What are Political Science and International Relations?
Political scientists study power: who holds it, how it is exercised, and how our lives are influenced by politicians, bureaucrats, and other important institutions and individuals. The study of political science introduces students to political, economic, legal and social issues in Canada and around the world. Similarly, the study of international relations (IR) addresses these processes and issues at the global level and in the relations between political actors with international reach. Issues of importance in IR include policy analysis, security, political economy, development, the role of women in international relations, and international history and law. We also offer elite degrees in Law and Politics and Political Science, Bilingual Specialization.
All of our programs prepare our students for careers in law, public service, business, education, academia, and many other professional and academic settings.
In our undergraduate programs, faculty members who are active scholars and passionate instructors draw on a wealth of practical and academic experience to offer students a comprehensive approach to the study of politics. In upper year seminars, students learn about the nature of power in small discussion-based courses, and develop research techniques, critical thinking and writing abilities, and argumentation and presentation skills. Many of our students also take advantage of the university's numerous international exchange programs, especially those geared more directly toward political science and IR majors.
The department's graduate program allows students to write a research-based master's paper or thesis while improving their research, writing, and analysis skills. Our M.A. graduates often continue with the academic study of Political Science at the doctoral level, and pursue a variety of careers in fields as diverse as law, finance, the volunteer and NGO sector, the civil service, education and journalism. The department's joint Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) program with the University of Michigan-Dearborn offers a unique international opportunity for those students interested in public policy careers following their graduate programs. New this year, students in our M.A. program will have the opportunity of applying to complete a paid internship as a component of their degree. Successful students will be placed in a policy position with a local government or non-governmental agency that will run for six months. These will be paid placements that will give students professional work experience. It will allow them to combine this experience with their academic studies in a way that enhances their employment prospects.
A variety of awards and scholarships are available to undergraduate students upon entry and throughout their degree progress. Internships are also available for fourth-year students, and we have excellent financial support available for our graduate students. Please use the links at the left of the page, to find more information on our various programs, specific faculty and courses, and financial awards and scholarships.