Why Study Political Science at Carleton?

The world we live in is more complicated than ever.

The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered perceptions of government and society.

A rapidly changing climate and unprecedented levels of global migration pose challenges and opportunities affecting almost every nation around the world.

Political institutions and leadership are being transformed by populism, nationalism, and protectionism.

Studying political science at Carleton can help you make sense of these big transformations that will define your life and our world.

Hear From Our Students

Hear from our Faculty

About Our Program

Our Capital Advantage
Our Approach
Real World Experience
A Strong Reputation for Learning and Support
Faculty Level Opportunities
Additional Resources

Our Capital Advantage

Where better to study them than right here in Ottawa, the nation’s capital?

Our location provides you with study resources and opportunities unavailable elsewhere. Carleton capitalizes on links with Parliament, government departments and agencies, embassies, and non-governmental organizations.

Our Approach

Our ‘back to basics’ approach prepares students to become citizens of the world and for careers anywhere around the globe.

You’ll explore new ideas to address the many complex issues facing Canada and the world, such as climate change, migration, nationalism and populism, globalization, wealth and poverty, human rights and liberty, parliamentary governance and democracy.

You’ll hone research, writing, and communication skills that are essential for almost any career path you choose to pursue.

Undergraduate Program

Our program gives students lots of choice in courses and programs of study.  Please refer to our Programs page for full details.

First Year Seminars

Our First Year Seminars offer small classes that give students the opportunity to discuss and research specific issues in a more intensive way, such as Feminism in Contemporary Politics, or Power, Liberty and Public Policy. Instructors who teach FYSM incorporate their own research into the course material, and mentor students as they make the transition to university.

First and Second year courses

Our first- and second-year courses give students the full scope of political science: world politics, Canadian politics, comparative politics, political theory, and public policy.

Third and Fourth year courses

Smaller third- and fourth-year courses and seminars focus on concentrations and delve more deeply into a range of topics such as… global environmental politics, China, the EU, global finance, law, foreign policy, forced migration, and Canadian Charter rights.

Interdisciplinary courses

Students can also take interdisciplinary courses offered by the Faculty of Public Affairs in specialized topic areas that vary from year to year, such as Professional Speechwriting which was offered in 2019-2020.

Real-World Experience

Students have access to exciting experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom – to meet, learn from, and work with experts and experienced practitioners in a wide range of settings.


Students gain real-world gain real-world experience through internships in Canada, Washington D.C.  or further abroad.


The Faculty of Public Affairs also opportunities for senior students to earn credits and gain practical research experience through summer research internships and research mentorships.


Our co-op program offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on, practical experience and network with a wide variety of employers in Ottawa and around the country.

Volunteering & Student Societies

Being at Carleton enables students to explore a wide range of volunteer opportunities and clubs and societies, such as the Carleton Political Science Students Society (CPSS), the United Nations Society, the International Relations Society, campus political party associations.

A Strong Reputation for Learning and Support

Carleton’s Department of Political Science is among the largest and most respected programs in Canada. Our department is large enough to provide a wide range of courses, but small enough for individual students to find a supportive community of scholars.

We have a diverse faculty of internationally renowned scholars, authors, experts, and public commentators to guide you on your path, including award-winning researchers and teachers, visiting scholars, guest speakers, and practitioners.

Faculty Level Opportunities

The Department of Political Science is part of Carleton’s Faculty of Public Affairs, a group of academic units that deal directly with matters of importance to government and civil society. FPA offers its students a number of valuable opportunities, including:

Carleton University Research Opportunity (CUROP) (undergraduate)
The Faculty of Public Affairs sponsors summer undergraduate research internships, which enable students to work on a research project of their choosing in collaboration with a faculty member.

IPAF 4900 research mentorship opportunity (undergraduate)
IPAF 4900 is a 0.5 credit course that enables you to learn about research by collaborating with a professor on his or her research project.

Dean’s Honour List reception (undergraduate)
Every year, the Faculty of Public Affairs honours its best students at the Dean’s Honour List reception. The celebration recognizes dedicated, hard-working students who have achieved a GPA of 10.0 or better.

Danielle Akhibi, Dean’s Honour List 2019/20

Danielle Akhibi, Political Science (4th year)
“Many of my professors had experience working in the field and that knowledge is inspiring me towards my goal of being a diplomat.”

Yusuf Yapici, Dean’s Honour List 2019/20

Yusuf Yapici, Economics and Political Science (4th year)
“I treat school like a 9 to 5 job: that’s how I keep up with the work of a combined major. My next step is a master’s degree.”

FPA Ambassadors (undergraduate), The Friendly Face of FPA
Made up entirely of volunteers, our FPA Ambassadors represent the Faculty at our events and meet with prospective high school students—while enriching their own experiences at Carleton.

A balance between school and personal life is extremely important for personal wellness. It is important to study hard but equally important to engage in activities that help you relax or have a good time. Get involved in our Carleton or broader Ottawa community!

James Prowse, FPA Ambassador
Second Year, Political Science


Our Undergraduate Office provides students with information on program and course requirements. Students are welcome to stop by during office hours to discuss questions or concerns they may have regarding their Political Science degree with the Undergraduate Program Advisor.

Undergraduate Program Advisor, Sarah Landry

Undergraduate Program Faculty Supervisor, Dr. Vandna Bhatia

Additional Resources

CU at Home: Spring 2020 Webinar series for future undergrads
Undergraduate Admissions Office 
Costs and Scholarships
Fee Estimator
Undergraduate Calendar – Courses and Semester Dates
Carleton University’s Coronavirus Information