How to Apply

Prospective graduate students must apply to the University of Guelph online, through the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC). Please visit the Graduate Studies website to learn more and begin your application process.

After submitting an online application, you will be invited to submit required documents to the Department of Political Science through our online system, WebAdvisor.

Required documents for the Political Science MA program

  • All transcripts
  • Research proposal, if you are applying to the Major Research Paper or Thesis stream of the MA program
  • If your first language is not English, you will be required to submit the results of a standardized language test.
  • Two academic reference letters and assessment forms. An electronic Referee Assessment Form will be sent directly to the referees listed in your online application.

Required documents for the Political Science PhD program

  • CV
  • Writing sample (no longer than 30 pages)
  • All transcripts
  • Research proposal
  • If your first language is not English, you will be required to submit the results of a standardized language test.
  • Two academic reference letters and assessment forms. An electronic Referee Assessment Form will be sent directly to the referees listed in your online application.
 

Research Proposal Guidelines


The research proposal should outline the research project that you would like to conduct for your Major Research Paper, Master’s Thesis, or dissertation (no proposal is required for applicants to the course-based stream of the MA program). Its length should be 1 to 2 double-spaced pages (references not included).

This proposal provides us with a good idea of your research interests and preparation for graduate study. For most students, these components will change as students undertake graduate level course work and consult with their supervisor. The proposal should consist of four components:


Research question and relevance

Describe the question that you would like to answer in your project, and explain its main relevance. For example, does answering this question further the discipline of political science? Does it make an original contribution? Does it shed light on one or more pressing social and political issues?

Existing literature

Describe briefly what the academic literature has to say about your topic of study, relevant theory, and your research question in particular. Your task here is to demonstrate a basic understanding of the literature on your subject. If you are proposing a very deductive study, you can include hypotheses in this section if you would like.

Tentative methodology

Describe how you plan to find an answer to your research question. In particular, you should comment on your proposed research design and case selection (e.g. are you proposing experimental research, cross-national comparisons, or case study investigation?), as well as on your methods of data collection.

Fit with department

Explain why you believe the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph would be a good place to conduct this research. Identify at least one faculty member who could supervise your project.