Welcome to the Department of
Political Science at Carleton University

Welcome to the Department of Political Science at Carleton University. We are one of the largest Political Science departments in Canada, with thirty-five full-time faculty teaching across a wide range of subjects. We are a founding department at Carleton University, with a history that dates back to 1942. As part of the Faculty of Public Affairs, we are dedicated to applying scholarly knowledge to the practical world.

The Department offers two undergraduate degrees, the BA in Political Science and the Bachelor of Global and International Studies (BGInS – Global Politics). At the graduate level, we offer an MA in Political Science, a PhD in Political Science, as well as a Dual Master’s Degree with the Department of Political Science, University of Lucerne, Switzerland.

Courses and teaching for the BA, MA and PhD are organized around six sub-fields: International relations (including international political economy), comparative politics, political theory, Canadian politics, public policy, and gender and diversity.

  • At the undergraduate level, we provide the opportunity to focus your studies in one or more of these areas or concentrations. An additional concentration at the BA level is North American politics.
  • At the MA level students do not have to focus within one field but are invited to choose one of three streams: all-coursework; coursework combined with a research paper; and, coursework combined with a thesis.
  • At the PhD level, students must choose two of the six fields in which to complete core courses and write comprehensive exams.

Exceptional research helps us achieve excellence

We believe that conducting exceptional research helps us achieve excellence in teaching. Our diverse faculty of internationally renowned scholars are award-winning teachers and researchers. From the ancient to the modern and postmodern, from the local to the global, from state to civil society, we investigate how the ideas, actors, events, and institutions of the past have shaped the present, and how we might navigate to more just, equitable, and ecologically sustainable societies in the future.

Our courses are designed to develop students’ repertoire of useful, transferable skills that are highly valued by employers in the public and the private sectors. Students learn how to:

  • communicate effectively, in writing, public speaking, presentations, and in digital media;
  • identify, frame, and solve problems creatively;
  • debate ideas, issues, and evidence knowledgeably;
  • analyze, evaluate, and appreciate diverse perspectives and opinions;
  • apply qualitative and quantitative research and analytical methods;
  • collaborate with others in teamwork;
  • master the arts of critical thinking and constructive critique.

Location, location, location

Carleton’s location in Canada’s capital city gives students unparalleled access to internships, co-ops and placements that lead to jobs. Our Co-op Program gives BA and MA students the chance to gain practical experience working with the many agencies and organizations headquartered in Ottawa.

Carleton political science graduates work in the local, provincial, and federal governments, political parties, the public service, academia, international relations, the foreign service, global agencies (e.g. the UN, UNESCO, WHO), transnational organizations (WTO, EU, NATO), international development, advocacy and interest groups, communications, journalism, labour and public relations, policy analysis, think tanks, public opinion polling, non-profits, business, human resources, and non-governmental organizations.

Our graduates fill the ranks of staffers in the Ministerial offices of Canada’s federal government, according to one study.

The Department of Political Science at Carleton University provides the knowledge, skills, tools, and experiential learning that will enable you to thrive in the global work environment and to make not just a living, but a difference.