Western University Political ScienceFaculty of Social Science

MA Program

APPLICATIONS FOR 2018 will open in October - see "How to Apply" "Application Process" on the left hand menu bar

The Master of Arts in Political Science is a one year program for full time students that emphasizes the development of strong research skills.  MA students in our program have access to an excellent research library, can choose from a wide range of high quality graduate courses, and can expect a high degree of interpersonal contact with their instructors, supervisors and fellow students.  In the required course on ‘Scope and Methods in Political Science’, students explicitly focus on the various ways of doing political research.  Shared office space is provided to all our MA students, who are mentored throughout their teaching assistantships, learning important practical skills necessary to teach.

Many of our graduates go on to higher degrees including the PhD in Political Science, Law, teaching or work in the public or private sector.  As well as keeping training and skills current, a graduate degree increases eligibility for future career advancement.

Our areas of specialization are:

*NEW* for MRP option students - Specific specialization in a field can be shown on your MA Degree.

MA Program Requirements

Our full-time MA program takes one calendar year (three terms) to complete, September admission only.  There are two ways to complete the requirements.  The first term requirements are the same for both options.  Second term requirements differ depending on the option you choose.

The MRP Option

This option requires three first-term courses, including ‘Politics 9501a: Scope and Methods of Political Science’. In the second term, it requires three further courses. In the third term, students complete a major research paper, a critical literature review of approximately 50 pages.  To obtain a degree that will also show a specific field specialization, a student must take three course in the specific field, that may include no more than one special topics course in that field, and write an MRP on a topic within that field.  Collaborative program students exempted.

The Thesis Option

This option requires three first-term courses, including ‘Politics 9501a: Scope and Methods of Political Science’ and an overall first-term average of 83% must be achieved. In the second term, students register for one further course. The thesis is a piece of independent research of approximately 80-100 pages, to be completed and defended in an oral examination.

General Requirements



See the Political Science Graduate Student Handbook for more details.