Apply to our Graduate Program

Application Deadline

For the September 2021 start date, deadlines are:

For PhD admissions, the application and document deadline is December 15, 2020.

For MA admissions, the application and document deadline is January 7, 2021.

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 (detailed below) 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.

Please consult the UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Graduate School site for full application procedures, fees, and FAQs.

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

For any inquires on the Graduate Program Admissions, not mentioned at the link above, please contact the Graduate Program coordinator, Christopher Fernandez, at

Required Documents

The following documents must be received by the application deadline:

  • Transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Please consult the UBC Graduate School 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. Note for PhD applicants who wish to have their most recent term grades reflected on their application, please contact
  • English proficiency exam scores. 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. For 2021 admissions, we will be accepting TOEFL Home Edition in addition to the other English test options. Consult the UBC Graduate School’s page on English Proficiency Requirements.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). 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).
    IELTS (International English Language Testing Service). 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.
    Submission information of your TOEFL or IELTS tests can be found in the Faculty of Graduate Studies site.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) General Test 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.
    • Ph.D. applicants with prior degrees from Canadian universities are advised but not required to submit GRE scores.
    • Ph.D. 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.  For 2021 admissions, we will be accepting GRE Home Edition. Exceptions to the GRE requirement will be considered upon request if GRE Home Edition is unavailable in the country in which you are located. Please consult the UBC Graduate School’s GRE page for additional details.

  • Statement of Interest. 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. For more about the Statement of Interest, see this UBC Graduate School page.
  • Writing Sample from applicants applying to the PhD program. We require a sample of your written work, and this is preferably a term paper from a Political Science class; there is no minimum length requirement but we ask that you do not provide more than 30 pages of scanned document. A writing sample is not required if you are applying to the M.A. program.