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Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (International Relations)

McMaster has one of the strongest International Relations PhD programs in Canada. A 2007 survey of International Relations professors' views on which PhD programs provided the best preparation for an academic career found that our Department's program ranked in the top four of Canadian universities (along with University of Toronto, UBC, and York). Source: Lipson et al, 'Divided Discipline' International Journal, Spring 2007, p. 337.

Ph.D.Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (International Relations)

McMaster has one of the strongest International Relations PhD programs in Canada. A 2007 survey of International Relations professors' views on which PhD programs provided the best preparation for an academic career found that our Department's program ranked in the top four of Canadian universities (along with University of Toronto, UBC, and York). Source: Lipson et al, 'Divided Discipline' International Journal, Spring 2007, p. 337.

Our PhD International Relations program strengths are in the fields of:

  • Globalization
  • Global Political Economy
  • Canadian Foreign Policy
  • Critical Security and International Relations Theory

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the PhD program will normally require a Master’s degree in political science with an average of at least an A- (A minus).

Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members in the Department of Political Science regarding potential supervision.

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 500 words, single or double-spaced, maximum of 2 pages).
  • The statement must be uploaded as a PDF attachment only through the online application system on the Upload Document
  • Your statement of interest is a crucial element of the application process. Comparative Public Policy applicants should highlight the comparative nature of their research and policy area which concerns them. International Relations applicants should identify the international, transnational or global elements of their research projects.
  • All applicants would benefit from indicating particular faculty members or research clusters that overlap with their projects.

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.

Academic References

  • Three (3) 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 1st. 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 (dozzim@mcmaster.ca) 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 1st 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)

McMaster University

1280 Main Street West

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

L8S 4M4 

Application Deadline:

  • February 1

IR Faculty

The Department has many faculty specializing in International Relations. Their names and research interests are:

Marshall Beier - Critical International Relations Theory, Critical Approaches to Security, Indignity, Canadian Foreign Policy

William Coleman (emeritus) - globalization, global public policy, agriculture and finance policy

Stephen McBride - North American Political Economy, Trade and Investment Governance

Peter Nyers - Critical Security Studies, Citizenship, Borders, Refugees, Undocumented Migration

Robert O'Brien - Global Governance, Global Civil Society, global labour issues

Tony Porter - Global governance and standard setting, international finance

Alina Sajed – globalization and transnationalism, politics of the Global South, political violence

Richard Stubbs - Political Economy of East Asia

Lana Wylie - Canadian and US foreign Policy

In addition several other faculty have an interest in international relations:

Michelle Dion – Globalization and political economy

Catherine Frost - Nationalism

Ahmed Shafiqul Huque - Development

James Ingram - Cosmopolitanism

Inder Marwah - Imperialism and Post-Colonialsim

Don Wells - Labour issues

  • 705 Global Public Policy
  • 767 Politics of the Global South: An IR Perspective
  • 768 Political Economy of Global Climate Change
  • 769 The Poltiical Economy of East Asia
  • 770 Globalization and the Canadian State
  • 771 Advanced Concepts in IR Theory
  • 772 Theories of International Politics
  • 773 Selected Topics in International Politics
  • 774 Global Political Economy
  • 776 Advanced Issues in Critical Security Studies
  • 777 Global Governance
  • 788 Comparative Foreign Policy: Canadian & U.S. Foreign Policy
  • 789 Global Finance

Students may also choose from other Political Science and Globalization Studies graduate courses such as:

International Trade and Economic Development -OR- US Foreign Policy in Historical Perspective

School of Graduate Studies Graduate Students Association International Student Services (ISS) Graduate Student FAQ's PhD Application Checklist Apply Now
For more information:
Department of Political Science
KTH 527
905-525-9140 ext. 24742
dozzim@mcmaster.ca
Length:
4 years
Required Credential:
Graduate Degree
Program Type:
Thesis, Course Based
Program Options:
Full-time, Part-time
Typical Entry:
September