For all Political Science majors, the following are some helpful tips in deciphering the Undergraduate Catalog and inventory sheets prior to advising as you decide which classes to take advantage of in the upcoming semester. These are merely suggestions compiled by the department faculty.
- Carefully look at your degree checklist. Keep a copy for your own records. There is some fine print regarding the minimum number of hours numbered above 299: Read it very carefully.
- As an incoming Freshman, fresh from High School, take more of the Touchstone Program Requirements early, especially languages and math because your high school training will be more recent.
- Be sure to understand the requirements of your major. Political Science is one of the more open majors. You are required to take only four subfield courses, 201, 350, 490 and the rest are electives in the major. Do NOT take more hours than are allowed in your major. Remember that almost any major can prepare you for almost anything after college, so choose one that you enjoy. There are no perfect majors. Sometimes the teachers matter more than the material so ask around.
- Choosing a minor to accompany a Political Science major should be practical and skill based. Computers, foreign languages, business, and economics make nice compliments. Employers like to see attention to these fields. Also consider internships and co-ops to make your college diploma more diverse. The Department of Political Science offers credit for three, two and one hour internships.
- Your advisor is a very important part of your college career. They must remove the "advising hold" on the individual student records to allow students to register for the following semester. Therefore, make an appointment as soon as the advising hours are posted. Get to know your advisor and meet with him/her frequently.
- It is never too soon to begin thinking about the real world waiting after graduation. Make as many job contacts as possible for the future. Keep track of these people and maybe have business cards made up to hand out. Planning ahead for graduate school or doctorial study takes the same sort of advanced planning and research. If you get a head start, you could save a lot of time and money.
- If you work and attend school, keep your credit hours down each semester if your GPA is not at least a "B". If you need the money, take a longer time to graduate. Few will care that you took longer, especially if your grades are decent. Research alternative funding for education such as scholarships and student loans. Sometimes loans are deferred or reduced if you are in a certain occupation, such as the military or teaching.
- And finally, when in doubt: ASK!!!