Politics is about power – who has it and how it is exercised by nation-states, individuals, groups, classes, or political parties, and how different interests are reconciled in and between communities. Political science is also concerned with institutions created to govern communities, as well as practices such as voting habits or protests, and how rules, behaviour and culture are created in societies. And since power in society is often dependent upon material resources, political scientists study the distribution of wealth, both within and between nations. Students sharpen their debating skills at the Queen’s Model Parliament; they discuss international issues at the Queen’sModel UN or with the Queen’s International Affairs Association. Politics at Queen’s extends past the classroom.
Specializaton in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPEC)
Learn more about this new Plan option
Major in Political Studies
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.
Medial in Political Studies
A dual course of study in Political Studies and any other Arts discipline.
Minor in Political Studies
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.
Political Studies - PhD
Political Studies - MA
Political Thought - MA (Politics / Philosophy)
Political Studies students are encouraged to consider taking part in an exchange program in their third year. Students should note that 400-level POLS courses have a minimum GPA in previous POLS courses as a prerequisite. Since courses taken on an exchange program do not contribute towards GPA calculations, students should ensure that their grades are sufficient to satisfy the 400-level prerequisite before embarking on an exchange program. Those students in Medial or Major Plans must take POLS 384/3.0 and POLS 385/3.0 in their second or fourth year at Queen’s.
Political Studies students who wish to spend one or two terms at the Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle in Britain should consult with the Department. Students may receive credit for courses in other subjects and may defer POLS 384/3.0 and POLS 385/3.0 to their final year.
Politics is about power-who has it and how it is exercised by nation-states, individuals, groups, classes, or political parties, and how different interests are reconciled in and between communities. Political science is also concerned with institutions created to govern communities, as well as practices such as voting habits or protests, and how rules, behavior and culture are created in societies. And since power in society is often dependent upon material resources, political scientists study the distribution of wealth, both within and between nations.
Some of our Political Studies grads work in the following industries:
Erin Tolley earned her PhD from Queen’s in 2013. She is currently working on a book which examines how race affects the media’s portrayal of candidates in Canadian politics. She is the co-editor of Diverse Nations, Diverse Responses: Approaches to Social Cohesion in Immigrant Societies (MQUP 2012), Immigration, Integration and Inclusion in Ontario Cities (MQUP 2012), Immigrant Settlement Policy in Canadian Municipalities (MQUP 2011), Integration and Inclusion of Newcomers and Minorities Across Canada (MQUP 2011), and Electing a Diverse Canada: The Representation of Immigrants, Minorities and Women (UBC Press 2008). Her article, “Do Women ‘Do Better’ in Municipal Politics? Representation Across Three Levels of Government” appeared in the Canadian Journal of Political Science and was short-listed for the John McMenemy Prize in 2012.
There are courses that focus on national politics such as Canadian Government, Mass Media and Politics in Canada, First Nations Politics and Politics in Quebec. And there are courses that look at politics in a global context such as International Politics, Middle East Politics, American Government, The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, and The United Nations. Then there are courses that focus on the process such as Comparative Politics: Democracy and Democratization, Law and the Governmental Process, Citizenship and Non-Citizenship, Elections, Public Opinion, and International Relations: Questions & Challenges.
Students apply to Queen’s Arts (QA) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities Application Centre) website (ouac.on.ca). Secondary School prerequisites include six 4U and 4M courses, including a minimum of three 4U courses, one of which must be ENG4U. Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements.
The Department of Political Studies at Queen's University has long been known for its graduate programs. At the graduate level, we offer the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy in Canadian politics, comparative politics, gender and politics, international relations, and political theory. We also offer a new collaborative Master of Arts in Political Thought with the Philosophy department. We are small enough to provide our students with a highly personalized graduate experience, and our faculty is sufficiently strong, diverse, and well-known that we can provide a well-rounded education that gives our graduates a strong basis for a wide range of careers.The department is particularly well known for its strength in the study of divided and diverse societies. Our MA program will help you refine your crucial and analytical skills, while our PhD program will help you prepare for a rewarding career in university teaching and research.
The deadline for receipt of all applications, including transcripts and letters of reference, is 22 January. Doctoral applicants are encouraged to make informal contact (e.g. e-mail) with potential supervisors about their research interests before applying to the program.
All applications for graduate study at Queen's University must be submitted online. Admission applications and scholarships for both the MA and PhD programs are adjudicated by the School of Graduate Studies. Apply at the School of Graduate Students admission page.
Dr. Oded Haklai
Mrs. Brenda Batson
(613) 533-6000 ext. 77452
The Dept of Philosophy and the Dept of Political Studies at Queen’s have a new 12 month MA in Political Thought. We offer courses on such topics as: Moral Philosophy, Bioethics, Just War Theory, Equality, Social and Political Philosophy, Global Justice, Ethics and Animals.
The Queen’s Collaborative Program in Political Thought offers students the chance to complete an MA in either Philosophy or Political Studies with a specialization in Political Thought. Students enrolled in the program can take designated political thought courses from both departments. “Political thought” is defined broadly so as to include (1) the analysis of basic normative concepts such as justice, equality, and liberty; (2) the elaboration of such concepts in philosophies such as liberalism, Marxism and feminism; and (3) the historical development of these ideas; and (4) the application of these ideas to law and policy, e.g., trade, immigration, religious accommodation.
The Political Thought program builds on the close connections that currently exist between Philosophy and Political Studies. This is an exciting opportunity to intensively engage in an important interdisciplinary field with leading scholars in a lively intellectual community. Students interested in the Collaborative Program in Political Thought are encouraged to contact the contributing departments (see program contacts at right) to determine which Department is best aligned with their academic and research interests.