Our Mission

We are living at a pivotal time in global and domestic affairs. A complex range of interconnected problems presents enormous challenges, but also opportunities to effect positive change.  The climate emergency, globalization, migration crises, wealth and poverty, sexism, racism, nuclear proliferation, and the return of great power competition are among the urgent issues that demand fresh thinking and innovative solutions.

Our mission in Political Science at Carleton University is to contribute positively to the collective, public life of society in the local, national, and global spheres through our dedicated research and teaching.

We are committed to cultivating engaged, active graduates who are informed, intellectually curious, constructively critical, open-minded, globally and environmentally conscious, discerning media consumers. In this age of disinformation and polarized politics, now more than ever such qualities are vital to healthy democracies.

Our faculty

Our diverse faculty of internationally renowned scholars are award-winning teachers and researchers.  From the ancient to the modern and postmodern, from the local to the global, from state to civil society, we investigate how the ideas, actors, events, and institutions of the past have shaped the present constellation of forces, and how we might navigate to more just, fair, equitable, and ecologically sustainable societies in the future.

Our Programs

We offer programs in two undergraduate degrees – the BA and the Bachelor of Global and International Studies (BGInS) – as well as graduate programs at the MA and PhD levels. Our programs offer panoramic and comprehensive disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the art and science of politics. From first year undergraduate to the PhD level, our courses ground students in the theory, methods, and practical applications of politics in all the subfields of political science, from the classics of political philosophy to international relations, comparative politics, Canadian politics, gender and diversity, political economy, and public policy.

Our Constitution


Our courses and thesis options feature a broad variety of assignments designed to develop students’ proficiency in written and oral communication, and to expand their repertoire of useful, transferable skills. Individual research, argumentative essays, presentations, and in-class debates are complemented by more contemporary group, multi-media, and creative projects, simulations, op-ed writing, policy and case analyses, and field trips. Such diverse modes of learning develop students’ capacities to:

  • communicate effectively, in writing, public speaking, presentations, and in digital media
  • identify, frame, and solve problems creatively
  • debate ideas, issues, and evidence knowledgeably
  • analyze, evaluate, and appreciate diverse perspectives and opinions
  • apply qualitative and quantitative research and analytical methods
  • collaborate with others in teamwork
  • master the arts of critical thinking and constructive critique

Internships, Co-op Placements, and International Opportunities

Carleton’s location in the capital city of Ottawa gives students unparalleled access to networking and volunteering opportunities, internships, placements, summer, and permanent jobs.

Students in the BA and BGInS programs have access to a range of exciting experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom, in the real world of politics.

Internships in global politics, the Washington Centre in D.C., and in international and other political organizations offer students the chance to gain practical work experience and to join networks of professionals in their fields of interest.

Our Co-op Program placements offer BA and MA students the chance to gain hands-on, practical experience working with some of the many agencies and organizations based in Ottawa.

Since 2018, MA students have had the opportunity to pursue Carleton’s first Dual Master’s Degree Pathway, offered in cooperation with the Department of Political Science at the University of Lucerne in Switzerland.


The proficiencies our students develop equip them to be solvers, not just managers, of problems. These skill sets are highly valued by a wide range of employers in both the public and the private sectors.

Carleton political science graduates work in many fields, including the local, provincial, and federal governments, political parties, the public service, academia, international relations, diplomatic service, global agencies (such as the UN, UNESCO, WHO, FAO), transnational organizations (WTO, EU, NATO), international development, advocacy and interest groups, electoral politics, research, education, communications, journalism, labour relations, public relations, lobbying, policy analysis, think tanks, public opinion polling, management, non-profits, business, human resources, personnel, and non-government organizations.

We provide the knowledge, skills, tools, and experiential learning that will enable you to thrive in the global work environment, to make not just a living, but a difference.

The Department of Political Science acknowledges its location on the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin nation.