Special Studies Course

PSCI 391 Special Studies Course special studies graphic

PSCI 391 is a Special Studies course (also known as a reading course).  It is a single-term course on a specific topic that is not concurrently taught in a focused manner in the department’s regular course offerings.  It is supervised by a full-time faculty member in the Political Science department.

Am I eligible to take this course?

Students should be at least level 3A to take PSCI 391.

What are the course expectations?

Students contemplating a special studies course should have a topic of study in mind.  They should work with their faculty supervisors to devise a program of study that includes a variety of written and reading assignments that are typically expected in a 300-level PSCI course. All assignments should be completed and submitted within the time constraints of a normal academic term.

Please note that learning in this course is self-directed, which means that students are required to plan, propose, and carry out their program of study with minimal supervision.

There is no classroom component to this course, however, students should plan to meet with their faculty supervisors on a regular basis. The number and frequency of meetings will be determined by the faculty supervisor.

How should I find a faculty supervisor?

Students should approach a potential supervisor as early as possible, preferably before the beginning of term in which the course is intended to be taken. Students should discuss their topic and proposed program of study with the faculty member who will act as supervisor. Consult this list of faculty members and their areas of research and specialization (https://uwaterloo.ca/political-science/about/people/faculty).

Please note that supervision of PSCI 391 is a voluntary activity undertaken by faculty members over and above normal departmental responsibilities. This means that although faculty members are generally anxious to assist students in their special projects, their other commitments may sometimes mean that they are unable to provide the supervision. Therefore, planning ahead to find a faculty supervisor is in your best interest.

How should I enroll in this course?

Enrollment in PSCI 391 is a two-step process.  First, students should find a faculty member who is willing to supervise their proposed program of study.  Second, students should complete an enrolment application outlining their intention to take PSCI 391 and their proposed program of study.  This application must also include evidence of the faculty supervisor’s approval of the proposed program of study. The deadline to submit this application is two days prior to the end of the add-drop period of the term in which the course will be taken. If your application is approved, you will be admitted into the course in the first week of classes.

PSCI 391 Special Studies Enrollment Form

If you have any questions, please contact psciadvising@uwaterloo.ca