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While there are many similarities in terms of course content, the Ryerson program emphasizes social justice and the political interaction of the private, public and third (voluntary/nonprofit) sectors – in other words, upon “governance” rather than just “government.”

A second difference is the Ryerson advantage: professionally relevant education that combines the traditional university focus on theory and research with a career-oriented emphasis on professional practice and application. Ryerson is Canada’s leading university for applied, professional education, recognized for its teaching excellence, the quality and relevance of its programs, and the success of its students in achieving their academic and career objectives.

A third difference is that Ryerson's program in Politics and Governance requires you to take at least the introductory course in each of five sub-fields (Canadian, Comparative, Global, Policy, and Theory).  This obviously means that you have satisfied the prerequisites to take anything you like in your third and fourth years, but it also ensures that you have at least some familiar with other sub-fields.

In the first year, introductory Politics and Governance, humanities, social science, core competency, and elective courses provide an ideal foundation for the specialized study of Politics and Governance that follows in years 2, 3 and 4.

In Years 2 through 4, seven required and ten elective Politics and Governance courses provide an in-depth focus on politics and governance, examining such topics as equity and human rights, social and political thought, citizenship, provincial and local government, controversial policy issues, public sector structure and financing, urban issues and more

Extensive multidisciplinary opportunities in the upper years through professionally related electives in a broad range of areas, including humanities social sciences, natural sciences, and business (see Curriculum) gives you flexibility to pursue secondary areas of interest that complement your studies in Politics and Governance and broaden your career preparation.

Employers are impressed with the depth, breadth and flexibility of the Politics and Governance curriculum and are confident our graduates will be well prepared for a broad range of careers in any of the public, third (voluntary/nonprofit) or private sectors. Learn more about potential careers flowing from the Politics and Governance program.

Mainly full-time Ryerson faculty members who have extensive knowledge and expertise in their fields will teach the courses. Full-time Politics and Governance faculty typically have doctorates in disciplines such as Political Science, Political Thought and Public Administration. They are experienced, high-quality teachers and active researchers who maintain strong ties with their community through involvement in a wide range of initiatives.

The degree program consists of forty (40) one-semester courses, requiring four years of full time (5 courses per semester) study.

Full time study assumes five (5) courses per semester.  Some variation is permitted.

You should consider very carefully your other commitments (job, family, etc.) to avoid overload, and resulting physical and mental burnout.  Remember that, to do well in most courses, you need to devote an average of about 7.5 hours per week.  It is wise to consider ALL of the demands on your time when you are planning your course load and enrolling.

There are three (3) hours of CLASS TIME per course so, for full-time study, fifteen (15) hours of class time in each week of an academic term.

Please note that this is actual class time.  Significant time must also be devoted to reading (required and other) and to assignment preparation.  To calculate overall time requirement, it is wise to multiply class time by a factor of about 2.5.  This is why a full course load of 5 courses requires a normal work week (40-45 hours).  Of course the time commitment is not distributed evenly across each week of the semester, which means that, in some weeks, you will have less and, when assignments are due, you will have more.

Class sizes in Years 1 and 2 will range from 40 to 250. Politics and Governance classes in Years 3 and 4 will be much smaller, with some 400-level courses organised as seminars, usually consisting of no more than 30 students. Your contact with faculty is maximized and the learning process is enhanced by smaller class sizes in the upper year Politics and Governance courses.

All classes will be held on Ryerson’s campus, which is located in the heart of downtown Toronto. All buildings are within a 5- to 10-minute walk of each other, and some are joined by underground and overhead walkways.

Politics and Governance students are eligible for exchange opportunities at any university that has a formal exchange (that is, a signed agreement) with Ryerson. These exchange opportunities are awarded on a competitive basis, subject to availability.

You may also choose to attend a university that does not have an official exchange with Ryerson. To do so, courses must be pre-approved on a Letter of Permission (opens in new window)  form in order for your credits to transfer back to Ryerson. This option allows you to attend almost any university. However, you may be required to pay international student tuition fees.

For detailed information on exchange programs, policies, and procedures, visit Ryerson International (opens in new window) . Helpful information is also available on the Learning Abroad (opens in new window)  page of the Faculty of Arts Student Experience Centre (opens in new window) .

Yes. Politics and Governance graduates who have achieved the minimum CGPA required by the program in which they are interested will be able to apply to law programs and will be well prepared for graduate studies in a variety of disciplines, especially Political Science, Public Policy, Public Administration.

Please contact:

Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment
380 Victoria Street POD144
Toronto, ON M5B 2K3
Telephone: (416) 979-5036
Fax: 416-979-5221

The Politics and Governance program is a full-time program, and its structure is based on a full course load of five (5) courses per term.  However, students may remain in good standing even though enrolled in fewer courses.  There may be implications for OSAP.

In addition, the Department of Politics and Public Administration also offers a genuinely part-time program leading to a Level 1 Certificate, a Level 2 Certificate, and a Bachelor of Arts (honours) in Public Administration and Governance. The part-time program is designed primarily for people currently employed within the public or third (voluntary/nonprofit) sectors who are interested in enhancing an existing career path through the pursuit of certificates and/or a degree. For program and admission information, visit the website.

Students admitted to the Bachelor of Arts in any of Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology, or Sociology, may transfer from their current program and plan to any one of the other eight plans for the Fall term of their second year of studies. Applications are available through the Program Office and must be submitted by February 2nd. Transfer applications are considered on a competitive basis subject to program capacity, and therefore program choice cannot be guaranteed.

In order to transfer to Politics and Governance from any of Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Philosophy, Psychology, or Sociology, students must have:

  1. a CLEAR Academic Standing at the end of the Winter term of their second semester of studies; and
  2. successfully completed POG 100 or POG 110. It is strongly recommended that students complete both POG 100 and POG 110 in first year.

All applications/program changes will be considered subject to space availability and on a competitive basis.