Advisement Assistance

Professor Lechelt is available for advisement meetings.  It is best to schedule an appointment for advisement, even during scheduled office hours, so that Dr. Lechelt can prepare properly.  To schedule an appointment, contact him at  

"A bachelor's degree in political science can lead to exciting careers in federal, state and local governments; law; business; international organizations; nonprofit associations and organizations; campaign management and polling; journalism; pre-collegiate education; electoral politics; research and university and college teaching."
At NOVA, you can earn valuable credit for your Associate's degree in a number of politically relevant degrees.  These credits, of course, will also help you in your quest for your four year degree.  

There are a variety of career sectors for political science graduates.  Among those jobs that a political science degree at NOVA or at a four year college or university can prepare you for are the following:
  • Activist, Advocate/Organizer
  • Administration, Corporate, Government, Non-Profit, etc.
  • Archivist, Online Political Data
  • Budget Examiner or Analyst
  • Attorney
  • Banking Analyst or Executive
  • Campaign Operative
  • Career Counselor
  • CIA Analyst or Agent
  • City Planner
  • City Housing Administrator
  • Congressional Office/Committee Staffer
  • Coordinator of Federal or State Aid
  • Communications Director
  • Corporate Analyst
  • Corporate Public Affairs Advisor
  • Corporate Economist
  • Corporate Manager
  • Corporate Information Analyst
  • Corporate Adviser for Govt'l. Relations
  • Corporate Executive
  • Corporation Legislative Issues Manager
  • Editor, Online Political Journal
  • Entrepreneur
  • Federal Government Analyst
  • Financial Consultant
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Foundation President
  • Free-lance writer
  • High School Government Teacher
  • Immigration Officer
  • Information Manager
  • Intelligence Officer
  • International Agency Officer
  • International Research Specialist
  • Issues Analyst, Corporate Social Policy Div.
  • Journalist
  • Juvenile Justice Specialist
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Legislative Analyst / Coordinator
  • Lobbyist
  • Management Analyst
  • Mediator
  • Plans and Review Officer, USIA
  • Policy Analyst
  • Political Commentator
  • Pollster
  • Public Affairs Research Analyst
  • Public Opinion Analyst
  • Publisher
  • Research Analyst
  • State Legislator
  • Survey Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • Teacher
  • University Administrator
  • University Professor
  • Urban Policy Planner
  • Web Content Editor  
  • A resource to find out about more jobs in political science can be found HERE.
Careers in political science are out there!  In fact, the opportunities for a career in political science are improving.  Furthermore, the skills a student acquires with a strong political science knowledge base are useful outside of politics.  
To see about the forecast for Political Scientists with Master's degrees and higher, see the US Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Here is more information on political science career prospects from the US Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Meeting the Requirements of Your Major
It's important to make sure the classes you take help you meet the requirements of your major.  If the classes you are taking are not meeting degree requirements, then consider a different major.  It's never too late to get the college degree you want.  

Program Advisement Sheets are particularly useful tools for students to help them keep track of their progress and to make sure that potential course selections help a student work towards graduating.  It's a great tool to have on hand when registering for courses.  Here is the website where students can find all Program Advisement Sheets for all NOVA degrees.  The sheets are listed alphabetically.  

More information on the above mentioned curriculum programs of study can be found in the College Catalog HERE.  

Unofficial Transcript: This is the unofficial record of your progress at NOVA.  How are credits applied to your degree requirements?  How have transfer credits been applied?  What do you need to graduate?  All the answers are here!  Students must view and print their unofficial transcript prior to meeting with me for advisement.  Here's the How-To on accessing your Unofficial Transcript. 

Political Science Courses.  Here's a list of all the Political Science (PLS) courses that NOVA offers (also posted on the right side of this page).  Each listing has a detailed description of what the course covers.  Other unique courses can be offered and usually have the "PLS 295" categorization. 
To see which courses are offered during any particular semester, go to the Schedule of Classes search engine.

CLEP Tests: A useful way to knock out some credits at a lower cost is to "CLEP out" of classes.  CLEP tests are 90 minute exams that costs less than $100.  The credits go toward your degree.  This route should only be considered if you have a strong understanding of the topic and study thoroughly before the exam.  If you take the exam and do not pass, then you still need to take the course, and you threw away almost $100.  It is most important to keep in mind that some universities do not accept CLEP credit, like UVA; in those situations, the CLEP credit will help you get your NOVA degree, but that credit will not help you with your four year college.  Be sure to investigate if the college you hope to transfer to takes CLEP credit.
Here is additional information on taking a CLEP test at NOVA-AL: Click HERE.
Here is information from the organization that runs CLEP tests: Click HERE.

Transferring to Four Year Colleges and Universities

Perhaps the most valuable advice I can offer on transferring to four year colleges is this: the most accurate information you can receive about transferring TO a four-year college comes from the college you want to transfer TO, not the college you are transferring FROM.  Any and all advice or guidance you get from this page, me, or from someone else at NOVA should be verified with the college you hope to transfer to.  In fact, most of the information we have comes from the four-year colleges.  Also, the transfer and admissions offices of the four-year colleges you want to transfer to are the decision-makers regarding your ability to get into those schools: it's probably best for you to hear it directly from them.  Having said that, it's my pleasure to help.  :-)  

NOVA has a helpful transfer resource website: NOVA Transfer Site.  The site has a step-by-step checklist to ensure a smooth transfer process.
The government of Virginia has a fantastic "Transfer Wizard," designed to help students move from Virginia's community colleges, to a four-year institution.  Give it a look:
Here's a list of Transfer Guides provided by many of the colleges NOVA students want to transfer to.
Please let me stress this point: the Transfer Guides site by NOVA is a FANTASTIC place to get an overview of what each college in the area is looking for from students transferring from NOVA.  
Most NOVA students transfer to George Mason University.  Here is their transfer information.

NOVA realizes that most of its students hope to go to four-year colleges.  We have many established agreements with four-year colleges, and those agreements include Guaranteed Admissions Agreements (GAA) and Articulation Agreements:  
  • The best agreements are the Guaranteed Admissions Agreements (GAA).  That means that if you meet a number of requirements, particularly (but not ONLY) a minimal GPA, you are GUARANTEED to be admitted into the college.  NOTE: You might only be guaranteed a place on the waiting list though.  And the standards can change, so it's best to keep tabs with your preferred four-year college to make sure you are aware of changes.  Here is where you can find all of NOVA's GAAs:
  • NOVA has also established Articulation Agreements with other colleges.  These agreements are not as helpful as GAAs, but they provide a path that will help you get into the four-year schools that NOVA has Articulation Agreements with.  Again, it's important to read the agreement carefully and be aware of specific requirements, and other conditions.  You can find more information on NOVA's Articulation Agreements, and the actual agreements, here: 

US News and World Report ranks colleges and universities based on a wide array of measures.  

Some information regarding local colleges and universities

Note on abbreviations:
GAA = Guaranteed Admission Agreement; an agreement between NOVA and the College that guarantees NOVA students admission if they meet certain requirements.
VCCS = Virginia Community College System (NOVA is one of almost 2 dozen of the state's community colleges in the System).
PLS = Political Science.

George Mason University
, Fairfax, VA.
George Mason University has a great website that lists how every NOVA course counts towards GMU credit: The GMU Transfer Credit Search Engine.
For more information on transferring to George Mason University, contact the GMU Transfer Center; Phone: 703-993-9152.
A few important points from the GMU Guaranteed Admission Agreement with NOVA:
The minimum cumulative NOVA GPA is 2.85. 
Please note that the requirements change, so please refer to the specific GMU GAA to be sure of what the requirements are for admission:
Students are strongly encouraged to apply for fall admission to Mason; students who apply for spring admission will be considered on a space available basis.
Also, only A, B, and C grades transfer; NOT D and F grades.
Please read the Guaranteed Admission Agreement HERE, as there are other details you need to be aware of prior to applying.  In particular, note the comment about electronically submitting a "Letter of Intent."
Here are some "Frequently Asked Questions" that the good folks at GMU confront when dealing with the Guaranteed Admissions Agreement:
Here's the GMU Transfer Guide, that offers a lot of extra guidance for specific majors/programs:
Transfer application due dates are:
Spring - full time Oct 1 / part time Dec 1
Fall - Mar 1
You can find other program NOVA-JMU Equivalents here.
Transferring from VCCS colleges (NOVA is a VCCS college).
The JMU Student Checklist for earning a guaranteed admission through the JMU-NOVA GAA:
Sign a Letter of Intent with a community college counselor in the semester during which you will complete the associate degree.
Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and adhere to specific requirements as outlined in the GAA.
Earn an approved associate degree (click here for a list) from one of the community colleges with which JMU has a GAA.
Apply to JMU - you must complete the on line application to complete the process.
Be sure to go to the JMU site and follow application guidelines precisely. 

University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA.
Department of Political Science and International Affairs.
Political Science Major information from the UMW Catalog.
General Transfer Application Information.
Transfer Credit Guide for NOVA Political Science Courses (How Political Science credits taken at NOVA apply at UMW).
Transfer Credit Guide for ALL courses.
Guaranteed Admission Agreement b/w UMW and the VCCS:
To be guaranteed admission to UMW, students must complete the requirements to become GAA students (graduation from a transfer-oriented degree program at a Virginia community college with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 or higher on a four-point scale with intent to transfer to Mary Washington) and submit an official transcript showing completion of the associate degree to UMW Admissions Office. In addition, GAA students must have earned a grade of “C” or higher in each community college course applicable to the transfer-oriented associate degree program.
See website for more on the GAA.

Marymount University, Arlington, VA.
Department of History and Politics.
Politics BA and Minor program.
Transfer information.
Articulation Agreement between Marymount and NOVA.

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA.
Department of Political Science and Geography.
International Studies Program.
Transfer information for VCCS transfer students: See Political Science and International Studies Program Sheets.

Guaranteed Admission Agreement between NOVA (and all VCCS colleges) and VCU states that all NOVA graduates with 2.5 GPAs are guaranteed admission into VCU.  See agreement for more details HERE.

Guaranteed Admission Agreement between NOVA and UVA: 3.4 or better GPA (and other important qualifications - so it's REALLY important to read the NOVA-UVA GAA form HERE).

"Each year, the admissions committee evaluates approximately 1700 applications for transfer. Typically, a cumulative B+ average or higher is recommended for consideration for admission."
Undergraduate Admissions
Fax: 202-885-1025
Transfer Credit Guidelines.