College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Department Policies

Ongoing Advising Policies

Department Advisors

Each Political Science major is assigned a full-time faculty member as his or her advisor. To find the name of your advisor, log in to BroncoDirect and click on "Student Center" on the left side of your screen. After landing on the Student Center, your advisor's name should then be listed in a box on the right side of your screen under "Program Advisor." If you need to be assigned an advisor, email

University Resources

The university runs its own advising website with some helpful links and resources. Additionally, CLASS has four professional academic advisors on staff, led by the coordinator, Annette Mastin ( Students can go directly to the CLASS Student Success Center (5-228) or visit their website.

Yearly Advising Appointments

Every major must meet with their faculty advisor once a year on a schedule determined by students' last names. Our department automatically places advising holds on your BroncoDirect account once a year. Students cannot register for classes until their advisor has cleared their advising hold. Students are responsible for e-mailing your advisor to schedule an appointment when an advising hold is applied. Students with a Cal Poly Pomona GPA under 2.2 is subject to at-risk advising every semesterr. These students must meet with Dr. Hargis ( to register for courses.  

Advising Holds for the 2019-2020 Academic Year 

Last Name Begins With Next Advising Hold is in... Date Hold Applied Registration Begins
A through M Fall Semester 2019 October 5, 2019 October 9, 2019
N through Z Spring Semester 2020 April 2020 April 2020

Advising Meetings

Advising serves a couple of purposes. One is to assist students with course selection. A second is to provide career advice to students who may be wondering "what to do" with their political science degree.
Before meeting with your advisor, you should review your Degree Progress Report (DPR) in BroncoDirect to see how the coursework you have already completed fits into your overall program of study. The Registrar provides this helpful tutorial to help you read your DPR. You should also have reviewed potential course offerings for the next quarter. Most advisors will meet with advisees during their office hours. If those hours conflict with your class or work schedule, contact your advisor by e-mail to set up an alternate time.

Selection of the Outstanding Graduating Senior In Political Science (Policy Adopted May 22, 1998)

The political science major with the highest grade point average for "all college work" at the end of the Winter Quarter will be designated as the Outstanding Graduating Senior.

The pool of eligible students shall consist of all political science majors listed as "candidates for graduation" for the Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters since the previous graduation ceremony.

Department Operations

Advisement (Policy Adopted February 26, 1991)

I. The Department of Political Science embraces the concepts that, beyond being a means to proper and efficient registration for course work, advisement can be an important part of undergraduate education; and that effective advisement serves the Department's interests in a variety of ways, including the recruitment and retention of able students.

II. The Department recognizes that students' advising needs and their accessibility to substantial advisement vary considerably, as do faculty members' ability and willingness to commit time and talent to advisement. Nevertheless, the Department has chosen to place greater emphasis upon-and commit more resources to--academic advisement broadly conceived. This commitment entails an expectation that each faculty member will undertake to provide substantial, on-going academic advisement to every student designated his or her advisee. This expectation alters the status quo, and runs counter to much informal socialization received by students currently in the Department. Thus, many students need to be encouraged to adopt higher expectations of academic advisement, and to commit more of their own time and energy to the process.

To facilitate these commitments, the Department adopts the following specific policies:

  1. Advisement responsibilities shall be shared equally among members of the Department.
  2. All students under the Department's care be assigned to a specific advisor, who, except in extraordinary circumstances, must be consulted prior to obtaining a permit to register or filing any form ordinarily requiring an advisor's signature. Accommodation will be made for students' legitimate schedule restraints.
  3. All new students shall have an initial advisement session with a designated NewStudent Advisor.
  4. All students with negative GPAs shall be assigned to a designated At-Risk Advisor for as long as the condition persists.
  5. Students currently in the Department (not including those currently at-risk) shall be given a chance to express a preference for an academic advisor, subject to fair-distribution limitations. Students not expressing a preference and new students will be assigned to an advisor so as to maintain a fair distribution of advisees. Students shall be able to change advisors, subject only to 'load' limitations.
  6. The Department shall actively promote group advisement/extra-curricular learning in matters like career planning, intellectual growth, liberal education, and placement strategies. Department members should be encouraged to participate in training and up-date sessions for Advisors.
  7. An Advisement Coordinator shall be appointed to monitor the clerical tasks of maintaining the advisement system, to schedule or announce out-of-class group learning opportunities (for advisors as well as advisees), to assure the timely gathering and distribution of whatever information the Department deems appropriate for general distribution through advisement (such as curricular changes on campus or within the Department).
  8. Consultation should occur with other Departments, Schools, and Programs to facilitate the earliest transfer of advisement responsibility for outbound students. Initially at least, this may need to be official Departmental consultation to overcome a backlog and disrupt institutional inertia.
  9. The Department shall consider what information about advisement it would like to gather routinely from students, and institute procedures to gather this data.

PLS Majors Listserv (Policy Adopted February 18, 2003)

The PLS MAJORS listserv is for the purpose of making announcements of general interest (e.g., regarding upcoming events or opportunities) to political science majors. The announcements may come form faculty, staff, the Political Science Club officers, other PLS majors, or others wishing to share relevant information. The listserv will also be used to inform students of departmental policies that might affect majors.

The listserv is not a discussion forum. It is not anticipated that persons receiving the listserv will need to respond generally to the entire list about any issue put forward. Of course, many of the announcements will have a contact person for further information, but the response should be made privately to the contact and not to the whole list. The listserv is not a place to sell merchandise, ask general questions, post jokes, or advocate particular positions.


Credit by Examination ("Challenge Exams") (Policy Adopted May 14, 2003)

Each person seeking credit by examination for any political science course will be assessed by the department as a whole as to his/her eligibility for earning credit this way. If the department approves (by majority vote) the application for credit by examination, one of the faculty members competent in the area to be examined shall assume responsibility for conducting and grading the test. In the event that the examination is for someone outside of the political science major, the test is given on a Credit/No Credit basis. A minimum score of 75% must be earned in order to receive credit. If the credit is being sought for PLS 201, the student shall take the current California Government exam plus an examination on American Government designed by the instructor given the assignment. If the exam is being taken for credit in the political science major, a letter grade will be given by the examining instructor, except that no score lower than 75% will earn a passing letter grade.

Readmission (Undergraduates) (Policy Adopted May 7, 2002)

Desiring to maintain the highest academic standards, the department adopts the following policy with regard to students requesting readmission to the university as political science majors.

  1. The department will approve the readmission applications of all students with an Overall GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  2. Applications from non-political science majors with an Overall GPA of less than 2.0 will not be approved; such students will be encouraged to apply for readmission through their previous major.
  3. The department will approve the readmission applications of political science majors with an Overall GPA of less than 2.0 if those students had not left the university subsequent to being disqualified.
  4. Readmission applications from students who had left after having been disqualified will be dealt with using the same criteria described in the department's "Policy on Reinstatement of Academically Disqualified Students."
  5. Exceptions to these policies will be made only with the approval of a committee composed of the department chair, a department "at risk" advisor, and a tenured or tenure-track faculty.

Reinstatement of Academically Disqualified Students (Undergraduate) (Policy Adopted May 7, 2002)

  1. Political science majors who are academically disqualified for failure to meet the university's minimum scholarship requirements and who wish to be reinstated must file a Petition for Academic Reinstatement.
  2. All petitions for reinstatement will be forwarded by the chair to a department "at-risk" advisor for his/her recommendation.
  3. All political science majors filing a Petition for Academic Reinstatement must enter into a written contract with the "at-risk" advisor. At a minimum, the contract will: a. explain how the student intends to remove his or her academic deficiencies; b. specify the advisor-approved baccalaureate level units to be completed at Cal Poly Pomona necessary to moving the student from the disqualification category c. specify a deadline by which the student will regain good academic standing; d. stipulate the maximum number of units that the student may enroll in each quarter until the student's Cal Poly cumulative GPA is 2.0 or better; and e. establish the maximum number of hours the student may be employed outside of the university.
  4. The department will approve Petitions for Academic Reinstatement on the first instance of disqualification. Once a student has been reinstated, the department will approve the student's continued enrollment as long as (s)he is meeting the terms of his or her contract and is making satisfactory progress toward removal of the disqualification.
  5. If a student has failed to meet the conditions specified in section 4, Petitions for Academic Reinstatement will be evaluated on an individual basis by a committee composed of the chair, a department "at-risk" advisor other than the student's advisor, and a tenured or tenure-track faculty member. The committee will consult with the student's at-risk advisor. Requests will be approved only when there is substantial evidence that the student's circumstances are significantly more conducive to academic success.

Transfer of Students With a Negative GPA (<2.0) Into The Major (Policy Adopted June 1, 1993)

Desiring to maintain the highest academic standards, the department adopts the following policy with regard to students wishing to transfer into political science from another university major:

  1. The department will accept into the political science major only those students whose overall cumulative GPA and whose Cal Poly Pomona cumulative GPA is 2.0 or better.
  2. Exceptions to this policy will be made only with the concurrent approval of the department chair and the "at risk" advisor.