Success Maps

Political Science Success Map

 

All Pillars | All Years
1st Year (0-30 Credit Hours)
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BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Explore the Political Science website, learn about Political Science, and consider the 1000-level Political Science courses found in the Academic Calendar.


Political Science majors are required to complete one of the following 1000-level courses in order to take 2000-, 3000-, or 4000-level courses: POLI 1201, POLI 1210, POLI 1230, POLI 1240, POLI 1250, or POLI 1260.


Explore your options for majors and minors by attending the Programs Day across faculties in February.


Register for classes as soon as registration opens. Classes fill early!


Book an appointment with the Department Chair to be sure you have the right courses.


Gather information on Cooperative Education opportunities.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Provoke your Intellectual Curiosity by exploring theories of politics and society.


Discover your Critical and Rigorous Thinking skills by engaging in the classroom, on campus, and in your community.


Become aware of, understand, and interpret political events locally, nationally, and globally.


Improve your writing and thinking skills at the Writing Centre. Get expert feedback and incorporate it into your work.


Develop research skills by navigating online databases and the stacks at the Patrick Power Library. Take a virtual tour in English, French, Mandarin, or Arabic.


Build a résumé at a Résumé Seminar, to prepare for internships, scholarships, and summer jobs.


Start your Co-Curricular Record. Document your acquired skills from on- and off-campus activities and volunteer.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Attend Welcome Week and a session about the Saint Mary’s culture of safety and respect.


Attend the Annual Political Science Event in the fall semester and meet your professors and fellow students. Contact politics@smu.ca for details.


Introduce yourself to your professors during office hours.


Visit the Societies Fair. Explore student societies before deciding which to join. Consider joining the Model UN Society (SMUMUNS), the Political Science Student Society, or volunteering at the Women’s Centre or the Journal.


Try Speak Up!, a program where international students practice speaking English.


Stay Active. Explore SMUfit, campus sports, exercise, and recreation opportunities.


Apply for a scholarship. There are more than 260 available!


Need help with time management, organizational, or presentation skills? Book an Academic & Life Skills Coaching session.


Learn to budget your money. Attend a Financial Literacy workshop or get advice from Financial Aid and Awards.


Read about the career paths of Saint Mary’s Political Science graduates and the Department’s Model United Nations Program.


Check-in with Career Services to start discussing your career goals, related to your program. Experiment with different classes to see what you like.


When facing a personal crisis, get help from the Counselling Centre.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Consider courses with global themes for your electives.


Need a job? Create a HireSMU account to find available jobs.


Not from Halifax? Explore and discover all our cultural opportunities and have fun.


Keep current with local events. Read Pride in Your Shared Neighbourhood newsletter.


Travel while studying after 1st year. Investigate travel options beyond Canada at International Activities.


Obtain or update your passport in preparation for possible international travel.


Before you land in SMU from another country, browse Services for International Students available support.


Attend International Night—an annual banquet showcasing SMU’s many cultures.

2nd Year (30-60 Credit Hours)
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BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Select from the required 2000-level six (6) credit hour core courses for the Political Science Major: POLI 2304, POLI 2305, POLI 2335, or POLI 2380. Remember all four (4) core courses must be completed by your fourth year.


Plan your 3rd and 4th year by exploring the subfields of Political Science: Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Thought, and International Relations.


Read about the University’s Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland Program.


Thinking of changing majors or minors? Attend Programs Day for help.


Book a meeting with the Department Chair to be sure you have the right courses and to declare your major in this year.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Enhance your Intellectual Curiosity.


Continue to build your Critical and Rigorous Thinking.


Improve your awareness, understanding, and interpretation of political events.


Politics can often re-imagine the status quo. Explore Alternative Understandings of politics at the local, national, and global level.


Upgrade your writing with one-on-one tutorials at the Writing Centre or through online resources.


Learn advanced researching techniques at the library.


Update your Co-Curricular Record to keep track of your accomplishments and set new goals.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Become a LEAP Peer Mentor. Build leadership and mentoring skills, while getting paid.


Apply your classroom learning and improve soft skills by joining some student societies.


Participate in intramurals. Demonstrate your team skills and character to future employers and admissions officers.


Browse the Scholarship List. Match the criteria to your cover letter info. Apply between February and May.


Need more academic support? Contact Personal Counselling or Academic & Life Skills Coaching.


Seek Career Counselling. Explore the core competencies of your major, and career possibilities related to your strengths, interests, and values.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Discover ways to give back to your community, from local to global. Come to the Volunteer Fair held every September, or speak to a Career and Employment Coach at Career Services.


Get involved with activities outside of your major and minor. Companies like well-rounded candidates.


Attend a LinkedIn photo shoot and a LinkedIn Seminar with Career Services. Put your best (and most professional) face forward!


Keep your HireSMU Account updated with accurate contact information and most recent résumés.


Consider applying for the Co-op Program at the beginning of 2nd year (30+ credits). Gain work experience over three terms.


Visit the International Activities office for a study-abroad program or an international field study course in 2nd - 4th years.


Explore options for international internships in your area of study.

3rd Year (60-90 Credit Hours)
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BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete your remaining required 2000-level six (6) credit hour core courses for the Political Science Major: POLI 2304, POLI 2305, POLI 2335, or POLI 2380.


Select from the list of Political Science courses to begin completing the additional required fifteen (15) credit hours. You must complete 60 credit hours before taking a 4000-level course in Political Science.


Participate in the Department’s Annual Honours Thesis Presentation to learn from Political Science Honours students’ research and experience.


Book an appointment with the Department Chair for help with course selection, career advice, certifications, or selecting a thesis supervisor for the Honours Program.


Thinking about graduate school? Contact Career Services for options and admission procedures, and begin planning for applications with your Faculty Mentor/Department Chair.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Deepen your Intellectual Curiosity by exploring advanced theories of politics and society.


Refine your Critical and Rigorous Thinking skills.


Strengthen your acquired skills, including interpretation of political events and development of alternatives to the status quo.


Improve your research skills and grades by visiting the Library and using the Research-by-Appointment service for one-on-one help.


The Writing Centre offers workshops on Exam Writing & Preparation.


Update your Co-Curricular Record.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Get to know your professors. They are excellent contacts for reference letters. Chat about your future plans in 4th year and beyond.


Attend the Research Expo. Learn from the research and crucial analysis of peers and professors. Also, showcase your own research project.


Contact politics@smu.ca regarding potential Teacher’s Assistant positions for each semester.


Join campus societies in your field. These provide opportunities to network with the industry and professionals.


Run for a leadership position in a campus group.


Interested in teaching? Consider applying to lead LEAP Workshops as a Peer Facilitator.


Apply for over 200 scholarship and bursary awards. Consider applying for the dedicated Named Undergraduate Awards in Political Science: the William J Dalton Memorial Scholarship, the Edmund Morris Memorial Scholarship, and/or the Patrick Power Scholarship in Memory of Terence R.B. Donahoe.


Focus on summer or internship jobs within your major or career field of interest to gain specific experience and build credentials.


Visit the Career Development Centre for help with tactical job searches, including using social media, information interview, fine-tuning your résumé and cover letter, and practicing interview skills.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Attend the Halifax Career Fair in September and March. Discover career opportunities and employer expectations.


Let your networks know your major. Seek out potential employers for information and interviews.


Attend the Annual Meeting of the Atlantic Provinces Political Science Association (APPSA).


Explore new internships designed to help international graduates gain experience in Nova Scotia.

4th Year (90-120 Credit Hours)
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BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete the remaining required credit hours for your Major or Honours while transitioning to work or graduate school.


Complete the additional fifteen (15) credit hours from the list of Political Science courses to graduate with a Major.


Is it too late to do an Honours degree? Speak to the Department Chair about your idea.


Complete a CAPP Degree Evaluation in Banner.


Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Discuss SMU graduate opportunities.


Contact your Academic Advisor or Department Chair to ensure you are on track for graduation requirements and post-graduation plan.


Apply to graduate. Fill out an application for graduation form and submit to the Service Centre. Get your picture taken for the yearbook.


Apply to graduate schools or professional programs. Start early, and use your professors and the Writing Centre to review your personal statement, cover letter, and applications.


Request transcripts, if required.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Continue to engage your Intellectual Curiosity by exploring advanced theories of politics and society.


Continue developing your Critical and Rigorous Thinking skills.


Begin to personally imagine alternatives to the status quo. Foster personal and peer involvement in politics.


Before you graduate, do a final update of your Co-Curricular Record, and request an official copy.


Visit Career Services to prepare to clearly and persuasively articulate all you have learned at Saint Mary’s (in and out of class) to an employer.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Serve as Department Student Rep. Speak to your Department Chair.


Enter your best research paper for the Academic Writing Awards.


Consider applying for the William J Dalton Memorial Scholarship. Contact politics@smu.ca for details.


Pursuing a degree in law? Consider applying for the Mary Ann and Edward J McBride Law Prize undergraduate award.


Get recognized for your involvement in the classroom and in the Saint Mary’s community. Apply for the Student Leadership Award.


Apply for other awards, including the SMUFU scholarship.


Brush up on your Financial Literacy. Receive guidance for a successful and healthy financial future, including student-loan repayment.


There are many jobs possible with your degree, in the field of Political Science and beyond to other types of careers. Use Career Services’ Career Counselling to discover what direction suits you and the best next steps for you to move towards it.


Plan to attend Career Services’ 4-week Job Search Seminar Series before or after graduation.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Attend the Annual Meeting of the Atlantic Provinces Political Science Association (APPSA) or the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA). Contact the Dean of Arts regarding Conference Travel Funding for undergraduate students.


Be prepared to apply, interview, and network when school begins, to maximize your chance of receiving some job offers by May.


In addition to the Halifax Career Fair, attend some career fairs specific to your program. Bring your résumé. Prepare in advance to speak with recruiters and potential employers.


Apply for the Halifax Connector program. Meet with a Halifax professional in a field of interest.


If you are a co-op student, arrange for your final work term placement early.


Are you an international student interested in staying in Canada and receiving permanent resident status? Contact the International Centre.


Get in contact with the SMU Young Alumni Association to begin your next phase as a Santamarian.


Remember, you have access to Career Services for three years post-graduation. Use these services to help you continue to get the most out of your degree.