Faculty Advising

Faculty advisors can help you with questions related to courses inside the department, concentrations, senior projects, internships, post-graduation plans and several other topics.

Each student should be emailed their advisor’s name and contact information during the first week of their first fall quarter at Cal Poly. Until you are ready to declare a concentration, you can and should feel free to talk with them. Once you are ready to declare a concentration, please contact the appropriate advisor below to declare your concentration and discussion curricular choices.

In order to declare your concentration or minor virtually, please email the advisor below and they will send you a link to the Agreement Form. After you fill out the student portion of the Concentration Statement or Minor Form it will automatically be routed to the Concentration/Minor advisors for signature and then on to the Department Chair, Dr. Helene Shanruo Ning Zhang. 

Minor Advisors

Global Politics

Craig Arceneaux

Law & Society

Ron Den Otter

Political Science

Matt Moore




Concentration Advisors

U.S. Politics

Michael Latner

Global Politics

Anika Leithner


Ron Den Otter


Jean Williams



Declaring a Concentration:

You declare your concentration by emailing the faculty advisor. In order to complete the concentration form you will need to determine what courses you hope to use to fulfill the advisor approved electives within the concentration. These usually need to be upper division courses that will further your understanding of the concentration focus. Bring your proposed course choices to your academic advisor when you plan to initiate your concentration form. It is not necessary to declare your concentration in order to begin taking the specified concentration courses. You may begin taking concentration courses as soon as you have the prerequisites that the courses require.

Declaring a Minor:

If you are doing a minor you will need to email the faculty advisor for the minor you are interested in. They will email you a link to initiate the minor form. This process should be initiated early enough to plan appropriately, as all minor courses must be completed before the completion of your major.

Graduation Writing Requirement

The University requires ALL students to take the Writing Proficiency Examination (WPE) to fulfill the Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) before being awarded their undergraduate degree. Do not take the test until you have reached junior status (completion of 90 quarter units). If you mistakenly take the test before completing 90 units you will not receive credit and you will have to retake the test. Many students coming from junior colleges think they have met all their writing requirements — THIS IS NOT SO. Even as a transfer student you must take this test. If you are concerned that you may have difficulty passing the writing exam contact the University Writing Lab for help.

Change of Major


Contact Associate Chair, Professor Jennifer Denbow, to begin the process.

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