VIII. Graduate Programs
The Department of Political Science offers programs of study leading to the MA degree. Students may pursue either a thesis option or a major paper option, both of which are research-based.
The MA program's focus is on three fields: the Americas, public policy and administration, and international and comparative development. The Americas field includes the study of the government and politics of Canada, the United States, and Latin America and the Caribbean from a comparative and theoretical perspective. The public policy and administration field includes the study of the operation and management of governmental institutions and selected areas of public policy. The international and comparative development field includes both area studies and theories of development which link these areas.
The department works jointly with the Department of Political Science at McMaster University in offering a collaborative program in public policy and administration. Faculty members in the department also participate in the Collaborative International Development Studies program. The MA program can be completed in three semesters. Students who are admitted will normally receive funding as a Graduate Teaching Assistant or a Graduate Research Assistant.
Graduate students are admitted each fall semester (approximately 15 students). The deadline for all application material is February 1 each year. The application fee is currently $75 in the form of a certified cheque or money order. Information required is as follows:
You may apply in one of three ways:
is the site for all three methods of application.
NOTE: This is a self-administered application process. Please have all materials (reference letters, transcripts, application form, letter of intent) returned to you and you put everything in one envelope and send to the Department of Political Studies Graduate Program Secretary.
The department requires an Honours BA degree (4 years) in political science (or its equivalent) with at least a 'B' average (second-class standing) 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.
Departmental Program - Guelph MA Program in the Fields of the Americas, Public Policy and Administration, and International and Comparative Development
In order to fulfill the requirements of the MA degree, students must complete the requirements of either the thesis or the major paper options.
Students pursuing the thesis option will select one major field from the following: the Americas, Public Policy and Administration, or International and Comparative Development. In order to satisfy the degree requirements, the student will complete four courses plus Pro-Seminar and a thesis as described below for a total of 2.25 credits.
Major Paper option
Students pursuing the major paper option will select two major fields from the following: the Americas, Public Policy and Administration, or International and Comparative Development. In order to satisfy the degree requirements, the student will complete six courses plus Pro-Seminar and two course equivalents of major paper research as described below for a total of 4.25 credits.
Interuniversity Program - Guelph-McMaster Collaborative MA Program in Political Science in the Field of 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 - like economics, law and sociology.
Graduates enjoy successful careers in the public services of Canada, Ontario and other provinces, plus local governments. Some work for businesses and others for interest associations and non-governmental organizations. A number of graduates have pursued PhD's and now teach in universities and colleges.
Course of Study
The fall and winter semesters consist of all core courses and 2 specialized electives. The summer semester differs for students who are formally enrolled at Guelph and those formally enrolled at McMaster.
Category A: Core Courses
Students must complete all core courses. Public Policy and Administration Research Seminar will be offered in alternating weeks at both universities during one of the fall or winter semesters.
Category B: Specialized Electives
Students may choose two additional courses from the annual listing of specialized courses offered at both McMaster and Guelph.
Category C: Summer Semester:
Students at Guelph will research and write a major paper (approximately 10,000 words) to be graded by the student's advisor and second reader (advisory committee).
Students at McMaster will write comprehensive examinations in mid July in the major field of Public Policy and Administration and in a minor field chosen from Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics or International Relations.