Hons.B.A.Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
An undergraduate education in Political Science has traditionally led students into a number of directions, such as careers in government services (municipal, regional, provincial or federal), journalism, media and communications, support services for politicians (such as political assistants, consultants, and researchers), public affairs managers, and international organizations. Some graduates have continues their studies at professional schools, such a Law, Social Work, and Colleges of Education.
Whether you are thinking about taking Political Science as an undergraduate degree or only one course for interest you will find that our Department offers an undergraduate curriculum that is both diverse in scope and high in quality. Our programme allows you to learn about important issues such as democracy, development or war, while preparing you for a wide range of careers in government, law, business, education or the non-profit sector.
Our undergraduate students run a very successful McMaster Political Science Students Association (MPSSA) and participate in a range of activities such as the yearly Model United Nations event. Please explore these pages for further information and contact us if you have any questions.
The Department of Political Science at McMaster University offers specialization in various subfields including Political Theory, Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics of Developed and Developing Countries, International Relations, Public Law, and Public Policy.
- Canadian Politics teaches students about Canadian Political Institutions such as Parliament or Federalism and politics around issues such as economic restructuring or the role of indigenous peoples.
- Comparative Politics examines the domestic politics of other countries. We have courses that focus upon the politics of particular countries or regions (US, Europe, Asia, Latin America) as well as courses which examine a particular theme across a number of countries (social movements, multiculturalism, women and politics).
- International Relations examines the relations between peoples of different countries. The focus can be on security, cultural or economic relations.
- Political Theory investigates key theoretical texts and concepts in the field of Political Science. These can range from the work of ancient Greek philosophers to the latest in postmodern thought.
- Public Policy examines how a range of government policies are designed or implemented. These policies can range from health to development
- Public law and judicial studies provides an overview of three bodies of public law – administrative, criminal and constitutional. It examines the historical, philosophical and theoretical aspects underlying constitutions, the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and interpretation and evolution of the Canadian Constitution and Canadian public law.
The Department's Level I (1AA3 and 1AB3) courses are the foundation courses for all Political Science programs at McMaster. We believe it is vital to introduce students to an understanding of the nature of politics, power and the institutions of political governance within countries and internationally. The instructor that teaches Political Science 1AA3 and1AB3 is among the Department's best. Following the first year, students can select courses from five fields: Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, Public Policy or International Relations.
POL SCI 1AA3 and POL SCI 1AB3
Students wishing to major in Political Science must take POL SCI 1AA3 and 1AB3 (previously 1G06).
POL SCI 2O06
POL SCI 2NN3
Up to 15 units of Level 2 Political Science (not including PS 2O06 or PS 2NN3)
At least one course must be from the Canadian Politics Field of Study
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.
POL SCI 3NN3
Minimum of 9 units of Level 3 Political Science (not including PS 3NN3)
The third year offers a wide variety of courses that allow you to develop specialized knowledge in a particular subject. Course descriptions are in the current Undergraduate Calendar.
Study abroad usually takes place in your third year. The Political Science Department strongly encourages students to do a year abroad studying at a university in another country. Such visits can be life changing experiences as you are introduced to new courses, new faculty, new perspectives and new friends. Here is some information to get you started:
Who can go?
To be eligible you must:
- be registered in an Honours or combined Honours program
- have completed at least 60 units of work
- have a Cumulative Average of at least 7.0.
Where can I go?
We have exchange agreements with universities in Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Japan. For a full list see:
What about money?
If you participate in an exchange, you should apply for a travel scholarship. Further details are available from the International Student Services Office and the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.
What should I do?
- Attend one of the International Student Services Office Exchange Information Sessions. They are held in October, November and January. For more details, visit https://iss.mcmaster.ca/outgoing-mcmaster-students/exchange-information-sessions.html
- Gather information at these sessions so that you can discover your exchange options, application process, dates, deadlines, funding your exchange program and have other questions answered.
- Then make an appointment to discuss your exchange university choices and to develop a study plan with the Study Abroad Academic Advisor in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Kelli Cale, KTH, Room 129 email@example.com
- Contact the Department’s Internationalization Officer to let him know what your are doing so we can follow your progress (Robert O’Brien, firstname.lastname@example.org)
12 units of Level 4 Political Science
Students may take a maximum of 12 units of Level 4 Political Science. Additional units of Level 4 POL SCI courses may not be used towards electives
Regular Honours Political Science students are required to take any combination of fourth year Political Science courses to achieve a total of 12 units. As stated in the Undergraduate Calendar, "Students may take a maximum of 12 units of Level IV Political Science."
This requires completion of any Level I program with a GPA of at least 5.0. Students must have a grade of at least C in POLSCI 1G06 A/B or an average of at least 5.0 in POL SCI 1AA3 and 1AB3. For continuation in the program, see Minimum Requirements for Entering and Continuing in a Program Beyond Level I in the Faculty of Social Sciences Academic Regulations.
Students also have the option of pursuing a four year Combined Honours BA in Political Science and another subect. This requires completion of any Level I program with a GPA of at least 5.0. Students must have a grade of at least C in POLSCI 1G06 A/B or an average of at least 5.0 in POL SCI 1AA3 and 1AB3. It also requires satisfaction of the admission requirements for the Honours program in the other B.A. subject. For continuation in the program, see Minimum Requirements for Entering and Continuing in a Program Beyond Level I.
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.
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
Dr. James Ingram – KTH 537
Undergraduate Chair (For the Fall/Winter 2016-17 Term)
September – January
Dr. Greg Flynn – KTH 543
January – April
Dr. Lana Wylie – KTH 506
POL SCI 4Z06 Coordinator (For Fall/Winter 2016-17)
Dr. Inder Marwah – KTH 540
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 3B03 - Honours Issues in International Relations and Global Public Policy
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 3H03 - Honours Issues in Comparative Politics
POLSCI 3I03 - Topics in American Politics
POLSCI 3J03 - Honours Issues in Canadian Politics and Canadian Public Policy
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
POLSCI 4AA6 A/B - Problems In American Politics
POLSCI 4D06 A/B - Human Rights and International Politics
POLSCI 4EP3 - Environmental Policy
POLSCI 4FF3 - Rights and Justice
POLSCI 4G06 A/B - Politics of Public Policy
POLSCI 4GG3 - Conceptual Issues in Global Politics
POLSCI 4HH3 - Critical Theory
POLSCI 4JJ3 - Cosmopolitanism
POLSCI 4JS6 A/B - Politics and Judicial Studies
POLSCI 4KB3 - Non-Western International Relations
POLSCI 4KC3 - Comparative Democratization
POLSCI 4KD3 - Emotion and the Global Economy
POLSCI 4KK3 - Advanced Issues in Global Security
POLSCI 4NN3 - Studies in Global Political Economy
POLSCI 4O06 A/B - Canadian Public Policy
POLSCI 4Q06 A/B - Politics and Society in Latin America
POLSCI 4QQ3 - Issues in International Politics
POLSCI 4RR3 - Health Policy in the Industrialized World
POLSCI 4SS3 - Politics and Social Policy in the Developing World
POLSCI 4T06 A/B - Issues in Canadian Politics
POLSCI 4Y03 - Domination and Decolonization
POLSCI 4Z06 A/B - Honours Essay
POLSCI 4ZZ6 A/B - Experiential Learning in Research
- For more information:
Department of Political Science
905-525-9140 ext. 24741
- 4 years
- Required Credential:
- High School Diploma or equivalent, with 6 Grade 12 U/M courses including English 4U. The anticipated cut-off required by Ontario High School applicants for admission (subject to change) to Social Sciences I is 75-78%.
- Program Type:
- Course Based
- Program Options:
- Full-time, Part-time
- Typical Entry:
- Current Deadline: