Politics is everywhere. Political thought plays a key role in shaping the world we live in, be it through resource planning, economic structures, public policies, international relations or issues relating to health and the environment.
The MA in Political Science program offers you the opportunity to address some of the most pressing and difficult challenges facing contemporary politics. Through each area of specialization, you will be encouraged to think about politics and the relations among individuals and political communities from an analytical and critical perspective, including a diversity of epistemological, ontological and methodological viewpoints.
Engage in sustained and original research which is relevant for professional development within academia, public administration, private industry and NGOs. You will benefit from faculty-led inter-institutional and university-wide research centers and research networks, such as the:
The MA in Political Science is a 45 credits program, consisting of 6 seminars (18 credits), the thesis proposal (3 credits) and a thesis (24 credits). Students may write a thesis in the following subfields: Public Policy and Administration, Canadian and Québec Politics, International Politics, Comparative Politics, and Political Theory. The subfield in which a student intends to write a thesis determines the subfield in which concentration courses will be taken.
The table below summarizes the distribution of credits:
No. of courses
Core course in chosen subfield
Core course in research methods
(POLI 644) or research design (601)
An undergraduate honours degree or the equivalent is required with a minimum GPA of 3.30. Students who do not have the necessary background in political science, as well as in the concentration which they have chosen, may be required to take specific undergraduate courses in addition to the regular program. In certain cases, applicants may be required to complete a qualifying program in order to be eligible for admission to the graduate program. Students who were educated outside Canada and whose mother tongue is neither English nor French will be required to successfully complete TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam before being admitted.
Students must take two core courses for a total of 6 credits:
a core in their chosen field of specialization (Canadian and Québec Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, or Public Policy and Public Administration);
either POLI 601: Research Design or POLI 644: Research Methods
The subfield core seminars survey of seminar works, cutting edge research, and the most important approaches to the study of a particular subfield.
POLI 601 Research Design explores differing research philosophies, the principles of research design and research strategies. It provides guidance on writing research proposals.
POLI 644 Research Methods introduces students to the logic and methodology of Political Science research and public policy analysis, focusing on quantitative analysis.
Concentration and elective courses
Students must take two courses in their subfield of specialization (6 credits) and two additional courses, which may be selected from any of the 600-level courses in political science, or from cognate courses offered in related disciplines. For cognate courses, approval of the Director is required. In some cases approval for registration in cognate courses must be obtained from the department involved.
Examples of recent concentration and elective courses
Aging and Public Policy
Development Policy and Administration
Ethics, Morality and Justice
Feminist Critiques of Public Policy
Gender and Global Politics
Immigration Politics and Policy
Indigenous Peoples and the State
Judicial Politics and Policy
Nationalism and Ethnicity
POLI 694. This course is a directed study involving a comprehensive understanding of the literature in the area of research directly relevant to the thesis topic under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The written assignments involve a comprehensive literature review, annotated bibliography and research design that culminate in a thesis proposal presented in an oral defence before the thesis supervisor and two faculty members in the graduate program (3 credits).
POLI 696. Students are required to demonstrate their ability to carry out original, independent research. The thesis, which is researched and written under the direction of a supervisor and thesis committee, is defended before the student’s thesis committee (24 credits).