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Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Program Website:
Administered by: Department of Politics and Public Administration
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.

The main objective of the four-year baccalaureate (honours) degree program in Politics and Governance is to provide a critical understanding of how power is exercised by both formal and informal governance entities at the international, national, provincial, and local levels.

Admission Information

O.S.S.D. with six Grade 12 U/M courses, including Grade 12 U English.


  1. ENG4U/EAE4U is the preferred English.
  2. A grade of 70 percent or higher will be required in Grade 12 U English.
  3. Subject to competition, candidates may be required to present averages/grades above the minimum.
Program Overview/Curriculum Information

Students will learn to evaluate and analyze political decisions, administrative practice, and policies that emerge from a variety of sources, and to evaluate them on a range of criteria, including empirical, theoretical and ethical bases. The program offers a number of professional electives drawn from five traditional sub fields of Political Science: Canadian, Comparative, Global, Policy, and Theory. Students may choose depth in a small number of thematic categories, or choose breadth by sampling in several such categories.

Graduates of the Politics and Governance program will be able to pursue careers in a variety of capacities in any of the public, private, or third (voluntary and nonprofit) sectors. These may include becoming a policy analyst for the federal, provincial, or municipal government, a decision-maker in an NGO or a position in the private-sector, with a company that has extensive interactions with government, or that conducts public research. It might also include positions in international governmental organizations (such as the UN and World Bank), or non-governmental organizations [such as UNICEF or Médicins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)]. Graduates may also pursue further education through law school or graduate studies in disciplines such as Government, Political Science, Public Administration, or Public Policy.

Politics and Governance draws on the theories, methods and practices of a broad range of Social Sciences and Humanities disciplines. The Politics and Governance program thus builds on a first year that is common to eight other programs in the Faculty of Arts (i.e., Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology), with specialized study in Politics and Governance in the following years.

Semesters One and Two: Students are introduced to Politics and Governance through a 'survey course' which provides a broad overview of what might be expected in the subject area. Students also take one additional core course that explores Canada's political landscape through the lens of political culture and citizen participation. In addition to these two Politics and Governance courses, students must complete two courses teaching key skills in Critical Thinking and Academic Writing and Research. Finally, students select two or three courses from other social science disciplines (course prefixes CRM, ECN, EUS, GEO, PSY, SOC, SSH); two or three courses from humanities disciplines (course prefixes ACS, ENG, FRE, PHL, SPN); and one course from outside the Faculty of Arts.

Semesters Three and Four: In second year, students are required to complete the introductory course in each of five sub-fields, exploring the actors and institutions of Canadian government, the emerging institutions and practices of global governance, controversial policy topics, western political thought, and comparative politics. In addition, students will delve into the qualitative and quantitative research methods necessary to study politics and governance effectively.

Semesters Five through Eight: In the upper years, students complete the remaining two introductory courses (Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector, Social Identity and Citizenship), and then pursue the study of political and governance issues in greater depth. Students may choose to focus upon courses within one or two of the thematic categories subfields or to sample broadly from several such categories. Either way, it will be possible to explore such topics as provincial politics; race and ethnicity; human rights (both within Canada and in a Global context); economic, education, environmental, foreign, and social policy; the governance of urban areas (both in Canada and elsewhere); political thought; voters, elections, and parties; and Indigenous Governance and Justice. In addition to program courses, students choose courses from a broad range of disciplines that complement their professional studies and broaden their career preparation. These include courses in Accounting, Child and Youth Care, Communication, Criminology, Disability Studies, Economics, English, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Finance, Food Security, French, Geography, Human Resource Management, Business Technology Management, Law, nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management, Organizational Leadership, Sociology, Spanish, Psychology, Urban Planning, and sciences such as Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics.

Students admitted to the Bachelor of Arts programs in Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology or Sociology may transfer to any one of the other nine programs or to any one of the three approved double major programs (English and History; English and Philosophy; History and Philosophy) 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 from any of Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Psychology, or Sociology, students must:

  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.

Students must take two lower level liberal studies courses and four upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website.

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

Politics courses and PHL 214 are not available for credit.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

Politics courses are not available for credit.  

Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website for complete details.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program


POG 100 People, Power and Politics
POG 110 Power and Influence in Canadian Politics
SSH 105 Critical Thinking I
SSH 205 Academic Writing and Research

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Four courses from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I or Table III.



POG 210 Power and Authority in Canada
POG 214 Controversial Policy Topics
POG 225 Global Governance
POG 230 Statistics and Social Science
POG 235 Western Political Thought
POG 240 Intro to Comparative Politics
SSH 301 Research Design and Qualitative Methods

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I, Table III or Table IV.

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.


INP 900 Understanding the Nonprofit Sector
POG 320 Social Identity and Citizenship

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Four courses from Table II.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table III or Table IV.

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Six courses from Table II.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table III or Table IV.

Program Advisory Council

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Doug Allen
Research Representative

Canadian Union of Public Employees

Dr. Isabella Bakker

Department of Political Science, York University

John Campey
Executive Director

Ralph Thornton Centre

Mary Crescenzi
Director General, Strategic Services Branch
Ontario Region, Service Canada
Government of Canada

Steven Davidson
Associate Secretary of Cabinet
Deputy Minister,
Policy and Delivery
Government of Ontario

Jenny A. Gumbs

Tropicana Community Services

Brian McKenna
Deloitte Inc.

Shirley Phillips
Deputy Minister, International Trade
Government of Ontario

Patricia Walcott
General Manager, Employment and Social Services
City of Toronto