Program calendar icon Program Length

  • 4 Years

Program credential icon Credential

  • Bachelor Degree

Program option icon Options

  • Major
  • Minor

Program location icon Fully Available at

  • Nanaimo

Program location icon Partially Available at

  • Cowichan
  • tiwšɛmawtxʷ (Powell River)

If you are an engaged citizen, fascinated by the world of politics and how power is distributed, used and abused, a political sciences program is for you. In VIU’s degree in Political Science program, students address political theory, Canadian and global political issues, forms of governance and how politics relates to culture. In the Political Studies program, students graduate with an understanding of how to critique, assess and interpret political structures.

These skills carry over into future careers in law, government, social advocacy, journalism, public relations and non-profit organizations. VIU offers a Major in Political Science or a Minor in Political Science to students aiming for a Bachelor of Arts degree.


The Political Science (BA) Program

Politics can be understood as a community's deliberations about such fundamental matters as justice and injustice, freedom, human rights, democracy, law making, dispute settlement, governance and citizenship. Political Studies addresses critical questions such as: Who gets what, when, and how? Who can do what to whom? What is the point or objective of political action or inaction? The study of these questions and others provides students of Political Studies with a grasp of political issues and solutions at the domestic level and international level.

The civic and political life of Canadians is rapidly becoming more diverse and more global. Yet timeless political questions also lie below the changing surface. An awareness of what is possible and even desirable in the future depends upon familiarity with the history of political thought. New opportunities are opening to those who are equipped to meet the challenges of a changing Canada and a changing world. Political Studies helps students be a part of those new opportunities by providing them the intellectual tools needed to understand and analyze real world problems, conduct research, and be more informed citizens.

Political Studies prepares students for jobs in rewarding career areas such as public service in local, provincial or federal levels of government; international affairs; international organizations or non–governmental organizations; teaching; journalism; social research; and consultancy. A Bachelor of Arts, Major in Political Studies from VIU prepares students to pursue graduate degrees in Political Science (MA), International and Global Studies (MA), Public Policy and Administration (MPA), Business (MBA), interdisciplinary studies, or Law (LLB).

VIU offers undergraduates the option of studying Political Studies as a Major or as a Minor in a 4–year Bachelor of Arts degree program. The B.A. Minor and Major in Political Studies are designed around four fields of political inquiry that together represent a core range of the discipline: international relations, comparative politics, political theory, and Canadian politics. Students are exposed to a representative range of this core in their choice of lower level courses, but are then given the opportunity to more freely choose field specializations in their choice of upper level courses.

The B.A. Minor and Major in Political Studies at VIU also provide students the opportunity to complement their degree in Political Studies with a select number of courses in other disciplines. This interdisciplinary element of the B.A. in Political Studies enriches the study of politics and gives students the option of completing a Minor or joint Major in a related field of study.

Requirements for a Major

Students must fulfill all the Institutional B.A. degree requirements, including Degree English Requirements and courses listed below:

Years 1 and 2

Credits

Select eighteen credits of 100-200 level POLI courses as follows:

First-year Core Requirements:

Select three credits from the following list:
POLI 100 - (An Introduction to Power, Politics and the Public Interest) or
POLI 151 - (Law and Politics in Canada)

3

Second-year Core Requirements*:

Select at least nine credits from the following list: 
POLI 200* - (The Politics of War and Peace) or,
POLI 201* - (An Introduction to International Political Economy)
POLI 221 - (Canadian Politics and Government) or,
POLI 222 - (Governance and Public Policy in Canada)
POLI 231 - (Comparative Politics) 
POLI 260 - (Justice and the Good Life: an Introduction to Political Thought) or,
POLI 265 - (Freedom and Authority: Introduction to Modern Political Thought)

9

Methods Course Requirement**:

Select three credits from the following list:
SOCI 250 - (Introduction to Social Research) or
SSID 250 - (Introduction to Social Research) or,
CRIM 220 - (Research Methods in Criminology)

3

Select six additional credits of 100-200 level POLI courses or PHIL 231 - (Social and Political Philosophy).

6

* Students may take both POLI 200 and POLI 201, but only one can be used to meet the Second Year Core requirement.

* Students may take both POLI 221 and POLI 222, but only one can be used to meet the Second Year Core requirement.

* Students may take both POLI 260 and POLI 265, but only one can be used to meet the Second Year Core requirement.

** The prerequisite for SOCI 250 is SOCI 111 or SOCI 112 (recommended); or any 100-level course in Psychology, Geography, Anthropology, Criminology, or Political Studies; the prerequisite for SSID 250 is any 100-level course in Psychology, Geography, Anthropology, Sociology, Criminology, or Political Studies; the prerequisite for CRIM 220 is CRIM 101.

Years 3 and 4

Credits

Select thirty* credits of 300-400 level POLI courses.

30

* Up to six of the required thirty minimum credits may be taken from the following: LBST 390 - (Advanced Special Topics in Liberal Studies (Abroad) I; GLST 390 - (Globalization: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry); GLST 391 - (Responses to Globalization); GLST 490 - (Selected Topics in Global Studies); GLST 491 - (Applied Seminar in Global Studies).

Note: These credits may not be used for more than one Major or Minor. 
Note: Not all Political Studies courses are offered every year. Students are advised to see a BA Advisor early in their program to ensure timely completion. 

Requirements for a Minor

Students must fulfill all the Institutional B.A. degree requirements, including Degree English Requirements and courses listed below:

Years 1 and 2

Credits

Select fifteen credits of 100-200 level POLI courses as follows:

First-year Core Requirements:

Select three credits from the following list:
POLI 100 - (An Introduction to Power, Politics and the Public Interest) or
POLI 151 - (Law and Politics in Canada)

3

Second-year Core Requirements:

Select three credits from the following list: 
POLI 200 - (The Politics of War and Peace)
POLI 201 - (An Introduction to International Political Economy)
POLI 221 - (Canadian Politics and Government)
POLI 222 - (Governance and Public Policy in Canada)
POLI 231 - (Comparative Politics) 
POLI 260 - (Justice and the Good Life: an Introduction to Political Thought)
POLI 265 - (Freedom and Authority: Introduction to Modern Political Thought)

3

Select nine credits of 100-200 level POLI courses.

9

 

Years 3 and 4

Credits

Select eighteen* credits of 300-400 level POLI courses.

18

* Up to three of the required eighteen minimum credits may be taken from the following: LBST 390 - (Advanced Special Topics in Liberal Studies (Abroad) I; GLST 390 - (Globalization: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry); GLST 391 - (Responses to Globalization); GLST 490 - (Selected Topics in Global Studies); GLST 491 - (Applied Seminar in Global Studies).

Note: These credits may not be used for more than one Major or Minor. 
Note: Not all Political Studies courses are offered every year. Students are advised to see a BA Advisor early in their program to ensure timely completion.  

Domestic Fees | International Fees

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees for One Year* Amount
Tuition (30 credits x $163.14 per credit) 4,894.20
Student Activity fee (4% of tuition) 195.77
Student Services fee (30 credits x $7.21 per credit) 216.30
VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $26.59 per month) 212.72
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 265.00
Approximate cost for books and supplies for one year 1,500.00
Notes

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.


International Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees for One Year* Amount
Tuition (2 semesters x $10870.72 per semester) 21,741.44
Ancillary Fee (2 semesters x $463.40 per semester) 926.80
VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $26.59 per month) 212.72
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 265.00
Approximate cost for books and supplies for one year 1,500.00
Notes

Tuition in the above table is based on $776.48 per credit, up to a maximum of $10,870.72 per semester for 15 credits; $776.48 per credit beyond 15 credits. Ancillary Fees in the above table are based on $33.10 per credit, up to a maximum of $463.40 per semester for 15 credits; $33.10 per credit beyond 15 credits.

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Next Intake(s):

The Bachelor of Arts program has one intake each Fall and one intake each Spring.

Application Fee:
$44.27
Accepting Late Applications:
Yes
Testing Required:
No
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Erica Ellenchuk
Phone: 250.746.3512
Email: Erica.Ellenchuk@viu.ca
Next Intake(s):

The Bachelor of Arts program has one intake each Fall and one intake each Spring.

Application Fee:
$44.27
Accepting Late Applications:
Yes
Testing Required:
No
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Erica Ellenchuk
Phone: 250.746.3512
Email: Erica.Ellenchuk@viu.ca
Next Intake(s):

The Bachelor of Arts program has one intake each Fall and one intake each Spring.

Application Fee:
$44.27
Testing Required:
No
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Erica Ellenchuk
Phone: 250.746.3512
Email: Erica.Ellenchuk@viu.ca
Next Intake(s):

The Bachelor of Arts program has one intake each Fall and one intake each Spring.

Application Fee:
$44.27
Testing Required:
No
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Erica Ellenchuk
Phone: 250.746.3512
Email: Erica.Ellenchuk@viu.ca
Anticipated intake for someone applying today:
Application Fee:
$44.27
Accepting Late Applications:
Yes
Waitlist:
No
Testing Required:
No
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Erin Johnson
Phone: 604.485.8033
Email: Erin.Johnson@viu.ca
Comments:

Please consult Student Services/Advising at 604-485-2878 or email PR.StudentAffairs@viu.ca for more information on program or admission requirements.

International

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Anticipated intake for someone applying today:
Next Intake(s):

The Bachelor of Arts program has one intake each Fall and one intake each Spring.

Application Fee:
$150.00
Accepting Late Applications:
Yes
Waitlist:
No
Testing Required:
No
International Admissions Officer Contact:
Name: Elham Akhoundi
Email: Study@viu.ca
Comments:

For prospective international applicants, please send your inquiries to WorldVIU@viu.ca.

Further information on this program can be found on the Department website.

Visit the Department Website

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.