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Current students

How do we explain the paradox of great wealth amidst widespread poverty?
Why does racial inequality persist in so many areas?
How do we protect the environment from our lifestyles?
Why do women still get paid less than men?
How should government prioritize funding for social services?
Why do people support or protest against free trade agreements?
Why do we listen to and obey—or confront and resist—political authority?
How can understanding these issues make the world a better place?

This program promotes social justice through an interdisciplinary approach to:
• Community internships and service learning
• Research
• Teaching

You’ll explore how economies, laws, political systems and cultures can be reimagined.

Contact your advising team:

Academic Advising 
Faculty of Social Science and Humanities
Charles Hall
61 Charles Street, Third Floor, Rooms 330 A and B

905.721.8668, ext. 3838

Drop-in hours:

Visit the Academic Advising page on the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities website for additional information.

Looking for help?

The university provides many services for students. If you are having trouble with anything—whether it's mental or physical health, poor grades, time management, writing skills, or integrity and misconduct—speak with your professor or an Academic Advisor. They can help you find the help you need.

Good academic practice and integrity

In all of your courses, and especially those in Political Science, academic integrity and the development of strong research and writing skills are treated seriously. Ensure you clearly understand the expectations regarding high-quality research and integrity; if you don’t understand what plagiarism, cheating and academic misconduct involve, find out before you get into trouble. You can find answers to many of your questions on the university's website.

The minor in Political Science allows you to develop a general understanding of political issues and concepts. The minor consists of seven courses (21 credit hours), three of which are compulsory core courses:

  • POSC 1000U Political Science
  • POSC 2000U Canadian Politics
  • POSC 2100U Global Politics

You must also take four additional Political Science courses, at least two of which must be at the third or fourth-year level. 

For more information, please visit the Academic Calendar

Undertaking an honours thesis allows you to conduct a larger research project over approximately eight months (two semesters). Only high achieving fourth-year students with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 (A-) may complete an honours thesis. Successfully completing an honours thesis requires the ability to:

  • Conceive of a thoughtful topic.
  • Conduct independent research.
  • Pay careful attention to detail in organizing and communicating your research findings.

For more information, please refer to the Honours Thesis Handbook. 

You are able to apply to be considered for an honours thesis in the winter semester of your third year. To apply for the program, you must:

  1. Determine if you are eligible to enrol in the honours thesis course by consulting with the Academic Advising office. They can check your cumulative GPA is a minimum of 3.7 and advise you on the next steps in your application process. Please note: Only a limited number of applicants will be admitted to the Honours Thesis. Consent is required from the instructor who will act as a Thesis Supervisor and the Dean or Dean’s representative.
  2. Determine your research topic. Your topic may come from something you encountered in a previous course and would like to explore more deeply or it may be something not covered in any of your classes.
  3. Speak with your instructors about your research idea. Based on your conversations with them, determine who you would like to work with (only full-time instructors are able to supervise students).
  4. Meet with the instructor and ask if they are willing to supervise you. Remember—instructors may decline if they do not feel like they have the necessary knowledge of your topic or if they are already supervising the maximum number of students. This step must be completed by May 30.
  5. Once you have confirmed your thesis supervisor, complete the application form. You will need to write a brief proposal that includes your thesis question/hypothesis, an overview of your topic, a sample reading list and so on. This step must be completed by June 30. The application must include a detailed statement of intent outlining the topic and research question, methodology, theoretical significance and the projected timelines for completion of the project. To proceed to Honours Thesis II, you must have successfully completed Honours Thesis I with a minimum grade of A- and have prepared a written statement outlining the projected timelines for completion of the project. After completing an Undergraduate Honours Thesis Application Form, you should meet with your thesis supervisor to discuss the thesis topic and proposal by the end of your third year.


If you meet the admission requirements, you must submit a short project proposal to a potential thesis supervisor at the end of your third year. The project proposal, which is about one to two pages long, should accomplish all of the following:

  • Identify the topic of study and a tentative research question/thesis.
  • Provide two or three key sources to start the research.
  • Identify the research method to be used (e.g. quantitative or qualitative or mixed methods).

Once you are approved for your honours thesis course, the following timelines will be used as a guideline to complete your work.


  1. Once you have been approved for the honours thesis course, you will need to start planning for the upcoming academic year. Starting in the fall term and throughout the winter term, you should expect to spend six to nine hours per week on your honours thesis in order to be thorough in your research and write a well-organized thesis.
  2. Read key books/scholarly articles on your topic over the summer.
  3. Create a detailed reading list on your topic. You will discuss this reading list with your supervisor at your first meeting in the fall term.
  4. Determine your methodology for data collection. You will discuss this with your supervisor at your first meeting in the fall term. If applicable, submit Research Ethics approval application.
  5. Create a proposed timeline for completing your thesis. Remember to be realistic in what you can accomplish. A detailed timeline that outlines which articles/books you will read each week and when the parts of your thesis will be due will help you to stay on track.


  1. Meet with your thesis supervisor (TS) during the first week of classes to confirm your timeline, due dates and meeting schedule.
  2. Meet with your TS regularly—once a week, every two weeks, or monthly—as agreed upon between you and your supervisor. Ask questions, bring your research notes, and be prepared to explain the work accomplished as you go.
  3. Do your readings every week and meet your deadlines. Doing so will keep you on track for completing your thesis, and demonstrate your commitment to the process to your supervisor.
  4. At the end of the term, submit a literature review (or another assignment) as agreed upon with your supervisor.


A thesis proposal should be completed during the fall semester of your fourth year in the program. The proposal will be submitted to the TS when ready for evaluation. Within 14 days of submission of the proposal, you will meet with your TS, who must approve the proposed research project before you begin the data collection process.

A progress report must be signed by the TS approving the thesis proposal. Faculty will forward written comments to you at the end of the meeting.


  1. Meet with your TS during the first week of classes to confirm your timelines, due dates and meeting schedule during the second term.
  2. Continue to meet with your TS regularly, do your readings and meet your deadlines.
  3. Complete your first draft of your thesis by mid-February. Ensure you allow time to receive feedback, rewrite and edit your thesis. You will rewrite/edit your thesis several times before it is completely finished. At the end of the term, you will hand in your thesis.

A maximum of two independent study courses may be taken, as long as the topics are different. Strong students may apply to complete an independent study over one term.

To be considered for the independent study, you must apply in the semester prior to the commencement of the study. Applications must include a letter of intent detailing the course plan and including a preliminary reading list, a suggested method of evaluation and suggested timelines for completing the project.

Note: Only a limited number of applicants will be admitted to the independent study. Consent is required from both the instructor and the Dean (or Dean’s representative). Consult with the Academic Advising office for application details.

An independent study course provides you with the opportunity to engage in an in-depth study of a specific topic within the discipline. This will involve individual reading and scholarship at an advanced level under faculty supervision. You will conduct an extensive literature review and write a major essay/critique of the relevant literature.

Successfully completing an independent study project requires strong organization, time management and self-discipline. You will need to stick to the schedule you create in order to meet all the deadlines. You should expect to spend a minimum of three to six hours per week on this course.

For more information, please refer to the Independent Study Guidelines.