BA Political Science Honors
Bachelor of Arts (BA) Honors degree in Political Science
Why Take Honors?
The Honors Program is unique in three important ways.
- Participation requires that students maintain a high level of academic performance (grades of B+ or higher).
- Students are provided an opportunity for even greater specialization in political science than is provided by the regular BA program (54 to 60 course weights).
- Honors students complete two unique courses. POL S 399 is an honors-level course in research design and methods. POL S 499 provides a structured opportunity for independent research and the writing of an original honors essay.
When Should You Apply to Honors?
Students should apply after their first or second year.
Applications during third year (for admission in fourth year) are only permitted for students who have taken POL S 399, and non-honors students are only permitted to enroll in this course if they have honors-level grades and a stated intention to apply prior to the May 1st deadline.
How do I apply?
Applications to Honors are done online: www.registrar.ualberta.ca. Select "Admissions" from the sidebar on the left of the page and "Apply Here" from the box that pops up.
Application deadline: May 1st (typically following completion of second year)
Admission to honors requires:
- A grade point average (GPA) of B+/3.3 in all political science courses taken since entering university.
- A GPA of B+/3.3 in your last 24 course weights.
Promotion from year to year requires a GPA of B/3.0, with an average of B+/3.3 in Political Science courses. Honors students must take 30 course weights each year (unless granted permission to decelerate their program).
Graduation with Honors requires a GPA of B/3.0 in the last two years (60 course weights) of your program and a GPA of B+/3.3 in your Political Science courses.
Honors Course Requirements:
In addition to completing the Faculty’s Basic Requirements for a BA, all students majoring in political science must meet the following program requirements:
Honors students must complete between 54 and 60 course weights of political science courses, including 100-level courses. (With special permission, up to 6 course weights from a related discipline can count toward this requirement.)
The 54-60 course weights must include the following:
- POL S 210 (History of Political Thought)*6
- POL S 220 (Canadian National Government and Politics)*6
- At least 6 course weights from the following:
- POL S 230 (Intro to Comparative Politics: Global North)*3
- POL S 240 (Intro to Comparative Politics: Global South)*3
- POL S 260 (International Relations)*6
- POL S 399 (Third-Year Honors Seminar)
- POL S 499 (Honors Essay)
- At least 6 course weights at the 400 level (in addition to POL S 499)
Completing a Combined Honors in Political Science and another Discipline:
A combined Honors degree in Political Science and another degree requires a minimum of 36 course weights in the other discipline and at least 42 course weights in Political Science. The specific course requirements are the same as those outlined above. Students interested in a combined honors degree should consult with the Undergraduate Chair.
Suggestions for Completing the Major:
First-year students: Take POL S 101. This introductory course is a prerequisite for 200-level courses in political science.
Second-year students: Take two or more of the required 200-level courses. In particular, be sure to take the 200-level courses that interest you most since these "core courses" are the prerequisites for 300- and 400-level courses in their respective subfields.
Third-year students: Take POL S 399 and work toward completing the program requirements outlined above.
Fourth-year students: Take POL S 499 and complete all the requirements outlined above, including ensuring you have enough total course weights for the major.
Important Note: Students in unique situations—such as transfer students or those who took POL S 221 before declaring a Political Science major—should speak with the Undergraduate Chair for advice about fulfilling program requirement.
Dr. Ian Urquhart
12-29 H.M. Tory Bldg