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Undergraduate Advising

All Advising Will Take Place Online

How to Use the Political Science Advising System

The Political Science department offers three majors: POLS, PSIR, and PSDV. In total, we support an average of 500 majors per year, the largest in the School of Liberal Arts. The department also offers two minors. Please read the information below carefully and follow the steps described in your communications with us. Doing so will help ensure prompt and accurate responses. In particular, every request should be accompanied by a completed major/minor checklist as well as your student ID number. You will find a separate study abroad section at the end.

Types of Advisors

  1. Faculty Advisors

    • Every Political Science major is assigned an advisor from among our regular, fulltime professors
    • For advice about course selection, careers, or graduate school, please speak to your faculty advisor or other trusted professor
    • Your faculty advisor cannot assist you with transfer credit, course substitutions, or changing your major. Generally speaking, if you need a signature, you need to write to a department advisor.
  2. Department Advisors

    The people listed below compose the technical team. We handle course substitutions and equivalencies, changes in majors/minors, and graduation certifications. Please direct your questions to the appropriate person based on the task or major they oversee.

    Prof. Mary Clark, Undergraduate Studies Director, (polisci.undergrad@wave.tulane.edu)

    • Liaison to other Tulane offices and committees
    • New student transfer credit evaluation requests (from other Tulane advisors only)

    Prof. Christina Kiel (ckiel1@tulane.edu)

    • All PSIR majors
    • POLS majors/minors with last names A-H
    • Internships

    Prof. Dauphine Sloan (dsloan@tulane.edu)

    • All PSDV majors/minors
    • POLS majors/minors with last names I-Z

    Ms. Sheila Favalora (favalora@tulane.edu)

    • Major/minor declarations
    • Major/minor track changes

Whom to Contact and Steps:

  1. To declare a major/minor or change major/minor tracks within Political Science

    • Obtain the Major/Minor Declaration form here and fill out the student information section
    • Send the completed form to Ms. Favalora (favalora@tulane.edu)
    • She will sign the form, assign a faculty advisor, and return the form to you
  2. To request substitution of another Tulane course for a major/minor requirement

    • Obtain a Degree Audit Substitution form here and fill out the student information section
    • Fill out the checklist for your major or minor track
    • Obtain a complete syllabus of the course you wish to substitute
    • Email all three documents with an explanation of why you are petitioning for the substitution to Prof. Kiel or Sloan depending on your major/last name
    • Please note that we will not entertain requests to substitute courses from other universities to satisfy the Tier-II writing intensive requirement
  3. To obtain a prospective consultation on non-Tulane courses for major/minor credit (courses to be taken at a U.S. university)

    • Please note that this is for matriculated Tulane students only
    • Please note that the course must be taken at a 4-year (B.A./B.S. granting) institution
    • Obtain as much information as possible about the course (title, description, syllabus)
    • Fill out the checklist for your major or minor track
    • Email these documents with an explanation of what you are planning to Prof. Kiel or Sloan depending on your major/last name
    • Please note that this will be a consultation only. We cannot make decisions about transfer/course equivalency until you have finished the course and provided a complete syllabus
  4. To request a retrospective evaluation of non-Tulane college courses for major/minor credit (courses taken at a U.S. university)

    • Please note that we cannot act until Tulane receives the transcript
    • Please note that this is for matriculated Tulane students only (not incoming freshmen or transfer students)
    • Obtain a Degree Audit Substitution form here and fill out the student information section
    • Obtain the course syllabus
    • Fill out the checklist for your major or minor track
    • Email all three documents with an explanation of why you are petitioning for the substitution to Prof. Kiel or Sloan depending on your major/last name
  5. Degree Works is not accurately applying courses you have already taken toward your Political Science major/minor

    • First speak to your NTC advisor. They deal with Degree Works all day and better understand its quirks
    • If that doesn’t work, fill out the checklist for your major or minor track
    • Send the checklist and a description of your concern to Prof. Kiel or Sloan depending on your major/last name
  6. Uncertainty about your progress toward your Political Science major/minor

    • Fill out the checklist for your major or minor track
    • Go online and pull up your degree audit
    • Compare it to the checklist
    • If they match, yay! You are done
    • If there is a discrepancy, go to step E
  7. To register for an Honor’s thesis or independent study

    • Advising regarding Honors theses is done by the supervising professors (readers) and the NTC Honors Office
    • You are required to submit the Independent Study Registration Form, with the requisite signatures, by the 2nd Wednesday of the fall semester of your senior year. Please email the form to Ryan Kambur (rkambur@tulane.edu)
    • Keep in mind that our deadline for submitting the Honors departmental registration paperwork falls before the NTC due date for the form and prospectus
    • You may arrange to do an independent study with a regular faculty member of the Political Science department (not a visiting professor or adjunct professor)
    • The work to be completed for the independent study shall be agreed by the professor and the student
    • You may register for the independent study by submitting a completed and signed Independent Study Registration Form. Please email the form to Ryan Kambur (rkambur@tulane.edu)

Study Abroad

The Political Science department does not pre-approve courses taken abroad. All course transfers/equivalencies are granted when students return to campus after their semester(s) abroad. That being said, our general rule is that if you are taking actual political science/international relations/politics of development courses taught by professors with political science training, you will get credit.

Ninety percent of the time, courses will transfer in at the 3000 level as major electives. We do not transfer classes at the 4000-level or above unless we have a direct equivalent in our catalog at that level. There is a limit for how much study abroad credit may count toward fulfillment of a POLS/PSIR/PSDV major: no more than three classes for one-semester study abroad or five for a full year. In addition, be advised that in most cases each course taken abroad will be awarded 3 credits towards your POLS/PSIR/PSDV major, even if the course is worth more than that in your program abroad. Any “excess” credits will count towards graduation.

To count towards the out-of-department electives for the PSDV major or minor, a non-Political Science course has to be accepted by the appropriate department at Tulane first; only afterwards will we consider it for elective credit.

You will not receive credit for courses taught in other disciplines that have political content. For example, if you take a course on “Media and Politics in XYZ country” taught by a communication faculty, you will not receive political science credit.

Here are the steps to take before and after study abroad:

To obtain the necessary faculty reference for study abroad and to get a consultation about whether abroad courses will count towards your major

  • Research your options with the study abroad office
  • Obtain as much information as possible about available courses (title, description, syllabus)
  • Fill out the checklist for your major or minor track
  • Email these documents with an explanation of what you are planning to Prof. Kiel or Sloan depending on your major/last name
  • Please note that this will be a consultation only. We cannot make decisions about course equivalency until you have finished the course and provided a complete syllabus (see below)

To request major/minor credit upon your return

  • Please note that this is for matriculated Tulane students only (not incoming freshmen or transfer students)
  • It is critical that you retain all syllabi from your study abroad courses
  • Once Tulane has received your transcript from the institution abroad, fill out the Office of Study Abroad Course Equivalency form and the checklist for your major or minor track. The course equivalency form changes courses numbered 5380 (unassigned), to credits toward your major or minor
  • Email the form and the corresponding course syllabi along with your checklist to Prof. Kiel or Sloan depending on your major/last name