Prospective Students

(Updated June 2024)

Arts & Science students remain undeclared during their first year at Queen's and take 30 units of general 100-level courses in different disciplines. For those interested in pursuing a degree in Political Studies, 3 of those 30 units must be in POLS 111 or 112 (formerly POLS 110 A/B). Students can apply for a POLS plan – including the Major, Joint honours, and the POLS stream of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics – at the end of first year. See the Faculty of Arts & Science Plan Selection page for more information on the academic requirements for these, and other degree plans.

Students may apply for admission to Queen’s Arts (QA) or Science (QS) through the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC). Following the completion of first-year at Queen’s, students may apply for a Political Studies degree plan. Secondary School prerequisites for arts for Ontario 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. If you are an upper-year student looking to transfer to Political Studies from another university or another faculty at Queen’s, you can find out more about the process from Queen's Admissions, How to apply.


Major, Minor, Joint Honours or PPE?

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, Joint Honours, 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, 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 to see the minimum GPA required for acceptance to a Political Studies degree program after your general first year (note, however, that these requirements may be subject to modest changes from one year to the next). 

Major (POLS-M-BAH)

To complete a four-year Arts & Science Honours degree, students are required to complete 120.0 units of courses in total. To Major in Political Studies with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), 60.0 of these units must come from 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 three required 400-level POLS courses.

Requirements:

  • 6 units POLS 111 + POLS 112 (formerly POLS 110 A/B)
  • 6 units of theory: POLS 250 and POLS 350
    • POLS 250, and POLS 350 are one-semester courses and replace POLS 250 A/B, which was a two-semester course. If you’ve taken POLS 250 A/B, you already have credit for POLS 250 and POLS 350.
  • 6 units of methods courses: POLS 285 and POLS 385
    • POLS 285 replaces POLS 385. If you’ve taken POLS 385, you already have credit for POLS 285.
  • 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 111 + 112 (formerly POLS 110 A/B)
2: POLS 250, POLS 285; 12.0 other POLS 200 level units
3: POLS 350 and POLS384; 3.0 POLS 300 level units
4: 6.0 POLS 300 level units; 12.0 POLS 400 level units

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

Joint Honours (POLS-[XXXX]-A)

A Joint Honours degree allows students to specialize in two disciplines. To complete a Joint Honours in Political Studies, students are required to take 42.0 units of Political Studies courses, 42.0 units of courses in another discipline, and 36.0 elective courses to reach a total of 120.0 units over four years. 

Requirements:

  • POLS 111 + 112 (formerly POLS 110 A/B)
  • 6 units of theory: POLS 250 and POLS 350 (formerly POLS 250 A/B)
    • POLS 250, and POLS 350 are one-semester courses, and replace POLS 250 A/B, which was a two-semester course. If you’ve taken POLS 250 A/B, you already have credit for POLS 250 and POLS 350.
  • 6 units of methods courses: POLS 285 (formerly POLS 385)
    • POLS 285 replaces POLS 385. If you’ve taken POLS 385, you already have credit for POLS 285.
  • 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, POLS 285; 12.0 other POLS 200 level units
3: POLS 350 and POLS384; 3.0 POLS 300 level units
4: 3.0 POLS 300 level units; 6.0 POLS 400 level units 

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

Minor (DISCIPLINE-M-BAH/POLS-Y) or (POLS-M-BAH/DISCIPLINE-Y)

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 120.0 units. 

Requirements:

  • POLS 111 + 112 (formerly POLS 110 A/B)
  • 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

Requirements:

  • POLS 111 + 112 (formerly POLS 110 A/B)
  • 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 Joint Honours (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


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 the Faculty of Arts & Science Undergrad at Queen's page.

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

If you have additional questions, please contact Undergraduate Assistant Cynthia Macintosh.