Declaring A Major?
Department of Political Science
Where to go
So...you want to declare Political Science as a major? In order to do that, you need to see one of the advisors in the Political Science department (Rogers-Stout Hall). However, before you do that, please look at the following pages:
Requirements for a Political Science Major.
Advisement: Political Science Majors and Minors
Some things to think about.
Why are you declaring a Political Science major?
Choosing a major for your college career is an important decision. While you are free to change your major as often as you like, there comes a point when, if you wish to graduate in a reasonable timeframe, you must ultimately decide on a major and stick with it. Since you are going to be devoting your time (a minimum of 36 hours in Political Science) and your money to a major, changing majors needs to be a well-considered decision, not something done on the spur of the moment.
What do you wish to do when you graduate?
Your choice of a major should be the preparation for your later career. Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the academic profession, law school, government service, civil service at the state or local level, and so forth. We will soon be posting a FAQ with more detailed information.
Do you wish to teach at the College or University level?
If so, you will need to continue on beyond the BA/BS level, as a bachelor's degree is insufficient to teach at this level. In order to teach at the two-year college level, a minimum requirement is usually a Masters degree. In order to teach at the four-year college (with the exception of some private colleges where an MA is sufficient) or at the university level a Ph.D. is required. You will need to indicate to your advisor that this is your intention, so that proper advisement can occur, in order to prepare you for application to post-graduate programs.
In order to complete a MA degree, about two years as a full-time student is usually required, although this may vary from school to school. A Ph.D. will usually require a minimum of about five years to complete, and may take more, depending on the field which the student is interested in pursuing. It is not uncommon for such a program to take eight to ten years. If you interested in pursuing a Ph.D., you need to discuss this with your advisor.
Do you wish to be lawyer or work for the government as some level?
If so, these occupations usually require a specialized degrees and/or some sort of testing. You will need to complete a BA/BS at ETSU and then transfer to an institution with such a program. If you are interested in pursuing such a career, you need to discuss this with your advisor.
Do you wish to teach at the Secondary level?
If so, you need to bear in mind that you need to meet the Certification Standards as required by the State of Tennessee (if you wish to teach in Tennessee). You may find a copy of those requirements at the following link: Political Science Education Requirements. You need to bear in mind, that simply meeting certification requirements will not be sufficient to graduate from ETSU. You must meet institutional requirements for graduation, as well as certification requirements, which are state regulations. and not institutional requirements. If you wish to consider certification at the secondary level in Political Science, you need to, (1) see Professor Mel Page, 209 Rogers-Stout Hall (or Prof. Burgess, 107, if Dr. Page is unavailable), and (2) the Department of Curriculum and Instruction for specific advisement on secondary-level certification.
What about a Minor?
You need a minor, as well as a major, in order to graduate. Your minor should be something which will complement your major and work positively toward your future goals. If you are going to declare a Political Science major, then what would also further your future goals? You should discuss your minor with your advisor.
Okay. I've thought about all of this. Now what?
Please come by the department and make an appointment with one of our faculty members to discuss a change of major. Be sure to bring any information which you believe will be relevant to your choice and which will help us to better advise you.