Requirements for the M.A. Program

  1. Faculty Requirements for the M.A. Program

a) If the degree is not awarded within a period of five years from initial registration, the student’s candidacy will be terminated and the student will be required to withdraw from the program.  Extension of candidacy will be granted under exceptional circumstances.

b) The progress of all students studying for a Master’s degree will be reviewed from time to time and at least once a year in the spring by the department concerned and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  A candidate may be required to withdraw if progress has not been satisfactory as shown by course work that does not meet the requirements, an excessive number of credits below 68% or courses with incomplete standing, unsatisfactory progress on the thesis or graduating essay, or failure to satisfy additional requirements of the Department or Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.


  1. Department Requirements

a) Students must complete 30 credits in total to receive the M.A. degree in political science. These are comprised of:

i)      Courses:  18 credits

At least 12 credits of graduate course work must be taken within the Department.  Up to 6 credits may be taken in another department or at the senior undergraduate level. However, students must get specific, prior approval from both the Director of the Graduate Program and their supervisor (or initial academic contact) for any course taken outside the Department or at the senior undergraduate level. Note also that approval will be granted only for courses that are taught to a broadly similar academic standard to courses in our own graduate program. Senior undergraduate courses and courses in professional Master’s programs may not be taught to the same academic standard as courses in academic graduate programs, and so may not be approved for credit. Students wishing to take a course outside the department should consult with the Graduate Director first in order to identify any difficulties that might arise. Where the outside course is not comparable in rigour to a Political Science graduate course, the student may need to ask the course instructor to make adjustments to course readings and assignments in order to bring the requirements up to a comparable standard to an academic graduate course.

ii)      Thesis:  12 credits Please see here for more details.

b) Students are generally expected to complete the requirements for the M.A. in one calendar year.  The 18 credits of course work will be taken during the winter session from September to April and the thesis written in the succeeding spring and summer.  Students with deficiencies may continue their course work in the subsequent year.