How to Declare a Politics Major

How to Declare a Government or Foreign Affairs Major

Students who want to join the Politics Department should follow these steps.  We have adapted these steps for online submission.

Incoming Transfer Students: see the separate section below.

  1. Decide on either a Government or a Foreign Affairs major after reviewing the requirements for each major at These majors are similar but have different areas of focus.
  2. Download the worksheets for the major you wish to declare:
  3. Fill out this worksheet to outline the courses you’ll use to fulfill the major requirements, paying attention to the subfield and course level requirements. Remember that this is a plan of study that demonstrates your knowledge of our requirements and your plan to fulfill them.  It is not a firm commitment to take particular courses because new courses may be added, others may not be offered in the term you planned, and your preferences may change. You should consider not just the courses offered in the current term, but our complete course catalog, available through SIS or Lou’s List (
  4. Save and rename the file to lead with your last name (e.g., Smith_PoliticsMajorWorksheet-ForeignAffairs).
  5. Email this renamed file as an attachment to our Undergraduate Assistant, Sharon Marsh.
  6. We will review your worksheet, and return it to you, directing you to the College Forms site to fill out the DocuSign Declaration of Major form. Copy your PL** list of courses from worksheet onto the College form, and complete the DocuSign process. (The College form lists only PL** courses; don’t include your related courses.)

Note about CR/GC/NC during COVID: Per University policy, courses with a grade of CR during spring 2020 and fall 2020 will count toward the major.

Transfer students

For transfer students entering as second years (sophomores): follow the same procedures as all other second-year college students.

For transfer students entering UVa as third years (i.e. granted four semesters to complete the College degree):  Most of you will wish to declare a major immediately upon your matriculation to UVa.  To do so, follow the process outlined above, with the following alterations:

  • If you have at least one course from your previous college that was granted PL** credit, you need to take only one PL course at UVa in your initial fall term to declare the major. You may use this one class in the “pre-requisite” category of the Major Declaration form.
  • That said, if possible, many of you will still want to take two politics courses in your initial term to make progress in the major.
  • If you have no classes from your previous institution that transferred in as PL** classes, you will need to take two classes here before you can declare our major.
  • Do not choose classes that duplicate courses you completed at your previous institution and for which you have received College credit. Check your transfer credit report and/or your Course History listing at your Student Center in SIS.

With these considerations in mind, follow the procedure as set out above.

With the Major Declaration form submitted, complete your PL** classes successfully with a grade of at least C. We will email your Major Worksheet to you at the end of the term, so you can complete your College Declaration of Major form, via the DocuSign process indicated above.


The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at