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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
July 29, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Political Science

Political Science at Laurier 

Politics dictate how we live. Determining how much you pay in taxes and whether that money goes to daycare, corporate subsidies, the military or cleaning up the environment are political choices. Politicians balance competing demands and needs. 

Political Science examines how politics function. It looks at questions such as


  • How are leaders chosen? 
  • How does (or doesn’t) democracy work? 
  • What is the role of lobbyists and pressure groups? 
  • How are decisions made?  
  • Why do countries go to war? 
  • What is the role of the United Nations and other international bodies? 

Because of the breadth of our program, you can choose to specialize in areas such as 


  • international relations,
  • Canadian politics
  • comparative politics
  • political parties
  • voter behaviour 
  • public opinion. 

Political Science with Management Option

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 Management Option at WLU prepares students to put 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.

Program highlights 


  • Interested in contemporary political events? We have political campus clubs to suit every ideological taste. Engage in entertaining and challenging debate, listen to a guest speaker, plan or attend a political event. While not part of the formal learning experience at Laurier, many students find that political clubs compliment their academic study.
  • Laurier’s Political Science curriculum is carefully structured to build on a foundation of political concepts in first year, to provide general overviews of the various fields in political science in second year, and to provide more advanced analysis in third- and fourth-year seminars.
  • In fourth year, students may choose the Research Specialization Option.

Courses offered 

First Year Courses

  • Intro to Modern Politics - The State
  • Intro to Modern Politics - Structures and Processes of Governments 

Popular courses


  • International Law
  • American Political Controversies
  • Corruption, Scandal and Political Ethics
  • Human Rights and Retrospective Justice

Admission requirements 

Honours BA Political Science and Honours BA Political Science with Research Specialization Option

4U Requirements IB Requirements  Admission Range 
English at 60% HL or SL English at 4 

Mid 70s

IB Minimum score: 28 


A degree in Political Science won’t necessarily make you a politician, although several of our graduates have gone in that direction. It can, however, lead you into teaching, journalism, law, government, business and a host of other careers.

Student experience 

    000-Anand-headshot_1.jpgThe term democracy refers to a form of government in which the power resides in the people and is exercised by them either directly or by means of elected representatives. Being that Canada is a democratic country, is it not in the public’s best interest to engage in the political process? Third-year Political Science student, Simmer Anand, argues just that. “I believe citizens in democratic countries have a duty to participate in politics, and hold their politicians accountable for their actions,” he says.

    Anand has always had an interest in politics. He cites his father as an early mentor in his academic pursuits in political science. “My father has been actively involved with the Liberal Party in Kitchener-Waterloo for years now, and he always inspired me to participate in politics.”

    Apart from the political science program’s solid reputation and wide range of interesting courses, Anand has been given great opportunities to further develop his knowledge of politics. He is currently helping to organize upcoming CPSA Conference in May of 2011 and will be a teaching assistant for an introductory political science course at Laurier in September of 2010. 

    Upon graduation, Anand plans to attend law school with a specialization in corporate law.

    Faculty experience 

    0000Perrella_.jpgWhen looking at major political news events like the 2008 election scandal in Zimbabwe or the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama, it’s easy to see how politics can affect us in profound ways. Political events can ignite civil unrest or draw a nation together. At Laurier, the Political Science program explores these events at all levels of power and authority in countries around the world. 

    While courses like statistics and research methods may sound daunting, Dr. Andrea Perrella’s methodology courses provide the background needed when critically assessing election results and voting behaviour. 

    “My approach seeks to deliver the course material in a way that is very easy to follow,” says Perrella.

    Before joining Laurier in 2007, Perrella worked at several different post-secondary schools in the Montréal area. He received his PhD and MSc in political science from the Université de Montréal. Aside from teaching, he is also the graduate officer for the department.

    Alumni Experience 

    0000Innes.jpgRebecca Innes graduated from Laurier with a degree in Political Science and History, specializing in international relations. . It’s a field, she says, that involves the interactions between states and “can involve travel and working with world leaders.” While a student at Laurier, she had the opportunity to meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. 

    After graduating, Innes earned her master’s degree in International Relations and then found herself in Hungary working for the Organization for Security in Central Europe, implementing democratization programs, monitoring elections and researching human rights issues.

    Innes returned to Canada in 2001 to take up a post as an advisor in the briefing, cabinet and parliamentary affairs branch of Human Resources Development Canada. She then moved into a position as cabinet liaison officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa, and in 2004 she accepted a promotion to senior policy advisor with Health Canada in the policy and strategic planning directorate, in the health products and food branch. There, she is responsible for branch-level policy analysis and coordination, planning, organizational development and management services.