2004-2006 University of Guelph Graduate Calendar

VIII. Graduate Programs

Political Science

MA Program

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.

Application Procedure

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:

  • Application form or the PDF file from the on-line application procedure

  • One page statement of interest

  • All official transcripts

  • Two letters of reference with assessment forms (part of application form)

You may apply in one of three ways:

  • On-line -- we encourage you to use this method

  • Download an application form

  • Submit a request for an application package

www.uoguelph.ca/GraduateStudies/admission.htm

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.

Admission Requirements

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.

Degree Requirements

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.

Thesis option:

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.

One professional development and orientation course:
POLS*6900 0.25 Pro-Seminar
One of the following field core courses:
POLS*6250 0.5 Comparative Governments in the America
POLS*6630 0.5 Public Policy and Administration: Theory and Practice
POLS*6730 0.5 The Politics of Development and Underdevelopment
One methodology course:
POLS*6940 0.5 Political Research: Theories and Approaches
or an approved equivalent from another department
Two of the following departmental courses:
POLS*6210 0.5 Canadian Politics: Processes and Culture
POLS*6290 0.5 The American Political System
POLS*6370 0.5 Latin America and the Caribbean
POLS*6390 0.5 Environmental Policy and Law
POLS*6450 0.5 The Political Economy of Trade Policy
POLS*6640 0.5 Canadian Public Administration: Public Sector Management
POLS*6650 0.5 Organization and Decision-Making Theory
POLS*6750 0.5 Development Administration
POLS*6950 0.5 Specialized Topics in Political Science
Courses from other departments with the approval of the department chair.
With the permission of the Graduate Committee, complete and successfully defend a thesis of no more than 20,000 words.
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.

One professional development and orientation course:
POLS*6900 0.25 Pro-Seminar
Two of the following field core courses:
POLS*6250 0.5 Comparative Governments in the America
POLS*6630 0.5 Public Policy and Administration: Theory and Practice
POLS*6730 0.5 The Politics of Development and Underdevelopment
One methodology course:
POLS*6940 0.5 Political Research: Theories and Approaches
or an approved equivalent from another department
Three of the following departmental courses:
POLS*6210 0.5 Canadian Politics: Processes and Culture
POLS*6290 0.5 The American Political System
POLS*6370 0.5 Latin America and the Caribbean
POLS*6390 0.5 Environmental Policy and Law
POLS*6450 0.5 The Political Economy of Trade Policy
POLS*6640 0.5 Canadian Public Administration: Public Sector Management
POLS*6650 0.5 Organization and Decision-Making Theory
POLS*6750 0.5 Development Administration
POLS*6950 0.5 Specialized Topics in Political Science
Courses from other departments with the approval of the graduate coordinator or department chair.
Complete a major research paper of approximately 10,000 words:
POLS*6970 1.0 Research for Major Paper
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.

POLS*6630 or MCM*7830 Public Policy Analysis
POLS*6640 or MCM*7850 Canadian Public Administration: Public Sector Management
POLS*6940 Political Research: Theories & Approaches
or
MCM*7960 Research Design and Methods
POLS*6950 or MCM*7940 Public Policy & Admin. Research Seminar
POLS*6900 Proseminar (Guelph Students)
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:
POLS*6970 Major Paper (Guelph students)

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.