IX. Graduate Programs

Political Science

MA Program

The Department of Political Science offers three programs of study leading to the MA degree. Graduate students in the Department of Political Science are accepted into one of the following programs: 1) the General MA in Political Science; 2) the Collaborative MA Program in International Development Studies (IDS); or 3) the Guelph-McMaster Collaborative MA Program in Public Policy and Administration (The G-M Program). Each of these MA programs has separate course requirements. Students in the General MA and Collaborative MA Program in International Development Studies may pursue a thesis option or a major research paper option, both of which are research-based. Students in the Guelph-McMaster program are required to undertake a major research paper. The MA program can be completed in three semesters.

Application Procedure

All students must apply directly to the Department of Political Science. Graduate students are admitted each Fall semester. Program offices should be consulted for admission deadlines. All applications must be submitted on-line. Complete instructions can be found at http://www.uoguelph.ca/graduatestudies/apply

A Statement of Interest forms a vital component of the application package (see website above). A Statement of Interest should include a clear delineation of the student’s research topic, preferably a specific research question and the problem this question addresses within the academic literature

NOTE: This is a self-administered application process. Please have all materials (reference letters, transcripts, application form, statement of research) returned to you and send materials in one envelope to the Graduate Secretary, Department of Political Science.

Admission Requirements

The department requires an Honours BA degree (4 years) in political science (or its equivalent) with at least a 'B+' average for consideration for admission to the program. A methodology course equivalent to The Systematic Study of Politics, POLS*3650, in the Department of Political Science undergraduate program, is necessary for admission to the graduate program. Students not satisfying this requirement may be admitted with the provision that it be satisfied by completing the requisite extra course.

Degree Requirements

Departmental Program - Guelph MA Program in Political Science

The University of Guelph’s Department of Political Science has a large, academically diverse research-oriented faculty. We offer strong scholarly representation in two main fields: Governance and Public Policy; and Comparative Politics. Within these two fields, the faculty’s research and supervisory expertise further is concentrated in, but not limited to, the following thematic areas: Social Policy; Environmental Policy; International Trade Policy; Criminal Justice Policy; Politics of Development; and Women, Gender and Politics. The program’s structure and the diverse interests of its members have resulted in a very broad range of course offerings. Graduates of the General MA in Political Science are engaged in a wide range of careers in academia, government and industry.

In order to fulfill the requirements of the General MA Political Science, students must complete the requirements of either the thesis or the major paper options.

Thesis Option

In order to satisfy the degree requirements, the student will complete five courses plus a Pro-Seminar and a thesis, as described below for a total of 2.75 credits.

One professional development and orientation course:
POLS*6900 [0.25] Pro-Seminar
One methodology course:
POLS*6940 [0.50] Qualitative Research Design and Methods
or an appropriate equivalent from another department.
One core course:
POLS*6000 [0.50] Comparative Approaches to Political Science
Three departmental courses or, in consultation with the graduate advisor, courses outside the department.
With the permission of the Graduate Coordinator, complete and successfully defend a thesis of no more than 20,000 words.
Major Research Paper Option

In order to satisfy the degree requirements, the student will complete six courses plus a Pro-Seminar and two course equivalents of major paper research, as described below, for a total of 4.25 credits.

One professional development and orientation course:
POLS*6900 [0.25] Pro-Seminar
One methodology course:
POLS*6940 [0.50] Qualitative Research Design and Methods
or an approved equivalent from another department.
One core course:
POLS*6000 [0.50] Comparative Approaches to Political Science
Four departmental courses or, in consultation with the graduate advisor, courses outside the department. .
With the permission of the Graduate Coordinator, graduate students complete and successfully defend a Major Research Paper of approximately 10,000 words.
POLS*6970 [1.00] Major Paper
Interuniversity MA Program - Guelph-McMaster Collaborative MA Program in Public Policy and Administration

The collaborative program in public policy and administration is an initiative on the part of the Departments of Political Science at the University of Guelph and McMaster University to co-ordinate their involvement in this particular field.

The program successfully melds policy studies and administrative studies into a unique program of study in Canada. Students can avail themselves of core courses that may be offered at either institution. Up to 50% of courses can be taken at each university. The program term is one year. All the courses are grounded within the discipline of political science, while giving attention and regard to the contribution of related disciplines - such as economics, law and sociology.

Graduates enjoy successful careers in the public services of Canada, Ontario and other provinces, as well as local governments, and pursue careers in the private sector as well as the non-profit sector. A number of graduates have pursued PhDs and now teach in universities and colleges.

Course of Study

The Fall and Winter semesters are devoted to completing the course requirements: four core courses and 2 specialized electives. The Summer semester differs for students who are formally enrolled at Guelph and those formally enrolled at McMaster.

Degree Requirements

In order to satisfy the degree requirements, the student will complete six courses plus a Pro-Seminar and two course equivalents of major paper research as described below for a total of 4.25 credits.

One professional development and orientation course:

POLS*6900 [0.25] Pro-Seminar
One methodology course:
POLS*6940 [0.50] Qualitative Research Design and Methods
Three core courses:
POLS*6950 [0.50] Specialized Topics in Political Studies
POLS*6630 [0.50] Approaches to Public Policy
POLS*6640 [0.50] Canadian Public Administration: Public Sector Management
Two departmental courses offered at the University of Guelph or McMaster University. With the permission of the Graduate Committee, graduate students complete and successfully defend a Major Research Paper of approximately 10,000 words:
POLS*6970 [1.00] Major Paper
Interdepartmental MA Programs - International Development Studies MA/MSc Program

The Department of Political Science participates in the MA International Development Studies (IDS) program. Please consult the International Development Studies listing for a detailed description of the MA collaborative program including the special additional requirements for each of the participating departments.

IDS graduates hold positions in government in Canada and abroad with NGOs, international organizations and private consultancies. Many also enter PhD programs.

Degree Requirements

In order to fulfill the requirements of the IDS MA, students must complete the requirements of either the thesis or the major research paper options.

Thesis Option

In order to satisfy the degree requirements, the student will complete seven courses plus a Pro-Seminar and a thesis, as described below for a total of 3.75 credits.

One professional development and orientation course:
POLS*6900 [0.25] Pro-Seminar
One methodology course:
POLS*6940 [0.50] Qualitative Research Design and Methods
or an appropriate equivalent from another department.
One core course:
POLS*6730 [0.50] The Politics of Development and Underdevelopment
Five CIDS core courses (2.50). See the Collaborative International Development Program entry in this calendar. POLS*6730 will count as both a Political Science requirement and a CIDS requirement. With the permission of the Graduate Committee, graduate students complete and successfully defend a thesis of no more than 20,000 words.
Major Research Paper Option

In order to satisfy the degree requirements, the student will complete eight courses plus Pro-Seminar and two course equivalents of major paper research as described below for a total of 5.25 credits.

One professional development and orientation course:
POLS*6900 [0.25] Pro-Seminar
One methodology course:
POLS*6940 [0.50] Qualitative Research Design and Methods
or an approved equivalent from another department.
One core course:
POLS*6730 [0.50] The Politics of Development and Underdevelopment
One department course 0.50
Five CIDS core courses (2.50). See the Collaborative International Development Program entry in this calendar. POLS*6730 will count as both a Political Science requirement and a CIDS requirement.
With the permission of the Graduate Committee, graduate students complete and successfully defend a Major Research Paper of approximately 10,000 words.
POLS*6970 [1.00] Major Paper
University of Guelph
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Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1
Canada
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