Apply to our Master of Arts (MA) or our Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programs in Political Science at UBC Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

Application Procedure

  1. Apply online directly through UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Graduate School; please submit your application ahead of time. Your referees will receive notification to complete their references for you only after you complete and submit your online application.
  2. Submit required documents by the application deadline.

You may, if you wish, contact one or more faculty members in the Department to explore their interest in working with you before or after submitting your application. However, this is optional and you are not required to secure a potential supervisor prior to application. Supervisor selection occurs later in the program as students get to know department faculty and their thesis topic takes shape.

Required Documents

The following documents must be received by the application deadline:

Please consult UBC’s Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ guidelines on submitting Canadian and International transcripts, prior to uploading digital copies.

Official (paper) copies will only be required once conditional admission is offered.

Minimum grade requirements: As a general rule, successful applicants will have minimum first class standing (80% or higher at UBC or equivalent) in each of the last two years of undergraduate study, in accordance with the criteria for graduate funding in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. No student with an overall average of less than 75% or its equivalent in his/her final two years should consider graduate studies in this Department. Students from American colleges and universities which use letter grades should have at least a B+ average.


A minimum of three Letters of Reference must be submitted.

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): We require a Test of Written English (TWE) score of 5, and minimum TOEFL score of 580 (paper exam), 237 (computer-based) or 92 (internet exam, including at least 22 on Reading, 25 on writing, 22 on Listening, and 23 on Speaking).

International English Language Testing Service (IELTS): A minimum overall band score of 6.5 is required with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test.

General Test Exam (GRE) scores are considered in the application process for both MAs and PhDs. GRE scores help the committee to evaluate your application.

  • MA applicants are advised but not required to submit GRE scores.
  • PhD applicants with prior degrees from Canadian universities are advised but not required to submit GRE scores.
  • PhD applicants with prior degrees from non-Canadian universities are required to submit GRE scores.

We strongly recommend that applicants prepare for and take the GRE the summer before applying to the program.

A Statement of Intent (about 500 words) that includes information on:

  1. Your personal and academic background that led you to your graduate degree plans
  2. Your likely major field
  3. The kinds of research problems that most interest you
  4. Why the UBC Department of Political Science is well-suited to your interests

While we would like some information about your background as it relates to your academic plans, you should focus most of your statement on your academic and research interests.

A sample of your written work for application to the PhD program. The writing sample should be a piece of research in political science or a related field. The writing sample should be sole-authored by you and not coauthored. For applicants in the fields of comparative politics, international relations, U.S. politics, and Canadian politics, the most informative writing samples will include some element of original empirical analysis, such as your own analysis of a set of quantitative data or your own analysis of qualitative evidence (e.g., via process tracing, a case study, or interpretive analysis).

A writing sample is not required for applications to the MA program.


For any inquiries regarding document receipt or document requirements, please email

For any inquiries on the Graduate Program Admissions, not mentioned on UBC’s Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ site, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at

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