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University of Calgary Calendar 2016-2017 Faculty of Arts 4. Program Details 4.52 Political Science
4.52 Political Science
Overview of Programs and Procedures
Baccalaureate Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science

BA in Political Science with Co-operative Education

BA Honours in Political Science

BA Honours in Political Science with Co-operative Education

Concurrent BA in Political Science and Bachelor of Education

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in International Relations

BA in International Relations with Cooperative Education

Concurrent BA in International Relations and Bachelor of Education

Note: A Minor is offered in Political Science.

The Department of Political Science offers courses in the principal fields of the discipline: Canadian government, political theory, comparative politics, and international relations. The BA (Political Science) program is designed to expose students to each of these fields, as well as to encourage an appreciation of the broader themes and issues that cut across them (see "Courses of Instruction" for Table of Principal Field courses).

In addition, Political Science 439 introduces the area of strategic studies, which is more prominent at the graduate level, and provides students an opportunity to contribute to advanced research in this area while completing their bachelor's degrees (see the Departmental brochure for further details).

The Department of Political Science also offers an Interdisciplinary Major in International Relations. The BA (International Relations) is designed to expose students to the diversity of approaches to the study of international relations while also providing an opportunity for individualized programs that reflect student interests. The program is structured around a common core set of courses, a regional cluster focused on a specific area of the world, and a thematic specialization focused on major approaches to the study of international relations.

The BA (International Relations) requires careful selection of courses to meet its requirements. Students should consult with the Program Co-ordinator concerning their course selection. There is neither a Minor nor an Honours program available in International Relations.

Advice and information about Political Science courses and programs may be obtained from the Political Science Advisor and the Undergraduate Director or International Relations Program Co-ordinator. Detailed course descriptions for individual courses or for different sections of a single course are available in the departmental office.

Contact Information

Department Office: Social Sciences 756

Phone: 403.220.5950

Fax: 403.282.4773



International Relations Program Co-ordinator:

For Program Advice

Students should consult a program advisor in the Arts Students’ Centre for information and advice on their overall program requirements. Advising contact information can be found online:

For more specific advice regarding course selection and requirements in the major field, students should consult the Undergraduate Program Director located in the Department of Political Science (consult Department website for contact information).

Admission to the Major

Prospective students wishing to enter the BA (Political Science) Program and the BA (International Relations) Program must meet the criteria listed in section A.2 Undergraduate Admission of this Calendar. Annual application deadlines are found in A.3 Deadline Dates for Undergraduate Applications for Admission and Transcripts.

Limitation of Enrolment

Due to high demand, admission to the BA (International Relations) is limited. Whenever demand exceeds capacity, enrolment will be limited and students will be admitted on a competitive basis. Admission averages are typically set above the minimum level for the Faculty of Arts. These higher admission standards are applicable to high-school applicants, external transfer applicants from other post-secondary institutions and internal transfer applicants from other programs at the University of Calgary, whether inside or outside the Faculty of Arts.

Admission to Honours

The Faculty of Arts procedures for Admission to BA Political Science (Honours) established in section 3.4.2 Honours Degrees with a Major Field are applicable and provide the overall framework. Students wishing to be considered for admission into BA Political Science (Honours) program must have completed at least 30 units (5.0 full-course equivalents). The application deadline is February 1.

Field of Political Science

The Field of Political Science consists of all courses labelled Political Science (POLI). For categorization of subfields, see table at beginning of course offerings.

Field of International Relations

Courses in the Field of International Relations are grouped into Core Courses, Thematic Clusters and Regional Clusters:

A. Core Courses: Anthropology 203, Economics 201, 203, Geography 205 or 213, History 307, Political Science 381, International Relations 301 and 501.

B. Thematic Clusters

The thematic clusters reflect major approaches to and foci within International Relations:

1. International Political Economy

This cluster focuses on the economic relations of states and other actors in the world economy, and the ramifications of these relations, including their political aspects.

Strongly Recommended Courses: Economics 321, 423 and Political Science 485.

Additional Courses: Anthropology 303, 379, 393, 485; Development Studies 375, 393, 403, 405, 485; Economics 327, 337, 371, 425, 427, 527, 537; Geography 341, 425; History 494; Philosophy 329; Political Science 279, 463, 579; Sociology 487, 493.

2. Security and Strategy

This cluster focuses on the traditional core concerns of International Relations, including the use and threat of force, and the interaction of states.

Strongly Recommended Course: History 491.01.

Additional Courses: Anthropology 343, 467; Geography 365; History 303, 333, 349, 381, 383, 483, 485, 488, 489, 490, 491.02, 527, 543, 545; Political Science 435, 439, 479.

3. International Institutions and Governance

This cluster focuses on efforts by states to manage their co-existence through legal, institutional and other devices, both formally and informally.

Strongly Recommended Courses: Political Science 483 and 487.

Additional Courses: Anthropology 471, Economics 537; Geography 463; History 491.01, 491.02; Linguistics 309; Political Science 485, 561, 571, 581, 587; Sociology 487.

C. Regional Clusters

The regional clusters group courses to give students a deeper understanding of contemporary historical, cultural, political, economic and geographical force at work within the principal area of the world:

1. North America: Economics 325, 339; Canadian Studies 333; History 337, 351, 361, 463, 465, 467, 527, 535; Political Science 321, 359, 435, 477, 491, 521, 523, 577.

2. Latin America: Anthropology 321, 421; Archaeology 345, 355, 357; Economics 337; Geography 371; History 367, 467, 471, 472, 487, 569; Latin American Studies 211, 311, 401; Political Science 359, 473.

3. Europe: Central and East European Studies 313; Economics 337; Geography 397.02, 397.04; German 317; History 333, 338, 412, 413, 427; Political Science 359, 463, 464, 561; Russian 317; Romance Studies 399.

4. Asia/Pacific: Anthropology 323, 427; Chinese 317; East Asian Studies 331, 333, 531; Economics 337; History 317, 404; Japanese 317; Political Science 279, 359, 465; Religious Studies 303, 317, 329, 357, 359; South Asian Studies 203, 303.

5. Middle East and North Africa: Anthropology 319; Economics 327, 337, 427, 527; Political Science 359, 369, 469, 479, 569; Religious Studies 353, 357.

6. Africa: African Studies 301, 400, 501; Anthropology 317; Archaeology 399; Economics 337; Geography 377; Political Science 359, 371, 471; Religious Studies 339, 353.


  • Most of the courses listed above have prerequisites that lie outside the Field of International Relations. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that prerequisites are completed. We encourage students to speak with a program advisor on a regular basis to assist with a degree planning.
  • Development Studies 401 and 501 may be used towards either the International Institutions and Governance or International Political Economy clusters depending on the topic and subject to approval by the Program Co-ordinator.