Department of Political Science
The University of Houston
447 Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall
Houston, TX 77204-3011
Tel: (713) 743-3890
Fax: (713) 743-3927
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I declare my major or minor? Answer
Please see an advisor in the department of the desired major. For POLS, you may go to room 382, 384, or 390 in PGH.
- Should I get a B.A. or a B.S.?
This is ultimately up to the student.
Take into account:
1. BA requires 6 hours of second year foreign language (usually means 10 hours of first year).
2. BS requires 12 hours of formal science (math or math reasoning) which is six hours over the core requirement.
3. BS requires 8 hours of natural science which is 2 hours over the core requirement.
- Do I need a minor?
You may choose between a minor, double major, or interdisciplinary studies cluster. Please see an advisor for more information.
- What can I minor in?
The Political Science department does not restrict students to certain minors. You may take any university approved minor. Please consult the Undergraduate Catalog.
- Where do I get a degree plan?
From the advising offices. These offices are rooms 382, 384, and 390 in PGH.
- When should I get a degree plan?
According to the Undergraduate catalog, you should apply for a degree plan as soon as you have finished 60 hours of course work. However, checklists are available on line and in our offices to make sure you are on the right track from start to finish.
- Do I need to take a foreign language?
If you are pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (BA), you must have 6 hours of sophomore foreign language (ie. 2301 and 2302). These classes generally have prerequisites, so be sure to check the catalog and/or schedule before registering. If you are pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BS), you are not required to have any foreign language.
- What is a formal science?
Formal sciences (as opposed to natural sciences) are sciences of concepts (as opposed to physical properties). Mathematics, computer science, formal logic, and statistics are formal sciences at the University of Houston. Formal science courses, for the BS degree, are the Math and Math/Reasoning core classes, plus continuations of those (i.e. Calculus II, Logic II, etc.). The explicit requirement is 12 hours of Formal science, 6 hours of which MUST BE IN MATH. Your core College Algebra and core Math/Reasoning cover 6 of the 12 hours, so you need 2 classes (six hours) beyond the core classes. Please see an advisor with any questions.
- What is "double counting"?
Double counting is when a certain course counts for two requirements. The extra hours, however, always must be made up with an elective.
- Can I finish my degree sooner by "double counting" classes?
It may seem so, but not really. You need a certain number of hours to graduate (120 for POLS) and it does not matter how you get there.
- Do POLS 1336 and 1337 count toward my major hours?
No, they do not count toward major hours, nor do they count toward the calculation of the major GPA.
- What happens if I do not pay my tuition bill on time and get dropped from my classes?
You will be dropped from your classes. By state law, you have until the 20th class day to pay your tuition. If you pay by the 20th class day, you will be reinstated. If you do not, you must submit a written reason for missing the deadline and add/drop form(s) from each class signed by your professors to the CLASS office in AH 320.
- How do I apply to graduate?
Applying for graduation is done through PeopleSoft
- How do I graduate with honors?
Please consult the Undergraduate Catalog online here.
- What are the GPA requirements for graduation?
You must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA in all your work at UH. For POLS majors and minors, you must have a 2.0 in all your major or minor coursework as well (average of all major or minor classes). Please check with your minor department for GPA requirements.
- What is a Graduation Application?
An application must be done through PeopleSoft.
- Where do I go to submit a petition?
Please submit all petitions to your major advisor. In the event the petition should go to another department, your advisor can route you correctly.
- How do I check the status of my petition?
Please check with your major advisor. The petition may originate anywhere, but it will always end up in your major advisor's office.
- Where does my petition go when it leaves my hands?
Once the petition is submitted to the POLS department, it will generally be signed by the academic advisor or the faculty advisor. It is then forwarded to the chairperson of the department to be signed. Once this is done, it is sent to the CLASS office for final approval or disapproval. If it is a core question, however, it will be forwarded to the Office of the Provost for approval and then it will come back to the major department of the student.
- When is the deadline for registration?
The particular deadlines may be found in the academic calendar.
- How do I register?
During priority and regular registration periods, students may register online here. Please consult the schedule for actual dates and times and the catalog for prerequisites. Between the end of the enrollment period and the 12th day of classes, students may only be registered by submitting ADD/DROP forms with the appropriate signatures to Academic Affairs AH 320.
- I am trying to register for a POLS class and it is full - what should I do?
Please see a Political Science undergraduate advisor. If you are trying to register for a full section of POLS 3311, 3313, or 3341, please bring proof that you are a graduating senior in the current semester. If you are not a current semester graduating senior, you will not be added.
- I have a CLEP, AP, TASP or other college test to take. Where should I go?
Please direct all testing questions to the Testing Center. You can also call 713-743-5444.
- Do I need to take the TASP?
Please contact the TASP office for information, room 320 of the Student Service Center, 713-743-8984 or go here.
The writing intensive component is not required in the evaluation of transfer classes for application to the core curriculum. Any core requirement satisfied by a transfer course is exempt from the writing intensive requirement, ie. if you transfer 6 hours of core social sciences, the writing intensive component is considered fulfilled.
This has to do with inaccuracies in the transfer tables and inconsistencies in the ways different universities structure their American government classes. This is usually not difficult to remedy. Please see your advisor for more information.
UH has a 30-hour residency requirement for a bachelor degree with the stipulation that the last 30 hours of the degree must be taken in residence. The Department of Political Science requires 15 hours in residence, 12 of which must be advanced for a POLS major, and at least 6 advanced hours for a POLS minor. In residence means classes taken at UH Central Campus.