Ideas are great arrows, but there has to be a bow. And politics is the bow of idealism. - Bill Moyers

Who runs the world, the country, the province and the city? By what rules? Who wrote the rules? How are decisions made? And what about other organizations – institutions and groups – how do they govern themselves? The way people organize and govern themselves in today’s increasingly complex and rapidly-changing urban world requires innovative political solutions.

Our new BA in Politics and Governance focuses on a critical understanding of the public and private institutions, structures and processes of ‘governance’. Unlike traditional political science undergraduate degrees that focus on governmental actors and policy makers, our Politics and Governance program embraces a range of forms of governance.

Ryerson’s Politics and Governance program gives you a good grasp of how important decisions are made in today’s society – at the international, national, provincial and local level – by both governmental and non-governmental organizations. You’ll learn how social, environmental, economic, political and justice issues are accommodated in Canada and on a global scale. You’ll discuss the value of ‘good governance’ – what it means, and how social justice, democracy, citizenship and human rights fit – or not – into the equation. Learn about how issues of social welfare, immigration, social and criminal justice have made the tasks of governance more complex. And, explore how governments have increasingly turned to the private and non-profit/voluntary sectors to deliver services formerly undertaken by governments directly.

arts @ Ryerson

Politics and Governance is one of several new innovative programs at Ryerson in the Humanities and Social Sciences that share a common one-year foundational “platform” within the Faculty of Arts. Other programs currently include Criminal Justice, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Sociology, Philosophy, and Psychology, The first year of Arts and Contemporary Studies and International Economics and Finance is similar, but not identical, to the first year of the common platform. In all of these programs, your first year offers two courses in your chosen discipline, two common competency courses (Academic Writing and Research and Critical Thinking), and a choice of introductory courses in Humanities, Social Sciences, and non-Arts disciplines.  This platform approach allows you to explore a wide range of subjects and, if you are undecided which program best matches your interests and career goals, you can explore each program area before making a final choice as to the focus that is right for you. If you wish to change your initial choice of program, you can easily and quickly move to one of the other programs in your second year.


Students admitted to the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, English, Geographic Analysis, Politics and Governance, Psychology, or Sociology, may transfer from their current program and plan to any one of the other five plans for the Fall term of their second year of studies. Applications are available through the Program Office and must be submitted by February 2nd. Transfer applications are considered on a competitive basis subject to program capacity, and therefore program choice cannot be guaranteed.

In order to transfer to Politics and Governance
(1) have a CLEAR Academic Standing at the end of the Winter term of their second semester of studies; and
(2) have successfully completed POG 100 or POG 110. It is strongly recommended that students complete both POG 100 and POG 110 in first year.