointment, please fill out the form completely and email a copy to the advisor before your meeting. Unless the form can be easily changed during the appointment (Form 48’s are done in pencil, for example), please e-mail a copy to the advisor before the meeting. During the appointment, we will check the form and the courses on it thoroughly.
6. Experiential Learning and Field Work Opportunities
6.1. Do I have to complete an internship or capstone to get a political science degree?
There is no capstone paper, project, or internship requirement for the political science degree. However, these experiences and other outside-the-classroom opportunities are highly encouraged, as they are great learning opportunities and resume builders.
6.2. What if I want to do an internship for political science credit?
Internships are optional, but students can receive up to 4 credits in the major and up to 12 credits total of PS 410 Internship credits. In general, every 30 hours of work at the internship is worth one credit. Dr. Michael Trevathan (email@example.com) is our internship coordinator who determines if an internship can qualify for PS credits (the internship must be political in nature) and assists students with enrolling in the course credits. He also posts information on an internship website. The political science advisor can explain how the credits will count toward the degree and can assist students with brainstorming where to look for possible internships.
6.3. What if I want to pursue independent research or study for credit?
Typically most independent study either takes the form of a student assisting a professor on their research or a professor supervising the student’s own research. In either case, such an association is voluntary for the professor. It usually helps if a student has a good academic record and solid classroom research that the professor has seen. It is also beneficial if the professor’s research area overlaps with the area being researched by the student. A list of political science faculty is available online and research areas can be found by clicking on the individual professors. Permission from the professor must be secured before registering for any research credits.
6.4. Where can I get information on study abroad opportunities?
The Office of Global Opportunities administers OSU’s study abroad programs (and other international opportunities). The first step is creating an account (use the “Start Here” link on their web page). While Global Opportunities will provide information on the various study abroad programs and the courses they offer, your academic advisor can assist with determining where these classes might fit within your degree requirements and which classes you should take at OSU versus during your study abroad.
7. Planning for After Graduation
7.1. I want a job after I graduate! When should I consider careers and where should I go to do so?
It is never too early to begin figuring out what career you want to pursue after you graduate; after all, this decision takes time and thought. This journey involves learning about yourself and the careers out there, developing your skills, and connecting professionally. You can start by exploring potential majors and careers. Please see the Career Development Center (CDC) website for more details and contact information.
7.2. Where can I get information on preparing for law school?
Jason Tanenbaum is the Pre-Law advisor. He also works with the Pre-Law Society (a student organization for students interested in law school) and the OSU Mock Trial team (competes in intercollegiate tournaments). Information on all these topics, and a few others, can be found at the link above.
7.3. Where can I get information on preparing for graduate school?
For information on graduate school in general or OSU programs in particular, the OSU graduate school can be reached at 541-737-4881 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to know about the strongest schools within a particular academic field or subfield, visiting the office hours of a professor in that discipline and talking to them is a good idea. Your PS advisor may also have general information to provide.
8. Other Questions
8.1. How do I change my major from political science to something else?
If you are changing to another College of Liberal Arts (CLA) major, these major changes are handled by the advisor for that particular major. The advisor can also assist in understanding the requirements for the new degree and how long it might take to graduate. Where to go for majors in other colleges varies, but you should seek out the new major or college rather than your current advisor. Advising links for all of OSU’s colleges can be found here.
8.2. Where can I find information on financial aid or scholarships?
The main financial aid office is located in the Kerr Administration Building 218. They can be reached at 541-737-2241 or at email@example.com.
You can find general scholarship information on OSU’s Scholarships webpage. There are also scholarships just for Liberal Arts students and just for political science majors. Oregon residents can search the Office of Student Access and Completion site. The OSU Alumni Association has a few as does the National and Global Scholarships office.
8.3. How do I prove that I am enrolled or have full-time status at OSU?
You can print a copy of your schedule or of your unofficial transcripts. For more official documentation, you can contact the National Student Clearinghouse. The registrar has a webpage that describes the various options for obtaining this proof and how to do so.
8.4. How do I prove that I have graduated from OSU?
Diplomas are good wall candy (they look sweet up there!), but proof of graduation is shown on your official transcript. You can also verify a degree via the National Student Clearinghouse. The registrar has a webpage that describes how to use both of these options. If you are not yet finished with the degree but need evidence that you will likely graduate soon, a Statement of Degree might do the trick.
8.5. What sort of clubs or organizations do political science majors choose to pursue?
Political science majors have a wide array of interests and thus join a plethora of different clubs and organizations. Experiential Learning & Activities maintains a database of all of them. The groups that interest many of our majors include Pi Sigma Alpha (a social group and honors society for political science majors), the Pre-Law Society (assists OSU students wanting to go to law school), Model European Union (students compete at the University of Washington in a simulated EU meeting), Mock Trial (a courtroom simulation where OSU students compete against other universities), and the International Affairs Club (promotes international business and politics and houses the Model United Nations team).