Policy analyst What can I do with a Political Science Degree?

Policy Analyst, Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Stephen Gillies

The study of political science at Mount Allison was the perfect springboard for my career in the public service.

Not that I imagined this outcome when I began my undergraduate studies. A future in teaching or counselling seemed a far more likely career path when I stepped into my first political science class. But I was so impressed with the material I was learning, and with the professors who were teaching it, that I knew early on that a political science major was the right path for me.

I graduated with First-Class Honours in political science and a double-major in psychology, which gave me a host of options. I decided to pursue graduate studies and was accepted into the Master of Arts program in political science at the University of Toronto. The competition to enter this program is fierce, but my studies at Mount A more than adequately prepared me both to be accepted into this program and to tackle this challenging degree. I also had the opportunity to be a grading assistant during my fourth year in political science-not only an excellent part-time job, but a fantastic experience which helped me earn a number of teaching assistantships while completing my graduate degree.

Having achieved my Master's degree in political science, I've started my career as a policy analyst with the Canada Student Loans Program with Human Resources and Social Development Canada. It is an incredibly enriching job as the work we do, and I do, is such a valuable and important part of the post-secondary education system in Canada.

If you are a prospective student, my advice to you is simple: if you plan to study political science, I strongly recommend political science at Mount Allison: a phenomenal department with excellent faculty members who will put your education first.
Grad School photo

Graduate School

Caitlin Maxwell

My time at Mount Allison was hugely important in shaping my interest in security policy and human rights. Courses like Dr. Tucker's Strategic Studies and Canadian Security Policy made me realize those aspects of politics which most interest me, while Dr. Hunt's Political and Cultural Change gave me the opportunity to develop and present ideas on issues I've become extremely passionate about. My 4th-year research project also gave me a solid grounding in the subject I will be specializing in at the Master's level and in law school.

Since graduating in May, I have entered a Master's program in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Toronto. So far, the work has been challenging but rewarding. The flexibility of my interdisciplinary degree means I have the opportunity to take classes in other faculties. For example, this term I am enrolled in two courses at the Faculty of Law. National Security, Criminality, Human Rights and Non-Citizens takes an in-depth look at the way terrorist suspects are treated under Canadian and international law, and is an extension of the research I did at Mount A. Next term I will be taking Public International Law and doing comparative research on American and British anti-terrorism policy with criminal and anti-terrorism law scholar Kent Roach.

Though it has been a big change to go from the cozy Mount A community to the massive metropolis which is U of T, this year offers a lot of amazing opportunities for me, from being able to study in Israel to researching anti-terrorism policy with a professor whose work I relied on for my undergrad thesis. While I may be a long way from Sackville, I am here because of what I was able to accomplish there, and I'll always be grateful for that.

Academic, Consultant and Campaign Strategist

Peter Loewen

I cannot imagine that I would still be studying political science had I not chosen it as a major at Mount A. My studies there taught me that we could look beyond the human interest of politics and uncover patterns of behaviour. By understanding these patterns we can understand how we can realize more just, efficient, and democratic outcomes.

When I graduated from Mount A I immediately took up my graduate studies at the Universite of Montreal (UdeM). I am now - five years later - finishing my PhD. In addition to my time at UdeM, I've also followed special courses at the Universite de Fribourg in Switzerland, Duke University, and the University of Michigan. I've also spent a year as a visiting student at the University of Rochester. Aside from academic work, I've also found important applications for my research in the real world. I've worked as a consultant to a national polling firm; I've been a campaign strategist for a provincial leadership race; and I've been a consultant to other campaigns in Canada and one in Scotland.

As I head towards the job market I feel quite lucky to be studying a discipline which is interesting and challenging but which also allows me to engage in the real world. I feel quite lucky to have received a strong foundation in this discpline in my time at Mount A.