The Political Science advising office advises undergraduate students in the Political Science major and students minoring in Political Science, Nonprofit Management and Administration, and Public Management. The advising office assists students with curriculum and career planning; general administrative matters, including processing of university forms, appeals, and letter requests; and graduation applications. Additionally, we review and approve political science curriculum for B.I.S. focus areas and study abroad course equivalencies, and generally consult students throughout the university interested in Political Science coursework.


Our office is located on the 3rd floor of Founders Hall, 827 W. Franklin St. Hours: Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Contact Phone: (804) 827-3707 Email:

Academic Advising Appointments

Academic advising appointments are designed to guide students through Political Science major requirements and to assist in developing curriculum and graduation plans that best serve individual student needs. Students will meet with our dedicated advisors, who are trained to provide expert academic advice. We require that students schedule formal advising appointments to review degree requirements and develop graduation plans, and we highly recommend that students schedule appointments once per semester to ensure timely completion of degree requirements. Students must schedule advising appointments at least one day prior to a desired appointment date and time. Common advising appointment requests are:

  • Reviewing graduation requirements, and semester by semester course planning
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) or Academic Regulations and Appeals Committee (ARAC) assistance
  • Signatures on forms to verify degree progress, such as a request to Walk in Commencement form
  • Signatures on forms to verify completed or planned coursework to fulfill degree requirements, such as military benefits forms
  • Signatures for B.I.S. focus area curriculum approval and study abroad course equivalencies.

We encourage students to visit or contact us (via phone or email) for quick inquiries and general assistance. The easiest way to schedule an appointment is by calling our office at (804) 827-3707 or visiting us at Founders Hall, 3rd floor. However, we also take email appointments requests at If you wish to schedule an appointment via email, please include your name, V-number, advising need or request,  and the date and  times you are available to meet with us. Please note that emails sent after close of business will not be responded to until the next day.

Policies and Procedures

Override Policy

The Political Science Department processes course overrides only with the permission of the instructor teaching the course. Instructors grant overrides at their discretion, and as an additional service to our students. Common reasons for requests are overriding enrollment capacity or prerequisites for a particular course. To initiate an override request, please contact the instructor scheduled to teach the course (emails are usually preferred). If you receive permission, please forward any documents granting permission (such as an email) as well as your name and V number to We cannot process overrides for courses without assigned instructors. Once a course is assigned an instructor we will process instructor-approved override requests.

Substitution and waiver policies

When appropriate, the Political Science Advising Office processes substitutions and waivers for Political Science degree and major requirements (please see the VCU Bulletin page for current and archived bulletin information).

Political Science topics courses (e.g., POLI 391 or 491 course sections) often fulfill Political Science major and minor electives, but require formal approvals from our faculty and advising staff to substitute degree requirements. Please contact us if you have inquiries about topics courses may apply to your POLI degree requirements.

New Major Declaration

New majors are required to schedule formal advising appointments with our office to declare the political science major. Please do not plan to declare the political science major during the Add/Drop and Late Registration periods at the beginning of each semester — new major declaration appointments must be scheduled outside of the add/drop and late registration period.

Pre-Graduation Advising Appointments

Students must make a formal advising appointment the semester before they intend to graduate. During this meeting, we will discuss the graduation process and outline coursework needed for graduation. Please schedule this appointment before registration begins.

Graduation Application and Commencement Ceremony

To apply to graduate, students will need to complete the online graduation check-out and submit a paper application to our office before the deadline. The paper application can be found on the Records and Registration homepage.

Students planning to graduate should anticipate and carefully read graduation application instructions at the beginning of the semester sent to VCU student email accounts.

Foreign Language Requirement and Completion Agreement

The B.A. in Political Science requires additional foreign language coursework beyond the College of Humanities and Sciences requirement. Please schedule an advising appointment in order to discuss options for completing this requirement.

Foreign Language Requirement 

In order to complete a B.A. in Political Science, all majors must complete a foreign language to the 202 level. There are several ways to complete this requirement.

Native and Heritage Speakers

Native and Heritage Speakers should contact the School of World Studies in order to complete the Native and Heritage Speaker assessment. Information about this process is available from the School of World Studies here:

Foreign Language Placement

Students with previous academic experience in French, German, Spanish, Russian, or Latin may complete a placement test through the School of World Studies. Placement testing takes place in the World Studies Media Center, located in Hibbs 424 and 426. More information about language placement testing is available from the School of World Studies.

Please be aware that students who do not place into the 300-level of a language must complete foreign language coursework to the 202 level.

Foreign Language Coursework

VCU offers a variety of languages through the School of World Studies. Please be aware that not all languages are offered to the 202 level. Please consult the School of World Studies for more information about specific language offerings:

In addition, students may transfer courses from another institution to complete the foreign language requirement. Students may transfer courses for languages not typically taught at VCU to the 202 level, such as American Sign Language. If students wish to transfer a course from another institution, they must complete the Request to Take Courses at Another Institution form.

Placement/Assessment by the World School

The High School Foreign Language waiver IS NOT sufficient for our collateral foreign language requirement, as it only satisfies the 102 level of foreign language. In addition, the waiver does not serve as a placement exam. If you have completed or plan to complete the High School Foreign Language Placement, you will still need to complete a placement exam at the World Studies Media Center and complete foreign language coursework to the 202 level.