Your POL Journey

SFU’s Department of Political Science works to deliver positive, world-class experiences and outcomes for our students. To make the most of your experience, we encourage you to take advantage of our activities and offerings, including: volunteer work, campus clubs, studying abroad and work experience.

Check out our recommended courses and activities to help you succeed during and after your political science degree.

Your first year (0-30 units)

You might feel a little anxious or excited about beginning university. Don't worry — we've got your back! During your first year, we suggest you take courses from a wide variety of subjects.

Inside the Classroom

POL lower division required courses (100 and 200 level):

  • POL 100 - Introduction to Politics and Government

Additional POL courses to consider:

  • POL 151 - Justice and Law
  • POL 222 - Introduction to Canadian Politics

You might also take courses towards your breadth requirements, where you can choose from a variety of disciplines. Or, you may find another program that interests you, and begin taking courses that lead to a minor, certificate, or joint/double major.

Outside the Classroom

Your first year is the perfect time to get to know all of what SFU has to offer. You should get involved with the campus community, build connections, and start planning your future.  

Your second year (31-60 units)

You're settling in, and are able to evaluate different majors while discovering your areas of interest, passion and success. It's time to consider our co-op program. You'll likely be declaring a major close to when you complete 60 units.

Inside the Classroom

POL lower division required courses:

  • POL 200W - Investigating Politics: Research Design and Qualitative Methods
  • POL 201 - Introductory Quantitative Methods in Political Science
  • POL 210 - Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • One additional 200-level POL course such as:
    • POL 232 - US Politics
    • POL 253 - Introduction to Public Policy

Declaring your major

As soon as you complete all of POL 100/101W, POL 200W, POL 201, and POL 210 with a grade of C or better, you can declare your Political Science major.

Outside the Classroom

In your second year, focus on the things that matter most to you.

  • Start thinking about whether you'd like to study abroad. You can choose from an international exchange, field school, or short-term summer program.
  • Consider participating in the co-op program. You'll broaden your career outcomes and sharpen your skills. 
  • Talk to career services to explore career opportunities.
  • Engage in volunteer opportunities at SFU or in our community.

Your third year (61-90 units)

You're focusing on your degree and declaring a major. It's a great time to start researching and talking to professors about requirements for potential careers, and considering the merits of going on an international exchange.

Inside the Classroom

Now's the time to start working through the upper division requirements for your POL major. You might look at taking popular courses such as:

  • POL 314 - Theory and Explanation in Political Science
  • POL 324 - The Canadian Constitution
  • POL 381 - Japanese Politics
  • And many more...

Outside the Classroom

This is a great time to focus on building experience and paving the path to your post-graduation career.

Your fourth year (91-120 units)

You complete remaining required and elective courses, apply to jobs or graduate studies, and apply to graduate. You're well on your way to accomplishing your goals!

Inside the Classroom

POL upper division courses:

  • At least two 400-level POL courses (8 units).

To enhance your experience in POL you may want to take more than two 400-level courses while completing your degree.

Note: SFU requires that you take one upper division W course from within your major. Make sure that at least one of your 400-level POL courses has a W designation.

Outside the Classroom

In your final year, you'll be finishing up requirements and getting ready to graduate.

  • Look into internships for recent graduates that you can begin after you finish your degree. 
  • Make sure to check out career fairs and network with companies of interest.
  • Think about attending graduate school.

Apply to SFU or get more info

To take the next step toward your career in political science, contact us.