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Academic Advising

Advising Newsletter

Click here to access the Fall 2019 Advising Newsletter!


Academic Advisement

Your academic advisor plays an important role in designing and realizing an enriching college experience that will prepare you for life’s opportunities and challenges. From experience and training, faculty members know of the best learning opportunities on- and off-campus, how to combine The College’s signature experiences into your program of study, and various rules and procedures of The College. Please meet with your assigned advisor roughly once a semester to discuss these issues, as well as current research in Political Science.


Preparing for an advising session

Prior to meeting with your assigned advisor, run your Academic Requirement Report on PAWS and come to your advisor with a written draft schedule for the semester, courses in your shopping cart and a plan for all of your remaining semesters at TCNJ. For guidance on how to prepare better for your advisement session and plan your academic career, see the “Advising” links on the School of Humanities &Social Sciences website.

Consider asking questions about issues beyond the semester, such adding an academic program or plans after graduation. Make a plan of what courses you would like to take in all of your remaining semesters at TCNJ, trying to work in enriching opportunities such as study abroad, the Washington Center, Moot Court, a second major, minors or internships. The most rewarding earning experiences require some planning.

When you place courses in your PAWS shopping cart, be sure to hit the validate button to make sure you have met all prerequisites. You should plan alternatives for major courses, liberal learning courses, and electives, so that you can register quickly. You are encouraged to run “What If” reports for concentrations, double majors, and minors you are thinking about adding.

Requirements for the major and minors are listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin, as is information about the courses, including descriptions and how they count toward field distribution requirements.

Recommended course sequences for first, second, third, and fourth year students also may be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin. POL 200 is a prerequisite for POL 390, which is a prerequisite for the senior seminar. Since better mathematical skills improve student performance in economics courses, ECO 102 and 102 require one of the following as a prerequisite: MAT 95, 96, 125, 127 or 128. Students seeking to graduate within four years are strongly advised to finish POL 200 before the end of their sophomore year and finish POL 390 before the end of their junior year.


Transfer credit, holds, and the Add/Drop deadline

Check and clear all holds on PAWS well in advance of your registration window. There are several different types of holds and some might require time to clear. Your advisor can lift only advising holds and only after you have prepared for and attended in person (not by email or phone) an advising meeting.

Make sure any and all transfer credit is on your PAWS unofficial transcript and transfer credit pages, as this will affect your registration window, course selection, and advice received. Do not miss your first available registration appointment window on PAWS, as you may be closed out of preferred courses.

Remember that the Add/Drop deadline comes quickly in the semester. After the deadline has passed, you can withdraw from a course but your transcript will show a grade of “W,” or a “WF” if you withdraw later in the semester. Even though you have withdrawn from a class, the unit still counts in your load for the semester. For more information on registration deadlines, see the Academic Calendar. Information on all TCNJ policies can be found in the “Policy Manual” on the Records and Registration website.


Overload requests

Overload requests to take more than 4.5 units must be submitted on the HSS Overload Application to the department chair, Dr. Bowen, and then in person to the Assistant Dean, Dr. Lisa Grimm. This application must be picked up from Mrs. Allen in the Political Science Department – it is not available online or through email. The application must include a brief narrative on why you seek an overload; the overload is a one-time option that requires a 3.3 GPA and a good reason. Allow time to schedule an appointment with for Dr. Rosa. See the “Advising” links on the School of Humanities &Social Sciences website for more information.


Special courses

The department offers several courses by special arrangement and special registration procedures need be followed. For Independent Study talk first to the faculty member you would like to work with or see the chair. For Internships, please see Dr.Potter. For Departmental Honors, study abroad or the TCNJ/Washington Center Program see Dr. Miriam Lowi. Enrollment in POL 399/Internship in Public Affairs looks good on your record and allows you to test career opportunities.