Study with us
Political studies seeks to understand what happens when individuals and groups struggle with one another to achieve their different goals. Governments oversee and guide political struggle and studying politics can help us better understand why different types of governments behave the way they do.
A political studies background will enhance your competence and skill for political participation. Greater awareness of the political process will mean a greater sense of personal involvement and more willingness to accept the responsibilities of democratic citizenship.
What makes politics so fascinating is that it is not only a source of conflict in the world, but also an activity seeking to resolve strife and create better societies.
Diverse fields of study
Study a number of varying subjects, all aimed towards the examination of political affairs. Subjects include:
- Political theory
- Canadian politics
- International relations
- Comparative politics
- Indigenous politics
- Public administration
What our students say
“Get involved. Volunteer at the annual Political Studies Students Conference, run for a seat on the student council, apply for an Undergraduate Research Award and work with one of the incredible professors in the department. There are so many opportunities within the department, so look for them and then take advantage of them!”
- Laura Conrad, political studies student
By participating in the program you will receive knowledge, research skills, analytical skills and an ability to express ideas orally and in writing. These are valuable assets for many careers. Many roles are open to political studies graduates, including roles in public service, academia, law, public administration and private industry.
Students gain valuable experiences through a variety of events and opportunities including:
- annual student led conferences
- election viewing parties
- student groups
- student colloquiums and research competitions
- work with professors on research topics
The Department of Political Studies offers three- and four-year programs of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies.
BA degrees at a glance
BA General: 90 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all courses in the chosen major. This program is particularly suited to students who wish to seek employment or enter a professional academic program following graduation from Arts.
BA Advanced: 120 credit hours of study with a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all faculty-required courses. Students select a major and minor program of study or a double major in lieu of a minor.
BA Honours: 120 credit hours of study with a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all courses. Students do not complete a major and a minor, but rather an honours subject, or two subjects for the double honours program. This is the preferred program for students looking to pursue graduate studies.
Bachelor of Arts (General)
Expected duration: 3 years
The general program offers general exposure to the humanities and social sciences and an opportunity to concentrate studies in at least two subject areas. This program is particularly suited to students who wish to seek employment or enter a professional academic program following graduation from Arts.
A student must complete 90 credit hours with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in all courses that comprise the major.
You can complete the BA General degree on a part-time basis.
Bachelor of Arts (Advanced)
Expected duration: 4 years
The advanced program offers a general education along with a reasonable degree of specialization in one area of study through the major.
Graduates of the advanced major program who demonstrate high academic performance may be eligible for entrance to graduate studies. The advanced degree is also well suited to students seeking to build an academic term or year of studies abroad into their undergraduate degree.
To earn a BA Advanced degree, a student must successfully complete 120 credit hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in all faculty-required courses. The program requires at least 48 credit hours in a major subject area, as well as a minor field of study that includes a minimum of 18 credit hours in a subject area. In lieu of a minor, students may complete a double advanced major program.
Students should apply to enter the advanced program only after successfully completing a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework.
You can complete this degree on a part-time basis.
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Expected duration: 4 years
The honours program offers a rigorous examination of a particular subject area for those who desire a more specialized undergraduate preparation. This is the preferred program for students who wish to continue their education at the graduate level.
Students normally enter the program after first year, although you may be eligible to enter the program later in your undergraduate studies.
To earn a BA Honours degree, a student must successfully complete 120 credit hours with a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in all courses.
Students in the honours program do not complete a major and a minor, but rather an honours subject, or two subjects in the case of a double honours program. The program differs from the advanced program by requiring more courses in the honours field and by providing a greater intensity and depth of study.
Students should apply to enter the honours program only after successfully completing a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework.
You can complete the honours program on a part-time basis.
Earning a minor in Arts
A minor is comprised of 18 credit hours which are in a subject field that is different from a declared major. To earn a minor in a subject field as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree, a student must successfully complete 18 credit hours in a subject field approved by the Faculty of Arts as a minor.
Minors offered by the Faculty of Arts are listed under each area of study’s section of the Academic Calendar. Arts students may complete minor programs offered by other Faculties/Schools providing the minor program consists of a minimum of 18 credit hours and all other degree requirements are satisfied.
Degree requirements for all BA degrees
Students in the BA General, BA Advanced and BA Honours degree must complete the following requirements as part of their degree:
- 6 credit hours of humanities
- 6 credit hours of social sciences
- 6 credit hours of sciences
- 3 credit hours of written English (W)
- 3 credit hours of mathematics (M)
- 3 credit hours of Indigenous course content (students entering as of fall 2021)
- 6 credit hours in each of 5 different subject fields
The 3 credit hours of written English and 3 credit hours of mathematics are to satisfy the written English and mathematics requirement.
For full details on these requirements, refer to the Academic Calendar.
Sample course offerings
- POLS 2504: Introduction to International Relations (3 credit hours)
- POLS 2902: How Government Works (3 credit hours)
- POLS 3250: International Political Economy (3 credit hours)
- POLS 3470: Canadian Public Management (3 credit hours)
- POLS 3530: War, Politics and Culture (3 credit hours)
- POLS 3342: Arab-Israeli Conflict (3 credit hours)
- POLS 3760: Media and Politics (3 credit hours)
- POLS 3872: Indigenous Governance (3 credit hours)
- POLS 4470: Managing Modern Government (3 credit hours)
For full course descriptions, please visit the Academic Calendar.
The Faculty of Arts Co-operative Education Program is an excellent way for students to enhance their classroom learning with on-the-job experience. Students in history, labour studies, political studies, and psychology can alternate regular academic terms with paid, full-time employment.
Learn more about the Arts Co-op Program
The following are minimum requirements for entry into the Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies program. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
Direct entry applicants are those who have not attended a post-secondary institution or have completed fewer than 24 credit hours at a recognized university or college.
Advanced entry applicants are those who have completed one year (24 credit hours) or more of studies in another faculty at the University of Manitoba or another recognized post-secondary institution.
How to apply
Domestic student application fee: $100
International student application fee: $120
Applications to the University of Manitoba are completed online.
The online application includes several parts, and you may be required to submit transcripts, proof of English Language proficiency, and other documents.
You apply to the Bachelor of Arts program without selecting your major and minor areas of study (e.g., anthropology, political science, etc.). You make these choices after you are in the BA program.
Admission and application inquiries
424 UMSU University Centre
University of Manitoba
66 Chancellors Circle
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada
Room 424 UMSU University Centre
65 Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Department of Political Studies
532 Fletcher Argue Building
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2