Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question:  What are the five fields in the Political Science Department and which courses fall under which fields? 
Answer: The five fields and the courses in each of the fields can be found here. 

Question: Can I substitute core courses or other requirements? 
Answer: Substitutions for the POLS degree requirements are allowed on a case by case basis.  Talk to one of the Political Science Academic Advisors.  Students will be asked to justify why a substitution is required and what alternative courses that they have completed (or are taking) which might be used for the substitution.  Generally only one substitution of a core course per degree will be allowed. Depending on level and content, semester abroad or exchange courses may possibly fulfil third year distribution requirements or simply be counted towards the total of political science courses. Students must fulfil the requirement fourth year seminar/thesis option requirement.  

Question: Can courses from other departments be counted as a POLS credit? 
Answer: The Political Science department generally encourages students to fulfill their POLS requirements with courses offered by the Department. However, a student might be allowed to use a course from a different department if the student can demonstrate that the course complements his or her current program.   

Question: I want to study abroad either on a semester abroad or the exchange program and would like some of the courses to be counted as POLS courses at the U of G.  How does the process work? 
Answer:  When planning your semester abroad or exchange POLS majors and minors should contact the B.A. Counseling Office. Program counselors will then encourage students to be in touch with faculty advisors to discuss whether courses can be counted as POLS credits. Faculty advisors will pay close attention to the level and content of the course for their decision.  

Question: Can I take a course if I don't have the prerequisite? 
Answer: The decision to waive a prerequisite lies exclusively in the hands of the instructor.  A departmental counsellor cannot do it. If you believe that you have comparable prerequisites from another department or another university, or are taking the prerequisite as a co-requisite, make sure that you take the proper documentation to the instructor. 

Question: Why can't I register for POLS*4970 on-line? 
Answer: Before you can register for the honours thesis sequence, you must have a supervisor. Your supervisor has to sign you into the course. Faculty members are not required to supervise honours theses. It is a matter of mutual agreement. 

Question: What are POLS*3960 and POLS*4930, Directed Readings? 
Answer: These are individual research courses arrange between an instructor and a student to meet a special need. They are rarely offered to students who can fulfil their course requirements with regularly scheduled courses. Sometimes an instructor will offer a reading course to a student who wishes to pursue a well-defined topic in depth. At other times, students who cannot be on campus regularly during the summer semester might take a reading course. The content and grading requirement of the course is set by the instructor. Instructors are under no obligation whatsoever to supervise a reading course.  

Question: What is POLS*3850 Experiential Learning in Political Science? 
Answer: This course provides an opportunity for students to reflect upon their experience in some sort of politically related activity, including simulation, volunteer programs or internships with government or non-governmental organizations.  The student must find a faculty member from the Department of Political Science willing to act as supervisor for this course of reading, writing and reflection. You and your supervisor will also need to consult the Learning Contract.