Prospective Students

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We recommend that first-year students take advantage of the Summer Academic Orientation (SAO) offered by the University. SAO is a program where first-year students can select courses with a professor, create a timetable, register for courses, obtain their Western photo identification, and much more. For more information, please visit this website. 

For ease of use, this page has been divided into sections based on topic. Please click on the following links to navigate between sections:

Why Political Science? Why Interdisciplinary Studies? 

The Department of Political Science offers specialized programs, such as an Honours Specialization in Political Science. However, the Department also has opportunities for interdisciplinary education through an Honours Specialization in Politics, Philosophy and Economics - Politics and Philosophy (PPE-P).

To learn more about our programs, please watch the videos from our 2020 Virtual Fall Preview Day by clicking on the images below.

What Will I Study?

Since Political Science is a broad area of inquiry, it is often divided into several subfields:

  • Canadian Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Theory
  • Comparative Politcs
  • Local Government
  • Public Policy & Public Administration

In these specialized subfields, your studies will have relevance to today's issues and tomorrow's developments. Whether you wish to study the theoretical or practical side of politics; whether you want to master the details of public policy making in Canada or learn about the implications of globalization; whether you seek to focus your attention on current issues or on their historical background, Western Political Science has much to offer you.

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First Year Requirements

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The normal course load for a first-year program is 5 first-year courses. These courses are numbered 1000 to 1999 and must include at least 4 different subjects with no more than 2 courses in one subject.

Additionally, students must satisfy the Breadth Requirements. This means that at least one course must be chosen from each of three categories - Category A (Social Science), Category B (Arts), and Category C (Science). Any outstanding breadth requirement not completed in first year must be completed prior to graduation.

Politics 1020E: Introduction to Political Science

This course is the gateway to other courses in Political Science and prepares you for classes in all of the sub-fields of Political Science, such as: international relations, comparative politics (different regions of the world), Canadian politics (domestic and foreign policy, federal, provincial and local), public policy, and political theory and philosophy. Politics 1020E is required for admission to all undergraduate programs in Political Science.

What Skills Will I Acquire?

In this course you will actively hone skills that will serve you for life:

  • Capacity to think critically and systematically
  • Capacity to write and speak clearly and effectively
  • Research skills
  • Problem-solving skills

Studying politics will assist you in a career in: government, business, journalism, law, law enforcement, non-governmental organizations, political parties, public relations, teaching, United Nations, lobbying, market research, publishing, or academia.

For information on course details, classes, and assignments, please refer to the following handout: Politics 1020E.

Meet Your Instructors

Image of Dan BousfieldDan Bousfield

"I am interested in how knowledge is produced, but also omitted from the practices of education and learning. My work focuses on the relationship between identity, speech, and the platforms in which we can politically participate. I research how technology reproduces social hierarchies and exclusions while intersecting with settler colinialism, sexuality, race, and capitalism."

Image of Nigmendra NarainNigmendra Narain

“Like Professor Jones, I am interested in the interconnectedness of political phenomena, with a focus on gender, feminist theories of global politics, and the region of South Asia. My work involves the role of women's groups in India in relations to the multiple oppressions faced by women and men, their empowerment strategies, and their conception of the region of South Asia."

Sample First-Year Course Selection

Students considering a major in Political Science would benefit from enrolling in the following courses:



Political Science 1020E


Enrollment in, and successful completion of Political Science 1020E - Introduction to Political Science fulfills the prerequisites for all senior Political Science courses.

1000-Level History Course


Admission to the International Relations Program requires the successful completion of Political Science 1020E and a 1000-Level History course.

1000-Level Economics Course


Enrollment in, and successful completion of a 1000-Level Economics course is useful for students wishing to study International Relations at the graduate level.

1000-Level Language Course


Enrollment in, and successful completion of a 1000-Level Language course (e.g., English, French, German, Spanish, Latin) satisfies the Category B graduation requirement.

1000-Level Science Course


Enrollment in, and successful completion of a 1000-Level Science course (e.g., Astronomy, Biology, Computer Science, Mathematics) satisfies the Category C graduation requirement.

Note: This sample is only a suggestion, students are encouraged to take courses that capture their interests.

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