Political Science at the University of Waterloo

John Ravenhill portrait.Welcome to Political Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada’s most innovative university. Our department is the top-ranked department of political science of its size in Canada. Our faculty have been nationally and internationally recognized through numerous prestigious awards including Fulbright, Killam and Trudeau fellowships. Three of our faculty have won distinguished scholar awards from the leading professional association, the International Studies Association. Seven of our faculty members have won awards for excellence in research, teaching or service from the University.

As a medium-sized department, Political Science has several advantages. We are large enough—with twenty-one full-time faculty—that we have substantial expertise in all the major fields of our discipline: Canadian Politics; Comparative Politics; International Relations and Global Politics; Political Theory; and Public Policy and Administration. Yet, we are small enough that we are a community in which students enjoy close contact with their professors. With more than four out of five of all undergraduate courses and all regular-term first-year courses taught by full-time faculty members, students can develop long-term learning relationships with their professors as they proceed through their chosen program from introductory to senior-level courses.

Our department also provides exciting opportunities for hands-on experience.  As one of three experiential learning pathways, our ‘engagement pathway’ gives students exciting opportunities to fulfil program requirements and course credits through participation in international exchanges, international field courses, directed research assistantships, and undertaking voluntary community placements, among other things. Students can take advantage of the university’s renowned co-op program through a political science major or an honours double major in Political Science and Business. Specializations are available in Canadian Politics, in Global Governance, in International Relations, and in Politics and Business.

We also offer innovative programs at the graduate level including the Master of Arts in Political Science and the Master of Public Service degrees.

Our students are encouraged to make connections between theory and practice, to hone important skills, and to develop critical insights. Given this focus, perhaps it not surprising that our alumni from the private, public and non-profit sector have won the Faculty of Arts Young Alumni Award in five of the past six years!

The Department of Political Science acknowledges that we are living and working on the traditional territory of ‎the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

Prof. John Ravenhill, Chair
Department of Political Science