Department of Political Studies


Political Studies

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Prospective Students

Arts & Science students remain undeclared during their first year at Queen's and take five general 100-level courses in different disciplines. For those interested in pursuing a degree in Political Studies, one of those five will be POLS 110. After first year, students who wish to apply a degree program in the Department of Political Studies do so and are accepted, provided they maintain a satisfactory GPA and POLS110 grade in first year. 

Admission Requirements to be accepted into first year Arts & Science can be found here. Students from Ontario are required to have an English 4U, two additional 4U courses, and three additional courses that may be either 4U or 4M. For students coming from outside of Ontario, all other admissions criteria can be found on the aforementioned website. Additionally, general competitive admission averages and statistics for acceptance to Queen's can be found here

Major, Minor, or Medial?

At the undergraduate level, we offer a three-year Bachelor’s degree (BA) and a four-year Bachelor of Arts Honours (BAH). The BAH can be pursued in three variations: Major, Medial, and Minor. Queen's University also offers a Bachelor of Arts Honours (BAH) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, a specialized undergraduate program that combines the three disciplines.

At Queen's University, courses are broken down by units; a course that lasts for one semester is typically worth 3.0 units while a course that covers both semesters of an academic year is typically worth 6.0 units. For students interested in pursuing a degree in Political Studies, please consider the Major Map, (PDF, 444KB), which includes a guide to completing your degree program of choice while maximizing all of the opportunities it has to offer. Also be sure to check out the Cumulative GPA Requirements, (PDF, 65KB) to see the minimum GPA required for acceptance to a Political Studies degree program after your general first year. 

Major (POLS-M-BAH)

To complete a four-year Arts & Science Honours degree, students are required to complete 114.0 units of courses in total. To Major in Political Studies, students must ensure 60.0 of these units are Political Studies courses to achieve a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Studies. The option of completing an Honours Thesis is available to fourth year Political Studies Majors who wish to write a substantial paper on a topic of interest in place of taking two required 400 level POLS courses.


  • POLS 110
  • POLS 250
  • POLS 384 & 385
  • 18.0 other units in POLS at the 200 level
  • 12.0 other units in POLS at the 300 level
  • 12.0 units in POLS at the 400 level or above

Recommended Sequence by Year:

1: POLS 110
2: POLS 250; 15.0 other POLS 200 level units
3: POLS 384 and POLS 385;3.0 POLS 200 level units; 6.0 POLS 300 level units
4: 6.0 POLS 300 level units; 12.0 POLS 400 level units (no more than 12.0 units at the POLS 400 level)

Students who plan to go on exchange in third year may want to consider taking POLS384 or POLS385 in fourth year.

Medial (POLS-[XXXX]-A)

A Medial degree allows students to specialize in two disciplines. To achieve a Medial in Political Studies, students are required to take 42.0 units of Political Studies courses, 42.0 units of courses in another discipline, and 30.0 elective courses to reach a total of 114.0 units over four years. 


  • POLS 110
  • POLS 250
  • POLS 384 & POLS 385
  • 6.0 other POLS 300 level units 
  • 6.0 POLS 400 level units or above
  • 12.0 other POLS 200 level units

Recommended Sequence by Year:

1: POLS 110
2: POLS 250; 12.0 other POLS 200 level units
3: POLS 384 and POLS385; 3.0 POLS 300 level units
4: 3.0 POLS 300 level units; 6.0 POLS 400 level units (no more than 6.0 units at the POLS 400 level)

Students who plan to go on exchange in third year may want to consider taking POLS 384 or POLS 385 in second year.


To Minor in Political Studies, students must take 60.0 course units of another discipline and 30.0 Political Studies course units along with 24.0 elective units to reach a total of 114.0 units. 


  • POLS 110
  • 24.0 additional POLS level units

General (POLS-G)

To pursue a three-year General degree in Political Studies, students should take 30.0 Political Studies course units and 60.0 elective units for a total of 90.0 units


  • POLS 110
  • 24.0 additional POLS level units

The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Specialization Program (PPEC)

The Bachelor of Arts Honours (BAH) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics is an interdisciplinary program specialization including an introductory course and a capstone research project. This new, undergraduate program combines Economics, Philosophy and Politics in ways designed to prepare students for a wide range of professional career paths. Students completing the program will be ready to enter graduate studies in their area of specialization, law, public service, international development, policy design and analysis, or any other career that calls for strong analytical and communication skills. The program is structured as an augmented medial (much like a triple-major), without sacrificing advanced skills in each student's area of specialization. With over 50 courses to choose from to complete the program, students will have flexibility in their degree to create a path that works for them, yet with a focus that will stand out in the marketplace.

Visit the PPEC Website

Go to the PPEC Program Major Map, (PDF, 705KB)

The range of possible combinations to achieve your degree is considerable, and there are ample options to ensure the program that you choose is right for you. For more detailed information, visit Faculty of Arts & Science Degree Programs at a Glance.

All applications for admission to undergraduate programs at Queen's, including the B.A. and B.A. Honours in Political Studies, are handled through Admissions Services. For more information on how to submit an application, please visit their website