Apply to Political Science

Applications for the Winter 2020 Session are now closed. If you have questions please contact our Undergraduate Advisor. 

Please see below for further details and contact poli.advising@ubc.ca if you have any questions.

Applying to the Major

These admissions requirement apply only to applications for entry in Fall 2020/21 and differ from our normal policies in light of the exceptional circumstances surrounding COVID-19.

Admission to the Major program in Political Science requires that a student:

  • is enrolled in the Faculty of Arts;
  • has completed at least 54 credits of course work. If you were unable to complete a course in 2019/20 Term 2, you can still apply and, if your application is successful, we will add you to the major once you complete the 54 credits. If you are in this situation, please note this in your application
  • normally, we also require that applicants have completed all of POLI 100, POLI 101, POLI 110, and POLI 240. For this year, students can apply having successfully completed TWO of these four courses. The other two courses must be completed by the end of 2020/21 winter term 2 (i.e. May 2021).
  • since many students’ grades in 2019/20 Term 2 may be lower than normal, there is no minimum average for entry this year. We will admit up to 380 students with the highest course average. We calculate the average on all percentage-graded courses after excluding students 12 lowest-grade credits. The average will be calculated from no fewer than 36 graded credit courses. All POLI courses will be included in the calculation except those without a percentage grade (i.e. those taken C/D/F).
  • Students who have not entered the major at the start of their third year may also apply following completion of their third year. In this case, selection will be based on the same criteria used for third year entrants, except that at least 60 completed credits must be used in calculating the average.

To be admitted to the Major program for the 2020 Winter session, these requirements should be met by August 31. This means that if have not reached 54 credits before the point of application, you will still be able to complete those courses in 2020S and be admitted for 2020W.

Please note that if you have completed fewer than 54 credits at the conclusion of 2019W, your year standing will remain at Year 2. This will affect your registration date for 2020W.

Applying to the Honours Program

Students with an average of 80% or higher are encouraged to discuss the Honours program with our Undergraduate Advisor and consider applying. Although only a limited number of students can be accepted into the Honours program, all applicants will be given serious consideration. In exceptional cases, Majors students may be allowed to transfer to the Honours Program at the end of their third year.

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide supplementary materials: a brief resume (no more than one double-sided page) and a 250-word description of your special interests in political science, your interests outside the discipline (including your outside reading), and your ultimate career plans. If you wish, your personal statement can also discuss how the pandemic affected your 2019/20 Term 2 performance. Courses for which you opt for “credit” instead of a percentage grade will have no bearing on our admission decisions (i.e. excluded from calculations of your grade average). *If you have already submitted your supplementary application and would like to amend your personal statement, please email it to poli.advising@ubc.ca, please be sure to indicate your full name, student number and the program you are applying for.

Applying to the Minor Program

A Minor consists of at least 30 credits, but not more than 42 credits of Political Science courses, of which at least 18 must be numbered 300 or above. POLI 101 must be included among the courses taken. Departmental permission is not required to undertake a Minor in Political Science.

Applying to the Combined Major in Economics and Political Science

Admission is subject to the admission restrictions and application process for both the Major in Economics and the Major in Political Science. In addition to faculty degree requirements, the program has economics and political science requirements. To enroll in the Combined Major, students must apply and be admitted to both programs.

Applying to the Combined Major in Philosophy and Political Science

Admission is subject to the admission restrictions and application process for the Major in Political Science. The Philosophy major program does not have any specific admission requirements. In addition to faculty degree requirements, the program has philosophy and political science requirements.


Students who are considering applying to our Major or Honours programs are encouraged to meet with the Undergraduate Advisor, prior to applying and/or prior to completing 30 credits at UBC. Students in the process of transferring to UBC must arrange to have official transcripts from each post-secondary institution they have attended sent directly by the institution to the address noted at the bottom of this page.