Selecting a Major Advisor

You select a major advisor when you declare a major in Political Science – or a double or combined major – usually in the second semester of your sophomore year, or any time thereafter. Please note that the functions of major advisor and senior seminar advisor differ:

  • Your major advisor is the professor with whom you plan the courses you will take according to your interests in order to fulfill the requirements for the College and the major. You have a major advisor from the moment you declare your major until you graduate, including during any semester of study abroad, though it need not be one and the same person;
  • Your senior essay sponsor or thesis sponsor, is the professor who leads your third and final colloquium and who guides you through the process of writing the senior essay, also called senior thesis.  Therefore, in the fall semester of your senior year, you have both a senior thesis advisor and a major advisor, preferably not one and the same person.

To select your major advisor, please do the following:

Obtain the Major Declaration Form from the Registrar's web site or office, 107 Milbank Hall.

Check the list below of Political Science Faculty who are accepting advisees. Some faculty members may have their quota filled already. If your first-year advisor is a political science professor, you may ask her or him to continue as your major advisor.

Introduce yourself to the faculty member who you would like to have as your advisor (either during office hours or by making an appointment) and obtain her or his signature on the Major Declaration Form. Note: Your major advisor can sign for the Political Science Department Chair, even though the Chair's signature is requested on the Registrar's form; you do *not* need the Chair's signature when you declare a political science major. Please return the completed form to the Registrar's Office.

Due date:

Take the steps above by the Major Declaration deadline, typically March 1. To be certain, please check the Registrar's calendar.

Changing an Advisor:

You may change your advisor at any time by submitting this form to the Registrar's Office.

When Your Major Advisor Goes on Leave . . . .

When your major advisor goes on research leave, or is otherwise unavailable in the coming semester, she or he will inform you beforehand. Note: It is *your* responsibility to change your advisor in time for the next semester's registration period, by following the steps above. You may ask to switch back to your original major advisor when she or he becomes available again.

Due date:

Ideally immediately after getting your program for next semester signed by your current advisor, but in any case at least two weeks prior to program-filing for the following semester.

Available Major Advisors (February 2019):

The following professors are available now:

Michelle-Renée Smith, Political Theory

Sheri Berman, Comparative Politics

Katherine Krimmel, American Politics

Michael G. Miller, American Politics

Ayten Gundogdu, Political Theory

Kimberly Marten, International Relations

Information on research leaves is on the faculty index page.

Faculty not currently available:

Alexander Cooley, International Relations

Xiaobo Lu, Comparative Politics

Eduardo Moncada, Comparative Politics

Séverine Autesserre, International Relations



The Cueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas, Patagonia, Argentina
Updated February 4 by Madeleine Lloyd-Davies