Program Options

The MA program in political science offers two streams: a 1-year research paper or a 2-year thesis. Admission to both streams is in September only; the department does not offer January admission. Students must indicate in their application which stream they wish to pursue.

Research Paper Option: This option requires 15 credit hours (ch) of graduate course work and a Major Research Paper (MRP) of approximately 50 pages. The MRP must comprise some original research, analysis and arguments. The MRP is graded by the student’s supervisor. The program is designed to be completed in 12 months.

Course requirements:

  • POLS6901: Advanced Research Issues and Approaches in Political Science (3ch, fall term)
  • POLS6911: MRP Reading Course (3ch, winter term)
  • Three additional 3ch graduate POLS courses
  • All students must maintain continuous enrollment in POLS6995: Major Research Paper, throughout their degree

Thesis Option: This option requires 12 credit hours of graduate course work and a Masters Thesis of approximately 100 pages. The thesis is expected to consist of original research, analysis and arguments. Students must successfully defend their thesis before an examining committee. The program is designed to be completed in 24 months.

Course requirements:

  • POLS6901: Advanced Research Issues and Approaches in Political Science (3ch, fall term)
  • POLS6912: Thesis Reading Course (3ch, winter term)
  • Two additional 3ch graduate POLS courses
  • All students must maintain continuous enrollment in POLS6997: Masters Thesis, throughout their degree

In both streams, students are normally expected to fulfill their course requirements with political science courses. With permission of the graduate director, students may take a limited number of courses in other allied disciplines (e.g. sociology, economics, history, philosophy), if that coursework is closely related to their research interests.