Faculty of Arts & Science
A place to learn, discover, think and do.
Political Studies at Queen's University

Political Studies

Location: 
Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Room number: 
C-321
Telephone: 
Department Head: 
G.G.Amyot

Undergraduate Chair: Andrew Lister
Graduate Studies Chair: Zsuzsa Csergo

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.

Queen's Department of Political Studies has an illustrious history dating back more than 100 years. Political scientists divide their discipline into several fields of study. At Queen's, we cover political theory, comparative politics (the politics of both developed industrialized countries as well as developing countries), international relations, Canadian politics, and gender and politics.

The Department of Political Studies teaches critical thinking and analytical writing. These are not only a necessary part of citizenship in a democracy but also are essential to a variety of careers. With a degree in Political Studies, our students have gone on to graduate schools, law and journalism. Politics graduates are found in as diverse occupations as corporate finance, lobbying and teaching. Our graduates work in a variety of national and international settings such as development agencies, public opinion firms, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, or local and national government.

Queen's politics students are active in a number of clubs and organizations on campus where they can apply the skills they learn in the classroom. Students sharpen their debating skills at the Queen's Model Parliament. They discuss international issues at the Queen's Model UN or with the Queen's International Affairs Association.

Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

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.

Bachelor of Arts - BA

General in Political Studies
A less intense course of study leading to a 3-year degree.

Full list of Undergraduate Degree Plans at Queen's University

Graduate Degree Options

Political Studies - PhD
Political Studies - MA
Political Thought - MA (Politics / Philosophy)

Study Abroad

Third Year Abroad

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 in their second or fourth year at Queen’s.

Third Year Abroad at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC)

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 to their final year.

Job and Career Opportunities for Politics Grads

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:

  • Administration
  • Advertising
  • Banking
  • Broadcasting
  • Business Administration and Management
  • Communications
  • Consumer Services
  • Corrections
  • Editing 
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Environmental Management
  • Events & Festival Management
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Fundraising
  • Heritage
  • Conservation
  • Human Resources 
  • International Development
  • International Trade
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Media – Electronic & Print
  • Public Policy
  • Administration & Service
  • Public Health
  • Public Relations
  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Social Work
  • Tourism & Travel
  • Volunteerism

Career paths for Politics grads handout from Career Services >

Politics Electives for non-Politics students

POLS 110/6.0 Introduction to Politics and Government
POLS 110/6.0 is the first year course that introduces you to Political Studies at the university level. Any student interested in pursuing a Plan in Political Studies should register in this course. This course is a good elective for any Arts student.

Department Student Council

The Department Student Council (DSC) is the representative and social organisation of the Department’s undergraduate students. The Council is elected every year in September, and serves an eight-month term. More information on the DSC for Political Studies >

Graduate Studies in Politics

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 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.

Graduate Chair
Dr. Zsuzsa Csergo
(613) 533-6232
csergo@queensu.ca  

Graduate Assistant
Ms. Dianne Flint
(613) 533-6230
gradpols@queensu.ca

Have Questions?

Call us at 613-533-2470 or email us.

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