Advising

The Department of Political Science employs a variety of advising resources available to provide undergraduate majors and concentrators with the information and support needed to successfully navigate through the program. 

Undergraduate Advising Office
The Undergraduate Advising Office is staffed by a political science Ph.D. student who has been trained by the department for this role and works closely with the director of undergraduate studies and the undergraduate coordinator to maintain consistent communication and policy implementation. The adviser can answer questions about requirements, course selection, program planning, transfer and study abroad credit, and related aspects of the undergraduate program. The undergraduate adviser holds open office hours each week during the academic year and may also be available by appointment.

Walk-in Advising Hours for Spring 2017

Tuesdays, 2:30pm-5:00pm (Benjamin McClelland)

Thursdays, 9:30am-12:00pm (Abhit Bhandari)

Room 704 IAB

Students should meet with the undergraduate adviser for help completing political science program planning forms. Planning forms may not be completed by faculty advisers. The Undergraduate Program Coordinator retains completed and signed planning forms so that students may return to meet with an adviser and update planning forms as needed.

The department's adviser can also answer questions about substantive issues including student research interests, internships, and post-college plans. The adviser is an especially good resource for information and advice about applying to graduate programs, selecting a thesis adviser in the department, and seeking research assistant positions.

The undergraduate advisers for the 2016-2017 academic year are Abhit Bhandari and Benjamin McClelland. You may reach them at polisciadvising@columbia.edu.

Requesting a Faculty Adviser
Students may also request a formal advising relationship with a member of the department's faculty. To request a faculty adviser, students should complete a Faculty Adviser Request Form during the first two weeks of the semester. Please remember that faculty availability may vary from time to time to accommodate sabbaticals and teaching schedules, so the department cannot guarantee the availability of specific professors in future semesters.

Students who have been assigned a faculty adviser may consult that adviser for academic planning and support but still must see one of the graduate student undergraduate advisers for course approval, planning form updates, and guidance regarding departmental requirements and regulations.

Undergraduate Program Coordinator
The undergraduate coordinator, Michael Gildin, organizes the administration of the undergraduate program. The coordinator is often the first point of contact for students who want more information about any aspect of the department's majors and concentrations. The coordinator organizes the undergraduate advising office schedule, publicizes internship and other opportunities, and can provide information about the department's honors program, prizes, and fellowships. Students should keep in mind that the Program Coordinator cannot approve courses to be applied toward the major (for that, please see an undergraduate adviser or the director of undergraduate studies). 

Director of Undergraduate Studies 
The director of undergraduate studies, Professor Andrew Nathan, oversees the undergraduate program. He is available during his office hours and by appointment. While students should first seek advising at the undergraduate advising office, the undergraduate advisers or undergraduate coordinator will refer students in exceptional situations to the director of undergraduate studies.

Economics-Political Science Adviser
Economics-Political Science majors may consult Professor Carlo Prato during his office hours and by appointment. Economics-Political Science majors should also consult an Undergraduate Adviser for program planning and planning form approval.

Political Science-Statistics Adviser
Political Science-Statistics majors may consult Professor Robert Shapiro during his office hours and by appointment. Political Science-Statistics majors should also consult an Undergraduate Adviser for program planning and planning form approval.

Faculty at-large
Students may contact any professor for academic advice during his or her office hours or by arrangement. Faculty members may provide advice about graduate schools, suggest sources for research, recommend specific courses or professors based on student interests, or offer information about research opportunities. However, any issues related to departmental regulations and requirements, major certification, course approvals, or transfer credit should be taken up at the Undergraduate Advising Office.