By the end of 1st year, and prior to registration for 2nd year, Political Science undergraduate students may choose to declare a concentration.
A concentration is a way of enhancing your degree by selecting a group of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year courses that are thematically related. If you are passionate about one of our areas of specialization, the relevant concentration will provide you with a “road map” that will help you choose the best courses for you.
In addition, your concentration will be formally recognized when you graduate. Your diploma will explicitly state “BA in Political Science with a concentration in [the area that you have chosen]”.
You will be able to use it to show future employers or graduate programs that you have acquired expertise in an area of Political Science that goes beyond the typical undergraduate degree.
All students already registered in the Political Science Honours, Combined Honours, or 3-Year Degree programs may select a concentration. The maximum number of Political Science credits that can be counted towards your degree is 12.0 credits for an Honours program, 8.0 for a 3-year degree program and 9.0 for a Combined Honours program. Your concentration credits are included in this number.
Each concentration requires 4.0 credits in each area. However, this does not necessarily mean that you will have to complete additional courses to finish your degree. Honours students can fulfill program and concentration requirements simultaneously since many courses will count toward the degree requirements and the concentration.
Note that students in the 3-year degree program may need to take more than the 8.0 credits in Political Science to fulfil concentration requirements.
Please note, when making adjustments to your program elements, we strongly encourage you to meet with an advisor in the Registrar’s Office.
You can add a concentration by logging into Carleton Central and scrolling down to the section heading “Student Online Applications.”
From there, select the Change Program Elements (COPE) online form. This request form is for making changes to your program elements, such as adding a concentration, changing your program from Honours to General, adding a Minor, or changing your Major.
Make sure that you are changing or adding the right thing! It is easy to make mistakes. To add a concentration, you must change your major to “Political Science with a concentration in [the area that you have chosen]”.
These requests usually take a few days to process. If you are approved for your COPE changes, you can view your new degree requirements by running an audit. You will not receive any written confirmation that this has processed, so make sure to check your Carleton Central account to view the status of your application.
More detailed instructions on how to change your program elements, including adding or changing a concentration can be found here, on the Registrar’s Office website.
Ideally, you should start your concentration in the second year of your program. The earlier in the program you start, the more likely you will be to finish the 4.0 credits required for its completion and enrol in the courses you really want to take.
You should note that choosing a concentration does not allow you to bypass course-specific prerequisites and restrictions. For example, some courses have a GPA requirement (e.g., Honours Research Essays and Internships), some have limited enrollment, and some courses require you to secure a supervisor before you can enroll (e.g., Tutorials in Selected Fields). All the pre-requisites and restrictions listed in the calendar still apply.
Finally, note that the Honours Research Essay (PSCI 4908) may be used in fulfillment of all eight concentrations. It is your responsibility to ensure that the work that you do for the Honours Research Essay is consistent with the theme of your concentration.
You are not locked in. You can change your concentration later by completing the Change of Program Elements (COPE) form in Carleton Central. However, we recommend that you consult with us before doing this to ensure that you are still on track to graduate on time.
Note that once you switch from one of the old eight concentrations that will be discontinued to one of the three new ones, you cannot switch back. Please consult with the Undergraduate Advisor before making any changes.