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Major in Political Science

Political Science Major students can expect to learn about the systematic study of politics and government. Studying Political Science provides students with effective analytical and communication skills that lead well into careers in many fields such as law, public administration, the civic service, journalism, politics and academia, among others.

  • Knowledge of the scientific study of politics and government
  • Improved opportunities for jobs in areas such as the government, media or consulting
  • Can pursue an optional concentration in Canadian Government or Global Studies
  • Less depth than an Honours degree
  • Usually a terminal degree (i.e., not for moving on to law school or Masters)

The Faculty of Arts has a number of requirements to qualify for a Bachelor of Arts, such as designating a Minor, and completing core requirements including the completion of core requirements including English, second language, numeracy/science, humanities, social sciences and two designated "research/writing" courses (one of which may be POSC 2010). As part of their non-Political Science electives, candidates may wish to consider courses with associated content offered by other departments, such as Economics, History, Philosophy, Sociology, or Women's Studies. Refer to the MUN calendar for details.

While working towards a Major in Political Science, you could opt to select courses that will allow you to also complete an academic certificate.

Instead of a Political Science Major you could opt to take a Double Major. This would require completing the requirements for a Major in Political Science and completing the requirements for a Major in another subject. You would no longer have a Minor. For example, instead of graduating with a Major in Political Science and a Minor in Economics, you could graduate with a Major in Political Science and a Major in Economics. Candidates may consult with the Head of the Department or its Undergraduate Liaison to receive advice on Political Science course selections.

To graduate with a Major in Political Science, a candidate must have an average of 60% or better in courses required for the Political Science program (excluding 1000-level courses). A student receiving 55% or less on any Political Science course at the 2000-level or higher is expected to seek advice from the Department at the start of the next semester to ensure that adequate progress is being maintained.

Students interested in a Major in Political Science should formally declare by the time that they have completed 6 Political Science courses (18 credit hours) to ensure that appropriate course selections are made.

Major Requirements - Political Science

To obtain a Major in Political Science, students must complete the general requirements for the degree, and at least 42 credit hours (14 courses) in Political Science, as follows:

  • 1000 Introduction to Politics and Government
  • 2100 Introduction to Political Theory
  • 2800 Introduction to Canadian Politics and Government
  • At least two of 2200 Introduction to International Politics, 2300 Introduction to Comparative Politics, 2600 Introduction to Public Policy and Administration
  • 3010 Empirical Methods in Political Science
  • At least one Political Science course numbered 32xx or 33xx
  • At least one Political Science course numbered 36xx or 38xx
  • At least two other Political Science courses at the 3000-level (can include Philosophy 3870 and 3890)
  • At least three Political Science courses at the 4000-level (can include Women's Studies 4005)
  • One other Political Science course

Candidates for a Major degree are required to select courses as specified in the Political Science entry in the university calendar. A possible course pattern is presented in Table 2.

Table 2: Course Pattern for a Major in Political Science (Example)

Year of StudyPolitical Science CoursesCredit Hours
1 st (Fall) 1000 3
1 st (Winter) 2010*, 2800 6
2 nd (Fall & Winter) 2100 and two of 2200, 2300 or 2600

One of 36xx or 38xx
3 rd (Fall & Winter) 3010 and three other 3000-levels (at least one of 32xx or 33xx) 12
4 th (Fall & Winter) Three 4000-level courses 9


(*recommended choice)


Although not required, we recommend that Major candidates complete 2010 Research and Writing in Political Science, preferably before the end of their second year.

Majors may opt to select courses that can be used towards a concentration in either Canadian Government or in Global Studies that, if completed, will be designated on their transcript.

A student who, prior to September 2009, had completed both of 1010 and 1020 but who had not yet completed a 2000-level course or above in Political Science, is exempted from the 1000 requirement.

"Grandfathered" students: Students who had completed at least one Political Science course at the 2000-level or higher before September 2009 ordinarily will follow the old degree regulations (see "grandfathered" students page) or may choose to opt in to the new regulations identified above.

Political Science Major -- Choosing a Minor

There are a number of subject areas that a Major candidate can consider for a Minor that offer courses related to Political Science.

Declaring a Major in Political Science

Students interested in signing up, or "declaring", for a Major in Political Science may do so at any time in their studies. Preferably this will occur by the end of the first year of studies and/or after having completed at least two courses in the subject, including POSC 1000.

Complete the Faculty of Arts' "Declaration/Change of Academic Program" form and return it to the Office of the Registrar (A-2003). We also strongly recommend that Major candidates complete the Political Science intake form ("grandfathered" students use another version) and discuss it with the department’s undergraduate liaison to help ensure that you are aware of course requirements, to answer questions, etc.