Skip to main content

Political Science (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program overview

Concordia’s PhD in Political Science program supports students’ development of theoretical competence and analytical skills in the empirical and philosophical study of politics. We provide students with the diverse methodological skills needed to manifest excellence in research and teaching, enabling them to flourish as scholars or practitioners. Our graduates work in universities and colleges, the public sector, and the non-profit sector. 

Our program provides students unique opportunities to be involved in on-the-ground research and to publish in diverse venues. Students benefit from faculty-led inter-institutional and university research networks, including the Lab for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LLACS), the Center for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology (CREGÉS), engAGE, the Center for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC), the Groupe de Recherche Inter-universitaire en Philosophie Politique (GRIPP), the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, the Équipe de recherche sur l’immigration dans le Québec actuel (ÉRIQA), and the Initiative de recherche sur l’immigration (IRI).


Program details

  • 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.

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.


credits 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.



Please apply online. Read the how-to guide for application procedures.

Your completed application will include:

  • Online Application form and Fee
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Three Letters of Reference and assessment form
  • Statement of purpose (2 pages, single spaced) should:
    • provide a synopsis of your research interests and goals
    • identify your particular fields of interest (i.e., intended fields of specialization)
    • explain how a PhD in Political Science from Concordia University will help you achieve your goals
    • identify at least one tenured or tenure-track faculty member with whom you would like to work. NB: students do not have to find a supervisor prior to admission
    • highlight how your research interests fits with ongoing research in the department
    • explain what makes you a good candidate for the program
  • Writing sample. You may submit any of the following as your writing sample:
    • introduction and one chapter of your master’s thesis;
    • a peer-reviewed publication for which you are the sole author;
    • a conference paper for which you are the sole author;
    • a MA-level term paper for which you received an “A” grade
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship (if applicable)
  • Applicants whose primary language is not English, are required to submit official language test scores, unless exempted.

Please apply online. Read the how-to guide for application procedures. 

Political Science PhD Feb. 1 n/a n/a

Kindly note that we do not process admission applications on a rolling basis. All applications received for a specific term will be assessed after the application deadline for that term.

Examples of special topics courses include:

  • Ageing 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
  • International Organizations
  • Judicial Politics and Policy
  • Nationalism and Ethnicity

Consult the graduate calendar for a complete list of current courses.

Students are guaranteed teaching assistantships for the first three years of their studies, valued at approximately $6,000 per year. Research assistant positions also exist for funded research but cannot be guaranteed. Individual faculty members determine if work opportunities are available based on their own research initiatives.

The opportunity to teach courses may also be available to students who have defended their dissertation proposals. These positions are awarded on a competitive basis and are valued at approximately $8,000 per semester.

Other awards available through the Faculty of Arts and Science include:

  • Concordia Merit Scholarship
  • Concordia University Graduate Fellowship
  • Concordia International Tuition Award of Excellence
  • JW McConnell Memorial Doctoral Fellowship
  • John W. O'Brien Graduate Fellowship
  • Conference Travel Awards

Consideration for Entrance Awards is automatically part of the admissions process for all new students.

Please also consult The Department of Political Science’s graduate funding page and Financial Aid and Awards.

Environmental politics and policy

  • Biodiversity and conservation
  • Energy policy
  • Natural resources
  • Sustainable development

Immigration and social diversity

  • Immigration politics and policy
  • Social and political integration of immigrants
  • Politics of the Charter and human rights
  • Indigenous politics
  • Value Diversity

Gender and Feminist Studies

  • Feminist and critical policy studies
  • Gender based analysis and gender mainstreaming
  • Gender politics
  • Transgender kids

Global South (Africa, China, India, Latin America, Middle East, South Asia)

  • Clientelism and patronage politics
  • Development policy and administration
  • Electoral politics
  • Ethnicity and nationalism
  • Politics of violence

History of Political Thought

  • Ancient to modern political thought
  • Political emotions
  • Political literature
  • Political rhetoric
  • Religion and science

International Relations

  • European Union
  • International political economy
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Strategic studies
  • United Nations

Social Policy

  • Ageing and social service
  • Biotech policy
  • Health policy
  • Reproductive policy

Learn more about research areas and consult the list of  faculty research interests.

Review an inspiring list of thesis topics and read about some of our exceptional graduate students.

The Political Science Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) provides a platform to stimulate opportunities for all members in a variety of cultural, intellectual, political, recreational and social activities.

Recent initiatives of the PSGSA include a graduate student conference in which students from Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada present their work and foster dialogue across multiple fields and disciplines. Past conference themes have included “Political and Economic Crises and their Implications,” “Challenges, Disconnects, and Clashes in Political Studies” and “Trends and Dynamics in Global Politics.”

Back to top

© Concordia University