Frequently Asked Questions

globe and book

Political Science FAQs


You have an assigned academic advisor in each declared academic major(s) and/or minor(s). Your assigned Political Science (PS) advisor and faculty mentor will be listed in the Student Center in MyPack under “Advisor” (on the right side of the page) and on your degree audit.

Your PS academic advisor is available to:

 Explain university policies and procedures

 Provide an overview of major curriculum and minor options

 Guide you in developing academic  goals

 Help you work through academic issues

 Release your term advising hold

Your faculty mentor is available to discuss any substantive questions you may have concerning political science, including but not limited to:

 Learning more about the discipline

 Researching opportunities

 Deciding whether and when to pursue internship and study abroad opportunities

 Post-graduate plans

We encourage you to call or email your assigned advisor to determine their availability.

In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students must initiate and assign Parent/Guardian Access through MyPack. This access gives the parent/guardian the ability to view student information online, which includes transcript and billing information.


Any schedule adjustments should be discussed with your advisor but if it is before the official last day to drop a course, you may do so in MyPack, provided that you are not dropping below full-time status. If dropping your classes will put you below full-time status or if it is after the official last day to drop, contact your advisor. Check the academic calendar on the Student Services Center website for important dates and regulations.

Census Date/Official Enrollment Date is the last day for undergraduate students to:

 Qualify for tuition refunds due to dropping a course or changing a course from credit to audit

 Drop below 12 hours or drop a course without a W grade*

 Add a course with the permission of the instructor.

*Please be advised that there are different deadlines for 8-week session courses. Please consult the academic calendar.

The Drop/Revision Deadline is the final day for student-initiated schedule revisions in MyPack (closes at 11:59 p.m.). All schedule revisions made after this date will require a Schedule Revision form for processing. It is also the last day to change to credit-only.


No, you do not have to declare a concentration. However, you have the following options for a B.A. in Political Science:

American Politics

International Politics

Law & Justice

Public Policy

Students also have the option of earning a B.S. in Political Science.

If you are interested in declaring and/or changing a concentration or changing from a B.A. to a B.S. (or vice versa), talk with your advisor.

Credit and Transfer Information

Once you are admitted to the university, your transcripts will be evaluated for credit that is transferable to NC State. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences will determine the exact amount of credit that will apply towards your degree. Only courses in which you earned a ‘C-‘ or better will be considered for transfer.

If you are a current PS major and want to take courses at another institution, we encourage you to talk with your advisor. Together, you will determine transferable courses via the NC State Transfer Course List. Upon successful completion of the course(s), you must send the official transcript to Undergraduate Admissions to have the credit applied to your degree. Students must also be sure to meet university residency requirements.

Each year incoming freshmen receive credit for such courses. For AP courses, an exam score of 3 or better is generally required. For IB, a score of 5 on the higher level exam is generally required. See the Undergraduate Admissions website for more AP and IB information. For dual enrollment, a grade of ‘C-‘ or better must be achieved in each class in order to receive credit and an official transcript must be sent from the college/university attended to Undergraduate Admissions.

If you are considering auditing a course, you should meet with your academic advisor. For more information visit the Policies, Regulations & Rules webpage.

Degree Audit

In order to have your degree audit amended, please contact your advisor for assistance.

Enrollment and Registration

To register for classes, you must first have your term advisement hold removed by your advisor from your account. The matter in which a hold is removed is determined by your advisor so stay tuned to your NCSU email for specific instructions. You will typically meet with your advisor for pre-registration advising in the fall semesters following Fall Break and in the spring semester following Spring Holiday.

An Enrollment Wizard tutorial can be found here. Contact your advisor with any specific questions.

To maximize your appointment time with your advisor, we encourage the following:

 Schedule an appointment with your advisor before your enrollment appointment (assigned date and time that you can register independently – found in MyPack).

 Review and/or print your degree audit in MyPack. For more information on using the degree audit, refer to this tutorial.

 Use Enrollment Wizard or Class Search to determine course availability for the upcoming semester. Typically, the course schedule becomes available in the months of October for fall semesters and March for spring semesters.

 Develop a tentative list of courses (and alternates), create a tentative schedule (preferably in your shopping cart in Enrollment Wizard), and/or plan courses in the degree planner.

 Come prepared with a list of questions or concerns for your advisor.

 Adhere to the specific instructions/requests related to pre-registration advising as outlined by your advisor.

 Plan ahead!

Foreign Language

Proficiency through FL 201 (Intermediate level) is required for the B.A. degrees in Political Science. The NC State Placement Test determines your beginning foreign language level. Placement tests are offered M – F from 8 am – 5 pm in the Laundry lab (Old Laundry building, near Poe Hall, at the corner of Current and Stinson). The test takes approximately 30 minutes and you will receive your placement immediately. If you place into the beginning level (FL 101), you must complete the entire sequence of courses (FL 101, FL 102, FL 201) to fulfill the foreign language requirement. Accelerated language courses are available to those who place into that level.

If English is your second language, you may have your Native Fluency certified by contacting Dr. Dudley Marchi ( or Susan Navey-Davis ( in the Foreign Language department. If you earn Native Fluency you will have met your foreign language requirement but you will not receive credit hours for FL 201. You must plan for 3 additional Free Elective credits (this applies to students who also place above the FL 201 level and choose not to take another foreign language course).

FL 101 will not count towards the 122-hr graduation requirement, if you studied the same language in high school. If you take a foreign language other than the one you studied in high school, FL 101 and 102 may be applied towards free electives.

Free Electives

A free elective is any course beyond what is required to fulfill degree and graduation requirements (i.e., 122 credits). You should think about courses that you are interested in and use this opportunity to take those classes. If you are struggling to find classes outside of Political Science, we encourage you to consider adding a minor and/or speak with your advisor.

Political Science students may take up to 12 credit hours of credit-only courses to fulfill free elective credits only (exclusive of Health and Exercise Studies (HES*) activity courses and other courses authorized to be graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis). Students should check with their advisor if the course will count toward the major, minor, or GEP.

Grades and GPA

A “C- Wall” class is a course that requires a C- or better in order to take the next level of the course and/or have this course meet graduation requirements for a specific curriculum. Political Science majors must earn a C- or better in all Political Science courses fulfilling a major requirement.

Remember, your cumulative GPA and major GPA must be at least a 2.00 in order to qualify to graduate (in Good Standing).

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 or be on Academic Warning or Academic Probation status in order to continue enrollment. Students are considered to be in Good Standing if they are eligible to continue enrollment. If you are placed on Academic Warning or Suspension and/or have general questions about academic standing, contact your advisor. Please refer to the Continuation of Undergraduate Enrollment (Suspension Regulation) for more information about academic standing.

Yes. Undergraduate students may select up to two NC State courses with posted grades of C- or below to be excluded from the calculation of their cumulative grade point average (GPA). If you are considering grade exclusion consult with your advisor. Additional information on the policy can be found here.


Students must apply for graduation online through MyPack. The graduation application should be submitted as soon as the student has finalized their final semester or summer schedule. Applications will first be reviewed by the department. Applicants will only be contacted if there are any discrepancies. If a student is pre-approved by the department their application will then be reviewed by the Dean’s Office for pre-clearance. Students will be officially cleared once their semester grades have posted. Please be advised that graduation applications will be denied if there are any Incompletes present on the degree audit and/or if any outstanding requirements remain. Please submit any relevant comments on the application that may rectify any foreseeable inconsistencies.

To graduate with honors you must have completed at least two semesters, at least 30 credits at NC State, and meet these GPA standards:

Cum Laude: 3.25 – 3.449

Magna Cum Laude: 3.500 – 3.749

Suma Cum Laude: 3.750 and above

If you are interested in graduating with departmental or university honors, contact your advisor.


Internships are highly encouraged and credit may be earned through PS 391. Students can earn up to 6 credit hours for internships but may only apply 3 credits to the PS major (the rest will go to Free Electives). Contact Shannon Carey or your advisor for additional information.

Majors and Minors

If you are considering a major change, talk to your advisor.

To change your major within the department (i.e., add or change a concentration, change to a B.S. or B.A. in PS, etc.) contact your advisor.

To switch to a major outside of the Political Science department, you must be granted acceptance to the other college and/or department. Each college and department has different Change of Degree Application (CODA) requirements, which can be found here.

If you want to add a double major, you must also be granted acceptance to the other college and/or department as per their respective CODA requirements.

Generally, you may change or add a minor by completing the appropriate sections of this form. You must obtain the signature of the Minor Coordinator of the prospective or current minor and return it to Registration and Records (1000 Harris Hall) for processing. Additional information about minors, points of contact, and declaration requirements can be found here. If you are considering adding or changing a minor, we also encourage you to consult with your advisor.

Progress Toward Degree and Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Progress Toward Degree policy encourages students to be in a degree granting major before entering their fifth term (fall or spring) and maintain continuous enrollment in a minimum of 15 hours toward a degree every fall and spring term to promote a timely graduation.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is evaluated at the end of each academic year (May) and is measured by meeting the following three standards:

 Pace of Completion: Students must pass at least 2/3 of all hours attempted each academic year (summer term – spring term).

 Maximum Timeframe: Students must graduate before attempting more than 150% of the hours required for their degree program (i.e., 180 hours for a 120 hour degree program).

 Degree Status: Students must have an academic standing that allows for continued enrollment.

Students who fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress and/or Progress Toward Degree may be placed on Progress Deficiency by their college.

Please refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Regulation for more information and contact your advisor with any questions or concerns about Progress Toward Degree and/or Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Leadership in the Public Sector FAQs

General Program Information

Both of these fields are expected to be in heavy demand in the foreseeable future. Other students are already fully engaged in their careers and would like to complete their bachelors to further their career potential. Or they may plan to complete their LPS degree and continue their education and future career opportunities by applying to graduate school.

LPS graduates find career opportunities in public and nonprofit organizations, and further their education in fields such as political science, public administration, nonprofit sector management, and law. Some students use the degree as a first step for acquiring teaching accreditation; others are interested in government careers. Both of these fields are expected to be in heavy demand in the foreseeable future. Other students are already fully engaged in their careers and would like to complete their bachelors to further their career potential. Or they may plan to complete their LPS degree and continue their education and future career opportunities by applying to graduate school.

Curriculum and Course Delivery

LPS follows the traditional NC State calendar, which includes a spring and fall semester as well as summer course options that are either 6 or 10 weeks long. Please click here for the NC State academic calendar.

The normal course load for a student depends on the individual student. Many students are either working full time or deployed or just getting back to school after a long absence so they choose to only take 1 or 2 classes. Other students are experienced with online learning and are taking the time to go to school full time and complete their degree as quickly as possible to reach their intended goal or a new position or graduate school. These students often take 4 or 5 courses. The LPS program advises students who are just returning to the university setting and/or online learning to take a maximum of 2 courses. We also do not allow students to take more than 11 credit hours without permission from the LPS academic adviser or director.

Tests are either given online or proctored depending on the instructor. You may look at the course sheets online which should tell you in advance whether the instructor utilizes proctored or online evaluation methods. Please click here for course detail sheets.

Yes all of the departmental courses for LPS are offered online as well as many of the general courses offered for the major. However options can be limited so we require transfer students to have at least 60 transferable hours including a sufficient number of social science courses to satisfy the general education component of the major.

LPS requires students to complete the 200 level FL which required two prerequisites. If a student does not have proficiency in any language they will need to take 3 FL courses to satisfy the LPS FL.
Spanish is the only FL offered online at NC State. There are no waivers given for this requirement. Please contact the LPS advisor LaShica Waters at for additional information on how to satisfy the FL requirement.

How to Pay

Distance Education students pay for courses per credit. Most of the courses taken by LPS students are 3 credit hours. Please click here for information on the fee schedule per credit hour for distance education classes.

In the fall of 2005, NC State joined the rapidly growing ranks of major universities that offer electronic billing for student charges (eBILL). The eBILL is sent from and will come to the e-mail address that you have listed with Registration and Records. The e-mail will contain no personal or financial information — all private information is stored on a secure server which is accessed under password control. When you receive the notice, you can access your bill via MyPack Portal under the Financial Information heading. You will also be able to pay online using ePAY, forward the statement to your parents or a third party, or print a copy of the statement and mail the payment. Please note that you will only receive an electronic version of your bill. If you need to retain a printed bill, you may go online via MyPack Portal and request an exception..

How to Apply

The most competitive candidates for admission are those that have approximately 60 transferable credit hours (OR an AA or AS degree with 60 transferable hrs, not an AAS) and a combined cumulative GPA of 3.0 from every college/university attended. However, emphasis will be placed on the most recent academic coursework completed.

Transfer credit should include a sufficient number of social science courses to satisfy the general education component of the major. In addition, transfer students must have taken and passed a college level Math course and a college level English course comparable to our ENGL 101 (4 hrs.) to be eligible.

The transfer admissions page will assist you through the application process to the University and LPS. There is a $70 non-refundable application fee.

Please note that LPS does not assist in the actual transfer process into NC State or LPS. The transfer process is handled through the Undergraduate Admissions office. If you have any questions or concerns about your application please contact Admissions at 919-515-2434 or

If you were previously enrolled at NC State as a degree seeking student, your first step is to contact the LPS advisor to see if you are eligible to transfer into the LPS program. This link will assist you through the readmit process through Registration and Records. There is a $50 nonrefundable application fee.

For questions about your readmit application call 919- 515-2572

For more information, please visit our How to Apply page.

The LPS program provides transcript evaluation. We can discuss with you whether you are currently qualified to enroll and/or approximately how long it would take you to complete the LPS degree if you were to enroll. Please note, however, that although we offer a pre-application assessment, the final decision for admission rests with the admissions office at NC State. Send unofficial transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended to LaShica Waters, LPS advisor at:

Email: (preferred method)


Leadership in the Public Sector
North Carolina State University
School of Public and International Affairs
Caldwell 210 , Campus Box 8102
Raleigh, NC 27695

Send official sealed transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended to:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
NC State University
203 Peele Hall, Campus Box 7103
Raleigh, NC 27695-7103

No, if you submit official transcripts for the pre-application assessment, they cannot be used for the official evaluation. These two processes are handled in different offices. You will need to submit unofficial copies for the pre-application assessment and official copies for the application for admission.

No, NC State and LPS cannot use credits listed on one transcript from multiple schools. We need transcripts from each college/universities attended to for a complete evaluation and application.

Pre-Application assessments are usually returned within 1-2 weeks. (Return time can be longer during peak registration times, holidays and summer vacation)

Credit Transfer

No, You must have 60 transferable hrs within your AA or AS degree with a 3.0 cumulative GPA to be competitive for admission. All the credit hours from your AA or AS degree may not transfer into NC State.

Up to 72 credit hours can be transferred into the LPS program. Contact Advising for a pre-application assessment.

You can transfer in more than 72 hrs that all count towards the LPS. However, to meet the LPS residency requirement you will have to take additional elective hrs at NC State to make up the difference. Overall, you must complete at least 50 hrs through NC State to obtain the LPS degree.

You can use the course equivalency link to determine if the credit hours completed at your school will transfer back to NC State.

These videos provide information about understanding how your credit hours transfer into NC State and the LPS program:
Transfer Equivalencies Video
Courses Transferring Into The LPS Curriculum Video

You can also contact the LPS advisor, LaShica D. Waters at to request a transcript evaluation.

Yes, LPS will determine your eligibility on your most recent coursework which needs to be 3.0 or above.

NC State Students

No, LPS students are not allowed to transfer to any other on campus major at NC State

Admission into the LPS program does not ensure admission into any other academic program at NC State University. The LPS program has distinctive application, admission, enrollment, and credit transfer criteria which differ from other NC State University traditional (face-to-face) majors. In this regard, our students are able to transfer more credit hours from other institutions and have flexibility to take only 30 of their last 45 credits at NC State University. Hence, double majoring and major (curriculum) change from LPS to a traditional NC State degree is highly restricted.

In addition, traditional students who are currently enrolled in a regular degree program at North Carolina State University cannot request to change their major to LPS.  However, you are encouraged to seek admission into the LPS program if you have been un-enrolled from NC State for more than 3 years and seeking readmission specifically in the LPS program only. For further information please contact the LPS advisor to see if you are eligible and to learn more about the process.

Yes, some LPS students have been able to declare a minor. However, all minor courses may not be offered online. If you are able to take campus courses or if you transfer in courses that will satisfy a minor it may be possible. Please contact the advisor for the minor of interest for more information.

No, current NC State students are not eligible to transfer into LPS. To apply to LPS you must NOT have been enrolled at NC State for a minimum of 3 years. After that time, you can reapply to NC State under your old program and then request to be accepted into LPS. Admission into LPS at that point is under the discretion of the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Please contact the LPS advisor, LaShica Waters, at for more information.

If you have not been matriculated at NC State for 3+ years you are eligible to apply to LPS as a readmit student. After that time, you can reapply to NC State under your old program and then request to be accepted into LPS. Admission into LPS at that point is under the discretion of the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Please contact the LPS advisor, LaShica Waters, at for more information.

Master of International Studies FAQs

A full time course load is 9 credits or 3 courses per semester and the program requires 36 credits.  Therefore, it should take 4 semesters if you attend full time, summer excluded. Credits can be earned for internship and study abroad experiences during the summer that may shorten the time to completion.

The program is designed to accommodate part time students.  Courses are always offered in the late afternoons and evenings.  If you are working full time, it is not recommended that you take more that 2 courses per semester. It will then take longer to complete the degree.

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literature here on campus administers graduate foreign language certification.  It is recommended that you have some foreign language training before entering the program and obtain the appropriate certification either through testing or a course while here on campus.  It is difficult to start a language from scratch while also pursuing graduate work in another discipline.  Credits obtained for language training cannot be applied toward the required 36 credit hours for the degree.  To learn more about fulfilling this requirement, the Foreign Languages Department offers these guidelines.

There are several ways you can gain international experience.  If you have had a significant international experience within the last five years prior to entry into the program, it will be counted as having fulfilled this requirement.  Otherwise, you may study abroad for a summer or semester, work abroad through your existing job or an internship, or take several extended trips abroad in either a work or study capacity during the course of your program.  You may get course credit for study abroad and/or internship.

NC State students can take courses at other institutions in the area, including Duke and UNC Chapel Hill, through inter-institutional registration. You first need to find a course that you are interested in and be sure it is either an advanced undergraduate (400 or better) or graduate class. You would then contact the professor of that class to request permission to register. Once that permission is given, you would fill out an inter-institutional registration form, attach the professor's permission and turn it in to the MIS Director for final approval.

The MIS program offers teaching assistantships. They are awarded generally on an annual basis.  Each assistantship pays a stipend per each semester, in addition to tuition and health benefits. In exchange, student recipients must work up to 20 hours per week for a faculty member and be enrolled full time. The number of assistantships varies annually.

Post-Baccalaureate Studies FAQ

Post-Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) is designed for U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents who wish to undertake academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree but who are not currently admitted to a degree program.

You may wish to take PBS courses if you are unsure about whether international studies is the right program for you. If you are sure that you wish to pursue a MIS degree, however, it is usually better to apply before taking many PBS courses. Acceptance provides you with a faculty advisor who can guide your course choices.

The MIS program is increasingly selective in its admissions and does not recommend PBS enrollments for students whose GPA and GRE would not otherwise warrant admission to the program. Students considering PBS courses should consult with the MIS program director about their prospects for admission.

PBS registration is limited to a maximum of two courses per semester or summer school. Exceptions to this policy are made in special cases. Permission from the MIS program director is necessary.

If you are admitted as a graduate student, a maximum of twelve hours may, at the discretion of the MIS program director, be applied toward the minimum requirements of your degree. The PBS classification carries no guarantee that you will be admitted to the MIS Program. No particular PBS grades would guarantee admission to the MIS Program, but you strengthen your application with grades of B+ or higher in the recommended courses listed below.

Students who choose to pursue PBS courses should note that the Admissions Committee does not give equal weight to all PBS course work. Courses should be relevant to the MIS program. The Committee strongly recommends that PBS students take at least two of the nine courses below:

  • PS 530 Seminar in International Relations
  • PS 531 International Law
  • PS 533 Global Problems and Policies
  • PS 536 Global Environmental Law and Policy
  • PS 539 International Political Economy
  • PS 540 Seminar in Comparative Politics
  • PS 542 European Politics
  • PS 543 Latin American & Caribbean Politics
  • PS 545 Comparative Systems of Law and Justice

All PBS students are strongly encouraged to pre-register. Pre-registration is administered by the Lifelong Education services of the Office of Adult Credit Programs and Summer Sessions. They are located in theMcKimmonCenter on the corner of Western Blvd. and Gorman Street. Their office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays. Their address and contact information follows:

Office of Adult Credit Programs and Summer Session
North Carolina State University, Box 7401
Raleigh, NC 27695.
Phone: 919-515-2265
Website -​​​​​​​

Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Students in the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management take graduate courses that develop the basic skills which faculty and representatives of local nonprofits have identified as needed to manage a nonprofit. All participants will be registered at NC State University, either as PBS (Post Baccalaureate Students) or degree students; their transcripts will record the courses, the grades, and the receipt of the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit management. Upon completion of the program the recipient will receive a certificate signed by the Chancellor.

The Duke Program in Nonprofit Management is a non-credit program. It is based on short courses and workshops covering a range of management skills and topics. The Duke program offers a sound introduction to nonprofit management for nonprofit staff and volunteers.

Applicants who have a GPA of less than 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in their last two years of undergraduate course work may be admitted provisionally. A provisionally admitted student must initially take PA 536 Management of Nonprofit Organizations, PA 538 Nonprofit Budgeting and Financial Management, or PA 539 Fund Development  and earn a minimum grade of B (3.0) to continue in the certificate program.

Not necessarily. Your academic success may have a strong bearing on admission to a degree program, but completion of a certificate program in no way guarantees entry into a graduate degree program. Each graduate degree program has its own application process and admission requirements. Before beginning the certificate program students interested in obtaining a graduate degree should meet with the degree program’s Director of Graduate Programs or a designated staff person. People interested in the MPA degree should meet with the Student Ambassador listed on the "Staff" page.

MPA students may count PA 514 as a required MPA core courses and as a core certificate course. Other certificate courses can count as electives in the MPA program.

For students with limited management experience in a nonprofit PA 536 is recommended as a first course. PA 514 Management Systems should not be taken until you have completed at least two of the core courses. PA 536, PA 538, and PA 539 and most electives are offered either every year or biannually.

The list of electives is updated regularly to reflect additions and changes in the NC State University course offerings. Appropriate electives should deal explicitly with an area of management. To recommend a course for the list of electives please send information on the course (prefix, number, and title) to the Program Coordinator, Richard Clerkin (