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FAQs

  1. HOW DO I GET UP TO THE MINUTE SCHEDULE INFORMATION, MEETING TIMES, PLACES, INSTRUCTORS, COURSE DESCRIPTIONS, INFORMATION ON WHETHER COURSES ARE OPEN, etc.?
    Go to the Online Schedule of Classes, select Undergraduate, and click on Submit.
  2. I WANT TO MAJOR IN POLITICAL SCIENCE. WHAT DO I DO FIRST?
    You should begin by reviewing the requirements for completion of the major and taking the required distribution of 100 level courses. You must have completed two introductory level courses with a grade of C or better to declare the major.
  3. HOW DO I DECLARE POLITICAL SCIENCE AS MY MAJOR?
    Majors/minors are declared by completing the major/minor declaration form and submitting it to one of the four SAS Advising Centers. For information, go to http://sasundergrad.rutgers.edu.
  4. WHO IS MY FACULTY ADVISOR?
    The Political Science Department does not assign students to specific faculty advisors. Different faculty members are appointed each academic year to serve as faculty advisors. Click here here for information about the current advisor(s).
  5. HOW DO THE POLITICAL SCIENCE INTRODUCTORY LEVEL COURSES WORK? I'M CONFUSED BECAUSE THE SCHEDULE LISTS THREE MEETING TIMES EACH WEEK.
    Most Political Science 100 level courses are scheduled in the following manner. The first two meeting times (e.g. MTh2) listed are large lectures. The third meeting time (e.g W3) is a smaller recitation section. During the first week of classes, the large lectures meet twice at the first two times (e.g MTh2) listed in the schedule of classes. The smaller recitation section does not meet at all during the first week of classes. Usually beginning in the second week of classes, the first lecture (e.g M2) will meet but not the second (e.g Th2). The second lecture is displaced by the smaller recitation section which meets at the third time (e.g W3) listed. This pattern of two lectures one week and one lecture and one recitation the next will continue throughout the semester.
  6. HOW DO I GET A SPECIAL PERMISSION NUMBER FOR A COURSE?
    Contact the course instructor. You can find email addresses for our faculty on our faculty directory or by using the Rutgers online directory. Remember though, generally courses are closed because there is physically no more room in the classroom under fire code regulations. Hence, faculty will rarely give out special permission numbers for closed courses. You are better advised to continue attempting to register with WEBREG during the first week of classes and in the future register as early as your credit hours will allow.
  7. I WANT TO TAKE 790:491 ADVANCED INDEPENDENT STUDY AND RESEARCH. HOW DO I DO THAT?
    790:491/492 Advanced Independent Study and Research should only be embarked on when a student has already taken a course with the professor and wished to further explore some specific topic which is not covered in any of our other courses. The purpose of an Independent Study is to supplement, not substitute for, our classroom offerings. Independent Studies require at least as much time and commitment as a regular classroom course. When a student asks a professor to supervise an independent study for her/him, the student should be able to describe the research s/he wants to pursue and articulate the pedagogic purpose that will be served by doing an Independent Study instead of taking a classroom course. Once a student has found a faculty supervisor, the student should bring a written note so stating from the professor to the undergraduate office (Hickman 510) and we will give you a special permission number to register for 790:491/492.
  8. HOW DO I GET DEPARTMENT HONORS?
    Political Science Departmental honors and the designation of Paul Robeson Scholar are awarded to senior here Political Science (790) majors who enroll in the Political Science courses, Honors Thesis 790:495/496, and successfully complete a Political Science honors thesis. In order to be eligible for departmental honors, a Political Science (790) major will have successfully completed at least 15 credits in Political Science courses with a grade point average 3.4 or better in these courses and have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better at the beginning of the Fall semester of senior year. 
  9. HOW DO I DO AN INTERNSHIP FOR CREDIT IN POLITICAL SCIENCE?
    -790:481/482 "Internship in Political Science." (3 credits): The Political Science Department offers internships in New Brunswick and throughout the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area. Students can earn three academic credits by working at the internship closely related to Political Science with the prior approval of the director of the internship program. For more information, click here.                                       
    -790:397/494 Washington Internship/Washington Research (15 credits): Students from all majors may spend a semester in Washington, D.C. Juniors and Seniors who have at least a 3.0 G.P.A., and 12 credits in Political Science (including 6 in American Government-related courses), may choose to spend a semester enrolled in the Rutgers Washington Internship Program for full academic credit. For information about the Washington Internship/Research, click here.
  10. DOES THE POLITICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT HAVE PRE-LAW ADVISORS?
    The Political Science Department does not have pre-law advisors. However, the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) has appointed two advisors. Professor Milton Heumann
    Fellows Room
    Milledoler Hall CAC
    Thursday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    Call for appointment
    848-932-7865
  11. CAN I GET TRANSFER CREDIT FOR COURSES I TOOK AT A NEW JERSEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE?
    Transfer students from New Jersey community colleges may transfer courses into Rutgers, and count them toward the Political Science major if they have approved equivalencies. For information about equivalencies please go to the website http://NJTransfer.org. No more than four Political Science courses (12 credits) taken outside the Rutgers-New Brunswick/Piscataway Political Science Department may be applied to the major. No more than two Political Science courses (6 credits) taken outside the Rutgers-New Brunswick/Piscataway Political Science Department may be applied to the minor. No winter session courses from any Rutgers campus or another university/college may be applied toward the major.
  12. HOW CAN I GET TRANSFER EQUIVALENCIES FOR COURSES I'VE TAKEN AT OTHER COLLEGES OR THROUGH STUDY ABROAD?
    Bring a copy a syllabus for the course you wish to transfer to the Department Undergraduate Office, 510 Hickman Hall for review. No more than four Political Science courses (12 credits) taken outside the Rutgers-New Brunswick/Piscataway Political Science Department may be applied to the major. No more than two Political Science courses (6 credits) taken outside the Rutgers-New Brunswick/Piscataway Political Science Department may be applied to the minor. No winter session courses from any Rutgers campus or another university/college may be applied toward the major.
  13. DO TRANSFER COURSES TAKEN AT OTHER UNIVERSITIES/COLLEGES OR CAMPUSES OF RUTGERS COUNT TOWARDS THE MAJOR/MINOR?
    No more than four Political Science courses (12 credits) taken outside the Rutgers-New Brunswick/Piscataway Political Science Department may be applied to the major. No more than two Political Science courses (6 credits) taken outside the Rutgers-New Brunswick/Piscataway Political Science Department may be applied to the minor. No winter session courses from any Rutgers campus or another university/college may be applied toward the major.
  14. CAN I TAKE A SECOND 395 SEMINAR?
    As you know, all Political Science majors are required to take one 395 seminar and given the limited space we have for students in the 395 seminars we offer each semester, we ask that students only take one 790:395 seminar during their undergraduate career. However, when we review transcripts for graduation/certification of completion of the major, we count a second 395 as an upper level elective.
  15. DOES RUTGERS HAVE A SPECIAL PROGRAM FOR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, OR SHOULD I MAJOR IN POLITICAL SCIENCE IF I AM INTERESTED IN IR?
    A member of our IR faculty responds: "Possible careers in international relations are, of course, as varied as the world itself. No single course of study or set of activities is necessarily "right" or "wrong" as a preparation for a career that will involve you in international affairs, foreign events, or world politics. In fact, what you choose as your major is probably far less important than you imagine: the most important issue in selecting a major is that you pick one that you find intellectually stimulating -- that is, one whose core questions intrigue you, and whose approach to building knowledge you find convincing. Probably the best way to tell if you are majoring in the right subject is whether you look forward to, or dread, the classes you are taking. Political Science is a good major. So too, however, is Economics, History, a foreign language, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, or English. And there are fascinating careers in international affairs also open to students with a strong grounding or major in the natural or mathematical sciences.

    For more information on how to pursue a career in international relations we recommend a document entitled "Careers in International Affairs "that can be found on the Political Science Department's web site. This document, prepared by Professor Licklider, discusses some of the different types of careers and educational training available and is a useful place to begin your thinking. Click here.

    The approach to the study of international relations adopted by the Rutgers Political Science Department, as by most top Political Science Departments around the country, frames this study within a broader context. Our view is that it is impossible to gain a very complete understanding of international events or of how particular nations and governments interact without also developing an understanding of our own national politics and exploring fundamental questions about what a "good" political system would look like. As a result, while Political Science majors at Rutgers may choose to focus on foreign and international politics (or on American politics or on political philosophy); we require that they acquire a basic grounding and some upper-level appreciation of all three of these areas. We also insist that majors acquire a basic grounding in some of the key cognate disciplines.

    Political Science majors who will be studying abroad should consider pursuing the Global Politics Certificate. Click here.

  16. CAN I ENROLL IN AN HONORS COURSE? HOW DO I ENROLL IN AN HONORS COURSE?
    Each semester, honors courses of three kinds are available for members of the SAS Honors Program: Honors Colloquium offered through the Honors Program, interdisciplinary Honors Seminars offered through the Honors Program, and honors courses offered through academic departments. Available courses and their descriptions are listed each semester on the SAS Honors web page; see http://www.sashonors.rutgers.edu.

    Students who are not enrolled in Honors Program and wish to take SAS honors courses should contact the SAS Honors Program at honors@sas.rutgers.edu.

    Only honors courses offered through the Political Science Department can be applied to the major/minor. Interdisciplinary honors seminars cannot be applied towards the major or the minor. Be sure to check with the department regarding any specific course.

  17. IS THERE A POLITICAL SCIENCE HONOR SOCIETY?
    Yes, there is. Pi Sigma Alpha is the national Political Science honor society. Juniors and seniors, who have declared Political Science as their major before the end of the Fall semester, must meet certain scholastic criteria in order to be invited to join during the Spring semester. Click here for more information.
  18. WHAT CAN I DO WITH A POLITICAL SCIENCE DEGREE?
    All the evidence we have suggests that, after you leave Rutgers, practically no one will care what you majored in. Potential employers will want to know whether you have the necessary abilities and skills to do whatever job they want done. A knowledge of French, say, may be required for the job, but the question will be how good your French is, not how many courses you took in it or what grades you got. Even graduate schools don't care much; one Political Science teacher in this department majored in physics, for example. However, the Political Science Department would like to offer its students a more extensive answer to this question. Click here for a more detailed response.

 

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