McGill Political Science Students' Association

Did You Know

1.     What is a research assistant?

a.     A research assistant in the university context is an individual who helps with the research that a Professor or Ph.D. candidate is currently involved in.



2.     What research opportunities are available to me as a Political Science Undergraduate student, and how do I find them?

a.       There are many research opportunities within the department -- that is one of the huge perks of going to a large research university! Professors and Ph.D. candidates are often looking for students to help them with their research during the year or the summer. The best way to find research opportunities is to get to know your professors! Find out what topics they are pursuing research in, and if something clicks with you, go talk to them about it! A genuine curiosity for a research topic is a great place to start. You can always reach out to the professor or Ph.D. candidate and ask them if they are looking for any research assistants! The earlier the better!


3.     How do I find internship opportunities?

a.    One great place to start is the Arts Internship Office (AIO), where they have a database and post current opportunities through the AIO. Here is the link to the AIO that will answer all your questions:


4. Is it possible to get funding for my internship and if so, how?

a.     Currently, you get can funding through many departments and agencies at McGill and other organizations as well.  Notably, you can get funding through the AIO, you can find the link here: Different organizations might have different application processes.


5.  Is it possible to get academic credit for my internship and if so, how?

a.     It is!  You can get credit by taking POLI 599, the Political Science Internship Course that gives you 3 credits.  The Political Science Department works with the AIO to clear a student for credit from their internship.  The link is here: You will  need a professor to act as your academic supervisor, an official letter from your internship that you will interning there, departmental  approval, and AIO approval, among other components that are outlined at the above link.


6.  What political science academic resources are offered and how can I get access to them?

a.     There are many! There is a Note-Takers club, an Essay Writing Center, and a library liaison to the Political Science Department that can aid you in researching. The library has workshops for helping students with their research and assignments more generally. (find link to Academic Resources)


7.  Do I have to take a statistics  class?

a.     If the event that you are pursuing an honours or joint honours program in Political Science, then yes, you do. Do not fear!  Like any class, the Professor and Teaching Assistant (TA) is there to help you and teach you to assure you have a positive and successful experience.  Plus, the PSSA hosts a Data-Analysis Class (DAC) to help you out! It is a month long weekly workshop conducted by a Graduate student and Professor Erlich (POLI 311 prof) during the Fall 2017 semester that will ensure that you will have a smooth transition into POLI 311!  Check back in the fall for more information.


8.  Do I have to write a thesis?

a.     No , you do not have to, but you can. It is not a requirement for the Political Science Honours degree.  A thesis paper is an extensive research paper on a topic of your choosing, completed under the supervision of a professor. .  See link here: (find link)


9.  What Political Science discipline should I take?

a.     Take what you like!  You are free to take classes in Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory.  The only restriction is that you cannot take more than half your political science credits (36 or 54) in one of the disciplines with the notable exception of Comparative politics since it includes both the developing world and developed world.  For more information use this link:


10.  What happens if I take a political science class pass/fail (S/U)?

a.     Nothing really, the only penalty for taking a Political Science class S/U if Political Science is your major or minor is that it will not count towards your CGPA or your degree as a credit in Political Science. It is encouraged to take the S/U option for non-political science courses to complete your Bachelor of Arts to have the credit count towards the degree.


11.  I am feeling overwhelmed with all the coursework I have to do, what can I do?

a.     It’s important to communicate with your Professor or Teaching Assistant if you are feeling overwhelmed. They may have some suggestions or ways of alleviating your stress, and it always helpful for them to know how their students are doing!



12.  What can I do after I am done with my B.A in Political Science?

a.     There are is so much that you can do with your Political Science degree! Here are some ideas to get you started: