Please Enter a Search Term

Updated Political Science Curriculum

After two years of consultations, evaluations and discussions, the Political Science undergraduate curriculum has been significantly updated. There are a number of changes – some are cosmetic while others are more substantial. Our new Political Science calendar entry features clearer course titles and descriptions (such as renaming POSC 2010 as “Research and Writing in Political Science”). Tables identify potential course sequencing. Prerequisites now apply primarily to 4000-level courses only. Some new courses were introduced. New requirements for Honours and Majors will offer greater integrity while preserving an element of course choice, particularly at the 3000- and 4000-levels.

Of note, a chart of our course offerings demonstrates that when selecting courses, students can now look at the second digit to notionally concentrate in an area of Political Science, as follows:

1 Political theory
2 International politics
3 Comparative politics
6 Public policy and public administration
8 Canadian politics

"Grandfathered Students"

Students who had completed a 2000-level or higher Political Science course before September 2009 will follow the old calendar requirements for their Political Science Honours, Major or Minor. However, they may choose to opt in to the new regulations. In some cases the courses they require to follow the old requirements no longer exist. Therefore all such students should consult our "grandfathered students" page for information about substitutions.

WHAT DO THE UPDATES MEAN TO YOU?

See below for which of the following categories applies to you.

A Political Science HONOURS candidate who HAD completed a 2000-level Political Science course prior to September 2009
You have "grandfathered" status and follow the old regulations (although you can choose to opt in to the new ones), but some course numbers no longer exist. If you have not completed 2010 or 2500, you need to take 2010 (Research and Writing in Political Science). If you have not completed 2710 you need to take 2800 (Intro to Canadian Politics and Government). If you have not completed 2711 you can choose from 2100 (Intro to Political Theory), 2600 (Intro to Public Policy and Administration) or 3810 (Political Executive in Canada). You are no longer required to take 3011 (it no longer exists). Finally, the Honours essay courses (4950 and 4951) have been renumbered as 4010 and 4011.

A Political Science MAJOR candidate who HAS completed a 2000-level Political Science course prior to September 2009
You have "grandfathered" status and follow the old regulations (although you can choose to opt in to the new ones), but some course numbers no longer exist. If you have not completed 2710 you need to take 2800 (Intro to Canadian Politics and Government). If you have not completed 2711 you can choose from 2100 (Intro to Political Theory), 2600 (Intro to Public Policy and Administration) or 3810 (Political Executive in Canada).

A Political Science MINOR candidate who HAS completed a 2000-level Political Science course prior to September 2009
You have "grandfathered" status and follow the old regulations (although you can choose to opt in to the new ones), but some course numbers no longer exist. If you have not completed 2710 you need to take 2800 (Intro to Canadian Politics and Government). If you have not completed one of 2000, 2010, 2200, 2300 or 2500, you need to take one of 2100 (Intro to Political Theory), 2010 (Research and Writing in Political Science), 2200 (Introduction to International Politics) or 2300 (Introduction to Comparative Politics).

A Political Science HONOURS candidate who HAS NOT completed a 2000-level Political Science course prior to September 2009
You are required to follow the new regulations for Honours candidates. In the short term, you need to complete POSC 1000 (unless you have completed 1010 and 1020 by September 2009), POSC 2010 (research/writing), 2100 (political theory), 2800 (Canadian politics), and two of: 2200 (international politics), 2300 (comparative politics), 2600 (public policy). In the longer term, you will need to be aware of new requirements at the 3000-level in particular.

A Political Science MAJOR candidate who HAS NOT completed a 2000-level Political Science course prior to September 2009
You are required to follow the new regulations for Major candidates. In the short term, you need to complete POSC 1000 (unless you have completed 1010 and 1020 by September 2009), 2100 (political theory), 2800 (Canadian politics), and two of: 2200 (international politics), 2300 (comparative politics), 2600 (public policy). In the longer term, you will need to be aware of new requirements at the 3000-level in particular.

A Political Science MINOR candidate who HAS NOT completed a 2000-level Political Science course prior to September 2009
You are required to follow the new regulations for Minor candidates. In the short term, you need to complete POSC 1000 (unless you have completed 1010 and 1020 by September 2009) and 2800 (Canadian politics).

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I signed up under the old program. How do the changes affect me?
As of September 2009 there are a number of changes that may affect you. If you have “Grandfathered” status but are in the early stages of your studies you may elect to follow the new requirements rather than the old ones. If you are nearing graduation then at a minimum you will need to become familiar with new course numbers and, if you are an Honours candidate, you will need to review the revised Guidelines Governing Honours Essays.

What happens if I have taken a course that no longer exists in the curriculum?
The course will continue to be identified on your transcript as it existed at the time that you took it. For example, if you completed POSC 2000 "Introduction to Political Thought" in 2008, you do not need to take the adjusted version 2100 "Introduction to Political Theory" because they are the same course (which is why there would be a credit restriction to prevent you taking 2100). In this example POSC 2000 would remain as-is on your transcript.

Should I switch into the new program requirements?
As a rule of thumb, students should continue following the program requirements that ordinarily apply to them. This is especially true for upper-year students. However, in some instances lower-year students may want to follow the requirements that took effect in September 2009. It is up to each student, in consultation with an advisor at Memorial, to compare the old and new requirements to determine which best fits with their needs.

Do I now need POSC 1000 to graduate with an Honours, Major or Minor?
"Grandfathered" students do not need POSC 1000; all other Political Science students do need POSC 1000, with one exception. A Political Science student who, prior to September 2009, had completed both of POSC 1010 and 1020 but who had not yet completed a 2000-level course or above in Political Science is exempted from the POSC 1000 requirement.

Do I have "grandfathered" status if I haven't applied for an Honours, Major or Minor in Political Science?
Your status is determined exclusively by whether or not you had completed a 2000-level or higher Political Science course before September 2009. Though we do encourage students to formally declare after a couple of Political Science courses, for the purpose of determining your "grandfathered" status it doesn’t matter whether or not you have done so.

There are prerequisites for all 4000-level Political Science courses. What do I do if I don’t have the prerequisite courses?
"Grandfathered" students may substitute listed prerequisites in 4000-level (except 4010, 4011, 4600) Political Science courses with at least 12 credit hours in Political Science including at least 6 credit hours at the 3000-level. Furthermore, course instructors (with the permission of the Head of the Department) can opt to sign in a student to a course, so someone who do not have the prerequisites but believes that he/she has sufficient preparation for the course should get in touch with the instructor.

I am an Honours student and I noticed that the Guidelines Governing Honours Essays have been updated. What do I need to do?
All Honours candidates need to review the Guidelines prior to enrolling in 4010 (formerly 4950). To take that course, declared Honours candidates need to complete the "Honours essay learning contract" on page 2 of the Guidelines and submit with an add/drop form to the Head of the Department. Declared Honours candidates must provide these completed documents to obtain permission to enroll in 4010.

I am also working towards a certificate program. How do the changes affect my ability to complete the required courses?
In most cases you need to identify the comparable course to the one required by your program. For instance, if you need POSC 2710 "Introduction to Canadian Politics I", then you need to take POSC 2800 "Introduction to Canadian Politics and Government" which is essentially the same course. If it isn't immediately obvious the way to figure this out is to look at the credit restrictions in the university calendar entry and/or on the courses page of the Political Science website.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS

If you have any questions, begin by reviewing the information available on our Website. If you are unable to find an answer or would like some course planning advice then please contact the Department’s undergraduate advisor.

Share