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Politics and Governance, BA

Courses and Curriculum

Politics and Governance as a discipline draws on the theories, methods and practices of a broad range of social sciences. Consequently, the program builds on a one-year Arts platform that is shared with other Humanities and Social Science programs, with specialized study in Politics and Governance in the subsequent years. Like all programs at Ryerson, the Politics and Governance program has a tripartite curriculum structure.

Since the launch of the Politics and Governance program in 2005, its structure has been amended twice.  Students’ individual graduation requirements are established by the curriculum in effect at the time of admission, unless a “Requirement Term Change Form” (available in the Department) has been completed and submitted.

For a checklist of the 4-year Politics and Governance curriculum:

The latter two checklists are in MS-Excel format so they can be completed electronically and saved for future reference and additions.

The explanation that follows pertains to the current curriculum.

Download this pdf for a graphic depiction and explanation of the curriculum structure. It also displays the professional electives by sub-field (Canadian, Comparative, Global, Policy, Theory).

For details of the program structure and for course descriptions, always consult the current Ryerson Calendar.

Year 1: Exploration
Core Competencies
Required core competencies courses introduce you to critical and analytical thinking (SSH105), and academic writing and research skills (SSH 205).  In addition, two core competencies courses are available as electives in the “Social Science” group (see “Social Sciences” below): Inquiry and Problem-Solving (SSH 100) and Learning and Development Strategies (SSH 102).
Politics and Governance
In order to begin the specialised study of Politics and Governance in second year, you must complete successfully POG 100 (People, Power, and Politics) or POG 110 (Power and Influence in Canadian Politics).  Ideally, both should be completed in first year.
Humanities
Choose two to four courses from Arts and Contemporary Studies (ACS), English (ENG), French (FRE), History (HST), Language and Intercultural Relations (LIR) and Philosophy (PHL).  To ensure breadth, no more than two courses may be taken from any subject area. 
Social Sciences
In addition to the two required Politics and Governance courses, choose two to four courses from disciplines including Criminal Justice (CRM), Economics (ECN), Environment and Urban Sustainability (EUS), Geographic Analysis (GEO), Psychology (PSY), and Sociology (SOC).  Two core competencies courses are also available for selection in this group (see “Core Competencies” above).  To ensure breadth, no more than two courses may be taken from any subject area.
Professionally-Related
One or two professionally-related elective courses from outside the Faculty of Arts will enable you to acquire foundation skills and knowledge that relate to secondary areas of interest or a Minor.
Year 2: Foundation
Core Competencies
Further core competencies courses introduce you to basic qualitative research methodologies (SSH 301) and basic skills in quantitative research methodologies and statistics (POG 230). It is very important to gain a grasp of both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies before undertaking advanced program courses, so do not delay taking these courses!! By the end of second year, these requirements should be satisfied.

Politics and Governance

In year two, you will complete the introductory courses in each sub-field: Canadian (POG 210), Policy (POG 214), Global (POG 225), Theory (POG 235), and Comparative (POG 240).

Professionally-Related
Acquire foundation skills and knowledge that relate to secondary areas of interest or a Minor through the selection of one professionally-related elective course, from any of the three Professionally-Related Tables:

Table I = Intro Humanities and Social Science courses

Table III = Intro courses from disciplines outside the Faculty of Arts

Table IV = advanced courses from all disciplines

Liberal Studies
Two lower-level liberal studies courses are required. Select from Table A.  Be sure to consult the restrictions to determine which courses are eligible for credit in this category.  The restrictions appear in the calendar at the end of Table A.
Years 3 and 4: Specialized Study in Politics & Governance

In the final two years, you’ll develop a sharper focus on Politics and Governance, beginning with two required courses, one examining social identity and citizenship, and one providing an introduction to the Voluntary and Nonprofit sector.  You will then proceed to a menu of courses representing the five sub-fields: Canadian, Comparative, Global, Policy, and Theory.  A total of ten professional electives must be selected from Table II, at least five of which must be at the 400-level.  Completion of these courses will expand your understanding and help you develop advanced research skills. 

Note:  With advance written approval of the Department, Public Administration (PPA) courses may be substituted for Table II Professional courses at the appropriate level; and/or Upper Level Politics Liberal Studies courses (POL) may be substituted for Table II Professional courses at the 300-level only.

Professionally-Related
Select four professionally-related courses from a wide range of areas including Accounting, Business Communication, Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Environmental Urban Sustainability, History, Human Resources Management, Law, Management of Information Systems and Telecommunications, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management, Occupational Health and Safety, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology (Tables III and IV).

Courses selected from the professionally-related category may be used to satisfy the requirements of a Minor.

Liberal Studies
FOUR upper-level liberal studies courses are required.  Select from Table B.  Be sure to consult the restrictions to determine which courses are eligible for credit in this category.  The restrictions appear in the calendar at the end of Table B.
Field Experience
The Politics and Governance program includes an optional opportunity to get one 400-level Table II credit by participating in POG499: Field Experience
  • Click here for further information about this course
  • Click here for the Participation Agreement