Categories of Students in the M.A. Program

  1. According to Faculty regulations, admission to the M.A. program will be in one of the following two categories:

a) FULL STANDING.  Granted to applicants who hold the Bachelor’s degree with the required academic standing appropriate to the field of the proposed Master’s program.

b) PROVISIONAL STANDING.  Granted to students with deficiencies in standing, or who do not have the necessary prerequisites.  Prerequisite courses normally are taken in the first year concurrently with courses on the graduate program, but are not counted as credit toward the Master’s degree.

As the number of fully prepared applicants exceeds the number who can be accepted, the Department is normally unwilling to accept provisional students.  Exceptions to this generally restrictive policy are most likely to be made for candidates who are deficient in Political Science courses, but who have an unusually good undergraduate record, and who can present a strong case for their likely success in political science.  Exceptions may also be made in the case of students who are more than 5 years away from their undergraduate training, but who otherwise meet the admissions criteria of the Department.


  1. QUALIFYING YEAR. Faculty regulations read as follows:

Upon recommendation of the department, students with a Bachelor’s degree who lack prerequisites for a chosen field of graduate study may be permitted to register as Qualifying students for no more than one year.  Satisfactory completion of a Qualifying year does not guarantee admission to a graduate program.  Up to 12 credits of eligible courses may be applied to the graduate degree program provided prior permission to register in these courses was obtained from the Department and the Dean of Graduate Studies.  Qualifying status is granted only to those students who are recommended for such status by the Departments concerned.

Such students may only take graduate courses with the special permission of the Graduate Admissions and Awards Committee and the Faculty member in charge of the graduate course.  Our experience with qualifying year students has been generally unfavourable. As a result, we do not encourage students in this category, nor do we normally allow graduate credit for courses taken in the qualifying year.  A student wishing to do a qualifying year must convince the Graduate Admissions and Awards Committee that there are cogent reasons why he/she should be admitted to this classification.  If the Committee is convinced, a program of studies will be drawn up in consultation with the student and submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for additional scrutiny and decision.  Occasionally, the Graduate Admissions and Awards Committee will be asked to approve a course of study for a qualifying year student who has no aspirations for graduate studies.  Such cases will be considered on their individual merits.