Advising

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.

Location

Our office is located on the 3rd floor of Founders Hall, 827 W. Franklin St.
Phone: (804) 827-3707
Email: poliadvisor@vcu.edu

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. 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.

If you are currently a Political Science major or minor you may make an advising appointment by clicking the Advising Appointments link in your VCU Portal and following the prompts. This is the fastest and easiest way to find a time that works for you. If you are not yet a Political Science major or minor you may use email to set up an appointment. We encourage students to visit or contact us (via phone or email) for quick inquiries and general assistance.

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 poliadvisor@vcu.edu. 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.

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.