Political Science

Political ScienceWelcome to Political Science at Nipissing

This degree program examines political topics that range from the foundations of international relations and foreign policy to Canadian politics.

The Political Science Program at Nipissing University offers courses of study in Political Theory, Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Public Administration.

If politics is a form of association directed towards what a community holds to be good - their common purpose - then political science is the reflective study on those various purposes as well as of the means or methods chosen to achieve them.

Nipissing University Peace Research Initiative

Alternatively, you may want to get involved with NUPRI, the Nipissing University Peace Research Initiative, which is dedicated to facilitating, coordinating, and providing common space for individuals and organizations to meet and develop peace-building projects and events. Its Agents of Peace project includes an innovative online database that catalogues the work of people who are dedicated to promoting peace, and you can participate.​

You can further your learning as an undergraduate student by taking on a research assistant role and working with a professor, which is excellent preparation should you want to pursue graduate studies.

Political Science Student Goals

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1st Year - Educating intelligent, engaged citizens

Goal: To be able to speak and write intelligently about current politics using key concepts of political science.

2nd Year - Basic training in political science scholarship

Goal: To be able to write a political science essay referring to primary sources in the discipline.

3rd Year - Advancing scholarship through debate and collaboration

Goal: To be able to lead a seminar discussion, referring to key concepts and advanced texts using current political events for examples.

4th Year - Preparation for graduate or professional studies through specialized independent study

Goal: To be able to organize and write a major research paper and present an original thesis.

“…one must go the longer way and must labour no less in studies than in the exercises of the body, or else, … he will never come to the end of the greatest study and that which most properly belongs to him.” Plato Republic, 6.504d

Political Science Resources 

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CIA World Fact Book: From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, current information on a country's government, economy, geography, people, military from the perspective of this American intelligence agency.

Constitution Finder: Indexes "constitutions, charters, amendments, and other related documents". Links to full-text versions of documents available on the web.

ElectionGuide.org: Guide for election dates, information, and results for countries around the world covering 1998 to present.

openDemocracy.netAn online global magazine of politics and culture.

Government of Canada

Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Perseus Project: an extensive searchable digital collection of classic texts.

WikipediaAn online open-source encyclopedia. A good place to begin identifying unknown terms or names.

Millennium: A progressive, graduate-student-run journal of international relations.

Foreign Affairs: A highly reputable journal of international relations. Use the sign up feature to have new issues delivered to your email address before they arrive on news stands.

Foreign Policy: An on-line compliment to the magazine on global politics, economics and ideas.

The Economist: Much more than economics: global news and views.

American Journal of Political Science

Human Rights Watch: An organization dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. Detailed issue and area specific reports are available to download.

Ceasefire: A web-based resource maintained by the Polaris Institute to collect news on Canada's military spending while promoting peace, disarmament and social justice.

Polaris Institute: A think-tank, media relations agency and lobby group working towards peace while providing orientation for citizen movements fighting for democratic social change in an age of corporate driven globalization.

Project Ploughshares: An ecumenical agency of the Canadian Council of Churches established in 1976 to implement the churches' call to be peacemakers. Their mandate is to work with churches and related organizations, as well as governments and non-governmental organizations, in Canada and abroad, to identify, develop, and advance approaches that build peace and prevent war, and promote the peaceful resolution of political conflict.

The Maps of War: A Flash animation of the various empires that have carved up the Middle East from 3000 BCE to the present.

oneworld.net: A collection of essays and analyses from over 1600 NGOs pertaining to global issues. Searchable by issue area and regions.

Princeton Web Lectures: A selection of lectures delivered at Princeton University by distinguished scholars in streaming video.

Countdown to Zero: Reasons for working towards 'global zero'.

Derrida and the Ends of Man: An account of Derrida's deconstruction of modernity and the sort of self that sustains that civilization.

Allan Bloom on Nietzsche: Audio of an Allan Bloom lecture on the relevance of Nietzsche.

Slavoj Zizek on love: Zlavoj Zizek on how to love the world.

The Pinky Show: Pinky on the illegality of the Iraq War.

China and the Olympics: Naomi Klein on China's role as a player on the global stage, and the emergence of its 'authoritarian capitalism'.

Chomsky on U.S. policy: Noam Chomsky on why the US expresses hostility towards Iran.

Justice vs. Power: Does progress have its basis in an underlying human nature? Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault debate.

Stop the Clash of Civilizations: Avaaz.org - 'the world in action' - is an on-line advocacy group and an instrument of an emergent global civil society.


Nipissing's campus is located on a stunning 291 hectares of Canadian Shield forest. With our focus on student-centred living and learning, you will feel a sense of community the moment you step on campus.

The Harris Learning Library

The Harris Learning Library was completed in 2011 and provides 56,000 square feet of study space with natural light and a modern award-winning design. The new library features expanded print collections, a learning commons, an adaptive technology area, and collaborative work spaces.

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Scholarships, awards, and bursaries for students in the Political Science program

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Nipissing Political Science Association

Want to get involved beyond the classroom? Try the Nipissing Political Science Association, which organizes debates, socials, and other fun events.

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Program Coordinator

Full-time Faculty

I took an introduction to Political Science course in my first year at Nipissing and fell in love with it. The professors are knowledgeable, passionate and challenging, which makes attending every class an absolute blast.

I have gained a critical perspective on the events of the day.

I think my future options and opportunities are endless. In the fall I will be starting my MA at McMaster University, and after that, who knows?

Johanna Fraser

The Political Science program and its wonderful faculty at Nipissing offer a variety of courses with a focus on theory, comparative studies, policy, and both domestic and international studies. In addition, the small class sizes allowed for the rare opportunity to form relationships with my peers and my professors, all of which were valuable to my pursuit of graduate studies.

I am currently pursuing my Master’s in Public Administration and Public Policy where I have accepted a co-op position with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada as a policy analyst.

Amy Leigh Mikkelsen

I graduated in 2010, with a double major in Political Science and History, and a minor in French. After taking one class in Political Science, I was excited about the quality of teaching and the level of discussion in class that I switched into the program. I am now working on my PhD in political science.

I think the biggest advantage to the political science program at Nipissing is the student to faculty interaction. I enjoyed having enthusiastic debates on current issues and classic questions in class and over a cup of tea with my professors and peers. In Nipissing’s political science program, students have opportunities usually only available to graduate students at other universities – small seminars with brilliant professors, constructive feedback on papers and projects and research assistant positions with interdisciplinary projects.

The Nipissing political science program supports its students in seeking unique learning opportunities, whether by studying abroad, hosting a talk or debate, or taking part in an interdisciplinary research project.

Holly Garnett

I was a Biology major when, after my second year, I attended the International Youth Leadership Conference in Prague during the summer of 2007. The UN Security Council and European Parliament model simulations got me intrigued in politics, so when I started my third year at Nipissing, I enrolled in Political Science classes with a focus on international politics. My goal was to combine my education in Biology with that of Political Science, since most environmental matters have a political element or policy attached to it. I graduated with a minor in Political Science and a major in Biology in June 2009 and went on to study an MSc in Zoology and Environmental Management at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Ursina Rusch

​A degree in Political Science can take many directions. Past graduates have pursued careers in government, business, or civil service. Some career options include policy analyst, researcher, civil servant, consultant, and economist.

You will also be prepared to go on to graduate studies in areas like Political Science, Conflict Resolution Studies, and International Affairs. Political Science is also a terrific choice for people who wish to continue on to law school, or teaching.

Career and Academic Options

  • Graduate Studies
  • Professional School (Education, Law, MBA)
  • Careers as government advisors, policy makers, politicians, and journalists
Neil Sivitar

Nipissing University has granted me many amazing opportunities during my studies of Political Science. The small class sizes and easily approachable professors have provided lots of opportunities for student involvement. I have was able to start the Nipissing University Political Science Association, a student association designed for the study and active participation in political science.

Our student body has attended conferences at Queens Model United Nations, McGill Model United Nations and Carleton Model NATO. At larger universities, these conferences are often very exclusive to a few senior members; however, at Nipissing, students often receive better funding and are able to participate at these events.

Neil Silviter, BA(Hons.) '15, MA War Studies candidate