Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Calendar - 2006/2007
Canadian Excellence

MA in Political Science

The MA program aims to provide students with a grounding in the theoretical debates at the heart of the discipline in order to assist those students who opt to continue in doctoral studies. This is accomplished through the compulsory core seminar, PO601. At the same time, our heavy emphasis on research strategies and methodological questions enables those for whom the MA is a terminal degree to enter the workforce with an impressive set of marketable skills.

Additional Information
Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the master's program, a student must meet the general admission requirements of the university. An honours graduate in a program other than political science and general degree graduates may be admitted if evidence justifying admission is offered; however, a program of appropriate preparatory studies (qualifying year) may be required of such applicants. Honours graduates in political science may also be required to successfully complete additional undergraduate courses before they are admitted to the master's program.

Program Requirements

Candidates in the master's program in political science may specialize in one of three fields of study: Canadian political studies, comparative politics/international relations or public opinion and electoral studies. All students must enrol in two core seminars, one of which examines some of the central epistemological debates in contemporary social science in general, and political science in particular, and the second which introduces students to the logic of research design and methodology. All other courses in the program are organized as seminars and therefore include a significant research and presentation component. In each course, students will be required to complete at least one substantial research paper and to defend that paper during the seminar.

There are three options for completing the MA degree requirements:

  • Course Option: PO601, PO602 and six half-credit courses.
  • Major Research Paper Option: PO601, PO602, four half-credit courses and PO695 (Major Research Paper).
  • Thesis Option: PO601, PO602, two half-credit courses and PO699 (Thesis).
  • Students may choose their electives from those courses offered by the political science MA program at Laurier, or by another university (e.g., the University of Waterloo or the University of Guelph). Alternatively, with the approval of the graduate officer and the dean of Graduate Studies, electives may be taken from the master's program of any other department at Laurier.