Concordia University

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Political Science PhD

Admission Requirements

Admission to the PhD in Political Science requires a Master of/Magisteriate in Arts in political science, political studies, international relations, public policy, or another relevant field from an accredited university. A superior academic record and strong references are both essential; professional work experience will be taken into consideration. Applicants are selected on the basis of past academic record, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, writing sample, and the relevance of their proposed research to the research expertise in the department. Enrolment in the PhD in Political Science is limited in part by the availability of research supervisors.

Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Credits. A fully qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 90 credits. In order to fulfill the requirements of the program, students will select two areas of specialization. The requirements are 21 credits of course work, 12 credits in the form of two comprehensive exams, 3 credits of thesis proposal, and 54 credits of thesis.

  2. Courses (21 credits). All candidates must take seven 3-credit courses as described below:

    All students will select two areas of specialization (for example Canadian Politics and International Politics). Course work is divided into core courses and elective courses. Each student will take:
    • 2 core courses, one in each of the two chosen areas of specialization (POLI 801-805 Advanced Seminars);
    • 2 elective courses, one in each of the same two chosen areas of specialization (POLI 811-815);
    • 1 core course in public policy (POLI 805), where public policy is one of the two chosen areas of specialization, the elective course is to be selected from a third area;
    • 1 elective course from any area of specialization or a cognate course in a related field;
    • 1 methods course (POLI 844).
       
  3. Comprehensive Examination (12 credits in the form of 2 comprehensive examinations). All candidates are required to write two 6-credit comprehensive exams in their two areas of specialization, so that they are deemed competent to teach at the university level in these two areas. For each area of specialization there will be a written exam and an oral defence of the exam within three weeks of writing the former. Students must pass the written exam to move forward to the oral exam, but can still fail an exam with an incompetent oral performance. If either part (written or oral) is failed, the student will be permitted one re-take of the entire exam both oral and written. If the student then fails either the written or oral part, the second failure will result in the student being withdrawn from the program.

  4. Thesis Proposal (3 credits). After completion of the course work and comprehensive exams, the candidate with the concurrence and assistance of the Graduate Program Director finalizes the supervisory committee, consisting of the principal supervisor(s) and at least  two other members of the department. Students are required to complete and defend their thesis proposal before the supervisory committee in a meeting chaired by the Graduate Program Director. The thesis proposal will include a literature review and a fully justified research agenda. In cases where the supervisory committee is not satisfied with the proposal, the student can resubmit and re-defend. A second unsatisfactory proposal would result in the student being withdrawn from the program.

  5. Thesis (54 credits). Doctoral students must submit a thesis based on their research and defend it in an oral examination. A doctoral thesis should be based on extensive research in primary sources, make an original contribution to knowledge, and be presented in acceptable scholarly form.

  6. Language Requirement. PhD candidates must demonstrate an ability to conduct research either in French or in a language (other than English) required in their area of research.
     

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

  2. Residence. The minimum period of residence is two calendar years (6 terms) of full-time graduate study beyond the Master’s degree or the equivalent in part-time study.

  3. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.

  4. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
     

Courses

The Department offers graduate courses in the following five core fields:

  • Comparative Politics
  • International Politics
  • Canadian and Québec Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Public Policy and Administration

Core Courses

POLI 801 Advanced Seminar in Comparative Politics (3 credits)
This course is a survey of the field of comparative politics at an advanced level. It examines major theories, concepts and methods of comparative political analysis.

POLI 802 Advanced Seminar in International Politics (3 credits)
This course is a survey of core concepts of international politics at an advanced level. It examines major theoretical perspectives and their application to historical and contemporary international issues.

POLI 803 Advanced Seminar in Canadian and Québec Politics (3 credits)
This course is a survey of the field at an advanced level. It presents a discussion of contemporary issues and controversies in Canadian and Québec politics.

POLI 804 Advanced Seminar in Political Theory (3 credits)
This course is a survey of leading research in political theory and political philosophy, including the history of political thought, normative political theory and contemporary political thought.

POLI 805 Advanced Seminar in Public Policy and Public Administration (3 credits)
This course surveys several theoretical models and paradigms of public policy and public administration. It examines critically the intellectual and ideological traditions of policy analysis.

POLI 844 Research Design (3 credits)
This course explores differing research philosophies, the principles of research design and research strategies. It also considers philosophical critiques of different approaches and practical aspects of conducting research.

Elective Courses

POLI 811 Special Topics in Comparative Politics (3 credits)
Topics vary from year to year.

POLI 812 Special Topics in International Politics (3 credits)
Topics vary from year to year.

POLI 813 Special Topics in Canadian and Québec Politics (3 credits)
Topics vary from year to year.

POLI 814 Special Topics in Political Theory (3 credits)
Topics vary from year to year.

POLI 815 Special Topics in Public Policy and Public Administration (3 credits)
Topics vary from year to year.

POLI 898 Directed Studies (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Permission of the PhD Committee.
This special reading course is designed to explore topics and themes relevant to a student’s doctoral research.

Comprehensive Exams

POLI 885 Comprehensive Exam (6 credits)
POLI 886 Comprehensive Exam (6 credits)

Thesis

POLI 889 Thesis Proposal (3 credits)
POLI 890 Thesis (54 credits)

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