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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 20, 2014

Canadian Excellence

Why Study Political Science at Laurier?



Why major in political science at WLU?

There are a number of very good reasons why you should be thinking about Laurier and thinking about a Political Science program at Laurier. We could go on for quite a while, but here is our top ten list.

1. We offer that small college atmosphere! Itís true we offer a number of courses in all kinds of areas, but we also pride ourselves in having smaller classes than many other political science departments. After first year, the class sizes become increasingly smaller. One of the great benefits of this is that you get to know your professors and they get to know you. This atmosphere not only makes for a better education, it also benefits students as they prepare to graduate from Laurier. You'll find you can turn to professors who know you and know your strengths, for advice about graduate programs, jobs and other career possibilities.

2. We offer a wide variety of courses covering many different topics. Does your interest lie in international relations, Canadian politics, Comparative politics (area studies such as Pacific Rim, Latin America, US) political theory, or topics such as elections, political parties, public policy or constitutional politics? If it falls in any or all of these areas, we offer courses that meet your interests. Plus many more. Consult our undergraduate course offerings brochure for a complete list of the courses we are offering this year.

3. We provide a good basic coverage of all areas of political science. No matter what your specific interests may be, we feel it is important for you to graduate with a strong understanding of the major issues and fields in political science today. That is why the second year of our program allows students to take courses in a number of different areas. Not only do you find out what specific fields of political science you want to concentrate on in your senior years, but you get a chance to expose yourself to the major topics in all areas of politics. This broadly based understanding of the world of politics will be valuable if you plan to pursue other schooling after your BA.

4. You donít have to limit your field of study to political science! Students at WLU can select a combined program that allows them to study two subjects as part of the same degree. Typical honours or major combinations with political science include history, sociology, psychology, and English. But the options are much greater than that. Students interested in going on to teacherís college have found that combining political science with, for example, music or physical education gives them an additional "teachable" once they are on the job market. The benefits of this type of combined program make Laurier a great place to consider for political science.

5. We even make statistics fun! Okay, so this one is a bit of a stretch, but we do try to make it bearable. It is true that here at WLU we make statistics a requirement for those in the Honours program. Donít worry, you donít need to be a mathematician to get through this course. But having some background in political science statistics (polling, market research, questionnaire design) has some great benefits for students once they graduate and begin the quest for jobs. Knowing how to write a questionnaire, or interpret market survey and polling results will give you a leg up on the competition from schools where students were only glad it wasnít required before they graduated.

6. We make great lawyers, and teachers and journalists. It's true, a BA in political science is a great background for a career in law, teaching or journalism. Many graduates in our program have gone on to law school, teacherís college or to do a graduate or undergraduate degree in journalism. They have found their degree here at WLU has given them a solid foundation of political knowledge that they have put to good use, both at their next educational stop, and once they are in the workforce.

7. We even make great business tycoons! As executives with major companies will tell you, making it in the business world involves more than just knowing about supply and demand. International companies have to know how different countries function. Domestic companies, large and small, deal with different levels of government every day. These companies need smart, resourceful people who understand both politics and business. Honours Political Science with the Management Option at WLU prepares students for putting their political skills to work in the business world and their business skills to work in the political world. This unique program option is available to any political science student at Laurier. See the calendar for more information.

8. We help you get great jobs to learn and earn your way through your degree! The Co-operative Education Option Go see for yourself.

9. Jean Chretien, Jean Charest, Preston Manning and Bob Rae all went to WLU. Okay, so they came as politicians, not students. The point is, for students interested in contemporary political events, we have political campus clubs to suit every ideological taste. These clubs often invite their leaders to speak at WLU, as well as plan different political events both on campus and off. While not part of the formal learning at WLU, many students find that the political clubs add significantly to their learning experience at university. Students have a great opportunity to meet people of like minds (and different ones too) as well as to engage in entertaining and challenging debates.

10. We produce Presidents! While the United States constitution forbids anyone born off US soil from becoming president (which rules out most of our undergrads), no such restrictions are in place with the Presidency of the Wilfrid Laurier University Student Union (WLUSU). Political science students have made the most of this opportunity. In fact, fully two thirds of Laurierís student presidents have come from our department. So even if your after-class activities are not partisan, you still have the opportunity to get directly involved in student politics, either through running for office, or becoming involved in one of a host of different campus clubs.

Feel free to drop me a line, or to call me at (519) 884-0710, ext. 2200 to arrange a meeting if you would like to learn more about any of our various programs.

Dr. Chris Anderson
Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Department of Political Science