Political Science

Calling all political junkies

From civil unrest in the Middle East to international trade negotiations, today’s political landscape is complex. Learn how to navigate (and shape) that terrain with a Political Science degree from Waterloo.

Investigate a wide range of topics, or dive deep with a specialization in Canadian Politics, Global Governance, International Relations, or Politics and Business.

Either way, you’ll hone your analytical, writing, critical thinking, and research skills in a mix of lectures, seminars, and workshops. You’ll also get an insiders’ perspective, studying with top scholars involved in current international policy debates. Gain an understanding of comparative politics, international relations, social sciences, and political theory. If you want to apply your teachings early, you can choose the co-op stream and get some work experience while going through your degree.

Graduate ready to make a difference. Now more than ever, the world needs savvy movers and shakers equipped to respond to current events.

Join a Poli Sci powerhouse

Explore power, global politics, and governance in a program ranked among the top 200 politics and international studies programs in the world (QS World University Rankings, 2019).

90+ undergraduate courses

Sink your teeth into Chinese foreign policy, women and politics, global security, or dozens of other highly topical courses.


icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

briefcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor



Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Political Science as your major at the end of first year.

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First-year courses

September to December

  • PSCI 100 - Introduction to Government
  • Arts First requirement 1*
  • Three additional courses

January to April

  • PSCI 150 - Introduction to Global Politics
  • Arts First requirement 2*
  • Three additional courses

*The Arts First requirement consists of two first-year courses that are capped at 25 students: ARTS 130 - Inquiry and Communication and ARTS 140 - Information and Analysis. Instead of listening to a lecture and trying to capture notes, Arts First courses will have you and your classmates working together to respond to a challenge posed by the instructor.

After first year

40% of the classes you’ll take will be Political Science courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

Sample upper-year courses

PSCI 281 – World Politics
PSCI 369 – The Politics of Decolonization
PSCI 387 – Globalization
PSCI 488 – Global Food and Agricultural Politics


Customize your Political Science degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your Political Science degree by including one or more of the areas of focus within the program.

  • Politics and Business
  • Global Governance
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • International Relations

You can also include minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus for Political Science students include International Studies and Politics and Business.

icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Junior policy analyst
  • Public affairs coordinator
  • Information technology communications coordinator
  • Economic analyst
  • Junior business systems analyst
  • Talent acquisition assistant
  • Research analyst

Sample co-op employers

  • National University of Singapore
  • Free the Children
  • Canadian Cancer Society
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Manulife Financial
  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • ShapeScale

What can you do with a degree in Political Science?

Graduates frequently pursue careers in policy and risk analysis, public service, research, marketing, and public relations. They often work in financial institutions, non-profit organizations, law firms, and all levels of government.

Recent graduates

  • Lawyer - Legal Aid Ontario
  • Executive Director - Ontario Human Rights Commission
  • Trade Policy Officer – Government of Alberta
  • Research Analyst – Legislative Assembly of Ontario
  • Project Control Officer – Loblaw Companies
  • Legal Counsel – MADD Canada
  • Investment Auditor – CIBC

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