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Majors, minors & specializations

Choose a degree that is right for you! 

We offer a variety of ways to fulfil your degree, each giving students the real world, practical skills and experiences needed to succeed after graduation.

Step 1 – pick an academic plan

Honours & General Political Science (regular & co-op) - We offer a number of opportunities for experiential learning while completing your degree.  Choose an experiential learning pathway emphasizing co-operative education, civic engagement, or research.

Honours Arts & Business, Major in Political Science (regular & co-op)  – Earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with two areas of expertise: Political Science & Business!  Courses include accounting, management, economics, marketing, entrepreneurship, ethics and communication courses. You will also complete co-op or one of our other experiential learning pathways

Honours Double major in Political Science (regular & co-op) - Honours Political Science may be taken in combination with most Arts majors in which an Honours major is offered or with many Honours majors in other faculties. For further information, see the Double majors section of Available Arts Academic Plans.

We also offer a Three-Year General Degree and a Minor in Political Science

Step 2 – pick an experiential learning pathway

Follow the plan that is right for you, whether it be co-op, civic engagement or research.

Co-operative Education - Take advantage of uWaterloo’s world renowned co-op program!  Earn real life experience and money while completing your degree.  The average Political Science co-op program takes 5 year to complete, with work placements beginning in your second year (winter term for Arts & Business students; summer term for Political Science Honours students).  Students go on co-op in 4 month rotations and will finish each placement with a written work report.

Engagement pathway - Get practical, real world experiences while earning a degree! The Engagement pathway is available to all students completing a 4-year degree in Political Science.  This academic plan allows you to earn credit towards their degree by:

  • Volunteering in the community
  • Working as a Research Assistant
  • Completing an Independent Project on current issues in Political Science
  • Studying abroad or completing an international field course

Research Pathway - Develop practical research skills. Students will work with an instructor and a faculty advisor to develop a research project, complete the research, and present their findings.  This may take the form of a traditional honours thesis, but you may complete a research project as part of a small group, or present your findings in an unusual format.

Step 3 – Add a specialization (optional)

Politics and Business specialization - study the relationship between politics and business, states and markets, economics and politics, and power and wealth

Global Governance specialization - study global responses to complex problems including conflict and peace-building, humanitarian crisis, global economic inequality, and environmental change.

International Relations specialization – offered jointly with History, the specialization in International Relations combines a strong grounding in international relations theory with courses in the history of inter-state relations. (Open to both History and Political Science majors).

Canadian Politics specialization – study Canadian institutions, Canada’s constitutional framework, the development and implementation of public policy in different areas, political party organization and electoral competition, and issues affecting Canada’s indigenous people.

Step 4- Add a second major or a minor (optional)

Political Science can be combined with almost any other Arts major to create a double-major. It can also be combined with majors in other faculties.

Students may also add one or more minors to their degree programs. The Political Science department offers a number of interdisciplinary, career-focused minors:

Public Policy and Administration minor - study political institutions within specific countries as well as specific courses on public policy and public administration in Canada and elsewhere (open to any student in any academic plan.

International Studies minor - study transnational connectedness as related to contemporary global issues such as environmental sustainability, global poverty, economic development and protection of human rights (open to any student in any academic plan)

International Trade minor - study the exchange of goods and services across borders, and the far-reaching socio-economic and political implications (open to any student in any academic plan)

Undergraduate BA breadth requirements

All Bachelor of Arts students must meet the following breadth requirements.

Requirement Number of required courses Subjects
Fine, Performing & Communication Arts 1 Digital Arts Communication, Drama, Fine Arts, Music, Speech Communication, Visual Culture
Humanities 2 Classical Studies, English, History, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies
Languages & Cultures 2 Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, East Asian, French, German, Greek, Italian Studies, Japanese, Jewish Studies, Korean, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Eastern European Studies, Russian, Spanish, Studies in Islam
Social Sciences 4 Anthropology, Economics, Geography and Environmental Management, International Trade, Social Development Studies (formerly Interdisciplinary Studies), Political Science, Psychology, Sociology
Transdisciplinary Studies 1

Accounting and Financial Management, Applied Language Studies, Arts and Business, Church Music and Worship, Human Resources Management, Human Sciences, International Studies, Legal Studies, Native Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Sexuality Marriage and Family Studies, Social Work, Spirituality and Personal Development, Women's Studies

Also courses taken in another uWaterloo faculty - see Note 5

Notes:

  1. No more than two courses (1.0 unit) in the same discipline may count towards the Social Sciences requirement.

  2. Cross-listed courses may be designated to fulfill any one requirement. For example, a student registered in Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) 203/History (HIST) 232 may receive credit for either the Transdisciplinary Studies requirement or the Humanities requirement, but not for both. Where the credit is applied depends on the rubric under which the student registers; if, subsequent to registration in the course, the student wishes to have credit applied to the other (cross-listed) rubric instead, s/he may petition the Examinations and Standings Committee (see under Petition Procedures).

  3. Language courses accepted as transfer credits, including courses in American Sign Language, may be counted towards the Languages and Cultures requirement. 

  4. Because Professional Development (PD) courses are not regular academic courses, they do not fulfill any of the breadth requirements.