Political Science (PhD)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The PhD in Political Science expands your training in the field as you work alongside experts in political theory, international relations and public policy. You will conduct primary research through surveys, archival data collection and fieldwork in order to make original contributions to the discipline. The program provides a stimulating environment in which to examine disciplinary subfields, allowing you to specialize in two areas of your choice. Our research-active faculty members will help you refine your analytical and writing skills, enabling you to better prepare your research for publication in top-ranking peer-reviewed academic journals such as the Canadian Journal of Political Science and the Review of International Studies. You will benefit from inter-institutional research networks, such as the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC) , the Center for Immigration Policy Evaluation, engAGE, the Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology (CREGÉS), Latin American Studies Network of Montreal (RÉLAM), and the Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP). Our students have funded their research through fellowships and awards from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Fonds de recherche du Québec and GRIPP Montreal.
- 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.
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.
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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
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.
Environmental politics and policy
- Biodiversity and conservation
- Energy policy
- Natural resources
- Sustainable development
Immigration and social diversity
- Indigenous peoples
- Social integration of immigrants
- Politics of the Charter
- 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
- European Union
- International political economy
- Non-governmental organizations
- Strategic studies
- United Nations
- Ageing and social service
- Biotech policy
- Health policy
- Reproductive policy
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.”
Our alumni are well positioned to find success in a wide range of professional careers in policy research, political analysis, applied work, policy consulting and academia. Recent graduates can currently be found teaching at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, as well as working as senior managers and technical advisors at the International Aviation Transport Association and Micronutrient Initiative.