The Department requires Political Science Honours students to demonstrate proficiency in at least one language other than English. Students in the Canadian Politics concentration must demonstrate proficiency in French.
The ability to communicate in multiple languages is becoming increasingly important in the more integrated global environment. Learning a second language helps to expand our understanding of social and political cultures in other societies and can provide new insights into our own. Studying another language also has cognitive benefits: it can strengthen analytic skills and improve memory. And of course, proficiency in a second (or third) language is a valuable skill – it can enhance opportunities for employment, community service, and even international studies.
There are two ways students can satisfy the language requirement. You can take one of the numerous introductory language courses that Carleton offers each term, or you can demonstrate prior proficiency in a language other than English.
Students who lack second language skill upon entry, or who wish to learn a new language, can satisfy the language requirement by satisfactorily completing at least 1.0 credit in a language instruction course, other than English, offered at Carleton. Language courses taken to fulfil the requirement will be counted toward your elective credits. You can also take advanced language courses at Carleton if you already have some proficiency in a second language. These advanced courses will also satisfy the language requirement and can be counted toward your elective credits.
Please consult specific departments for information on course availability
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, using the Language Course Exemption form. The following general guidelines for exemptions will apply:
- Students may present official documentation of language proficiency, including:
- Secondary school language of instruction in a language other than English
- Grade 12 French immersion
- Certification from other recognized language courses
- Students may undergo testing to demonstrate their language proficiency using one of the following options:
- The Department of Political Science conducts a French language exam twice a year, in November and February.
- Certificate from the School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SLALS) at Carleton
- For languages not taught at Carleton, availability of a proficiency test depends upon faculty resource availability and is not guaranteed.
More detailed information about each of these options can be found in the Language Course Exemption Form.