FAQs for Political Science

Frequently Asked Questions

This page has answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If you have other questions or would like to set up an appointment with an advisor, please stop by the department office or call us at 360-650-3469.

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Questions about Advising

  • Who is my advisor?

The Political Science Department does not have faculty advisors, however Program Coordinator Erica Steele is available to answer questions, help you plan your time in the major, and sign off on your major evaluations. You can stop by the Political Science office in AH 415 during regular business hours or contact her at Erica.Steele@wwu.edu or 360-650-3469. You can also sign up for major evaluations in the appointment book located in the department office. The Department Manager, Joan Blackwell, is also available to help with any questions you may have about the major. She can be reached at Joan.Blackwell@wwu.edu or 360-650-3469.

  • When should I meet with my advisor?

If you have transfer credits upon entering Western, you should meet with an advisor to determine how the credits will be awarded. 

When you declare the major, you will meet with an advisor who will explain the requirements of the major to you. We also like to take some time to answer any questions you may have at this meeting. 

As you progress in the major, you may have questions about credits, field requirements, and schedule planning. You are welcome to set up an appointment at any time with the advisor to talk about where you are at in the major and make sure that you are on track to graduate. 

When you are ready to apply for graduation (generally 2 quarters before you intend to graduate), you will need to schedule a major evaluation appointment with your advisor. You will receive a signed major evaluation listing the courses that you have completed and courses that you still need to complete to satisfy the major requirements.

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Questions about Transfer Credit

  • How can I find out if classes that I took at a Community College transfer to Western?

To check and see whether Political Science courses taken at a Community College - or public baccalaureate institution - in Washington will be accepted as transfer credit, please visit the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide.

  • How can I get credit for Political Science classes that I took at another college that have no Western equivalent?

Please bring a syllabus from the class, as well as any other work from the class that demonstrates the scope of material covered. Leave these materials with the advisor in the Political Science Department Office. Transfer class equivalencies will be reviewed by the Chair of the Department (sometimes opinions of other faculty are required) before credit is approved to be counted toward the major. The more information about the class that you can provide, the more likely you are to receive credit for it.

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Questions about Introductory Courses

  • What introductory courses should I take? 

In order to finish the Political Science Major in a timely fashion, you should try, by the end of your sophomore year, to complete the prerequisites you will need for advanced courses in the four fields within the major. It is also advisable to take a course in methodology/analysis (PLSC 366) early in the program as these tools are helpful in other courses. The prerequisites are:

  • PLSC 250 American Politics and Public Policy
  • PLSC 261 Political Theory
  • PLSC 271 Intro to International Politics
  • PLSC 291 Intro to Comparative

Political Science 101 credit does count toward the major, but is not a required class. It does serve as a prerequisite to many upper division classes within the major.

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Questions about Declaring the Major

  • What are the requirements for declaring the Political Science Major?
  • PLSC 250 American Politics and Public Policy
  • PLSC 261 Political Theory
  • PLSC 271 Intro to International Politics
  • PLSC 291 Intro to Comparative Politics

 

  • How do I declare the Political Science Major?

Come to the Political Science Department Office, AH 415.  An advisor will review your academic history to confirm you have completed two of the core courses.  You will then complete the "Official Declaration and Change of Major Form".  This form is then sent to the Registrar's office for processing.

  • I have already taken one of the core classes, and am enrolled in the second.  How soon can I declare?

You cannot declare until the grade is entered for the second core class.

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Questions about Declaring the Minor

  • How do I declare the Political Science Minor?

You can declare the Political Science Minor at any time. Come to the Political Science Department Office, AH 415.

  • Does declaring the Political Science Minor get me around the Major Restriction during registration?

No. The major restriction is removed at the end of the day on the 4th day of Phase 1 registration. At that time, you can register for upper division Political Science classes.

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Questions about Registration

  • How can I register for Political Science classes if I am not a Major?

All Western students are welcome to take any Political Science class that they have completed the prerequisites for. There is a major restriction on 300- and 400-level Political Science classes for the first four days of Phase 1 registration. After that time, you can register for upper division Political Science classes.

  • Who should I talk to about registration questions?

Student Advisor Erica Steele is available to answer your questions if you stop in to AH 415. You can reach her at 360-650-3469, or you can send an e-mail to Erica.Steele@wwu.edu.

  • How can I register for classes that require permission? 

For Political Science classes that require instructor permission, you should e-mail the instructor prior to your registration time. The instructor is the only person who is able to give you an override to enter their class.

  • What if the class that I would like to register for is full?

You should get on the wait list for the class and check your e-mail regularly for the wait list notification e-mail. The Registrar has more information about the wait list system on their website: https://www.wwu.edu/registrar/registration/registration_waitlisting.shtml.

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Questions about Applying for Graduation

  • When should I apply for graduation?

You should apply for graduation two quarters prior to your expected graduation quarter. For example, to graduate in Spring Quarter, you should apply in Fall Quarter.

  • How do I apply for graduation?

Schedule a major evaluation with Student Advisor Erica Steele. You can stop by the department office and sign up in the Major Evaluations book or call to schedule an appointment at 360-650-3469. You will need signed evaluations from any other major/minor departments that you are affiliated with. After receiving your signed major evaluation, you will need to submit it along with your on-line Degree Application to the Registrars Office.

  • Who fills out my major evaluation?

Erica Steele completes and signs off on the evaluation form on behalf of Political Science majors and minors.  The Political Science Department uses its own Major Evaluation form (not the generic WWU on-line Major Evaluation form).

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If you have other questions or would like to set up an appointment with an advisor, please contact the department office at 360-650-3469.