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Undergraduate students

Information you will need as an undergraduate political science student


This section offers you a quick guide to follow as you are planning your first year. 

Mandatory Touchstone session

As a new student you must attend a mandatory FAS Touchstone session, which is a virtual general advising session offered in collaboration with the Political Science department. For newly admitted fall term students: sessions begin at the end of March and run until early September. Courses fill up very fast, so students are strongly encouraged to attend a Touchstone session as soon as possible after accepting their offer of admission. This is to ensure they are able to register while their desired course options are still available.

Please note that we cannot offer one-on-one advising, either in person or via zoom, before the start of your first term.

Guidelines for selecting your first-year courses

  • Take two (or maximally three) of the 4 mandatory introductory courses in each term.
    • POLI 203
    • POLI 204
    • POLI 205
    • POLI 206
    • For example, register for POLI 203 and POLI 206 in the fall, and POLI 204 and POLI 205 in the winter.
  • Combine these courses with elective courses, either other 200-level courses in Political Science or (typically 200-level) non-Political Science courses.
    • Note: you will need at least 24 credits of such non-Political Science courses for your degree, and at least six of these must be in non-social science fields such as History, Journalism, English, Biology, etc. For a full-time course load of 12 or 15 credits, you should register for two or three such courses per term.
  • Get general course descriptions by department offering the courses.
  • Search for courses in the class schedule.
  • Make sure you register for the entire academic year (fall and winter terms) as soon as registration opens.
  • Watch the following videos for helpful tips: 

        Political Science – Orientation Video 1

           Political Science – Orientation Video 2

        Political Science – Orientation Video 3    

The Orientation Guide document for newly Admitted Political Science students gives more explanations of your degree requirements; please read it carefully and in full.

Download the 2023-24 orientation guide

Read the orientation FAQ

Learn more about course registration


Academic Advising    

If you are student in your second term of studies or later, please click here  to book an appointment with an academic advisor.

If you encounter any problems while making a booking, please contact for assistance.

Grading system

Our department uses a single grading system in order to convert percentages to letter grades. Listed below are the guidelines for grading utilized by the Department of Political Science.

A+ 4.30 
85-89 % A 4.00
80-84 %
3.70 Outstanding
77-79 %  
B+ 3.30 
Very good
73-76 % B 3.00
Very good
70-72 %
B- 2.70
Very good
67-69 % C+ 2.30 Satisfactory
63-66 % C 2.00 Satisfactory
60-62 % C-
1.70 Satisfactory
57-59 % D+ 1.30 Marginal pass
53-56 %
D 1.00
Marginal pass
50-52 % D- 0.70
Marginal pass
0 % FNS
0 % NR 0.00 Grade Not Reported

An "F" corresponds to less than 50.

Passing courses required to fulfill curriculum requirements is not sufficient to graduate as there is also an academic performance requirement (Grade Point Average) in most degree programs. See the pertinent information in Section 31 of the Faculty of Arts and Science in the Undergraduate Calendar for complete details.

Note:  Final grades are subject to Department and Faculty approval.

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