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Athabasca University

Political Economy Major

Regulations effective September 1, 2017.

The Political Economy program at Athabasca University is designed for both beginning students and professionals to understand and engage with Canadian and global political and economic issues. The course selection provides students the opportunity to develop a greater appreciation and understanding of diverse polities, economies, cultures, and regions of the world. Additionally, it offers to professionals the retooling skills and the academic credential necessary for successful employment in an era of globalization.

Students may focus their studies in either Global Political Economy or Canadian Political Economy. For more information visit the Political Economy website.

Athabasca University has developed program learning outcomes that describe the career options that may be available to you upon graduating.

Did you know? Athabasca University also offers:

For specific degree requirements view each program page.

Students complete the program regulations in effect at the time of their enrolment.

Program Requirements

Requirements in addition to the general program requirements for the 4-year BA with Major:

  1. 60 Political Economy major credits outlined below including a minimum of 36 senior (300 or 400) level credits from major courses (a minimum of 12, 400-level credits).
  2. 15 credits in required core courses.
  3. 21 credits in one of the two Political Economy areas: Global Political Economy or Canadian Political Economy.
  4. 12 credits from the designated elective Political Economy major courses.
  5. 12 credits from the Political Economy designated elective program courses in Communications (CMNS), Global Studies (GLST), Governance (GOVN), History (HIST), Information Systems (INFS), Labour Studies (LBST), Industrial Relations (IDRL), Women’s and Gender Studies (WGST), and Indigenous Studies (INST).
  6. Students may transfer in a maximum of 30 credits of courses applicable to the requirements of the major.

Required Core Courses (15 credits)

ECON 247 Microeconomics (3)
ECON 248 Macroeconomics (3)
MATH 215 Introduction to Statistics

MGSC 301 Statistics for Business and Economics I
POEC 302 Introduction to Political Economy (3)
POEC/GLST/INTR 230 Globalization and World Politics (3)

Of the 21 credits required in the area of focus, students must take at least one course from each of the following areas: Economics, Political Economy, and Political Science. Select courses from only one area of focus.

Area of Focus 1: Global Political Economy

ECON 401 The Changing Global Economy*
*Students who have taken ECON 301 may not take ECON 401
ECON 366 Economic Development (3)
ECON 475 International Trade (3)
ECON 476 International Finance (3)
ENVS 435 Transformative Change in Building Sustainable Communities
ENVS/GSLT 243 Environmental Change in a Global Context (3)
FNCE 370 Overview of Corporate Finance (3)
GLST 308 Americas: An Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean (3)
HIST 486 The Industrial Revolution (3)
MKTG 414 International Marketing and Exporting (3)
POEC/GLST/INTR 395 Political Economy of Development: People, Processes, and Policies (3)
POEC/GLST/INTR 483 International Political Economy: The Politics of Globalization (3)
POLI 330 International and Global Politics (3)
POLI 342 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)
POLI 480 The Politics of Cyberspace (3)
SOCI 435 Theories of Social Change (3)


Area of Focus 2: Canadian Political Economy

CMNS 380 Corporate Communication (3)
CMNS 401 Cultural Policy in Canada (3)
ECON 385 Money, Banking and Canadian Financial Institutions (3)
FNCE 322 Personal Finance (3)
GEOG 311 Canadian Urban Development (3)
GOVN 301 Governance, the Public Sector and Corporate Power (3)
GOVN 450 Public Budgeting and Financial Management in a Globalized World (3)
HIST 326 Contemporary Canada: Canada after 1945 (3)
IDRL 320 The Law of Work (3)
IDRL 309/LGST 310 Human Rights, the Charter and Labour Relations (3)
LBST/SOCI/WGST 332 Women and Unions (3)
POEC 393 Canada and the Global Political Economy (3)
POLI 309 Canadian Government and Politics (3)
POLI 311 Aboriginal Politics and Governments (3)
POLI 325 Canadian Environmental Policy and Politics (3)
POLI 383 Canadian Political Economy in a Global Era (3)
SOCI 291 Canadian Society (3)
SOCI 321 Sociology of Work and Industry (3)
TAXX 301 Taxation I (3)

Electives (select 12 credits from the following)

ANTH 320 Ancient Cities and Civilizations (3)
ANTH 362 Aboriginal Cultures of North America (3)
ANTH 375 The Anthropology of Gender (3)
ANTH 394 Urban Anthropology (3)
CMNS 402 International Media Systems I—The Americas (3)
CMNS 421/HSRV 422 Being Online (3)
CMNS 423 The Television Age (3)
CMNS 385/SOCI 378 Social Problems and Social Movements (3)
ECON/HADM 321 Health Care Economics (3)
ECON 380 Public Finance and Expenditure (3)
ENTP 212 Entrepreneurship (3)
ENVS 435 Transformative Change in Building Sustainable Communities
FREN 100 French for Beginners I (3)
FREN 101 French for Beginners II (3)
GEOG 201 Introductory Human Geography (3)
GEOG 302 The Canadian North (3)
GEOG/GLST 200 World Regional Geography
HADM 336 Community Health Planning (3)
HADM/HSRV 339 Organization of the Canadian Health Care System (3)
HIST 336 History of Canadian Labour (6)
HIST/GLST/WGST 366 Famous Feminists and Their Times: Global History of Feminism (3)
HIST/LBST 470 Pre-Industrial Origins of Labour and Socialist Thought (3)
IDRL 308 Occupational Health and Safety (3)
INST 111 Introductory Cree I (3)
INST 112 Introductory Cree II (3)
MATH 244 Business Math (3)
MATH 265 Introduction to Calculus I (3)
MKTG 406 Consumer Behaviour (3)
MKTG 440 Marketing Strategy (3)
PHIL 371 Ethics, Science, Technology, and the Environment (3)
SOCI 381 The Rich and the Rest: The Sociology of Wealth, Power, and Inequality (3)
SOCI 450 Environmental Sociology (3)
SOCI/WGST 345 Women and Work in Canada (3)
SPAN 200 Introductory Spanish I (3)
SPAN 201 Spanish for Beginners II (3)
WGST 401 Contemporary Feminist Theory (3)

12 remaining elective credits selected from the following disciplines:


  1. Students who may pursue graduate work in political economy or international affairs are strongly recommended to include POEC 499 among their electives.
  2. Language proficiency: Students in Canadian studies areas who may pursue employment in the federal civil service or foreign affairs, are strongly recommended to take French as an elective or option. Students interested in North American integration should take Spanish. Students interested in the economic integration of Europe should consider taking German. Students interested in governance capacity-building for First Nations communities should take Indigenous language courses.

    "Language proficiency" generally refers to one of the following:

    • the ability to read French, Spanish, or German at a level consistent with the usual requirements of a junior French language course. This ability may be proven by one of the following: either by completing six junior language credits (for example FREN 200 and 201) or by passing a reading proficiency examination in French, Spanish, or German;
    • speak fluently one of Canada’s Indigenous languages (for example, Cree or Inuktitut);


    • read one of Canada’s Indigenous languages (for example, Cree or Inuktitut), at a level consistent with the usual requirements of a second-year university language course.
  3. Writing proficiency: Students for whom English is a second language are strongly encouraged to take ENGL 177 and ENGL 189.

Regulations effective September 1, 2017.

Updated May 28 2018 by laurab

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