Policy on Advising Theses/Dissertations

I would like to offer informed and thorough advising, and keep in mind the following when you are interested in working with me for your undergraduate/Masters theses and Ph.D. dissertations.

Policy on advising undergraduate/masters theses
1. I advise theses that directly relate to my research areas.
2. I will consider serving as an advisor if you are a student in a political science major.
3. I will consider serving as an advisor if you took my class that requires writing a final essay/final research paper, and received a grade of an A- or above.
4. Contact me with a brief note describing your research area, along with a description of why you believe I would be an effective advisor for your project.
5. While issues of substantive fit will be strongly considered, I may have to decline a request to advise if I have too many advisees.

Policy on advising Ph.D. dissertations
1. When discussing my potential role as an advisor for the Ph.D., provide me with at least two pieces of information. First, tell me whether you intend to pursue teaching-heavy academic jobs or non-academic jobs. Second, I would like to know the role you see me filling on your dissertation committee.
2. I usually advise students who have taken a graduate seminar with me.
3. A direct relationship to my work is not necessary.

Policy on Letters of Recommendation

My policy is to only write letters to students who have been successful in an upper-level class I teach. For undergraduates, that means taking an advanced class like PSC 400: Strategic Choice and Politics and receiving a grade of A- or above with a strong final essay. For graduate students, that means taking a seminar or methodology class I teach and receiving a grade of an A- or above with a strong final research paper. I will only write you a recommendation if you:

1. provide me with one month of written notice
2. visited my office hours at least once
3. waive your right to read your letter of recommendation

If I have not written a letter for you before, please send me a set of materials I can use to write a well-informed letter. The materials include:

1. Your final essay/ final research paper
2. A copy of your resume
3. A copy of your unofficial transcript
4. A draft of your application essay or personal statement

Finally, feel free to write me a short email reminder a few days before any important deadlines.