Experiential Learning (EL) is the process of learning by doing and reflecting on the process. EL allows you to develop new skills, learn about the workplace and discover career interests. There are many different types of EL opportunities either within the classroom, within the community, or within the workplace, including community engaged learning, field experience and organization partnered-projects.
Political Science EL Courses
This course will introduce students to the global policymaking process, with an emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Students will make practical contributions to the policy areas under the SDGs through partnerships with community not-for-profit organizations, international not-for-profit organizations, or international governmental organizations. Students will learn about problem definition and the emergence of global policy positions in the SDG policy areas. They will assess the roles of non-state actors in achieving the SDGs and analyze the mechanisms that drive the global partnership between developing countries and developed countries.
EL Components: Students will make practical contributions to the policy areas under the SDGs through partnerships with community not-for-profit organizations, international not-for-profit organizations, or international governmental organizations.
This course introduces students to the frameworks and practice of program evaluation. It focuses on the policy evaluation stage of the policy cycle. The course explains the process of assessing public programs to determine if they achieved the expected change. Students will learn about program evaluation methods and tools and will apply these in practical exercises. They will also learn about the use of indicators to examine if the intended outcomes have been met and to what extent. Students will engage in critical analysis of program evaluation studies and reports.
Prerequisite: PPGB66H3 and a minimum CGPA of 2.5
EL Components: Students will work with a partner organization to carry out an evaluation study. The project will enable students to apply program evaluation methods and tools for assessing a program’s impact within the intended target population.
This course examines the principles of research design and methods of analysis employed by researchers in political science. Students will learn to distinguish between adequate and inadequate use of evidence and between warranted and unwarranted conclusions.
Prerequisite: 8.0 credits including 0.5 credit in POL, PPG, or IDS courses
EL Components: In this class students will have the opportunity to design and carryout survey research and analyze their research findings in an interview project.
This course examines the foreign policy of the United States by analyzing its context and application to a specific region, regions or contemporary problems in the world.
Areas of Focus: International Relations; Public Policy; Comparative Politics
Prerequisite: Any 4.0 credits
EL Components: In this course students will have the opportunity to participate in simulation activities. Every student will receive a role as a Senator or the U.S. Secretary of State to play during simulations of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In two (or three) simulations, students will role-play Senators and witnesses during hearings on a bill, followed by a debate and possible amendments to that bill. At the end of each simulated debate, Senators will vote to send the bill to the entire Senate.
This course focuses on selected policy issues in the United States.
Areas of Focus: Comparative Politics; Public Policy
Prerequisite: One full credit in Political Science at the B-level
EL Components: In this course students will have the opportunity to participate in simulation activities. Students will be assigned a state to evaluate a party's chances of winning the Senate seat(s) and additional House seat(s). You will be assigned to either compose an optimistic or a pessimistic assessment. Other student(s) will have the same state, but the opposing view. Each side will designate one or two representatives to present their best argument (for optimism or pessimism) in a four minute presentation, followed by the opposing side on a designated date.
This course provides an opportunity to design and carry out individual or small-group research on a political topic. After class readings on the topic under study, research methods and design, and research ethics, students enter "the field" in Toronto. The seminar provides a series of opportunities to present and discuss their unfolding research.
Prerequisite: 1.5 credits at the C-level in POL courses
EL Component: Students will have the opportunity to conduct research in the field
This course provides an opportunity to carry out individual research on a Political Science topic. After class readings on the topic under study, research methods and design, and research ethics, students will propose and carry out their own research project. The seminar provides opportunities to present and discuss their unfolding research, as well as to present the findings of their research.
Prerequisite: A minimum 3.3 CGPA in Political Science courses and permission of the instructor; Restricted to students in the 4th year of the Specialist in Political Science program
EL Component: Students will be able to explore a political science topic of their choice and work directly with their preferred faculty supervisor. The course offers an experiential learning experience with a small learning and collaborative group. Throughout the course, students will be engaged in a dedicated research project involving the use of mainstream and/or new research methods for data collection, as well as critical and in-depth analysis of research findings. To prepare students for their research projects, the course will cover topics such as ethical standards in conducting research, research methodologies in political science, quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, and technological tools for literature review. In addition, the course will feature research talks from faculty, and students will have the chance to ask questions and learn more about the research being carried out by faculty.
This course will introduce students to the ideas and methods that guide judges and lawyers in their work. How does the abstract world of the law get translated into predictable, concrete decisions? How do judges decide what is the “correct” decision in a given case? The class will begin with an overview of the legal system before delving into the ideas guiding statute drafting and interpretation, judicial review and administrative discretion, the meaning of “evidence” and “proof,” constitutionalism, and appellate review. Time will also be spent exploring the ways that foreign law can impact and be reconciled with Canadian law in a globalizing world.
Area of focus: Political Theory
EL Components: This course integrates work done by legal practitioners into the class in the form of case studies.
This course will offer senior students the opportunity to engage in a mock court exercise based around a contemporary legal issue. Students will be expected to present a legal argument both orally and in writing, using modern templates for legal documents and argued under similar circumstances to those expected of legal practitioners. The class will offer students an opportunity to understand the different stages of a court proceeding and the theories that underpin oral advocacy and procedural justice. Experiential learning will represent a fundamental aspect of the course, and expertise will be sought from outside legal professionals in the community who can provide further insight into the Canadian legal system where available.
EL Component: students will be working with community partners and be introduced to the legal profession and the operation of the law in practice. Through guest speakers and field trips to offices, students will learn from actors working on related litigation or in the issue area, such as lawyers, law clerks, and non-governmental organizations or businesses. The course will culminate in a moot, where students will be assigned sides in litigating a case related to the issue before a fictional court. Community partners and others will be invited to UTSC to attend.
This course examines how law both constitutes and regulates global business. Focusing on Canada and the role of Canadian companies within a global economy, the course introduces foundational concepts of business law, considering how the state makes markets by bestowing legal personality on corporations and facilitating private exchange. The course then turns to examine multinational businesses and the laws that regulate these cross-border actors, including international law, extra-territorial national law, and private and hybrid governance tools. Using real-world examples from court decisions and business case studies, students will explore some of the “governance gaps” produced by the globalization of business and engage directly with the tensions that can emerge between legal, ethical, and strategic demands on multinational business.
Prerequisite: POLC32H3 and 1.0 credit at the C-level in POL courses
EL Components: Focusing on case studies, the class will use real world examples to show the challenges that exist for states to regulate companies with a global presence. Students will explore some of the “governance gaps” produced by the globalization of business and engage directly with the tensions that can emerge between legal, ethical, and strategic demands on multinational business. Particular attention will be paid to the impact that companies from advanced capitalist countries has on the global south and the difficulties that arise policing corporate conduct in a global environment.
Topics and area of focus will vary depending on the instructor, and may include global perspectives on social and economic rights, judicial and constitutional politics in diverse states and human rights law in Canada.
EL Components: This course incorporates a variety of experiential learning opportunities that focus on developing areas of public law. Examples can include immigration and refugee law, municipal law, administrative law, or other legal areas going through rapid development. The course embraces a case study approach, as well as relying on practitioners to teach the class who will bring their real world experience.
Immigration is one of the most debated and talked about political issues in the 21st century. Peoples’ movement across continents for a whole host of reasons is not new; however, with the emergence of the nation-state, the drawing of borders, and the attempts to define and shape of membership in a political and national community, migration became a topic for public debate and legal challenge. This course dives into Canada’s immigration system and looks at how it was designed, what values and objectives it tries to meet, and how global challenges affect its approach and attitude toward newcomers. The approach used in this course is that of a legal practitioner, tasked with weighing the personal narratives and aspirations of migrants as they navigate legal challenges and explore the available programs and pathways to complete their migration journey in Canada.
EL Components: Each week students are presented with real life scenarios and evaluate immigration at the policy level, the legal consequences as expressed in selected case law, and will participate in practical exercises designed to practice navigating Canada’s immigration system (mock application). This is a hands-on course with a focus on para-legal practices used in the sector.
The campuses of the University of Toronto are situated on the territory of the Michi-Saagiig Nation (one of the nations that are a part of the Nishnaabeg). This course will introduce students to the legal, political, and socio-economic structures of the Michi-Saagiig Nishnaabeg Nation and discuss its relations with other Indigenous nations and confederacies, and with the Settler societies with whom the Michi-Saagiig Nishnaabeg have had contact since 1492. In an era of reconciliation, it is imperative for students to learn and understand the Indigenous nation upon whose territory we are meeting and learning. Therefore, course readings will address both Michi-Saagiig Nishnaabeg and Settler contexts. In addition to literature, there will be guest speakers from the current six (6) Michi-Saagiig Nishnaabeg communities that exist: Alderville, Mississaugas of the Credit, Mississaugi 8, Oshkigamig (Curve Lake), Pamitaashkodeyong (Burns/Hiawatha), and Scugog.
EL Components: Guest speakers will be involved in the course and will cover the specific structures of the Michi-Saagiig Nishnaabeg and their evolvement through colonization and post Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), The TRC, UNDRIP, and, more specifically to the Toronto region and the Michi-Saagiig, the Williams Treaty Settlement.
A research project under the supervision of a member of faculty that will result in the completion of a substantial report or paper acceptable as an undergraduate senior thesis. Students wishing to undertake a supervised research project in the Winter Session must register in POLD95H3 during the Fall Session. It is the student's responsibility to find a faculty member who is willing to supervise the project, and the student must obtain consent from the supervising instructor before registering for this course. During the Fall Session the student must prepare a short research proposal, and both the supervising faculty member and the Supervisor of Studies must approve the research proposal prior to the first day of classes for the Winter Session.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
EL Component: Students will have the opportunity to conduct research in the field