The Chair’s Message

Elinor Sloan, Department Chair

Our History

Welcome to the Department of Political Science at Carleton University. We are one of the largest Political Science departments in Canada, with thirty four full-time faculty teaching across a wide range of subjects. We are one of the founding departments at Carleton, with a history stretching back to 1942. We are also part of the Faculty of Public Affairs, which brings together twelve departments and schools focused on preparing students to apply scholarly knowledge to the practical world.

Our Courses

Courses and teaching in the Department are organized around a number of sub-fields, including 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 of more of these areas. At the PhD level students must choose two of these fields in which to complete core courses and write comprehensive exams. At the MA level students do not have to choose a field(s) but are invited to choose one of three streams: all-coursework; coursework combined with a research paper; and, coursework combined with a thesis.

Teaching and Research

At Carleton we believe that conducting exceptional research helps us to achieve excellence in teaching. Many of our faculty are national and international leaders in our discipline, and we have published cutting edge research on Canadian political institutions, the contours of race and gender discrimination, the evolution and engagement of competing traditions of political theory, and the most pressing issues facing the international community (such as war, environmental degradation, refugee movements and financial crises). Many of us have won awards recognizing our research efforts, and this can be seen on our research page.


Every year we graduate students who have learned about global and domestic political issues and desire to bring that knowledge to bear on improving the world around them, locally and internationally. Our graduates go on to pursue careers in all levels of government, and in international organizations, business, and academia. Whatever they do, they bring together their own enthusiasm and the knowledge we have helped them to acquire and apply these to their chosen career paths. We are proud to have been a part of their lives, and we look forward to working with the next generation of enthusiastic and committed students.

A History of Departmental Chairs

View as slideshow, or click on individual photos to view name and dates as Chair.