appointments + FAQs + 
career info


>>How do I make an appointment for undergraduate advising?

You can now schedule your advising appointment online.  All appointments must be made at least 24 hours and no more than two weeks in advance.  If you need to cancel or change an appointment, you can do so by going back to the site.  As a courtesy, we ask that any changes or cancellations be made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled appointment.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Wright, go to:

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cabrera Rasmussen, go to:

>>When should I come in for advising for my political science major?

[The following response should only be taken as general and informal advice.  Your own specific situation may of course vary.  When any university or department rule is mentioned, please refer to official published university and department regulations to ensure you are in compliance with the complete and current policy.]

The university requires major advising for students during the spring semester of their first year at CSULB.  Information will be sent to you about this requirement.  It is your responsibility to then schedule an appointment or attend a group advising session here in the department.

Advising is highly suggested for students who wish to file for graduation.  While you can review your own progress toward graduation on MyCSULB, you should meet with a departmental undergraduate advisor to verify that the courses you have taken and those you propose to take fulfill the requirements for the political science major.  Students who plan to graduate at the end of the spring semester or during the summer must usually file their request to graduate with the university by the preceding October 15.  Those who plan to graduate at the end of the fall semester must usually file the request by the preceding March 1.   Check the enrollment services website section on graduation for current deadlines.

In between these times, advising is not currently required for most students.  However, students are welcome to come in for advising for reasons including, but not limited to, the following:

    - to help assess progress toward meeting your political science major requirements

    - upon transfer into CSULB from a community college or other institution

    - for discussion of career or academic paths after graduation, etc. (see additional FAQs below)

If you need advising for general education requirements, you should go see an advisor at the University Center for Undergraduate Advising or ask one of the department advisors for a referral to the College of Liberal Arts advising.  Go to the UCUA website for information on how to make an appointment or attend a workshop.  Or review the CLA advising information on their website.

>>What should I do before I come to a meeting with a
    political science advisor?

You should log into MyCSULB to reacquaint yourself with the courses you have taken so far toward your political science requirements, making note of any questions you may have.  You should also look over and update any worksheets or information sheets that you may have received at an earlier advising appointment.  Bring these materials and any questions that you may have with you to the meeting to make the most of your time with an advisor.

>>What is the practicum requirement? 

Effective fall 2007, all majors in the department must include as part of their coursework three units of a practicum.  A practicum is a course which requires you to apply what you have been learning in your classes to the real-world in significant ways.  In political science, this can be achieved by taking one of the following courses:

    - POSC 378:  Politics and Practice of the UN

    - POSC 401:  Women in Political Theory  (beginning Fall 2009)

    - POSC 417:  Legal Practices: Moot Court

    - POSC 418:  Legal/Judicial Internship

    - POSC 447:  Public Service Internship I

    - POSC 448:  Public Service Internship II

    - POSC 450:  Comparative Political Movements

    - POSC 496:  Washington Center Internship

    - POSC 498:  Practicum in Politics

These courses vary in terms of the procedures to be enrolled or accepted into the course as well as the duties they require of students.  For example, for POSC 378, it is suggested that students take international politics courses to best prepare themselves.  Similarly, for POSC 417 and 418, students are encouraged to take public law and speech communications courses and must apply to be accepted into each program.  For POSC 447/448, students should read the information on internships on the department website and meet with the internship advisor to discuss the terms of receiving course credit for internships.   Other practicum options may also have suggested coursework or application requirements.  Please check with an advisor or the faculty member in charge of the course for more information.  The department website and the schedule of classes have current faculty information available for you.

>>Where can I get information about registration deadlines, general
    education courses, how to use MyCSULB, and graduation procedures?

Enrollment services has set up a one-stop website that includes all of this information and more.   You can also go to the University Center for Undergraduate Advising’s website to make an appointment to talk to someone in person or attend a workshop.  The College of Liberal Arts also has a detailed website with much of this information included.

>>When I look at my degree progress on MyCSULB, many of my political science courses don’t seem to be counting toward my major requirements.  Why is this happening?

[The following response should only be taken as general and informal advice.  Your own specific situation may of course vary.  When any university or department rule is mentioned, please refer to official published university and department regulations to ensure you are in compliance with the complete and current policy.]

MyCSULB always correctly places your general education courses into your degree progress report.  However, because there is a great deal of flexibility in the political science major, MyCSULB does not always “know” where to assign all of your various courses that you take to complete your major requirements.  In most cases, only the courses that are required of all political science majors-- POSC 100 and POSC 300-- will be placed correctly into your degree progress report.  However, this does not mean that you are not making progress toward completing the major.  If you scroll down to the very bottom of your degree progress report, you should see a list of these additional courses that have yet to be assigned.  In order for these courses to be categorized correctly, you must declare your concentration within the major.  When you are ready to do so, contact the main department office or come in to see an advisor and we will let the university know what your concentration is.  Once this is done, you should see the courses move up to be slotted into the appropriate categories.  Because of this issue, if you have not declared your concentration yet, you should be sure to keep track of your progress on your own using one of the major requirement worksheets available in the department office.  This will help to ensure that you take the classes that you need.  And of course, come in to see an advisor if you have additional questions.

>>I know my past grades and grade point average, but I want to
   calculate my GPA to include the grades I expect to receive this
   semester.  How can I do this?

Borrow the GPA calculator on the CSU Fresno Academic Advising website to input your grades and it will do the calculation for you.

>>What can you do with a political science degree?  What types of careers have alumni of the department gone on to do after they graduate?

Graduates with political science degrees are often highly valued by employers because of their detailed knowledge of the political system and its various political actors as well as their analytical and writing skills. 

Some of the top careers for political science students include:

    - Public service at the local, state or national level

    - Working for a non-profit, advocacy, activist, or interest group

    - Public policy research and analysis

    - Work in political campaigns, election polling, and journalism

    - Teaching at the K-12 level

    - The legal profession

Click here to see a set of profiles of our successful graduates to get a sense of the careers our former students have gone on to pursue!

>>Where can I find information about job possibilities once I graduate?

The following sites contain links to advice and information about careers for students of political science.  Many links contain searchable databases of current job openings.

  General career information for political science:

     CSULB’s Career Development Center (CDC) has two specific sites for political science students:

     The CSULB CDC also holds a series of job fairs and practical workshops for student job-seekers
     of all sorts, including resume writing, searching for jobs online, networking skills, interviewing
     preparation, and more.

     The American Political Science Association’s (APSA) student website

     APSA site with links for jobs in POSC

  Government job websites:

     Federal government jobs:

     Fed. Government jobs targeted at students:

     State of California jobs:

  Advocacy and interest group job sites:

     Idealist’s free guide for first time job seekers/ recent college graduates:

>>I am curious about graduate school in political science.  What options
   are there for me to pursue?  What should I be doing to increase my
   chances of acceptance?

Students have several options to continue their education after they receive their bachelor of arts degree in political science, including masters and doctoral degrees in political science, as well as professional degrees in specialized areas such as international relations.

Students who are interested in pursuing such options must of course work hard to ensure that they do very well in their courses to build a strong undergraduate academic record.  But there are a great deal of additional factors to consider when deciding whether or how to apply.  Students who are interested in pursuing graduate education are highly encouraged to attend annual information sessions held by the Political Science Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) and the political science department.  Topics covered include the realities of getting a Ph.D. in political science and guidance concerning the graduate school application process, including information about the GRE, statement of purpose, and more.  Keep an eye out during the fall semester for announcements of the dates when the sessions will be held. 

The CSULB Career Development Center holds a series of workshops on the graduate school admissions process including how to write a personal statement for one’s application.  See their website for a full list of workshops.

The American Political Science Association website has a variety of resources for students pursuing graduate degrees, including links to information on different programs. 

The University of California Riverside political science department website has a concise FAQ section that provides some great basic information that can help you to decide if graduate school is for you and to get a realistic sense of what you need to do to make yourself competitive for admission to a graduate program.