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Nisha Bellinger

Graduate Program Coordinator

The Graduate Program Coordinator maintains the graduate program, directs admissions (in consultation with the three-member Political Science Graduate Admissions Committee), schedules courses, help with advising and assigning advisors, and is a resource for both faculty and graduate students.

Nisha Bellinger is the Graduate Program Coordinator for Political Science. Her office is located in the Environmental Research Building (3141). You can reach her by phone: (208) 426-4591 or email:

Administrative Assistant for Graduate Studies

Leah Thompson, the School of Public Service Administrative Assistant for Graduate Studies helps in a variety of areas for SPS graduate students. This includes registration questions, general office support, senior permission forms, admissions questions, and a variety of other daily issues that a graduate student may encounter. You can find her in ERB 1144B or you can contact her by phone: (208) 426-2532 and email:


Each student will, with consultation from the Graduate Program Coordinator, select an advisor to serve both as their advisor as well as their chair if the student pursues a thesis. Your advisor will provide guidance on courses to take, ideas for topics, help choose whether to write a thesis or take comprehensive tasks, as well as answer any questions you may have about your studies or options you may have after you leave graduate school. Your major advisor will also help direct your research plan. By the end of their second semester of graduate courses, students should email the Graduate Program Coordinator with a list of three faculty members they would like to serve as their advisor. The advisor must be a member of the graduate faculty as approved by the Graduate College.

It is the student’s responsibility to maintain contact with their advisor and schedule meetings to make sure the student is progressing towards completion of their degree.

Supervisory Committee

Each student will create a Supervisory Committee of three faculty members that will help guide and mentor the student towards completion of their degree. This committee may be necessary to approve course electives and will be responsible for overseeing a student’s thesis defense if the student pursues a thesis. The graduate committee members must be members of the graduate faculty as approved by the Graduate College.

Political Science Faculty

Here is a link to the political science faculty and staff. It is entirely possible that there are faculty that align with your research interests that you have not taken a class with. If you want to get to know them and discuss research ideas (and determine if they should serve as an advisor to your work) do not hesitate to email them and schedule an appointment.


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