Practicum Placements

NGOs, Government & Community and Services

The Department of Political Science and the Program in Gender and Women’s Studies at Dalhousie University offers a practicum placement course, which is available for credit to 4th year undergraduate students. This course is designed to grant students the opportunity to gain practical experience by working for 7 hours per week at a government or non-government organization or service that is instrumental in shaping public policy, advancing human rights, pursuing educational and social justice initiatives, or providing support services to members of the community. Through a dedicated volunteer placement, it will enable students to learn about the services, projects, and campaigns undertaken by a specific government office or non-government organization in the community; apply and share the knowledge that they have gained from their academic studies; and become familiar with the day-to-day challenges of employment in the organizations and community services that engage public policy at a practical level.

This initiative benefits not only students, but also every participating organization or service, while also strengthening relations between the university and community. While student volunteers can assist in meaningful ways with the general work and the day to day administration of the organization, they may also provide invaluable support with the planning and implementation of new projects, or campaigns, including, for example, through research, educational outreach, planning workshops or conferences, or assisting in front-line support or daily administration.

For further information, please contact: Mary Okwese at

Student Responsibilities

Each student will have a designated supervisor at the agency, to whom to report, and who will serve as the primary contact for the Placement Coordinator at Dalhousie. With respect to the specific arrangements and working schedule for the practicum, the primary responsibilities rests with the students, who will be required to clarify their roles, tasks and expectations with their supervisors. In consultation with the supervisor, the Placement Coordinator at Dalhousie will be responsible for evaluating the student’s performance on a pass/fail basis, in view of the core requirements of the course: the completion of required hours and general progress reports; attendance at monthly meetings; and the completion of a final report.

Students are required to spend up to an average of 7.0 hours per week, or, if worked in a single day, 8 hours with up to one hour off for lunch, for a period of 12 weeks at a selected placement agency, for a total of 84 hours. The placements begin in the first week of January (i.e., with the student’s first 7.0 hours completed by the end of the 2nd week of classes) and will run through to the last week of classes with the exception of the reading week. There is plenty of flexibility for determining the working schedule for the student, which will be arranged directly between the student and the supervisor(s) at the agency. For example, if a student is assigned to work on a project that requires an extensive time commitment for a short period of time—such as organizing a conference or public campaign—an arrangement may be made to work many of the required hours during that period, while taking a break in the preceding or subsequent weeks.

Course Syllabus

Course syllabus for POLI/GWST 4390

Our Host Organizations

Here you can find a list and a short description of all our current host organizations.

How to Apply

If you are intersted in applying for POLI/GWST 4390 and prusing a practicum placement, please contact: Mary Okwese at

Practicum Reflections

2015-2016 Student Videos



















Fall 2017-2018 Student Videos and Reports

Single Playlist





John Howard Society (Travis Nikkel)

Ceasefire (Lloyd Hartling)

LOVE 2017 (Daria Fantaci)

Nova Scotia Bar Society (Noah Thompson)

Romeo Dallaire CSI (Clara Leney)

Halifax Refugee Clinic 2017 (Nate Geoffrion)

South House 2017 (Sophia Reiner)

CCPA 2017 (Jayme Pinkham)

Aninga Project 2018 (Matt Paisley)

Halifax Refugee Clinic 2018 (Victoria Macies)

Dal Legal Aid 2017 (Patricia Masur)