Political Science

Political science examines power in the links between individuals, groups and the state, as well as the workings of government. The field can range from an analysis of global international relations to the study of individual behaviour, from the examination of institutions to reflection on broad philosophical questions and policy issues. The department employs a wide range of approaches in its courses including economic, sociological, psychological and historical modes of analysis.  At the core of the discipline are courses in political theory, embracing the classic writings of political philosophers as well as contemporary analysis. More empirical courses cover the political systems of Canada and a large number of foreign countries, and the relations between those countries. Courses focus on a policy issue such as minority rights, the environment, or technological change. Courses also examine particular dimensions of the political process (e.g., political parties, public opinion and voting, political elites, constitutions and federalism).

Political Science courses are offered in political theory, Canadian government, international relations and the politics of societies that are industrialized, developing and in transition.


Admission Information

  • Students may develop their interest in politics through high school courses in history, law, economics and other related subjects
  • Apply to the Social Sciences admission category on the St. George campus
  • Six Grade 12 U or M courses, including English are required
  • Students outside of Ontario should have the equivalent senior high school credits


Bachelor of Arts Programs

  • Political Science (specialist, major and minor options)


First-Year Courses

  • POL 101Y1 – Democracy, Dictatorship, War, and Peace: An Introduction


Advice for First Year

Students who are interested in enrolling in a political science program, or would just like to study political science as an elective, should take POL 101Y. This course may be used as a prerequisite for other courses in the department and is a requirement for the programs in political science.



The study of political science can be useful preparation for work in government organizations (administrative and research positions); educational institutions (schools, colleges and universities); political organizations (parties, movements, groups); nongovernmental organizations such as lobby groups or community structures; the media; and international organizations.

It provides a good foundation for further study in law, community planning, urban studies, environmental studies and other areas.


Direct career options include:
Activist Mediator
Fundraiser Paralegal
Immigration officer Political aide
Legal secretary Politician
Legislative aide Public affairs reporter
Lobbyist Public opinion analyst


Learn more about the Faculty of Arts & Science by reading our Viewbook


First Year