Political Science at the University of Waterloo

Welcome to Political Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada’s most innovative university. Our department is one of the top-ranked departments 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. Many of our faculty have won distinguished scholar and publication awards from leading professional associations including the International Studies Association, the Canadian Political Science Association, the Western Historical Association, and the Canadian Anthropology Society. As of 2022, 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 that we have substantial expertise in all the major fields of Canadian Politics; Comparative Politics; International Relations and Global Politics; Political Theory; and Public Policy and Administration. Yet, we are small enough that our students can maintain close contact with their professors and with one another. With more than four out of five of all undergraduate courses and all regular-term first-year courses taught by full-time faculty, students can develop long-term learning relationships with their professors as they proceed through their chosen program from introductory to senior-level courses. The faculty are strongly committed to their students’ success.

Our department also provides exciting opportunities for understanding the real world of politics. As one of three experiential learning pathways, our ‘engagement pathway’ gives students exciting opportunities to fulfil their Political Science degree by participating in international exchanges, international field courses, research assistantships, or undertaking community placements as volunteers, among other options. Students in work-integrated learning can opt for the university’s world-renowned co-op program either as Honours Political Science majors or as double majors in Honours Political Science and Business.

At the graduate level, we offer an MA and a PhD in Political Science (with a co-op options), and the Master of Public Service. Our faculty also make enormous contributions as faculty and supervisors in the MA and PhD in Global Governance which is housed at the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

All of students are encouraged to make connections between theory and practice, to develop important writing, research, and presentation skills, and to excel as critical thinkers and engaged members of their communities. Given our department’s student-centred programming and our strong commitment to community engagement and skills-building, it perhaps not surprising that so many of our alumni from the private, public, and non-profit sector get noticed, including as Faculty of Arts Young Alumni Award winners!

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. Read the University of Waterloo's Territorial Acknowledgement