The name of the game? Political Science.

“So, what is Political Science anyways?”
“You study, like, the government?”
“…What are you going to do with a degree like that?”

The last question is always the one that makes us PoliSci majors cringe. To be honest, we don’t all know what we’re going to do with our degrees. What we do know, however, is that we love what we’re doing.

Okay Drew, then tell us what it is.


Political Science… is, er… the study of politics.

That’s a terribly vague answer. However, it’s not easy to clarify on this one. Much like many other majors, the definition of Political Science as a study in general is vague. This is because you can specialize it in many ways.

However, in general, PoliSci is a way of studying the state (or country), government, and politics (which are defined as the activities associated with the governance of an area). It includes the various relationships and interactions between groups of people, institutions, and states from a political view. The discipline combines the theories, the practices, and the analyses of behaviour in the world of politics.

Now, as I mentioned above, PoliSci can be studied in different ways of specializations as well. For example, some students will chose to focus exclusively on the Canadian political system, while others may want to think on a more international level. Some students will take interests in regional political structures (perhaps the European Union) as well.

And you find this… interesting?


No doubt about it. To some, the mere mention of politics makes their eyes glaze over. However to my peers in the program at Glendon and I, the topic couldn’t be more interesting.

The study of politics reaches back thousands of years. In fact, I can guarantee that you won’t make it through one year in the program without reading Thucydides, Plato, or Aristotle. In The Birth of Politics, one of the courses I’m currently in, we have gone back even further to the writings of Homer (You know, The Odyssey, for example).

In modern times, we can look at how transnational crime affects states and politics. We can study the effects of international non-governmental organizations on policy-making and shifts in political structure. We debate on the actions of governments to intrude on another government’s sovereign territory to stop bloodshed (Uh, current events, anyone?).

The discussion material will literally never end. We can go from the beginning of human society and back, and take everything we know, and still not come up with the answers. Which, I will tell you, is my favourite part about it.

… Wait, what’s your favourite part?

I love the discussion, the debate, the exchange of ideas. The classroom is often a ticking time-bomb, just waiting for the professor to ask a question. Because once you get past the theories, and understand the concepts, there’s a plethora of answers to every question in Policial Science. I’ve always believed that the best way to learn about a topic is to debate the issues surrounding it, and politics is definitely one area where you learn fast and enjoy doing it simply through exchanging ideas and opinions.

But why do it at Glendon?
With classes like International Relations through Film and Literature, or Transnational Crime and Corruption, or the bilingual course on Québec politics, PoliSci studies at Glendon are clearly something in which we pride ourselves. And this is definitely not just limited to undergraduate degrees! Glendon also has an awesome Masters in Public and International Affairs (a friend of mine is in it, and is blown away by it),  which is the where the international affairs magazine, Global Brief, is housed (the same friend is one of the junior editors!), and is also affiliated with the Centre for Global Challenges, self-described as “a bilingual policy forum focusing on justice, democracy and sustainability.”

Not to mention the bilingualism! Regardless of what focus and political science major decides to pursue, learning the French language, and possibly picking up a third, can only help you in the future.
Many PoliSci students will go into government, journalism, diplomacy (possibly the choice for me!), and a lot of us end up in law school or other graduate studies… Meaning the possibilities are endless. Being able to converse in a second or third language is probably one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself when choosing to take what you’ve learned beyond your degree.

Like I’ve said, political science is varied and flexible, and can take you in a myriad of different directions after your degree.

I strongly encourage you to:
1. Check into the program here.
2. Check out the classes at Glendon here.
3. Look into doing the Shadow Program and sit in on a class to see if it’s for you!
4. Check out the Blogs of all the other eAmbassadors and ask them about their majors as well!
5. ASK ME ABOUT THE PROGRAM! I know I couldn’t possibly have provided all the information you may want in this post, so feel free to get in contact with me regarding my classes, professors, my related extra-curricular activities, or anything else student life! Hit me up on Twitter, ask me a question on FormSpring in the side panel on the right, or simply leave a question in the Comments below!

Advertisements

About Drew

A student at the bilingual Glendon Campus of York University in Toronto, Canada, I also work as an eAmbassador in Student Recruitment and Applicant Relations. Currently studying Political Science as an international Bachelor of Arts, with a Certificate of Law and Social Thought. Last year, I was on exchange in Rennes, France studying at l'Institut d'études politiques.
This entry was posted in Academic. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The name of the game? Political Science.

  1. Pingback: 4th year revelations: Understanding International Studies and Philosophy | Voyager pour gagner son pain

  2. Pingback: Je m’appelle Juan and I like acting. | What A "Juan"derful World

  3. Pingback: It’s life and life only. | cool beans in an awkward sauce

  4. Perfect, thanks for your help!

  5. DPinkerton says:

    Hey David, Sorry about the late reply. The main difference I find between Political Science and International Studies from the get-go is that International Studies broadens the focus beyond politics and will allow you to look at issues in the international perspective, sociologically, economically, and culturally slightly more than Political Science (any IS students can feel free to correct me on any of this). However, with a focus on international relations in political science, you will find yourself encountering many of the same issues and ideas. So, so far, not too too different. Something else that sets the two programs apart quite a bit more, is the requirements. International Studies has many more required courses to take, whereas Political Science offers some more freedom to specialize in case you come to realize that perhaps you aren't as sure about international relations as you were, but now have a greater interest in comparative politics. And when you come to Glendon, keep in mind that you can try out polisci or IS classes to get a feel and switch your program from one to the other once you've met some professors and gotten a feel for what you'll be taking over the next few years.

  6. Hey Drew,So the study of international relations falls under the category of political science, right? So I was wondering if you could tell me the difference between doing a Political Science degree with a focus on international relations, and Glendon's international studies degree?

  7. Esther Phua says:

    Bahaha! I agree with Juan (except that I'll be sticking to ILST ;P).

  8. Juan Garrido says:

    Great post! You almost made me consider switching majors 😉 But alas Drama and French still hold my heart. Maybe I'll take a PoliSci course as an elective…+5 points for each Calvin & Hobbes Comic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s