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M.A. with Research Paper

(1 year program for full time students; also open to part-time students)

This program is the major alternative to the internship stream for students wishing to pursue academic research on the topic of their choosing. Students in this stream will normally complete a minimum of five courses in the Fall and Winter semesters (including the required courses) and then complete a major research paper over the spring semester (May to August). The principle advantage of this stream over the thesis stream is that it provides faster completion times for students who wish to get through the program in one year. While students will still need to complete a major research project that must be graded by two faculty members, the procedures are significantly streamlined relative to a thesis examination.

Research Areas

Most topics within the field of Political Science can be successfully supervised in the department. Students are encouraged to consult our list of faculty members' research interests to identity the most suitable match.

Formal Program Requirements

  • Students who choose the M.A. with research paper option shall complete a minimum of 24 credit hours, fifteen of which shall normally be 6000, 6010, and 6999 (worth 9 credit hours).
  • The selection of a topic for the research paper must be approved by a faculty supervisor who will be chosen in consultation with the Department Head. The paper will be graded by the supervisor and one other member of the faculty, either from within the Department or the Department of a cognate discipline. Students may consult the list of past thesis topics for general ideas for a research paper topic.

Research Paper Stream: Suggested Program of Study for Full Time Students

Required Courses 6000, 6010    
Elective courses One elective (6xxx) course Two elective (6xxx) courses  
Research work Securing a supervisor
  • Ethics approval (if necessary)
  • 6999 (Research Paper) - Final version due by end of July
    Additional courses as required by supervisor  


  • Research paper stream students are to contact a faculty member with similar research interests to explore the possibility of that person agreeing to be the student's supervisor. This may occur as early as when the student is applying to the university and must be completed before the end of the first semester at Memorial.
  • The student will prepare the paper under the supervisor's direction. The student and his or her supervisor will select another faculty member to serve on the student's second supervisor, or "reader". This two-member committee must read and approve the Research Paper Proposal and grade the final version of the student's Research Paper before they can complete the program. The Guidelines for the Research Paper process are to be followed, as are the Department's Plagiarism and Documentation policies, and a completed Evaluation Form must be submitted.
  • Graduate students may choose to make use of the Faculty of Arts Digital Research Centre's services, which can support their qualitative research by providing access to high quality digital tape recorders, cameras, video equipment and software to gather, preserve, process and analyze field data.

For further information, please contact our Graduate Coordinator.