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Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science provides a broad exposure to politics, law and government at the domestic and international levels on a less intensive basis than the Honours degrees. Students can pursue a general interest degree or specialize in one of the five areas of study, including Political Theory, Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics of Developed and Developing Countries, International Relations and Public Policy. Students can also upgrade to the more intensive Honours BA if it suits their academic interests and abilities.

B.A.Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science provides a broad exposure to politics, law and government at the domestic and international levels on a less intensive basis than the Honours degrees. Students can pursue a general interest degree or specialize in one of the five areas of study, including Political Theory, Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics of Developed and Developing Countries, International Relations and Public Policy. Students can also upgrade to the more intensive Honours BA if it suits their academic interests and abilities.

 

Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

Students will gain a solid understanding of how the field of Political Science approaches the study of various dimensions of political life. The breadth of knowledge required includes the internal organization and working of political institutions and practices, including governance structures, electoral systems, social movements, and historic transformations, as well as an understanding of the state’s relationships to the social world, to other states, and to the global arena. This knowledge is gained alongside the development of skills in careful, analytic reading, thinking, and writing. The undergraduate degree at McMaster deepens students’ grasp of these issues and skills by engaging them in the study of key areas of the discipline while also requiring them to take electives outside the department, so as to see their knowledge and skills within a wider scholarly community. 

Knowledge of Methodologies

Students will learn how to find and use information about political institutions, actors, and events and to explore scholarly and other literatures to find arguments and theories relevant to interpreting or explaining these. They will learn how to obtain and manage this information and analysis, with attention to relevance, accuracy, and the efficient use of time, and to transform this information and analysis effectively into written texts or verbal communications.

Application of Knowledge

Students will learn how to independently find and assess a range of scholarly and specialized primary sources in politics and related fields; critically evaluate and make use of such sources in light of leading paradigms and/or methodologies in two or more subfields of political science; develop a well-structured, well-supported argument; effectively present such arguments and/or other findings in a variety of ways, including essays and oral presentations. 

Communication Skills

Students will develop written and oral communication skills in the areas of political theory, methodology, and coursework representing the various subfields of political science. Writing research essays, book reviews, and reaction papers to assigned readings will develop written communication skills. Participation in tutorials and inclass debates and discussion will enhance oral communication skills. 

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge

Students will learn the importance of consciously seeking to establish support for the political or social scientific claims that they make and of knowing the limit of that support. Students will become aware of the difficulty of establishing criteria for assessing the value of one set of political or social scientific claims relative to another. 

Autonomy and Professional Capacity

Students will be provided with the knowledge, methods and skills necessary for employment, further study or community involvement in fields such as government, law, politics, international relations and business. As such the degree will impart the sophisticated analytical and communication skills valued by these fields and will foster behavior consistent with professional and social responsibilities and civic engagement.

 

Level 1

POL SCI 1AA3 and POL SCI 1AB3

Students wishing to major in Political Science must take POL SCI 1AA3 and 1AB3 (previously 1G06). 

Level 2

Up to 15 units of Level 2 Political Science (not including PS 2O06 or PS 2NN3)

Second year courses are designed to give students a foundation in our five fields: Some of these course are prerequisites for third and fourth year classes, so make your choices carefully. Course descriptions are in the current Undergraduate Calendar.

Students must also complete one course in Canadian Politics at the second, third or four year level. 

Level 3

Minimum of 9 units of Level 3 Political Science

Study Abroad 

Where can I go?

We have exchange agreements with universities in Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Japan. 

Requires completion of any Level I program, with a GPA of at least 3.5. Students must have a grade of at least C- in POLSCI 1G06 A/B or an average of at least 4.0 in POL SCI 1AA3 and 1AB3.

Undergraduate Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards

All undergraduate students accepted for admission to McMaster University are automatically considered for a McMaster University entrance award. Additional entrance awards, in-course scholarships, bursaries and other forms of financial assistance are available to you at various stages of their undergraduate careers.

Each scholarship, bursary, Government Aid or Work Study Program a(DELETE) has its own unique application process and requirements. More information on financial aid visit the Student Financial Aid & Scholarship (SFAS) Office.

The Clarke Prizes in Advocacy and Active Citizenship

Established in 2014 by Ryan Clarke (Class of '88) and Leanna Clarke to reward distinguished advocacy demonstrated by students at McMaster University who are - or wish to - advocate for some type of meaningful social and/or political change.

Parliamentary Internship Programs

They should also follow the same formatting in terms of headings etc.  We should also list the awards provided by the Department under the first paragraph in the undergraduate scholarships – if an easily accessible list is available.  If not, then in the future we should.  This formatting should be replicated for each of the programs and minors.

Political Science Academic Advisors (For the Fall/Winter 2016-17 Term)

Dr. Todd Alway – KTH 538
alwayto@mcmaster.ca

Dr. James Ingram – KTH 537
ingramj@mcmaster.ca

Undergraduate Chair (For the Fall/Winter 2016-17 Term)

September – January
Dr. Greg Flynn – KTH 543
flynngl@mcmaster.ca

January – April
Dr. Lana Wylie – KTH 506
wyliel@mcmaster.ca

Academic Advising

The Academic Advising office is run through the Office of the Associate Dean. The primary goal of the Advising Office is to provide all Social Sciences undergraduate students with the information and guidance they need to succeed in their academic careers.

Advisors can help you make the right academic decisions by explaining policies and regulations as well as presenting different options and supports available in your studies.

An academic advisor can assist you with:

  • Course requirements, dropping and adding courses
  • Program selection, application and changes
  • Studying abroad
  • Transfer credits
  • Petitions for missed term work, deferred examinations and special consideration
  • Appeals procedures
  • Referral to other campus services

Learn more about Academic Advising in the Social Sciences.

POLSCI 1AA3 - Government, Politics, and Power
POLSCI 1AB3 - Politics and Power in a Globalizing World
POLSCI 2C03 - Force and Fear, Crime and Punishment
POLSCI 2D03 - Canadian Citizenship: Institutional Foundations
POLSCI 2F03 - Politics, Power and Influence in Canada
POLSCI 2H03 - Globalization and the State
POLSCI 2I03 - Global Politics
POLSCI 2J03 - Global Political Economy
POLSCI 2M03 - Comparative Politics of Advanced Industrial Nations
POLSCI 2NN3 - Politics by Design
POLSCI 2O06 A/B - Political Theory
POLSCI 2U03 - Public Policy and Administration
POLSCI 2XX3 - Politics of the Developing World
POLSCI 3BB3 - Political Communication: Canada and the World
POLSCI 3C03 - Government and Politics of Indigenous People
POLSCI 3CC3 - Political Authority: 20th-Century Political Theory
POLSCI 3EE3 - International Relations: North-South
POLSCI 3F03 - Contemporary Social Movements and Popular Coalitions
POLSCI 3FG3 - Public Service Leadership
POLSCI 3G03 - Ethnicity and Multiculturalism: Theory and Practice
POLSCI 3GG3 - Federalism: Theoretical, Constitutional and Institutional Issues
POLSCI 3I03 - Topics in American Politics
POLSCI 3JJ3 - Provincial Politics in Canada
POLSCI 3K03 - Migration and Citizenship: Canadian, Comparative and Global Perspectives
POLSCI 3KK3 - Genocide: Sociological and Political Perspectives
POLSCI 3LA3 - Religion and Politics
POLSCI 3LB3 - Globalization and the World Order
POLSCI 3LC3 - Southeast Asian Politics
POLSCI 3LL3 - Development and Public Policy
POLSCI 3NN3 - Statistical Analysis of Primary Data
POLSCI 3NN6 A/B - Public Law
POLSCI 3PR3 - Practice of Politics
POLSCI 3Q03 - The Causes of War
POLSCI 3UU3 - Reading Course
POLSCI 3V03 - Women and Politics
POLSCI 3VV3 - Democratic Theory
POLSCI 3X03 - Contemporary Security Issues
POLSCI 3Y03 - Democratization and Human Rights
POLSCI 3Z03 - Canadian Public Sector: Implementation of Policies

For more information:
Department of Political Science
KTH 527
905-525-9140 ext. 24741
flynnrm@mcmaster.ca
Length:
3 years
Required Credential:
High School Diploma or Equivalent
Program Type:
Course Based
Program Options:
Full-time, Part-time
Typical Entry:
September
Current Deadline:
April