One of the most common words used to describe human society in the early 21st century is crisis. Economic systems are in a state of decline and threatened collapse, our natural environment is being pushed beyond its ability to sustain us, more people live in poverty than ever and, for the first time in history, the current generation can expect to have a lower standard of living than their parents. The Political Science program is designed to equip future professionals and citizens with tools to address these and other vital issues. Since the problems we face result directly from the type of society we have designed, students in this program will develop the ability to explore ways in which economies, laws, political systems and cultures can be re-imagined. This dynamic and innovative program draws from the strengths of an interdisciplinary faculty with expertise in areas such as community development, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, public policy, culture, politics, economics, environment and social movements. With their guidance, students will come to understand the ways in which communities can be mobilized and policies designed to yield economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and social justice.
Our university’s Political Science program offers optional specializations in Political Communication, as well as Social Justice, Globalization and Development.
Political Communication specialization
This interdisciplinary specialization combines core political science concepts with a focus on the politics of media and communication, as well as the complex and sometimes contradictory relationship between political, economic, and cultural practices and forces.
Social Justice, Globalization and Development specialization
This interdisciplinary specialization focuses on human rights and social change and allows students to integrate legal and criminological perspectives into their Political Science degree.
Admission is competitive. The specific average or standing required for admission varies from year to year. Students are selected by taking into consideration a wide range of criteria including school marks, distribution of subjects taken, and performance in subjects relevant to the academic program. Possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Preference will be given to applicants with the best qualifications.
Current Ontario secondary school students must complete the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with six 4U or 4M credits including English (ENG4U). All other applicants should refer to admissions for the requirements for their specific category of admission.
A limited number of fourth-year students are granted an opportunity to participate in a learning experience with a community organization. The Practicum course consists of 100 hours of fieldwork, in-class seminars, a set of academic assignments and a major research paper and poster. As part of the pre-practicum process, students will be required to acquire a Vulnerable Sector check. For additional information, please refer to the course description for SSCI 4098U .
This program offers students who have successfully completed three years of study with a cumulative 3.0 GPA (B average on a 4.3 scale) an opportunity to engage in a work-integrated learning partnership with organizations locally and globally. The internship program not only gives students an opportunity to apply classroom concepts to the challenges of organizational life, but also helps them to gain valuable and relevant work experience to promote networking and life-long career success.
The internship program placement equates to a minimum of 280 hours of paid or unpaid field experience. The intern’s wages, where applicable, are paid by the sponsoring organization over a contracted period. The faculty may provide links to various internship placement opportunities or a student may secure an internship opportunity that meets the criteria as prescribed by the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities. Successful work placement completion and both a verbal and written final project will result in the intern receiving a mark and three credits toward the Honours Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
Admission to the internship program is competitive. While students are participating in an internship program, they may enroll in up to one additional course (three credits) per semester. This course must not interfere with the internship schedule outlined by the employer. For additional information, please refer to the course description for SSCI 4103U .
Students registered in a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) program within the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at the university have the opportunity, in most cases, to combine two majors within the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities concurrently as a double major (note - some restrictions apply). Double major program maps have been approved by the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities and are available through the Academic Advising Office. Students undertaking a double major within the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities will, in most cases, be required to complete more than 120 credit hours. Students wishing to declare a double major must consult with the Academic Advising office.
Degree and Major requirements
To be eligible for the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Political Science, students must meet both the degree requirements and requirements of the major as outlined below for a total of 120 credits. Each year prior to course registration, the order and timing of course offerings will be released by the faculty and communicated to students.
Required first-year courses for all Bachelor of Arts students [21 credit hours]
Political Science major core courses [75 credit hours]
Additional required courses
The remaining 24 credit hours are selected based on the student’s choice to pursue the political science major, or the political science major with a specialization.
Political Science major [24 credit hours]
Political Science major with Social Justice, Globalization and Development specialization [24 credit hours]
Political Science major with Political Communication specialization [24 credit hours]
*POSC approved electives
Students must be aware of and plan appropriately for elective prerequisites.
Not all Political Science electives will be offered every year.
General electives can be taken at/or adjoining their year level, where permission has been granted and prerequisites have been fulfilled. No more than three 1000-level elective courses can be included. For students not pursuing a specialization, a minimum of three elective courses must be offered by the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities but outside of major and at the 2000-level or higher. ALSU 1101U or POSC 1100U recommended as a general elective in first year.
SSCI 4101U and SSCI 4102U Honours Thesis I and II
In order to be considered for the Honours Thesis I , students must apply during their sixth semester to begin their Honours Thesis I in semester seven. The course application must include a detailed statement of intent outlining the methodology, theoretical significance and the projected timelines for completion of the project. To proceed to Honours Thesis II , a student must have successfully completed Honours Thesis I with a minimum A- and prepare a written statement outlining the projected timelines for completion of the project.
Please note: only a limited number of applicants will be admitted to the Honours Thesis. Consent is required from both the instructor and the dean.