Undergraduate Advising

A variety of advising resources are available to undergraduate majors and concentrators.


Walk-In Advising Hours, Spring 2018

Mondays 4:00pm-6:30pm
Wednesdays 9:30am-12:00pm

704 International Affairs Building

The first walk-in advising hours session of the Spring 2018 semester will be held Wednesday, January 17 (9:30am-12:00pm).

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 Program Coordinator to maintain consistent communication and application of policy. 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.

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 undergraduate 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 2017-2018 academic year are and Benjamin McClelland and Viviana Rivera-Burgos. You may reach them at polisciadvising@columbia.edu.

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 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.

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 Program Coordinator will refer students in exceptional situations to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Michael Gildin, is often the first point of contact for students seeking information about any aspect of the department's majors and concentrations. The Coordinator can provide details about program requirements, seminar registration, and the honors program. 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). 

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.

Students may contact any professor for academic advice during his or her office hours or by appointment. Faculty members may provide advice about graduate school and careers, research, course selection, and other academic issues. However, any issues related to department regulations and requirements, major certification, course approvals, or transfer credit should be discussed with the Undergraduate Adviser.