Declaring a major

As part of their general education requirements toward a  Bachelor degree, all students are required to declare a major “plus one” by March 1 of their sophomore year. The Politics Department strongly encourages students to begin thinking about your plans no later than Fall semester of sophomore year, especially if you plan to study off campus as a junior. The Center for Global Education requires major declaration before a study can apply to study away from Bates, ant that deadline is often at least one month earlier than the March 1 deadline of a studen’s sophomore year.

If you are interested in declaring a Politics major, we recommend you first consult the major requirements in the College catalog. When you are ready to declare, do the following:

1.  Log in to Garnet Gateway and follow the menus to record your intention to major in Politics

2.  Download a copy of the Politics Department’s Major Declaration Form, where you are asked about your major concentration and the courses you have already taken in order to satisfy the requirements. If you are in the Classes of 2020, 2021, or 2022 please complete this Major Declaration Form. If you are in the Class of 2023 or later, please complete this Major Declaration Form. On this form, you may also list courses you will likely take in the future, but remember that not every course listed in the Politics course catalog is offered every year. So this plan will be tentative.

3.  Schedule a meeting with the chair of the Politics department, Senem Aslan by sending an email to When you meet with Professor Aslan, bring the Major Declaration Form and discuss any questions you have about the major. The chair will sign your Politics declaration form.

4.  At this meeting the chair will also assign you to an academic advisor with the major in consultation with you. While we try to give students their first choice, in order to balance workload across Politics faculty that may not alway be possible. Also, keep in mind that the assignment of academic  advisor at this meeting and the assignment of a thesis advisor late in a student’s junior year are entirely separate process. The one does not depend upon the other. Note that once you have an academic advisor in the major, this person replaces your FYS instructor as your academic advisor.

5.  After you meet with the chair, you take the Politics declaration form to your major advisor, who will sign it and confirm your declaration on Garnet Gateway. You can keep the Major Declaration Form as a worksheet to help guide your course selection at course registration periods throughout the year.

6.  After you have met with the chair and your new academic advisor in the major, be sure to return to Garnet Gateway and confirm your major selection. In other words, the process begins with you declaring an intent to major in Politics on Garnet Gateway, and then after meeting with the associate chair and your new academic advisor in the major, it ends with your confirmation of major declaration on Garnet Gateway.

While your major, minor and GEC declarations must each begin and end on Garnet Gateway, each department and program has its own procedure for assigning advisors. Please consult the appropriate department or program chair or concentration coordinator for further information about the rest of your “plus one” general education requirements.