Political Science; Sociology; Criminology, Law and Society


Political Science

Political Science is the systematic study of politics. It is more than discussing who won the last election and who will win the next one. Politics is about power and Political Science studies the power struggles that lead to policies and issues such as rising tuition and the war in Iraq. Political Science students can explain how bureaucracies work; how great powers rise and fall; the difference between an effective public policy and a misguided one; how to design an unbiased opinion poll; and what factors shape international decision-making. 

Political Science students also factor into their analysis philosophical questions such as who ought to rule? What is legitimacy? Are liberty and equality compatible?

Programs and specializations

  • Offered as a Minor, Major and Specialist
  • Political Science and History
  • International Affairs
  • Political Science and Economics

What courses do I take?


  • POL111H: Canada in Comparative Perspective
  • POL112H: Democracy in Theory and Practice
  • POL113H: Ideas and Ideologies
  • POL114H: Politics in the Global World
  • One course from two of the following three fields: Comparative Politics, International Relations or Public Policy & Public Administration.
  • The specific content of any 100-level course and the approach taken in it will vary from year to year depending on the instructors. For example, in one year POL114H5 might focus on international relations and in the following year it might look in detail at a particular region of the world. Similarly, in one year a course might be taught through extensive use of films and novels and the next year it might rely primarily on academic texts.

Some interesting upper-year courses

  • POL208Y: Introduction to International Relations
  • POL214Y: Canadian Government and Politics
  • POL218Y: Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POL320Y: Modern Political Thought

Why choose U of T Mississauga for Political Science?

  • Students benefit by customizing their degrees to their personal interests and learning the latest topics in politics with the latest teaching methods.
  • Students can complete a project through the Research Opportunity Program with a professor for academic credit.
  • Annual student evaluations of professors, even in large courses.
  • Senior U of T Mississauga Political Science professors are known internationally. For example: Professor Ronald Beiner is a leading political philosopher on liberalism. He has written several well-known books on political philosophy and often lectures at leading universities in the United States and Europe.

What high school preparation do I need?

Six Grade 12 U or M courses including English (ENG4U).

This refers to courses from the Ontario Curriculum. We will accept equivalent courses from other academic systems. For details, visit www.adm.utoronto.ca/adm.

After graduation

Political Science graduates do not typically go on to become professional politicians. They often proceed to further studies in law, journalism or careers in the civil service and government-business relations. Political Science graduates find careers that require analytical, research, communication, time management and writing skills.

Sociology and Criminology, Law and Society

Sociologists study how families work; how individuals change throughout life; how norms and laws are made, broken, enforced and changed; how inequalities of gender, class and race emerge, continue and change; how cities, regions, nations and international institutions work as organized sets of relationships; how power is exercised and resisted; how individuals, groups and organizations communicate; and more. 

What is Criminology, Law and Society?

This program provides a broad foundation for students, with an academic, professional or civic interest in issues of crime and its control. The program is excellent preparation for careers in law, criminal justice and particularly with research in the area of criminal justice.

Programs and specializations

  • Sociology: Offered as a Minor, Major and Specialist
  • Criminology, Law and Society: Offered as a Major and Specialist

Why choose Sociology/Criminology, Law and Society?

  • Most sociology courses are half-year, so students have more choice, variety, and gain broader knowledge.
  • Introductory Sociology provides, in addition to the course instructor, teaching assistants, mentors and facilitated study groups.
  • Extensive website supplements lectures and provides other various resources: www.utm.utoronto.ca/sociology
  • Independent Research courses available.
  • Seminar courses in the fourth year.
  • Experiential Learning course available. Senior students may participate in internships for academic credit (SOC480Y5). Placements may be made at municipal social service departments or non-profit agencies providing social services, social movement or community-based organizations working for-profit workplaces or other organizations.

Among the many areas in which faculty have expertise are: globalization; race and ethnicity; criminal justice; sociology of law; public policy; socio-biology; culture, mass communication and mass media; gender and sexuality; and work. 

Hands-on experience

A wide range of Research Opportunity Programs are available where students learn research methods and share in the excitement and discovery of acquiring new knowledge while obtaining academic credit. 

Affiliated student club

  • Sociology and Criminology Student Union

What high school preparation do I need?

All areas: Six Grade 12 U/M Courses including Grade 12 English (ENG4U).  (This refers to courses from the Ontario Curriculum. We will accept equivalent courses from other academic systems. For details, visit www.adm.utoronto.ca/adm.)

What courses do I take?


  • First year: SOC100H5: Introduction to Sociology
  • Second or higher years: SOC221H5: The Logic of Social Inquiry; SOC222H5: Measuring the Social World; SOC231H5: Classical Sociological Theory

Criminology, Law and Society

  • First year: SOC100H5: Introduction to Sociology
  • First or higher years: SOC205H5: Theories in Criminology; SOC209H5: Introduction to Criminology, Law and Society; SOC221H5: The Logic of Social Inquiry; SOC222H5: Measuring the Social World

After graduation

Teaching, law, public policy, parole, corrections, law enforcement, health, public opinion research, social services, labour relations, child welfare/youth justice, social work.

For more info on Political Science

Norma Dotto, Administrative Assistant

For more info on Sociology/Criminology, Law and Society

Julie Waters, Academic Counsellor