Undergraduate programs

We encourage you to study a wide range of subjects as part of our program. Learn more below about our general, major and honours programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree. You can also pursue a double major or specialize in one of our minor programs.


Congratulations to our 2019 Political Science Honours students!

Major Program

For complete details please see the University Calendar.

  • 7.5 units of Political Science courses at the 100 and 200 levels, including at least one of POLI 101 and 201, with a grade of at least C+ in each course. We strongly recommend that these courses be taken during the first two years of a student’s program. You should take a broad range of courses, including at least one on Canadian politics, one on comparative politics, one on international politics, and one in political theory. We offer some courses which incorporate material from more than one field.
  • 15 units of Political Science courses at the 300 or 400 level, including at least one of POLI 300A, 300B, or 300C, one course from each of the Groups II-V, and one 400 level course. A course on methods of political analysis (POLI 321 or 351) is strongly recommended. SOSC 300 and EUS 300 are each accepted in lieu of 1.5 units of upper-level POLI coursework.

Usually, students should complete the 200 level course in a particular field before attempting any 300 level courses in that field.

All 400 level courses in Political Science are seminar courses. They are open only to students who are registered as Political Science Majors or Honours. Non-Majors who should request "Permission of the Department" from the instructor to register in these courses.

You must also meet the general requirements for Bachelor of Arts degree established by the University and the Faculty of Social Sciences, as described in the University Calendar.

Double Major program

Many students pursue a double major of political science in combination with disciplines like sociology, economics, history, philosophy or environmental studies. 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 women's studies for a career in women's advocacy and policy development.
  • Political science and economics for a career in international relations and economic development.

General or minor program

A concentration in Political Science under the General or Minor Program requires:

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

Honours program

If you choose to pursue an honours degree in political science, you will complete additional political science coursework and choose a concentration in one of the four discipline sub-fields. In your fourth year you will research, write and present an Honours Essay, which provides you an opportunity to investigate a problem in depth, or a community-engaged project. Many students choose to pursue an honours degree to get a taste for the kind of scholarship that they would encounter in graduate school. An honours degree is traditionally considered excellent preparation for graduate school, even though it is not a requirement for many graduate programs.

More information can be found in the University Calendar. If you are interested in pursuing an honours degree, contact the Honours Advisor, Dr. Marlea Clarke before your third year.

2019 Honours students and thesis titles:

Blake Glassford, "A Tale of Two Missions: A Comparative Analysis of the Political Economic Contexts of United Nations Peacebuilding Missions"
Supervisor: Scott Watson, Second Reader: Mike Webb

Samuel Martin, "Structuring Authoritarianism: Governance in Post-Soviet Russia"
Supervisor: Reeta Tremblay, Second Reader: Michelle Bonner

Rachel McMillan, "Interrupting Tradition: The Impact of a Higher Proportion of Women in Canadian Legislatures"
Supervisor: Grace Lore, Second Reader: Laura Parisi

Rebecca Powell, "The 'Birth of a Nation'? A Study of Canadian Nationalism and the Battle of Vimy Ridge"
Supervisor: Matt James, Second Reader: Penny Bryden

Rebecca Rogers, "Non-State Actors in the Arctic Council: How the Inuit Circumpolar Council and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme Exercise Power"
Supervisor: Will Greaves, Second Reader: Mike Webb

Erin Spence, "Playing the Games: Electoral Systems in the European Parliament"
Supervisor: Oliver Schmidtke, Second Reader: Valerie D'Erman

European Studies Concentration and Minor

Interested in European politics? Thinking of pursuing an international career? UVic's European Studies Program offers courses to broaden your knowledge and give you a thorough understanding of Europe's multifaceted history, culture, fast-changing political realities and its extraordinary role in today's world.

  • The European Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary program offered by the Faculties of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Students may obtain this Minor together with Honours, a Major program or other degree program in another department or faculty.
  • The European Studies Concentration is a specialisation in European Studies designed for Majors and Honours students in Political Science who wish to graduate with a concentration in European Politics.
  • Graduate students in various UVic Faculties and Schools can choose a European related topic for their graduate dissertation. Many M.A. and Ph.D. students in History, Political Science, Law and Public Administration chose courses and dissertations in the field of European Studies.

Other opportunities include: Internships and study tours to the EU institutions in Brussels, exchange opportunities, West Coast Model EU and many other opportunities.

Political Science Course Index and Groups

First and Second Year
POLI 101, 103
POLI 201, 202, 210, 211, 217, 233, 240, 263

Third and Fourth Years
POLI 321, 338, 351, 390
POLI 490, 499

GROUP I: Political Theory
POLI 300A, 300B, 300C, 305, 306, 308, 309, 384, 385
POLI 401, 402, 413

GROUP II: Comparative Politics
POLI 311, 313A, 313B, 313C, 318, 319, 327, 371, 372,
POLI 373, 374, 375, 376, 378, 379, 381, 383
POLI 412, 414, 436, 463, 473

GROUP III: Canadian Politics
POLI 320, 350, 357, 360, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 369
POLI 462, 465

GROUP IV: International Politics
POLI 328, 329, 340, 341, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 383
POLI 442

GROUP V: Politics and Society
POLI 323, 332, 335, 336, 370, 380, 382
POLI 422, 430, 432, 433, 434, 436, 456, 458