Guide to Undergraduate Study in Political Science

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The Guide to Undergraduate Study

Emphasis Area Application

Independent Study Contract

Are you interested in American politics? International affairs? Critical issues such as health, the environment, civil rights? Theories concerning the ideal government and how power and resources are allocated in society? Do you want to study these subjects and pursue a career based on your interest? If so, you should consider studying political science.

According to the American Political Science Association (http://www.apsanet.org/content_9181.cfm):

Political science is the study of governments, public policies and political processes, systems, and political behavior. Political science subfields include political theory, political philosophy, political ideology, political economy, policy studies and analysis, comparative politics, international relations, and a host of related fields. Political scientists use both humanistic and scientific perspectives and tools and a variety of methodological approaches to examine the process, systems, and political dynamics of all countries and regions of the world.

The study of political science has value in several ways.

More than a minimum knowledge of the function of political systems ought to be acquired by those who expect to have jobs that will make them 'representatives' of the political system itself. Thus, anyone expecting to enter a career in business, teaching, civil service, the military, law enforcement, or law has some social responsibility to obtain an education in the nature of governmental processes.

Political science students gain a versatile set of skills that can be applied in a wide range of exciting careers in federal, state and local governments; law; business; international organizations; nonprofit associations and organizations; campaign management and polling; journalism; primary or secondary education; electoral politics; research and university and college teaching. Many political science majors acquire such specialized skills as polling, data analysis and political campaigning. More importantly, a political science degree provides general skills that employers in every field value: critical reading, information gathering and analysis, oral and written communication.

The knowledge and skills acquired through a degree in political science provide an excellent preparation for those who want to pursue further education. Because of the importance of policymaking and regulation in so many fields, political science complements advanced training in law, engineering, planning, journalism, science, public health and other professions. Many students, especially those interested in public service or work with non-governmental organizations, go on to graduate work at the Master of Arts level in political science. Ph.D programs in political science train teacher-scholars in the field. Students learn to conduct research at the professional level. Ph.D recipients work at universities and colleges as well as in governmental agencies, private research centers ("think tanks") and the corporate sector.

Requirements for a Major in Political Science

A. Fulfillment of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) requirements. In this connection, for all undergraduate degrees a student must complete four semesters of college level courses (or the equivalent) in a foreign language. All other CLAS General Education Program requirements must be equally satisfied.

B. A minimum of 33 semester hours of course work in political science must be completed for the major. The requirement includes the following:

  • POLI:1100 (030:001)  Introduction to American Politics

 Plus four of the following introductory courses:*

  • POLI:1001 (030:020) Introduction to Politics
  • POLI:1200 (030:050) Introduction to Political Behavior
  • POLI:1300 (030:030) Introduction to Political Thought & Political Action
  • POLI:1401 (030:041) Introduction to the Politics Russia & Eurasia
  • POLI:1403 (030:043) Introduction to Politics in the Muslim World
  • POLI:1405 (030:045) Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLI:1500 (030:060) Introduction to International Relations
  • POLI:1501 (030:061) Introduction to American Foreign Policy
  • POLI:1600 (030:070) Introduction to Political Communication
  • POLI:1601 (030:071) Introduction to Political Media
  • POLI:1602 (030:072) Introduction to Political Analysis

*Except for POLI:1100 (030:001)  all of these introductory courses may not be offered each semester, but we expect that each of them will be offered at least once each academic year.

Plus, eighteen or more semester hours of work in political science courses numbered 100 or above. At least twelve of the required 18 hours must be taken in regularly scheduled classroom work. Students who transfer from another college or university to the University of Iowa must take at least 12 of the 33 semester hours in Political Science at the University of Iowa.

NOTE: Credit for courses POLI:1000 (030:029)  First-Year Seminar and POLI:4900 (030:191) Government Internship may not be applied to the political science major or minor.

C. A Bachelor of Science degree requires the following additional courses:

  1. POLI:3000 (030:100)  Understanding Political Research, and
  2. POLI:4701 (030:193)  Undergraduate Research Tutorial OR POLI:4600 (030:185)  Honors Research Project, and
  3. completion of one of the three sets of three semesters of mathematics or statistics courses noted below, with a grade point of 2.00. The following sets of mathematics or statistics courses are approved:
  • MATH:1380 (22M:017) Calculus for Business [or MATH:1850 (22M:025) Calculus I or MATH:1550 (22M:031) Engineering Calculus]
  • STAT:4143 (22S:102) Intro to Stats [same as PSQF:5143 (7P:143) Intro to Stats]
  • STAT:6513 (22S:148) Interm. Stats [same as PSQF:6243 (7P:243) Interm. Stats]

        - OR -

  • MATH:1380 (22M:017) Calculus for Business [or MATH:1850 (22M:025) Calculus I or MATH:1550 (22M:031) Engineering Calculus]
  • STAT:1030 (22S:008) Stats for Business. Note: This course is not equivalent to Intro to Stats. It will not prepare you to take Intermediate Stats.
  • ECON:2800 (6E:071) Stats for Strategy

        - OR -

  • MATH:1850 (22M:025) Calculus I [or MATH:1550 (22M:031) Engineering Calculus]
  • MATH:1850 (22M:026) Calculus II [or MATH:1560 (22M:032) Engineering Calculus II]
  • STAT:5543 (22S:102) Intro to Stats [same as PSQF:5143 (7P:143) Intro to Stats]

Other sets of courses may be used with the written approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Course POLI:4702 (030:194)  Senior Research Project is recommended but not required.

You should declare your intent to pursue a B.S. degree as soon as possible so that this will be reflected on your progress reports.

NOTE: Required courses POLI:3000 (030:100), POLI:4701 (030:193) and recommended course POLI:4702 (030:194) will be counted toward the 18 s.h. 100-level course requirement.

D. A grade point average of at least 2.0 in all political science courses taken (including, in the case of transfer students, all political science courses taken at Iowa) and mathematics/statistics courses taken for the B.S. degree. Majors must take all courses in political science on a graded basis, and NOT on the basis of pass/non-pass grading.

E. Credits received while studying abroad through a University of Iowa Regents' Program are not considered transfer credits but in-residence credits.

F. The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences maximum hours rule permits students earning a BA or BS to apply no more than 50 s.h. from one department to the minimum 120 s.h. required for graduation, whether or not the course work is accepted toward major requirements. Students who earn more than 50 s.h. from one department may use the additional semester hours to satisfy major requirements (if the department accepts them), and the grades they earn become part of their grade-point average; however, they cannot apply the additional semester hours to the minimum 120 s.h. required for graduation.

General Education Requirements

Students may use approved courses from their major department to satisfy the General Education Requirements. Courses approved by the College are listed on the College's website:  http://clas.uiowa.edu/students/general-education-program-requirements

No More than Three Courses from One Department Students may use no more than three approved courses from any one department to satisfy the General Education requirements. Courses taken to satisfy the Foreign Language Requirement are excluded from this rule.

Honors in Political Science

The department has a program leading to a BA or a BS degree with honors. Entry into the program is open to students with an overall University of Iowa grade-point average of 3.33 and a minimum 3.33 GPA in political science. A GPA of 3.5 in political science must be maintained. To graduate with honors, a student must maintain an overall University of Iowa GPA of 3.33 and a minimum 3.5 GPA in political science. Students are encouraged to take honors sections of our introductory courses whenever available. Students also are encouraged to take upper-class Honors Seminars as often as possible, but the program requires only nine semester hours of upper-class honors coursework graded B or better.

Honors students must complete three courses:

1. POLI:4000 (030:180) Honors Seminar on the Study of Politics, preferably taken as a sophomore.

2. At least one additional honors seminar:

    POLI:4100  (030:181) Honors Seminar on American Politics,
    POLI:4300  (030:182) Honors Seminar on Political Theory,
    POLI:4400  (030:183) Honors Seminar on Comparative Politics, or
    POLI:4500  (030:184) Honors Seminar on International Politics

This requirement may be met by taking a 300-level course, with the consent of the instructor.

3. Either POLI:4600 (030:185) Honors Research Project or POLI:4601 (030:186) Honors Senior Thesis. Students taking POLI:4601 (30:186) must do so before the semester in which they graduate. Please note that students enrolling in POLI:4600 (030:185) or POLI:4601 (030:186) must receive the consent of the instructor.

Contact the department honors adviser for more information about honors in Political Science.

Oral Discussion of Honors Thesis: Those honors students choosing to write an honors thesis POLI:4601 (030:186) are required to schedule an oral discussion of their completed honors thesis, mainly to enrich the intellectual experience of its author. The author discusses the thesis with a faculty committee including the thesis director and the department’s honors director or a faculty member designated by that official. Together, the two may appoint more faculty. The committee may withhold approval of fundamentally inadequate theses, but directors are to schedule theses for discussion only when they are ready; and the discussion typically concentrates on exploring thesis ideas from several perspectives rather than whether to approve a thesis. Please see the Honors Program for additional information regarding the writing of an honors thesis: http://honors.uiowa.edu/research/theses/index.shtml

Independent Study Contract

Students can learn about politics outside their regularly scheduled classes - and receive academic credit for doing so. You just need to agree with a qualified member of the Political Science faculty on an appropriate project of study or research. The options and course numbers are explained below. The student and his or her faculty supervisor must complete and sign the form found below before they can enroll. Completing this agreement ahead of time helps you get the most possible from the experience. Once this form has been signed, you must submit a copy to the Department (in person or by mail to 341 Schaeffer Hall).  http://clas.uiowa.edu/files/clas/faculty/indepstudy_contract.pdf

Independent Study      The student learns about a political topic or question in depth by studying it under a faculty member's supervision but with substantial autonomy. You may have become interestsed in a topic during a regular course. By all means, contact the teacher of that course to discuss you doing an independent study project. The faculty member provides advice throughout the semester and assesses the finished product, typically a paper or other written report. The course numbered POLI:4700 (030:190), Independent Study, is appropriate for this.

Involvement with Faculty Research      Many students enjoy the opportunity to assist a faculty member on his or her research. This gives you a view of the political world based on testing rival theories or models with new information - the work that underlies the academic discipline of Political Science and for which Iowa's faculty members are internationally renowned. Usually, you will have already taken one or more courses from the faculty member you would like to work with. The course numbered POLI:4701, Research Tutorial, provides credit. If you are pursuing the Political Science major with honors, you sign up instead for POLI:4600, Honors Research Project.

Senior Thesis/Project      An excellent way to pull together the facets of what you have learned as a Political Science major is to complete a senior thesis. In addition to the learning you do, a senior thesis provides a valuable writing sample to share when applying for jobs or graduate school. A thesis should be deeper and more polished than papers completed for regular courses. Again, you may approach a faculty member with appropriate expertise, request his or her supervision, and explain: a) what question you would like to answer, b) how this relates to your prior coursework or experiences, and c) why you see the faculty member as able to help you. The relevant courses are POLI:4702, Senior Research Project, or POLI:4601, Senior Honors Thesis.

NOTE: Being involved in some practical aspect of politics - an internship - is another learning opportunity outside the classroom that the Department recommends. Contact the Pomerantz Career Center for information about internships available to UI students. Other internship opportunities are posted on the bulletin board outside of room 140 Schaeffer Hall. If you would like academic credit fo work connected to an internship, you do not use the Independent Study Form. Instead, go to http://clas.uiowa.edu/polisci/undergraduate/opportunities#intern  for more information.

Emphasis Areas in Political Science

Students may, if they wish, complete one or two emphasis areas while fulfilling the requirements for the BA or BS degree. Students who complete an emphasis area and request recognition from the Department of Political Science will have this noted on their transcript upon graduation. The notation will appear as follows on the transcript:

    BACHELOR OF ARTS (or SCIENCE) DEGREE
    CONFERRED (date)
    MAJOR/ POLITICAL SCIENCE
    (EMPHASIS IN—emphasis area is listed)

Emphasis areas are available in:

American Institutions, International Relations, Law and Politics, Identity Politics, Political Communication, Politics of Democratization, Politics of Developing Areas, Political Economy, Politics of Industrial Democracies, Political Processes, American Political Practice, and Political Theory.

An emphasis area consists of four political science courses chosen from the approved lists noted below. The exception is American Political Practice which requires four courses (12 hours) plus at least three semester hours of government or campaign internship work (see below). Though some courses appear on more than one list, students may not count a course toward more than one emphasis area. Courses approved as repeatable may be taken more than once for credit and may be applied to an emphasis area more than once. POLI:4600 (030:185) Honors Research Project, POLI:4601 (030:186) Honors Senior Thesis, and POLI:4700 (030:190) Independent Study may be applied toward an emphasis area, with approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

NOTE: For emphasis area applications, please click here.  You may print and submit the form to 341 SH or email a saved .pdf copy to polisci@uiowa.edu

Political Theory

  • POLI:1300 (030:030) Introduction to Political Thought and Political Action
  • POLI:3300 (030:133) Postmodern Political Theory
  • POLI:3302 (030:138) Current Political Theory
  • POLI:3303 (030:139) Political Issues
  • POLI:3304 (030:131) Global Justice
  • POLI:3305 (030:132) Modern Political Theory
  • POLI:3306 (030:134) Problems of Democracy
  • POLI:4300 (030:182) Honors Seminar on Political Theory

Politics of Developing Areas

  • POLI:1403 (030:043) Introduction to Politics in the Muslim World
  • POLI:1405 (030:045) Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLI:3407 (030:163) Chinese Foreign Policy
  • POLI:3408 (030:148) Government & Politics of China
  • POLI:3410 (030:146) African Development
  • POLI:3414 (030:143) Government and Politics of the Far East
  • POLI:3415 (030:144) Latin American Government
  • POLI:3418 (030:176) Governance in the Middle East
  • POLI:3419 (030:145) War in the Muslim World
  • POLI:3420 (030:102) Southeast Asia:  Democracy, Identity & Development
  • POLI:3421 (030:103) The Politics of Southern Africa
  • POLI:3422 (030:135) Transnational Issues & The Horn of Africa
  • POLI:3423 (030:105)  The Middle East: Policy and Diplomacy
  • POLI:3450 (030:149) Problems in Comparative Politics
  • POLI:3510 (030:173) State Failure in the Developing World
  • POLI:3514 (030:198) Regional Peace & Security
  • POLI:4400 (030:183) Honors Seminar on Comparative Politics

American Institutions

  • POLI:3100 (030:113 American State Politics
  • POLI:3102 (030:152) The Legislative Process
  • POLI:3108 (030:118) American Politcal Development
  • POLI:3109 (030:109) Election Reform
  • POLI:3110 (030:111) Local Politics
  • POLI:3112 (030:128) Direct Legislation
  • POLI:3116 (030:115) The Presidency
  • POLI:3117 (030:120) Public Administration and Bureaucratic Politics
  • POLI:3118 (030:125) Interest Groups
  • POLI:3119 (030:129) Policy Matters
  • POLI:3121 (030:153) The Judicial Process
  • POLI:3150 (030:119) Problems in American Politics
  • POLI:3201 (030:127) Political Campaigning
  • POLI:4100 (030:181) Honors Seminar on American Politics

International Relations

  • POLI:1500 (030:060) Introduction to International Relations
  • POLI:1501 (030:061) Introduction to American Foreign Policy
  • POLI:3407 (030:) Chinese Foreign Policy
  • POLI:3410 (030:146) Russian Foreign Policy
  • POLI:3500 (030:162) American Foreign Policies
  • POLI:3501 (030:161) International Organization & World Order
  • POLI:3502 (030:167) Politics & the Multinational Enterprise
  • POLI:3503 (030:168) Politics of Terrorism
  • POLI:3504 (030:177) Globalization
  • POLI:3505 (030:178) Cause, Consequences, Management Civil War
  • POLI:3506 (030:130) Consequences of War
  • POLI:3507 (030:160) Women & Politics in Global Perspective
  • POLI:3509 (030:155) International Courts: The Intersection of Law & Politics
  • POLI:3510 (030:173) State Failure in the Developing World
  • POLI:3511 (030:195) International Law
  • POLI:3512 (30:165) International Conflict
  • POLI:3513 (030:197) Politics of International Human Rights Law
  • POLI:3514 (030:198) Regional Peace and Security
  • POLI:3516 (030:170) The Politics of International Economics
  • POLI:3550 (030:169) Problems of International Politics
  • POLI:4500 (030:184) Honors Seminar on International Politics

Law and Politics

  • POLI:3101 (030:116) American Constitutional Law and Politics
  • POLI:3102 (030:152) The Legislative Process
  • POLI:3113 (030:106) Research in Judicial Politics
  • POLI:3120 (030:158) The Criminal Justice System
  • POLI:3121 (030:153) The Judicial Process
  • POLI:3509 (030:155) International Courts: The Intersection of Law & Politics
  • POLI:3511 (030:195) International Law
  • POLI:3513 (030:197) Politics of International Human Rights Law

Identity Politics

  • POLI:3104 (030:108) Latino Politics
  • POLI:3105 (030:112) Minority Representation in American Politics
  • POLI:3106 (030:114) Racism & Politics in the U.S.
  • POLI:3114 (030:107) Women & Politics in the United States
  • POLI:3406 (030:156) Ethnic & Religious Conflict in the Muslim World
  • POLI:3419 (030:145) War in the Muslim World
  • POLI:3507 (030:160) Women and Politics in Global Perspective
  • POLI:3508 (030:164) Race in World Politics

Political Communication

  • POLI:1600 (030:070) Introduction to Political Communication
  • POLI:2502 (030:166) Global Communication & Politics
  • POLI:3202 (030:154) Political Psychology
  • POLI:3204 (030:171) Public Opinion
  • POLI:3418 (030:175) Politics of Film
  • POLI:3600 (030:174) Multimedia Politics
  • POLI:3602 (030:199) New Media & Politics

Political Processes

  • POLI:1200 (030:050) Introduction to Political Behavior
  • POLI:3102 (030:152) The U.S. Congress
  • POLI:3104 (030:108) Immigration Politics
  • POLI:3105 (030:112) Minority Representation in American Politics
  • POLI:3106 (030:114) Racism & Politics in the U.S.
  • POLI:3109 (030:109) Election Reform
  • POLI:3111 (030:126) American Public Policy
  • POLI:3114 (030:107) Women & Politics in the United States
  • POLI:3121 (030:153) The Judicial Process
  • POLI:3200 (030:117) Political Decision Making
  • POLI:3202 (030:154) Political Psychology
  • POLI:3203 (030:157) Voting Behavior and Elections
  • POLI:3404 (030:150) Implementing Policies in Democratic Societies
  • POLI:3416 (030:171) Public Opinion
  • POLI:3417 (030:151) Political Leadership
  • POLI:3418 (030:176) Governance in the Middle East
  • POLI:3419 (030:145) War in the Muslim World
  • POLI:4100 (030:181) Honors Seminar on American Politics

Political Economy

  • POLI:3122 (030:121) Public Choice
  • POLI:3301 (030:136) Strategy in Politics
  • POLI:3400 (030:137) Introduction to Political Economy
  • POLI:3504 (030:177) Globalization
  • POLI:3516 (030:170) The Politics of International Economics

Politics of Industrial Democracies

  • POLI:1405 (030:041) Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLI:3102 (030:152) The Legislative Process
  • POLI:3401 (030:142) European Integration
  • POLI:3403 (030:147) Parties & Elections Around the World
  • POLI:3404 (030:150) Implementing Policies in Democratic Societies
  • POLI:3412 (030:140) Government and Politics of Europe
  • POLI:3416 (030:172) France in the 21st Century
  • POLI:3450 (030:149) Problems in Comparative Politics
  • POLI:4400 (030:183) Honors Seminar on Comparative Politics

Politics of Democratization

  • POLI:1401 (030:041) Introduction to the Politics of Russia & Eurasia
  • POLI:1403 (030:043) Introduction to Politics of the Muslim World
  • POLI:1405 (030:045) Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLI:3404 (030:150) Implementing Policies in Democratic Societies
  • POLI:3405 (030:159) Politics Under Authoritarian Rule
  • POLI:3413 (030:141) Russian/Post-Soviet Politics
  • POLI:3415 (030:144) Latin American Government
  • POLI:3419 (030:145)  War in the Muslim World
  • POLI:3420 (030:102) Southeast Asia:  Democracy, Identity & Development
  • POLI:3450 (030:149) Problems in Comparative Politics
  • POLI:4400 (030:183) Honors Seminar on Comparative Politics

American Political Practice

  • POLI:1600 (030:070) Introduction to Political Communication
  • POLI:3000 (030:100) Understanding Political Research
  • POLI:3109 (030:109) Election Reform
  • POLI:3110 (030:111) Local Politics
  • POLI:3117 (030:120) Public Administration and Bureaucratic Politics
  • POLI:3118 (030:125) Interest Groups
  • POLI:3122 (030:121) Public Choice
  • POLI:3201 (030:127) Political Campaigning
  • POLI:3204 (030:171) Public Opinion
  • POLI:3417 (030:151) Political Leadership
  • POLI:3600 (030:174) Multimedia Politics

For the emphasis area in American Political Practice, students also must complete at least three semester hours of government or campaign internship work. These hours must be taken from POLI:4900 (030:191) Government Internship or other appropriate course numbers [e.g., POLI:4600 (030:185), POLI:4700 (030:190) or POLI:4701 (030:193)].

NOTE: Credits taken under POLI:4900 (030:191) are graded on a S/F basis and do not count toward the credits for the political science major requirements, but do count in the 50 hour major maximum of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

The Minor in Political Science

To receive a minor in political science, you must complete 15 semester hours in political science courses. Twelve of the 15 must be at the 100-level. A grade point average of 2.00 is required. Twelve of the fifteen hours must be taken at the University of Iowa. Credit by examination is not accepted. No courses taken pass/non-pass will be accepted toward the minor. Credit in courses POLI:1000 (030:029)  First-Year Seminar and POLI:4900 (030:191)  Government Internship cannot be applied to the minor. Credits received while studying abroad through a University of Iowa Regents' Program are not considered transfer credits but in-residence credits. Students may complete an emphasis area in the minor (see the preceding section on "Emphasis Areas in Political Science"). If you choose to do this, you must request a letter from the department noting that you have completed an emphasis area (an emphasis area is only noted on your transcript for the major).

The Advising System

All first-year students, including those who have declared a major, are advised at the Academic Advising Center, located in the Pomerantz Center.

Starting from the second year, or once you declare Political Science as a major, you are assigned a member of the department's faculty as your advisor. You will be asked to indicate if you have a preference for the advisor, although your choice may not be available. In addition, a professional staff advisor is available to Political Science majors. The professional staff advisor for the Political Science Department is Martha Kirby. Her office is located in 344 Schaeffer Hall and you may email her with questions at martha-kirby@uiowa.edu, call to set up an appointment at 319-335-2347, or stop by her drop-in hours. You may contact the professional advisor for help with registration or progress toward your degree, to get an advisor signature, to approve study abroad courses for major credit and other functions. Your faculty advisor can also assist with these matters as well as the field of politics, careers for political science majors, graduate studies and other topics. The Department encourages all majors to meet with their faculty advisors or Martha Kirby before registering for classes. It requires all majors with GPAs below 2.30 to do so. This enables advisors to help students improve their efforts. If you are unsure who your advisor is or want a new one, please contact the Department (319-335-2358).

In addition to the formal advisor-advisee relationship, you will find that every member of the Political Science faculty is more than happy to discuss aspects of individual courses with you, during office hours, or at any other time if he or she is not busy. We encourage students to take advantage of the Department's advising resources.

Students with Disabilities

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, instructors must make reasonable accommodations for students with physical, mental or learning disabilities. The following policies apply to all instructors and students in the College of Liberal Arts. Students with disabilities which may require some modification of seating, testing, or other class requirements are to inform the instructor (after class or during the instructor's office hours) so that appropriate arrangements may be made.

It is the student's responsibility to contact Student Disability Services, 133 Burge Hall (335-1462) and obtain a Student Academic Accommodation Request form (SAAR). The form will specify what course accommodations are judged reasonable for that student. An instructor who cannot provide the accommodations specified, or has concerns about the accommodations, must contact the Student Disability Services counselor who signed the request form within 48 hours of receiving the form from the student.

Departmental/Collegiate Complaint Procedures

A student who has a complaint against any member of the college's teaching staff is responsible for following the procedures described below. Complaints may concern inappropriate faculty conduct (including inappropriate course materials), incompetence in oral communication, inequities in assignments, scheduling of examinations at other than authorized and published times, failure to provide disability accommodations, or grading grievances. In complaints involving the assignment of grades, it is college policy that grades cannot be changed without the permission of the department concerned.

  • The student should ordinarily try to resolve the matter with the instructor first.
  • If the complaint is not resolved to the student's satisfaction, the student should discuss the matter further with the course supervisor (if the instructor is a teaching assistant), or the departmental executive officer (an appointment may be scheduled in the Political Science departmental office in 341 Schaeffer Hall, 335-2358).
  • If the matter remains unresolved, the student may submit a written complaint to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Liberal Arts Academic Programs Office, 120 Schaeffer Hall (335-2633). The associate dean for academic programs will attempt to resolve the complaint and, if necessary, may convene a special committee to recommend appropriate action. He will respond to the student in writing regarding the disposition of the complaint.
  • If the complaint cannot be resolved through the mechanisms described above, the student may file a formal complaint, which will be handled under the procedures established for dealing with alleged violations of the statement on professional ethics and academic responsibility—a description of these procedures may be obtained in the Office of Academic Programs, 120 Schaeffer Hall (335-2633). If a complaint at the departmental or college level involving reasonable academic accommodations for students with disabilities cannot be resolved through the mechanisms described above, students may consult the Office of Affirmative Action.

Plagiarism and Cheating

An instructor who suspects a student of plagiarism or cheating must inform the student (preferably in writing) as soon as possible after the incident has been observed or discovered. Instructors who detect cheating or plagiarism may decide, in consultation with the departmental executive officer, to reduce the student's grade on the assignment or in the course, even to assign an F. The instructor writes an account of the chronology of the plagiarism or cheating incident for the departmental executive officer who sends an endorsement of the written report of the case to Associate Dean, Liberal Arts Academic Programs. A copy of the report must be sent to the student.

The Associate Dean may uphold, as the offense warrants, the following or other penalties: 1) First offense: disciplinary probation until graduation. 2) Second offense: recommendation to the Dean of the College that the student be suspended from the college for a semester or longer. 3) Third offense: recommendation to the president of the University that the student be expelled from the University. If a student believes that the finding of plagiarism or cheating is in error or the penalty unjust, the student will be encouraged to arrange a meeting with the instructor and the departmental administration to present a response. If the student is dissatisfied with the result of this meeting, he or she may request a hearing by writing to the associate dean for academic programs, who may refer the matter to the Ad Hoc Committee on Student Academic Conduct for review. If the student is not satisfied with the results of the hearing, he or she may request a review by the Dean of the College.