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Political science (BA major)


Learn everything you need to know about becoming a UVic student, from choosing a program and reviewing admission requirements to submitting your application and reporting your grades.

If you have questions, talk to a student recruiter or attend one of our events.


You’ll need to complete 7.5 units of political science courses at the 100- and 200-levels and 15 units of political science courses at the 300- or 400-level to earn a major in political science.

Program requirements

All POLI courses

Honours program

The honours program helps students develop skills designed for graduate school or for writing/research intensive careers. You will be part of a close-knit student cohort and work closely with a faculty supervisor on your honours thesis.

Admission to the honours program requires a GPA of 6.0 in at least 7.5 units of political science courses numbered at the 100- or 200-level. We recommend that students take a broad range of political science courses including at least one on Canadian politics, one on comparative politics, one on international politics and one on political theory.

If you're interested in pursuing an honours degree, contact the honours advisor, Dr. Amy Verdun, before your third year.

Honours program requirements 

Our 2023 honours students and their thesis titles

Andrew Ambers, "Oceanic Normativitity/ies and the Rights of the Ocean: Toward a Rooted Rights of Nature Paradigm." (Committee: Jeff Corntassel, Sarah Morales)

Patrick Ferreira, "The 2020 George Floyd Protests in Canada: A Study in the Trans-National Diffusion of Protest.” (Committee: Matt James, Jamie Lawson)

Kailani Johanssen, ”Social Media Engagement through the Lens of Recognition Politics.” (Committee: Mara Marin, Avigail Eisenberg)

Nick Rabnett, "Failing to Change, Failing the People: The Impact of a Failed Multilateral Sanctions Regime on North Korean Human Security." (Committee: Will Greaves, Feng Xu)

Ava Redmond, "'The Revolution will be Fancammed': K-Pop Stans, Identity, and the Online Political Organization of Fandoms for Social Movements." (Committee: Simon Glezos, Matt James)

Anna-Elaine Rempel, "Pulling Back the Curtain: A Mixed Methodological Analysis of British Columbia Post-Secondary Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Reporting Practices." (Committee: Feng Xu, Laura Parisi)

Guy Rosenfeld, "Who Cares? The Potential for Empathy’s Role in Canadian Social Policy." (Committee: Matt James, Justin Leifso)

Molly Taylor, "To Restore a Relationship with the World: Looking Beyond Econometric Policy Pathways to Redress Food Insecurity in Northern Indigenous Communities in Manitoba." (Committee: Kelly Aguirre, Jamie Lawson)

Double major

You can pursue a double major of political science in combination with other disciplines. Reasons you might want to pursue a double major:

  • political science and environmental studies for a career as an environmental policy analyst
  • political science and gender studies for a career in women's advocacy and policy development
  • political science and economics for a career in international relations and economic development

There are a few combinations not allowed, but generally you can be creative.

Degree basics

Minors & specializations

minor is an optional program that allows you to study in an area outside of your major program area. A minor in political science requires:

  • 6 units of courses numbered at the 100 or 200 level
  • 9 units of courses numbered at the 300 or 400 level

Option in European Studies

The European Studies Option is designed for majors and honours students in political science who want to graduate with a concentration in European politics.

Opportunities include internships and study tours to the EU institutions in Brusselsexchange opportunitiesWest Coast Model EU and many others.

Related programs


UVic offers scholarships, bursaries, awards and other funding opportunities to help you further your education and succeed in your studies.

Political science scholarships

Most scholarships are awarded based on recommendations made by the department. However, some require a separate application form. 

Explore funding options 

Awards for political science students 

Our recent scholarship winners

Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards (JCURA)

The Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award (JCURA) supports students who complete a research project under the mentorship of a faculty supervisor.

Full-time third and fourth year students with a GPA of 7.0 or above are eligible to apply. Each successful student receives a $1,500 credit in their UVic account.

Our 2023-24 JCURA award winners

Valerie Kuehne Undergraduate Research Awards (VKURA)

The Valerie Kuehne Undergraduate Research Award is an internship opportunity for first- and second-year students to gain research-enriched and applied experiences in their field of study. Students gain experience working within a research environment that is collaborative and collegial with direct support from a faculty mentor. 

Career options

Our graduates are well-trained and learn skills in research, writing, data and policy analysis and public presentation. Political science students find work with government agencies and non-profit organizations. They also work across the private sector, in journalism and consulting. Many of our students go on to law school or graduate school.

Some career options for political science majors 

Meet some of our alumni


Our optional co-operative education (co-op) program gives you hands-on paid work experience related to what you're studying. It's the perfect way to develop your skills and find a career you love.

Learn more about what co-op ishow it works with your degree and what to expect as a co-op student

Political Science co-op students get work experience in research, policy analysis and development, project management, community development and media/communications.

Sample jobs and employers

  • BC Healthy Communities – Victoria Youth Council coordinator
  • National Defence and the Canadian Forces – Geopolitical and Maritime Security research assistant
  • Victoria Disability Resource Centre – workshop program coordinator
  • Land Trust Alliance of BC – community outreach officer
  • Parks Canada – Gulf Islands National Park Reserve survey coordinator

Co-op program requirements 

Hands-on learning

Legislative and Parliamentary Internship Programs

The BC Legislative Internship Program lets Canadian university graduates observe the daily workings of the Legislature first-hand and assist Members of the Legislative Assembly during the parliamentary session. The program is open to BC residents who have a recent bachelor’s degree from a Canadian university. Application deadline: January 31.

The Parliamentary Internship Program welcomes young professionals to Parliament Hill September-June. The paid, non-partisan interns are selected through a national competition. Parliamentary interns meet with senior policymakers, diplomats, journalists, scholars, politicians and leaders in civil society. Application deadline: January 31.

UVic contact: Dr. Jamie Lawson 

Thailand Field School

We’ve partnered on a new field school in northern Thailand examining policies of development and the environment. Read about the Thai Field School in the Ring.

The 1.5 unit, third-year level cross-listed course (POLI 391 / GDS 391) involves a week of intensive classroom study at UVic then it’s off to Thailand for 2.5 weeks of experiential learning.

This field school is unique as priority is given to students usually underrepresented in overseas opportunities. Funding covers the entire costs of the field school for up to 7 students and partial funding for another 3.

For more information about the next Thai Field School, contact Robyn Fila in the Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives (CAPI).