Why Study Political Science?

Interior of Maanjiwe nendamowinan building

Eager to understand how bureaucracies work, or how great powers rise and fall? Or are you curious about the difference between an effective public policy and a misguided one?

As a Political Science student at UTM, you join a thriving community of interdisciplinary educators, researchers and students who are continually re-defining our understanding of politics and power.

On this page:


What makes these Political Science programs distinctive?

Diverse program and course options.

  • The Department of Political Science at UTM offers students the chance to customize their degrees to their personal interests, to explore the latest topics in politics with the latest teaching methods, and to learn from internationally renowned scholars.
  • This exceptional strength in research permeates into our curriculum, and we pride ourselves on the broad and stimulating range of courses we offer our students.
  • The Department strives to encourage its graduates not only to become creative and critical 'thinkers,' but to develop an extensive portfolio of practical transferable skills: research, analysis, communication, information literacy, time management, presentation and writing skills.
  • To learn more about program options, visit the Program Details page.

A lush campus and strong sense of community.

  • In addition to the program and department, as a Political Science student at UTM, you'll be immersed in a truly extraordinary campus experience.
  • You'll be attending informative lectures and tutorials taught by the world-class educators that you'd expect from Canada's largest and most acclaimed university.
  • At the same time, you'll also enjoy the down-to-earth sense of community that a campus – situated on 225 acres of lush, protected greenbelt – can provide.
  • This lush natural setting is coupled with modern architecture, award-winning buildings and state-of-the art technology — providing students with a distinctive learning experience. 
  • Our students also benefit from the safety and inclusiveness of a tight knit campus which offers a wide variety of student groups, clubs, and activities for all interests.

World-renowned faculty and a unique Research Opportunity Program.

  • Our faculty members have a diverse and exciting range of research interests and specializations, from international relations to political economy, from environmental politics to the study of conflict and genocide. UTM Political Science professors are known and respected internationally, attract major grants, and publish widely in their fields. For example:
    • Professor Ed Schatz is a leading comparative politics scholar. Along with international colleagues, he has a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant to examine the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Eurasian contexts.
    • Professor Steven Bernstein is a Distinguished Professor of Global Environmental and Sustainability Governance. His research spans the areas of global governance and institutions, global environmental politics, non-state forms of governance, international political economy and policy studies. He is the author or co-editor of several books and author of over 70 scholarly articles and book chapters.
    • Professor Janine Clark is an international expert on social activism in the Middle East and North Africa. She has a SSHRC project examining sexuality politics and gender activism in Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia. Fluent in Arabic, she has conducted extensive field research throughout the region.
  • Students may also complete a project through the Research Opportunity Program with a professor for academic credit. As part of this program, students have the option to work one-on-one with leading faculty on research projects for academic credit through the Research Opportunity Program.
  • For example, Professor and Chair Andrea Olive currently has students analyzing and comparing media on bison and Indigenous reconciliation from different regions in Canada and the United States.

Skills you'll develop

  • Communication: present ideas and data clearly; mediate and negotiate conflicts; public speaking; and listen critically.
  • Research and quantitative methods: interpret data; develop research designs and models; understand program and systems analysis; utilize survey research methods; and compare/contrast ideas and information
  • Analysis: interpret issues and data; understand components of complex problems; offer relevant perspectives; and synthesize themes from complex issues.
  • Planning and development: make projections; organize people/ equipment/ideas; think logically; conceptualize and implement projects; and make decisions. 

As a Political Science student at UTM, you'll also gain a comprehensive understanding of the global political landscape, enabling you to become an active, informed citizen in your community, country, and the world at large.

For more information, visit the Careers by Major - Political Science page.


Series of international flags on a street in Belfast
Photo by Andrew Butler on Unsplash

Career opportunities

Political Science graduates do not typically go on to become professional politicians. They often proceed to further studies in law, journalism or careers in the civil service and government-business relations. Political Science graduates find careers that require analytical, research, communication, time management and writing skills.

While not exhaustive, here's a list of career options that are available to you as a graduate of the Political Science program (some require further education and experience):

Private Sector

  • Lawyer
  • Financial Planner
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Market Analyst
  • Sales Manager
  • Public Relations Specialist

  Government

  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Social Policy Program Officer
  • Immigration and Revenue Officer
  • Political Aide
  • Diplomat
  • Economic Development Officer  

    For a full list of career opportunities, visit the Careers by Major - Political Science page.

    You may also learn more about what our graduates are doing with their degree by visiting our Alumni Spotlights page.


    Courses and internship program

    First-year options

    • POL111H: Canada in Comparative Perspective
    • POL112H: Democracy in Theory and Practice
    • POL113H: Ideas and Ideologies
    • POL114H: Politics in the Global World
    • POL115H: Evidence and Arguments
    • POL116H: Social Justice and Politics

    Some interesting upper-year courses

    • POL302Y: Politics of Western Europe and the European Union
    • POL318H: Power and Conflict in Federalism
    • POL340Y: International Law
    • POL343Y: Politics of Global Governance
    • POL346Y: Urban Politics
    • POL401Y: Senior Major Research Paper
    • POL467H: Global Environmental and Sustainability Politics

    Internship

    • The UTM political science internship program is a new program, beginning in 2021 – 22, for students to get real-world experience in a workplace while earning POL credits.
    • Students who participate will gain experience in a professional setting, where they will learn about everyday work in the areas of law, policy, government and civil society. You'll build relationships with employers and classmates, and have the opportunity to think about jobs you may want to pursue in the future.
    • Where you'll be placed:
      • Placements range from city agencies (such as parks departments) within GTA municipalities, community-based organizations serving different demographics (such as youth and newcomers, for example). More placements are currently being added to the program.
      • For more information, visit the Political Science Internship page.

    High school preparation you'll need

    Six grade 12 U or M courses including English (ENG4U)*

    * This refers to courses from the Ontario Curriculum-we do accept equivalents from other academic systems.

    Current Ontario secondary school students apply to UofT Mississauga online at the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (www.ouac.on.ca) using the 101 application. The guidance office or student services at your high school will provide you with instructions and a PIN number to access the application. This typically occurs late in the fall.


    Additional resources