Who Should Study an M.A. in Political Science?
Political Science honours, majors or strong minors with grades of 75% or better in their last two years are most likely to do well. Students with majors in cognate fields - - History, Economics, Sociology, area studies - - and at least similar grades may need to take some extra courses. Those whose academic background is in an unrelated area, or who have been out of school for some time, but have a strong interest in public affairs and very good grades can be admitted, but may be asked to do supplementary course work. The exact pattern of additional work is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Undergraduate grades matter, particularly for those seeking financial support. Normally, a student should have an average close to, or in excess of, 75% (B) over their last two years of their undergraduate studies. The School of Graduate Studies provides a helpful spreadsheet calculator to help in determining your average. International students can also find information regarding the conversion of national grading schemes into the Canadian standard for comparative purposes.
Students who do not have high undergraduate averages are encouraged to "make the case" for why they deserve special consideration. The Department does encourage applications from public policy professionals (etcetera) who, regardless of undergraduate standing, may have been out of school for quite some time and have gained considerable practical experience in the intervening years.
Memorial and the Department of Political Science are increasingly attracting students from outside of Canada. In order to facilitate the studies of international students, Memorial has an International Student Advising Office which can assist with a wide range of administrative challenges. International students are also encouraged to check with current School of Graduate Studies fees information as program expenses are different for students from outside of Canada.
How to Apply
Applications can be submitted at any point in the calendar year. However, students who wish to guarantee that their file is considered for financial support and entry in the next academic year must apply by February 15. Applications received after this date will be considered for the next academic year only if space is available. Otherwise, the applicants will be invited to have their file considered for the subsequent year. We prefer and recommend that all students start in September. Although it is possible to begin studying in the Winter semester (January) this will be considered only if circumstances warrant it.
What You Will Need
Students considering applying should start preparing their application well ahead of the February 15 deadline. A number of documents will be required in the application process.
- All Undergraduate Transcripts
- A statement of your research interests and objectives in entering the MA Program
- Two "Letters of Appraisal" from "Referees" (normally professors)
- Examples of one or two course essays that you are proud of, preferably in Political Science
- Referees: Choose some referees that can comment on your academic potential (e.g., someone you received high grades from)
- Find a Supervisor: Research paper and thesis stream students should review information about the Department's research strengths; current research interests of each faculty member is available in the department's people section. Students are strongly encouraged to contact one or more faculty members who you hope to work with before applying. This can help you identify potential supervisors, but it can also help ensure acceptance if that department member is eager to supervise your proposed area of research.