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.

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-IV, and one 400 level course. A course on methods of political analysis (POLI 321) is strongly recommended. SOSC 300 and EUS 300 are each accepted in lieu of 1.5 units of upper-level POLI coursework. 
  • Complete 1.5 units of Political Science courses focussed on Indigenous politics, either POLI 263 or 363. POLI 263 is strongly recommended. POLI 263 can be used to satisfy the Indigenous politics requirement and also count towards lower level requirements. POLI 363 cannot be used to satisfy both the Indigenous politics requirement and the Canadian group requirement.

Students should consult the department website for more detailed advice about program planning. In general, 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.

Note: It is strongly recommended 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 in political theory (see below). Some courses on offer will incorporate material from more than one of these fields.

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. The 2021 Honours application form is available here.

Congratulations to our 2021 Honours students!

Jaclynn Dennis "The International Criminal Court: An analysis on the ICC’s ability to institutionalize and diffuse the norm of the global protection of human rights through its universal jurisdiction" 
Supervisor: Dr. Scott Watson Second reader: Dr. Mike Webb

Giulia Gagliano "The Moral Economy of Italy’s Lega Nord and the Othering of Migrants: a Story of the Masculine Protectorate of the Nation’s Symbolic Boundaries"
Supervisor: Dr. Oliver Schmidtke Second reader: Dr. Mara Marin

Mary Heeg "Privacy and Surveillance Implications of Google’s G Suite for Education" 
Supervisor: Dr. Colin Bennett Second reader: Midori Ogasawara

Micaela Hurst "Finding Protection in Times of Uncertainty: Exploring International Protection Frameworks for Environmentally Displaced Persons"
Supervisor: Dr. Scott Watson Second reader: Dr. Will Greaves

Lily Jones "The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of the Non-Autonomous Prostitute"
Supervisor: Dr. Mara Marin Second reader: Dr. Avigail Eisenberg

Kate Korte "Towards Indigenous self-determination of justice post-Gladue: Exploring recent cases involving Inuit offenders and the incorporation of Inuit legal traditions in sentencing decisions"
Supervisor: Dr. David Milward Second reader: Dr. Claire Cutler

Paarth Mittal "The Interplay between Extraction, Securitization, and Indigenous Dispossession: An Interpretive and Comparative Analysis of Standing Rock and Wet’suwet’en Resistance"
Supervisor: Dr. Jamie Lawson Second reader: Dr. Bill Carroll 

European Studies Option 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 Option 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.

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

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 Year
POLI 321, 338, 351, 390
POLI 490, 499

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

GROUP II: Comparative Politics
POLI 311, 313A, 313B, 313C, 318, 319, 324327, 354371, 372, 373, 374, 376, 378, 379, 381
POLI 412, 414, 428436, 453, 463, 473

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

GROUP IV: International Politics
POLI 326328, 329, 340, 341, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 383
POLI 440442, 444

Upper Level Electives
POLI 322323, 335, 351370, 380, 382390
POLI 433, 456, 458