- How many courses should I take as a Political Science student?
If you are in your first year of the program you must take a total of five courses, or 2.5 credits, in each of the fall and winter terms in order to qualify for promotion to second year.
If you’re in the upper years, 2.5 credits per term is a full course load.
Full time academic status requires that you register in a minimum of 1.5 credits per term; however, the definition of full time can differ depending on the specific issue you are concerned about (e.g. for tuition fees, for OSAP eligibility etc.). Please check with the office in question to confirm (e.g. Accounts Office, Awards Office).
If you are considering taking a reduced course load, please check with the Academic Advising Centre to help you decide what’s right for you.
- How many first-year credits can I take?
First year courses are a great way to get an introduction to a wide range of fields of study offered at Carleton. When it comes to credits that will count towards your graduation, however, you can only count a maximum of 7.0 credits in first-year courses (0000-level and 1000-level courses) towards your degree.
If you take more than 7.0 credits at the 0000-level or 1000-level, the additional credits will not count towards your degree. They will be “set aside” on your audit. See Academic Regulation 2.2.1 in the undergraduate calendar for more information.
- What are First Year Seminars?
First-year seminar (FYSM) courses are small classes (usually with 30 students) designed to give first year students the opportunity to discuss and research topics of interest in a core subject area. The Department of Political Science FYSM courses and topics may vary from year to year, depending on the expertise of the faculty teaching them. More information about the role and purpose of FYSM at Carleton.
- When are grades released?
That depends on when your instructor submits the grades for the course. The instructor generally has 10 calendar days after the date of the final examination to submit final grades. Once submitted, it takes a few days for the final grades to be approved by the Department Chair and the Dean of the faculty responsible for your course.
Once final grades are approved, you’ll see your grade on Carleton Central. You can log on to Carleton Central and select “Display Grades” in the main menu under Student Services > Student Records. You will be asked to select the term (year and semester) that you wish to view. Since you can view all grades from any previous academic session, remember to select the most recent term to see your latest grades.
Only courses with final grades will appear, so don’t be alarmed if some of your courses aren’t listed. The final grade for the course may not be available yet.
Note that if you have any outstanding tuition balances owing to the University, access to your final grades will be withheld until they have been paid. Please also note that Carleton Central reports final grades only. Mid-term and/or assignment grades can be obtained through your instructor.
- What courses can I take to fulfil my breadth requirements?
In order to graduate, students in both the 3-year and 4-year BA degree programs must have earned a total of 3.0 breadth credits. To fulfill the breadth requirement, you need to successfully complete at least 1.0 credit from each of three of the four Breadth Areas listed below.
Breadth 1: Culture and Communication
Breadth 2: Humanities
Breadth 3: Science, Engineering, and Design
Breadth 4: Social Sciences
The subjects and subject codes for credits in each of these areas are listed in the Undergraduate Calendar. Credits that fulfil requirements in the Major, Minor, Concentration may be used to fulfil the Breadth Requirement, and the remainder count toward your electives.
- Can a single course satisfy more than one degree requirement?
Yes. A course can satisfy more than one degree requirement.
- For example, a successfully completed 3000-level PSCI course may satisfy a requirement for your Major and also for your Concentration.
- Or, a successfully completed 2000-level PSYC course may satisfy a requirement for your Breadth elective and for your Minor, if you are taking a minor in Psychology.
However, the credit that you earn for each course only counts once toward the total number of credits you need to graduate. So, for example, a successfully completed 3000-level PSCI course that satisfies both your Major and Concentration requirement still only counts as 0.5 credits of the total 20.0 credits you need for an Honours degree.
- Can I take a course at another Canadian university and still count it toward my Carleton degree?
Carleton students may study at any accredited university on a Letter of Permission (LOP). You will need approval from the Registrar’s Office for each course that you wish to take. Check the Letter of Permission Guide (PDF 39KB) for further information about eligibility.
Carleton students may enroll in courses at University of Ottawa through the Undergraduate Exchange Program. You may only take courses that meet your degree requirements and that are not offered at Carleton. Carleton students wishing to attend the University of Ottawa on exchange should download the checklist for Carleton students.
- Can I take a course at an international university and still count it toward my Carleton degree?
A Letter of Permission (LOP) allows students to complete a course(s) at an accredited international university with which Carleton does not have a pre-arranged exchange agreement. Students may use credits earned at an international university to fulfill requirements of a Carleton degree only if they have received prior approval in the form of a Letter of Permission (LOP) from the Registrar’s Office.
For more information about obtaining a LOP, read this Guide to the Letter of Permission or contact the Registrar’s Office at email@example.com. You can also speak with Political Science Undergraduate Advisor.
- What is a program element and how many can I have?
Program elements are the Majors, Minors, Concentrations and Specializations that you have included in your degree. In addition to your Major(s), the maximum number of allowed program elements in your degree (i.e. the combined number of Minors, Concentrations or Specializations) is two. For example, if you major in Political Science, you can choose a concentration in Political Science and a minor in another department. See the Academic Calendar, Academic Regulations 3.1.13 and 3.1.14
A list of programs that offer minors can be found on the Admissions website. Note: Neither the co-op option nor the Mention Français are considered program elements.
- How can I change a program element? (e.g. add a minor, switch or add a major, declare a concentration)
If you wish to make changes to your existing degree program, you can submit a Change of Program Elements request through Carleton Central. This form is used to add a minor or concentration, or switch or add a major within your current degree.
If you want to change your degree completely you must apply through Admissions for an Internal Degree Transfer.
- How do I know which courses to take for my program and concentration?
It is your responsibility to review and understand your audit prior to registration. Audits can be run easily through the MyAudit feature of Carleton Central. Find assistance in reading your audit at the Advising Centre website or you can watch the myAudit Video Demonstrations.
When you look at your audit, you should be able to see which requirements you still have to complete in your program. The Carleton University Undergraduate Calendar lists all the program requirements for Political Science students, by concentration and by program. It also lists the courses that can count toward meeting specific program elements.
If you’re still not sure, or have more questions, you can also make an appointment to speak with the Political Science Undergraduate Advisor.
- What options do I have for adding a minor to my Political Science major?
You can add a minor to your Political Science studies that reflect your interests, builds your passions and prepares you for future opportunities. A minor usually consists of a cohesive set of 4.0 credits from one program and are part of your electives. A list of programs that offer minors can be found Admissions website. Students should consult the specific program of the minor for more details, including the courses that can be included.
- How do I fulfil the language requirement for the Honours program in Political Science?
Honours students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a second language, other than English. This is normally done by completing a first-year course (or its approved equivalent) in a language offered at Carleton. This course can count toward your non-political science electives. For students in the Canadian concentration, French must be used to satisfy the language requirement.
Students who already have second language skills upon entry and who wish to be considered for an exemption from taking language courses must apply to the Undergraduate Advisor.
More detailed information about the language requirement.
- Courses that I would like to take are full. What now?
Carleton Central provides access to courses on a first-come first-served basis. You will get priority if you meet all the prerequisites for course. The enrolment capacity of a course can’t be overridden. If a course is full, you may be able to add your name to a waitlist if one is available for that course. You are encouraged to keep checking on Carleton Central to see if a space becomes available, either in the course or on the waitlist. For more information on waiting lists and how to use them, consult the Registrar’s How To Videos.
- I have submitted an override. How long will it take to find out if I have been accepted?
Override requests are addressed in the order that they are received with priority given to students meeting the department and course prerequisites. Override decisions are provided only via your Carleton email, and permission will not be granted in person or over the phone. University-wide, you can expect a 5-7 business day wait on all override requests.
- What order do I have to take the required Political Theory courses (PSCI 2301 & PSCI 2302)?
Students enrolled in the BA Honours in Political Science are required to earn 1.0 credits in Political Theory in order to graduate. The two required theory courses are PSCI 2301 (History of Political Thought I) and PSCI 2302 (History of Political Thought II). These two courses must be taken in sequence. PSCI 2301 is a pre-requisite for taking PSCI 2302. If you have not already completed PSCI 2301, or if you fail to complete it successfully, you will not be allowed take PSCI 2302.
- What order do I have to take the Research Methods courses (PSCI 2701 & PSCI 2702)?
Students enrolled in the BA Honours in Political Science are required to earn 1.0 credits in Political Science Research Methods in order to graduate. The two required methods courses are PSCI 2701 (Introduction to Research Methods) and PSCI 2702 (Quantitative Research Methods in Political Science). These two courses must be taken in sequence. PSCI 2701 is a pre-requisite for taking PSCI 2702. If you have not already completed PSCI 2701, or if you fail to complete it successfully, you will not be allowed take PSCI 2702.
- What are the Theory and Methods required courses for the 3-Year Degree?
Students enrolled in the 3-Year BA in Political Science are required to earn 1.0 credit in either Political Theory or 1.0 credit Political Science Research Methods. The options are as follow:
- PSCI 2301 (History of Political Thought I) + PSCI 2302 (History of Political Thought II) or
- PSCI 2701 (Introduction to Research Methods) + PSCI 2702 (Quantitative Research Methods in Political Science)
Note both Research Methods courses and both Political Theory courses must be taken in sequence.
- How can I change my tutorial section/group in my course?
If there is space, you can change your discussion group or tutorial for a course. In order to do this without dropping the lecture portion and losing your spot in the course, follow the instructions provided in this How To Video: How to Change a Tutorial or Lab Without Dropping Your Course.
- I missed the deadline to register into a course, but I need it as part of my degree. Is there anything I can do?
It is your responsibility to complete all registrations within the published dates of the University Calendar, as provided by the Registrar’s office.
If a significant extenuating circumstance has prevented you from completing your registration prior to the deadline, you may petition for late registration through the Registrar’s Office. Please consult the Registrar’s Office to obtain the appropriate petition form. Both the Department and the instructor must approve and sign this form, and the instructor must indicate that a plan for catching up on missed work has been discussed. Once completed, you must submit the petition and the late registration request form to the Registrar’s Office, 300 Tory Building. Each decision is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and significant documentation is required to support your request.
- When I try to register on Carleton Central, I am told I have holds. What should I do?
First, check and see what type of hold it is. If it’s a financial hold, you need to make a payment to clear your outstanding balance on your student account. You can view your balance by selecting Calculate Amount to Pay on Carleton Central. Holds require 48 hours to clear once a payment has been posted to your account. For more information on student accounts and payments, consult the Student Accounts Receivable website.
- When is the last day I can drop a class with no academic repercussions?
Please consult the University’s Dates & Deadlines webpage to see the exact dates for each term.
- I have a problem with my exam schedule. Who can I contact?
- How do I defer an exam?
Deferrals of exams are reserved for extenuating circumstances and require substantial documentation. Specific information, including the application process and deadlines for submitting a deferral request, can be found on the Registrars’ Office website. For more information please contact the Registrar’s Office at 613-520-3500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Where can I find my audit and how do I read it?
Your audit is available 24/7 through Carleton Central. It is found under the My Audit feature. Consult the guide on how to read and interpret your audit. If you have any questions about your audit, you can also contact the Political Science Undergraduate Advisor.
- A course does not appear in the correct place on my audit. What should I do?
Program changes, exchanges or transfers may alter how courses are sitting in the audit. If any course does not appear to be included in the location where you think it should be, email the Political Science Undergraduate Advisor. They will review the audit and make any needed adjustments.
- How do I calculate my CGPA?
Your overall or cumulative GPA (CGPA) is the sum of all of the grade points divided by the number of credits completed. Your major GPA follows the same calculation using courses that are included in your major.
An accurate and current CGPA is calculated and included in your Student Audit, which is available through Carleton Central using the MyAudit feature. If you would like to calculate your CGPA, you can consult this Academic Advising guide on how this is done.
Internships, Experiential Learning and Careers
- I didn’t apply directly into Co-op from high school. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply to the co-op program during your first year of study at Carleton. The Co-op Office can provide you with more information about placement opportunities, costs, and how to apply. Political Science students may begin the first of their three required co-op work terms after completing their second year of studies.
- Can I do an internship as part of my BA in Political Science?
Yes, in your third year of the program, you can earn 0.5 or 1.0 credits toward your degree by doing a part-time internship while continuing your other course work. These internships are open to 3rd-year Honours students with a declared major in Political Science and a CGPA of 9.0 or higher.
- How can I enrich my research experience and skills in Political Science?
The Faculty of Public Affairs (FPA) sponsors a summer Carleton University Research Opportunity (CUROP) internship and offers a research mentorship program through IPAF 4900. There are also opportunities to gain research experience through Internship-Carleton University Research Experience for Undergraduate Students (I-CUREUS).
- What can I do with a career in Political Science?
It may be a cliché and you’ve likely heard this before: it’s important to be working in an area about which you have passion and a desire to learn. Being engaged with your studies and career will contribute to your health, happiness, and productivity. It’s normal for it to take some time to figure out your path and where you belong; most of your colleagues are in the same position.
The Faculty of Public Affairs offers a credit course – IPAF 3800 (Developing and Managing Your Career and Employability) – that introduces you to career related issues and help you to develop a range of transferable skills for work and life.
Carleton’s Career Services offers a complete list of political science-related skills that you may not even realize you have. Career Services also host regular events, such as career fairs, networking events, and workshops to help you start planning for your career. It’s never too soon!
Have a look at where some of our recent graduates are working.
- I’m almost finished my degree and will be graduating soon. What next?
Carleton’s Career Services is here to help you prepare for your life after graduation, including exploring your career options, getting started on your job search, and finding out about further education and working abroad. Career Services host regular events, such as career fairs, networking events, and workshops to help you start planning for your career.
- Can I take courses towards Carleton’s MA in Political Science?
Students with demonstrated academic excellence, who are entering their final year of a Carleton BA Honours degree in Political Science and are interested in pursuing an MA in Political Science may be eligible for the Accelerated Pathway. This is a flexible and individualized plan of graduate study.
Students who are eligible may receive advanced standing with transfer of up to 1.0 credit from 5000-level (graduate) courses. This can reduce their time to completion of the MA degree at Carleton.
Interested students should consult the Undergraduate Supervisor and the Graduate Supervisor to determine if the accelerated pathway is appropriate for them and to discuss the selection of courses for their final year of undergraduate studies.