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Major Advisors

You may ask any full-time Government faculty member to be your advisor.   Please keep the following in mind when selecting a major advisor:

  • Students can learn about a professor’s academic rank and expertise by visiting the Department of Government’s faculty directory.
  • Visiting, Adjunct, and Emeritus professors cannot serve as major advisors.
  • Students may ask any full-time professor in the department to serve as a major advisor, including professors that they have not taken a class with.
  • If a student’s first year advisor is in the Government department, the student may ask that professor to serve as a major advisor, but they also may ask someone else.
  • If a student needs to or would like to change their major advisor after declaring a government major, they may do so by getting approval from a new advisor. Complete a Change of Advisor Form with the new advisor’s signature. The student does not need approval from their previous advisor to make such a change.
  • If a student is unsure about a possible major advisor or needs any other additional assistance, contact the Associate Chair of the Department of Government, Dennis Smith.
Meeting with your major advisor

It is recommended that students fill in the first (non-instructional) page of the Declaration of Major Form before meeting with their advisor.  Requirements for the Government major and a list of government courses can be found in the in the William & Mary Undergraduate Catalog.

 On the last page of the Major Declaration form, write down courses, including intended semester, that you believe will satisfy the Government major’s requirements.  Discuss that proposed schedule with your advisor during your first meeting. The proposed schedule is not binding, but it is extremely helpful in making sure students know what they need to do to fulfill proficiency, curriculum, and major requirements.