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 public 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 Humanities and Social Sciences has a number of requirements to qualify for a Bachelor of Arts, which are outlined in the University Calendar. 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.

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

  1. In addition to meeting the general requirements for the degree, students completing a Major in Political Science must complete 39 credit hours in courses offered by the Department, including:

    1. 12 credit hours in POSC 1000, 2100, 2800, 3010;

    2. a minimum of 6 credit hours in Political Science courses numbered x2xx and/or x3xx;

    3. a minimum of 3 credit hours in Political Science courses numbered x6xx and/or x8xx (in addition to POSC 2800);

    4. 15 credit hours at the 3000 or 4000 level (in addition to POSC 3010), including a minimum of 6 credit hours at the 4000 level; and

    5. a further 3 credit hours in Political Science at any level.

  2. Students for a Major degree are required to select courses as specified under Major in Political Science. A possible course pattern is presented in Table 3 Suggested Course Pattern for a Major in Political Science



  1. No more than one of POSC 1010 or 1020 can be included among the 39 Political Science credit hours required for a Major.

  2. POSC 1001 is a recommended choice for a Major.

  3. For a Major, the former Philosophy 3870 and the former 3890 may be substituted for 3000-level Political Science credit hours (31xx). No other such substitutions may apply.

Although not required, we recommend that Major candidates complete 1001 Critical Reading and Writing, preferably before the end of their second year.

While meeting the requirements for a program in Political Science, other than a Minor in Political Science, students may optionally select courses in one of two formal concentrations which, if completed, will be noted on the student’s transcript.