Civic Engagement

This is the ideal pathway for the regular student not pursuing co-op to get real-world experience. Learn how politics is integrated in our daily lives by engaging with our community through a 40 hour placement as a volunteer or a paid employee.

Enroll in PSCI 498C Civic Engagement Experience (0.5 credit) in the same semester as your placement.  This course is offered every Fall, Winter and Spring semester. Students are expected to complete three reflection papers and submit a final project related to their civic engagement experience that demonstrates how concepts in political science help to illuminate it.

PSCI 498C Civic Engagement Experience Enrollment form (pdf)

Consider the following opportunities to fulfill the requirements for the civic engagement experience:

PSCI Field Courses:

Go on a faculty-led trip for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, gain course credit and also fulfill the requirements of an experiential pathway.

Volunteer Abroad:

Working or volunteering abroad is a great way to see the world, broaden your horizons, and gain valuable experience and skills. Additionally, check out this exciting program: St. Jerome's University Beyond Borders.

External programs

While Waterloo Arts students have previously volunteered through these external programs, they are not officially affiliated with or endorsed by the University of Waterloo.

Look for opportunities at the University of Waterloo:

Look for opportunities in your local community:

Other ideas:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will the department guarantee me a placement if I enroll in PSCI 498C?

No, the department will not guarantee a placement if you enroll in PSCI 498C. You can seek advice from the experiential learning coordinator but you have to find the placement yourself.

2. Do I need to secure a placement before I initiate the enrollment form?

Yes, you should have secured the placement before initiating the enrollment process. This way it will be easier for you to fill out the enrollment form and get all the necessary signatures.

3. Can I double-count my hours from an experience I did for EDGE, or GEC?

So long as you are enrolled in PSCI 498C at the same time as doing the experience for EDGE or GEC, you may double-count the hours. However, be advised that you must write original reflection essays towards the completion of the requirements for PSCI 498C.

4. Will volunteer experiences done in the past count retroactively?

No, the department will not retroactively count any civic engagement experiences that you may done in the past. The rationale for this is that we would like you to reflect on your experience while you are doing it, and use those reflections to develop your final project.

5. Who will grade my final project?  What should my final project be?

The final project will be graded by the instructor on record for the course. Please refer to the PSCI 498C final project deliverables (pdf) document for departmental guidelines and expectations for the final project due at the end of PSCI 498C.