Criteria for Admission

For Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies admissions requirements, see Calendar.


Department Criteria


a) For general information, see the Department requirements for admission to the M.A. program (Sections II. A. (2), (a-d) of this handbook).

b) Candidates are generally expected to have completed a Master’s level program in Political Science before proceeding with the PhD, though exceptional students may be accepted directly into the PhD from a B.A. degree or its equivalent. Students with superior academic records and Master’s degrees in other disciplines are also encouraged to apply. In all cases, the Admissions Committee may stipulate conditions for admission (such as completion of ongoing coursework and/or other degree requirements). If such conditions are not completed by registration time, admission may be revoked (but see section 3 below).

c) The Department does not admit candidates to the PhD program on a provisional basis.

d) We encourage students who have completed their B.A. and M.A. from UBC to do their doctoral work elsewhere as to increase their graduate program experience and exposure to other political science courses and faculty members.

e) In general, admission to the PhD program is based upon:
1)         high academic achievement as evidenced by the student’s undergraduate and graduate records;
2)         the compatibility of the student’s academic and research interests with the academic interests and strength of the Department;
3)         strong letters of reference indicating a significant likelihood that the student will be able to contribute to the discipline;
4)         a broad preparation in political science or related fields; and
5)         relatively recent contact with the discipline.

  1. Application to the PhD program from the M.A. program. MA students in the Department are welcome to apply to the Department’s PhD program either during or after their time in the MA program.In general, Political Science coursework successfully and recently completed during the Department’s MA program will count toward the Department’s PhD course requirements, for students admitted to the PhDIn some cases, a UBC MA student who applies for the PhD program may be offered admission to the PhD program without being required to complete the M.A. thesis. The student will have the option of either (a) completing the thesis and receiving the M.A. degree, and thus starting the PhD program as a Year 1 PhD student or (b) proceeding directly to the PhD program, not receiving an M.A. degree, and starting as a Year 2 PhD student, as long as all other MA requirements and conditions are met.


  1. English Language Requirements for Entry into the PhD Program

English proficiency requirements for the PhD program are the same as those for the M.A. program. Please see section II.A.3 above.

If their supervisory committee approves, a student may write their PhD dissertation in French instead of English.