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Political Science PhD

Admission Requirements

  • MA in political science, political studies, international relations, public policy, or another relevant field from an accredited university normally with a minimum GPA of 3.5 or equivalent.
  • 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 English language proficiency page for further information on requirements and exemptions.

Additional Admission Requirements

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.

Degree Requirements

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.

All students will select two areas of specialization (for example Canadian Politics and International Politics).

Please see the Political Science Courses page for course descriptions.

Political Science PhD (90 credits)


credits of Core Courses, one in each of the two chosen areas of specialization:

POLI 801 Advanced Seminar in Comparative Politics (3.00)
POLI 802 Advanced Seminar in International Politics (3.00)
POLI 803 Advanced Seminar in Canadian and Québec Politics (3.00)
POLI 804 Advanced Seminar in Political Theory (3.00)
POLI 805 Advanced Seminar in Public Policy and Public Administration (3.00)


credits of Elective Courses, one in each of the same two chosen areas of specialization:

POLI 811 Special Topics in Comparative Politics (3.00)
POLI 812 Special Topics in International Politics (3.00)
POLI 813 Special Topics in Canadian and Québec Politics (3.00)
POLI 814 Special Topics in Political Theory (3.00)
POLI 815 Special Topics in Public Policy and Public Administration (3.00)


credits of Core Course in Public Policy:

POLI 805 Advanced Seminar in Public Policy and Public Administration (3.00)

Where public policy is one of the two chosen areas of specialization, the elective course is to be selected from a third area.

3credits of Elective Courses, chosen from any area of specialization or a cognate course in a related field.


POLI 844 Research Design (3.00)



POLI 885 Comprehensive Exam (6.00)
POLI 886 Comprehensive Exam (6.00)



POLI 889 Thesis Proposal (3.00)



POLI 890 Thesis (54.00)

Additional Degree Requirements

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 Regulations for further details regarding the Time Limits.
  4. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.

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