BA Political Science Degree Guide

This is a degree guide about the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science at the University of Alberta Faculty of Arts.­­ 


Much more than how a bill becomes a law! Explore a variety of topics, including: local, national and international state-society relations; the many faces of power; critical approaches to settler-colonialism; democracy at the polls and in the streets; why gender matters in politics; and theories of citizenship, rights and justice.

This program offers courses in:

  • Canada, China, U.S., Middle East, Europe
  • Indigenous politics
  • International relations
  • Social justice
  • Environment and energy
  • Populism
  • Gender
  • Media
  • Ethnicity and nationalism
  • Global governance


Complete your major requirements and test out different classes. Design your academic plan — you’re in control!


Note: POL S 101 is the prerequisite for most 200-level POL S courses

  • Six courses at the 200-level, of which five must be from:
  • POL S 201 - Introduction to Indigenous Politics
  • POL S 211 - Introduction to History of Political Theory
  • POL S 212 - Introduction to Contemporary Political Theory
  • POL S 224 - Canadian Government
  • POL S 225 - Canadian Politics
  • POL S 235 - Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POL S 250 - The Politics of Gender
  • POL S 261 - International Relations
  • Two POL S courses at the 300- or 400-level
  • Two POL S courses at the 400-level.

To verify your Major and BA Common Requirements, check the University Calendar and speak to an advisor.

The percentage breakdown of the components of the BA Political Science (Major) are as follows:

  • Required Poli Sci courses (Major) (27.5%)
  • BA Basic Requirements (12.5%)
  • Second Major, Ninor(s), Certificates, Electives (60%)


I COULD BE A... policy advisor, politician, lawyer, reporter, social media co-ordinator, foreign service officer, political strategist.

OR WORK IN... government, party politics, business, international development, media, Indigenous policy, education, human rights.


 1 Apply political ideas, ideals, and information to real-life events. You’ll get ready to offer solutions to crucial local, national, and global issues!

 2 Take your study of governments and politics to a model United Nations, European Union Council, or Parliament. Or help host the popular U of A High School Model United Nations.

 3 Work with a professor on a major research project — it could even be funded! Submit a paper to the Political Science Undergraduate Review.

 4 Do an internship in Washington, D.C, or study in historic Cortona, Italy, two of the

many opportunities to go abroad.

 5 Gain professional experience, network, and consider career options in a full time paid Arts Work Experience.



Globalization and Governance, Peace and Post-Conflict Studies, Engaged Leadership and Citizenship in Arts and Science, European Studies, International Learning, Applied Social Science Research.


Arts Work Experience, Study Abroad, Undergraduate Research Initiative, Internships, Community Service-Learning.

The following suggested opportunities are organized in four themes (Gain Experience, Global Perspective, Navigate Courses, Seek Out Connections) and by early, mid, and late stages of your degree. Learn more about Indigenous peoples, perspectives, and worldviews throughout your degree.

Early degree

  • Expand your career options, be proactive, and test possibilities. Join a student group.
  • Gain experience: gain valuable resources with a part-time or summer job. Check the SU Volunteer Registry for opportunities to contribute to the community.
  • Global perspective: check out the films and talks offered during International Week, or attend a China Institute event. Intro courses with Indigenous content to provide insight into global and Canadian politics.
  • Navigate courses: use academic resources, such as Financial Aid, Academic Success Centre, Accessibility Resources, U of A International, or the First Peoples’ House.
  • Seek out connections: from 400+ student clubs, groups, and teams, pick one that fits your interests, talents, values, goals, or identities.


  • Take risks, try new things, ask for and offer help to people you know and people you meet.
  • Gain experience: make a difference by participating in student government at any level — Political Science, Arts, the Students’ Union. You can run for office or be a campaign manager!
  • Global perspective: study abroad in Cortona, Italy, or in an e3 program for guaranteed credit. You can apply for funding.
  • Navigate courses: submit a paper to a student journal or conference. Each year, Political Science awards support superior work.
  • Seek out connections: apply to Arts Work Experience, or International Student Work Experience for paid, professional experience and stronger transferable skills.

Late degree

  • Develop and revise your career story based on your values, interests, and what you learn.
  • Gain experience: let the Career Centre help you craft a targeted resume and make effective use of social media to prepare for your next steps.
  • Global perspective: improve your French in Quebec or France. Do an U of A-supported internship in Washington, D.C.
  • Navigate courses: your small, seminar courses are a unique opportunity to get to know, and interact with, your professors and classmates.
  • Seek out connections: ask two or three professors to give you references. Use their advice about careers and graduate studies!

Student Supports

These are services that enable you to pursue academic and personal success:

  • Academic advising.
  • Student ombuds.
  • Indigenous student supports.
  • Academic support.
  • Health and wellness.
  • Campus food bank.
  •  Libraries
  • International student supports.
  • Accessibility resources.
  • Financial aid and awards.
  • Professional and career development.
  • Mental health supports.

Department Contact Information
Office: 3-50 Tory Building

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Twitter: @uabpols

We are all treaty people. The University of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people.