M.A.Master of Arts in Political Science
Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory and Public Policy
An examination of power and politics at the national level including Canadian and comparative politics, political theory, public policy and administration.
Admission to the M.A. in Political Science degree program requires an average of B+ or better in Honours Political Science or, with the approval of the Department’s Graduate Chair, in another discipline. The M.A. in Political Science offers concentrations (majors) in four areas: Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory and Public Policy.
COURSE WORK WITH COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATIONS
Six half courses (or equivalent) at the graduate level and written comprehensive examinations. Normally 3 half courses are taken during the Fall term and 3 half courses during the Winter term. The comprehensive examinations are written in the latter half of July. Students are responsible for one major (two subfields) and one minor (one subfield) area.
Major subfields may be chosen from: Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and Public Policy and Administration. Minor subfields may be chosen from: Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and Public Policy and Administration.
COURSE WORK WITH THESIS
Five half courses (or equivalent) and a thesis, which must demonstrate independent research skills. Full-time students who wish to write a thesis must submit a thesis proposal for departmental approval by December 1 of Term I. If the thesis proposal is not approved, students may continue in the course/comprehensive option. The thesis option is normally a two-year program.
Admission to the MA program requires a clear B+ average or better in an honours political science Bachelor’s degree or a four year major political science degree.
The Department offers a regular MA program in the following areas: Canadian Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory and Public Policy. There is also a collaborative MA program with the University of Guelph in Public Policy and Administration. We also offer an MA in International Relations.
- Only COMPLETED applications will be reviewed by the Department
- Applicants to the MA program are strongly encouraged to apply for the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarships Competition (Scholarship Deadline is December 1st), provided they meet the eligibility requirements. For more information, visit the School of Graduate Studies: Awards & Funding
Required Application Documents:
Graduate Studies Online Application
Applicants are required to complete the Graduate Studies Online Application which opens November 15th each year. In addition to the online application, applicants must also submit the required documents listed below. Some required documents must be submitted through the online application.
Statement of Interest
- An electronic statement of interest (approximately 250-500 words, single or double-spaced, maximum of 1 page).
- The statement must be uploaded as a PDF attachment only through the online application system on the Upload Document
- Your statement of interest should clearly describe your reasons for pursuing an MA degree, research interests, previous studies, experience and your career objectives.
C.V. / Personal Resume
- An electronic copy of your CV/Resume must be uploaded as a PDF attachment through the online application system on the Upload Document
Official Academic Transcripts
- Academic transcripts from ALL post-secondary studies completed or in progress at the time of application
- Transcripts from institutions where you completed courses on Letter of Permission and/or as part of a Student Exchange Program must also be included.
- All transcripts must be sent DIRECTLY from the issuing institution to the Department of Political Science (address below)
- Transcripts not received in institutionally sealed envelopes will NOT be accepted.
- Two (2) confidential reference reports from instructors most familiar with your academic work
- All referees are required to complete the e-Reference.
- McMaster University uses an Electronic Referencing System (e-Reference). You will be required to indicate an institutional email address for each referee. Your referees will receive an email message asking them to complete an e-Reference.
- If you need to change your reference or referee email address after submitting your application, you will need to contact the Department.
- NOTE: Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo or other free email accounts ARE NOT accepted by the electronic reference system.
- IMPORTANT: The system will send the e-Reference request to your references ONLY AFTER YOU SUBMIT your online application. This means that you will need to have completed AND uploaded your Statement of Interest and CV/Resume to your online application BEFORE you can click the “submit” button. References may require 2-4 weeks to complete the e-Reference reports. Referees MUST complete their reference report BY THE APPLICATION DEADLINE OF FEBRUARY 15th. Please keep this in mind when you are working on your application.
- If for some reason your referee is unable to use the Electronic Referencing System, you can download the Reference Form and send it to your referees for completion. Downloaded reference forms must be sent by the referee DIRECTLY to Manuela Dozzi by e-mail (email@example.com) or the mailing address below.
English Language Proficiency (if applicable)
- If English is not your native language, an official copy of your English Language Proficiency score or other evidence of competency in English is required. Such applicants are required to supply this evidence as part of your application. Applicants whose university studies were complete at an institution where English is deemed the official language of instruction may be exempted from this requirement (an official letter from the institution is required).
- The English Proficiency exam must have been completed within 2 years of the application due date.
- This requirement must be met prior to an offer of admission. There will be no exceptions to the language requirement.
- The most common evidence is a score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
- TOEFL: minimum score is 92 (iBT-internet based), 237 (computer based) or 580 (paper based). The McMaster University TOEFL/TSE Institution Code is 0936 and the Department Code for Political Science is 89.
- IELTS (Academic): minimum overall score is 6.5, with at least 5.5 in each section.
- NOTE: Foreign students wishing to enter Canada on a student visa should also contact the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate for visa information.
How to Apply:
Each applicant is required to complete the Graduate Studies Online Application which opens November 15th each year and submit the required application documents listed above to complete the application.
Please note that all application supporting documentation must be forwarded to and received by our Department no later than February 15th of the year in which you are applying.
ANY LATE OR MISSING DOCUMENTS WILL DELAY YOUR APPLICATION AND NOT BE REVIEWED BY THE DEPARTMENT’S ADMISSION COMMITTEE.
Please send all (hard copy) supporting documents to:
Department of Political Science
c/o Manuela Dozzi
Kenneth Taylor Hall 527 (KTH-527)
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
- February 15
The awards listed below are only opened to current Political Science graduate students. Eligible students should apply to Mosaic.
The Ellen Louks Fairclough Scholarship in Political Science
The Ellen Louks Fairclough Memorial Scholarship in Political Science was established in 2004 to commemorate the life of The Right Honourable Ellen Louks Fairclough, P.C., C.C., F.CA., L.L.D., F.R.C.G.S., D.H., U.E., Canada's first female federal cabinet minister and lifelong advocate for women's rights. To be awarded to a student enrolled in a graduate program in Political Science who holds an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Preference will be given to a student with an interest in Canadian public policy.
The Political Science Travel Grant
To support research and professional development by assisting graduate students with costs related to doing field-work or attending academic conferences. This grant is open to both MA (thesis option) and PhD students. There are two rounds of applications each year with the deadlines being October 15thand January 30th.
Students should consult with the Department MA Political Science Advisor or Area Convenors about the courses to be taken in order to satisfactorily complete the program.
While the department covers all the main fields in Political Science, we also have research expertise and knowledge in the following research clusters. Visit the following research clusters for more information on the faculty members who teach and conduct research in these specific areas, and the types of projects currently being conducted in the department.
- Climate, Water and Sustainability
- Critical International Relations
- Gender and Politics
- Global Political Economy
- Labour Issues
- Politics of Representation
- Social Policy (including health policy)
Aside from the different research clusters within the Department of Political Science, our faculty members also lead and/or are actively involved in the following interdisciplinary networks in McMaster University:
POL SCI 6E03 / Issues in Liberal-Democratic Theory
POL SCI 6O06 / Canadian Public Policy
POL SCI 701 / Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis: Frameworks and Models
POL SCI 702 / Social Policy Transformations
POL SCI 705 / Global Public Policy
POL SCI 706 / Comparative Politics of Health Policy
POL SCI 708 / Major Research Paper
POL SCI 740 / Theories of Comparative Politics
POL SCI 741 / Politics of Social Movements
POL SCI 742 / Politics of Developing Areas
POL SCI 744 / Politics of Western Democracies
POL SCI 746 / Issues in Comparative Politics
POL SCI 748 / Democracy and Diversity
POL SCI 749 / Topics in Gender and Politics
POL SCI 750 / Issues in Political Theory
POL SCI 751 / Classic Theories of “Realpolitik”
POL SCI 753 / Political Theory and Public Policy
POL SCI 754 / Critics of Modernity
POL SCI 755 / Lying in Politics
POL SCI 756 / The Autonomy of Politics
POL SCI 757 / Theories of Political Community
POL SCI 758 / Cosmopolitanism and Its Critics
POL SCI 760 / Political Institutions of the Canadian State
POL SCI 761 / The Social, Cultural and Economic Foundations of Canadian Politics
POL SCI 762 / Comparative Political Economy
POL SCI 763 / International Water Policy
POL SCI 765 / Reading Course
POL SCI 767 / Politics of the Global South: an International Relations Perspective
POL SCI 768 / Political Economy of Global Climate Change
POL SCI 769 / The Political Economy of East Asia
POL SCI 770 / Globalization and the Canadian State
POL SCI 771 / Advanced Concepts in International Relations Theory
POL SCI 772 / Theories of International Politics
POL SCI 773 / Selected Topics in International Politics
POL SCI 774 / Global Political Economy
POL SCI 775 / MA IR Colloquium
POL SCI 776 / Advanced Issues in Critical Security Studies
POL SCI 777 / Global Governance
POL SCI 778 / Globalization
POL SCI 779 / Major Research Paper
POL SCI 780 / Selected Political Problems I
POL SCI 781 / Selected Political Problems II
POL SCI 782 / Development Theory and Administration
POL SCI 783 / Comparative Public Policy
POL SCI 784 / Quantitative Political and Policy Analysis
POL SCI 785 / Public Sector Management
POL SCI 786 / Organizational Theory and the Public Sector
POL SCI 787 / Intergovernmental Relations and Public Policy-Making
POL SCI 788 / Comparative Foreign Policy: Canadian and U.S. Foreign Policy
POL SCI 789 / Global Finance
POL SCI 790 / The Politics of Economic Policy in Market Economies
POL SCI 792 / Public Choice
POL SCI 794 / Public Policy and Administration Research Seminar
POL SCI 795 / Research Project in Public Policy
POL SCI 796 / Research Design and Methods
POL SCI 797 / Readings in Comparative Public Policy
POL SCI 798 / Environmental Policies and Governance
- For more information:
Department of Political Science
905-525-9140 ext. 24742
- 1 year
- Required Credential:
- Honours Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in Political Science or related discipline
- Program Type:
- Thesis, Course Based
- Program Options:
- Full-time, Part-time
- Typical Entry:
- Current Deadline:
- February 15