Fourth-Year Courses

Honours Thesis sequence (POLS*4970 and POLS*4980)

With the approval of a department member willing to act as a supervisor, a student may complete an Honours thesis in political science, which is a two-course sequence of 0.5 credits each. Enrollment in POLS*4970 and POLS*4980 requires the instructor’s consent on the Course Waiver Request Form available from the BA Counselling Office.


The Department offers a number of 4000-level research and writing intensive seminar-based courses from the five fields: political thought; Canadian politics; public policy, governance and law; comparative politics; and international relations and global studies. Enrollments are normally capped at 20 students for each seminar.

Senior Lectures

Various 0.5 credit senior lecture courses are available for fulfilling remaining requirements. These give students the opportunity to explore similar content from the five fields but in a regular lecture format with accompanying readings and assignments.

Reading Course (POLS*4910)

This 0.5 credit course allows students to work one on one with a department member on a particular area of interest. Prior to enrollment, students should approach potential supervisors with a proposal for readings and research. This may include reflection and expansion on a subject matter addressed in previous course assignments.

The method of course presentation, emphasis and evaluation are at the discretion of the instructor. Generally the course will require 10 hours per week as befitting a course worth 0.5 credits.

Department members may consider a variety of factors when deciding whether or not to agree to supervise an independent reading course with a student including:

  • the justification offered by the student as to why their research interests could not be accommodated within one of the Department's regular 4000-level seminar courses;
  • a student's grades;
  • how well a student's research interests fit with their own teaching and research interests; and
  • how many other students (at the graduate and undergraduate levels) they are currently supervising.

To register, you must obtain your supervisor’s signature on the Course Waiver Request Form available from the BA Counselling Office.

Course Descriptions

The Undergraduate calendar has a list of 4000-level courses and descriptions. When possible, prior to course selection periods the "short outlines" for each 4000-level course (and all other courses in POLS) offered in the subsequent semester will be posted online under course outlines.

Graduate Courses

Senior undergraduate students may take selected political science graduate courses with the approval of the course instructor. In deciding whether or not to admit an undergraduate student, graduate course instructors will assess whether the student has the necessary academic ability and appropriate background in the subject matter to complete the course successfully.