Applying to the MA in Political Science
Who Should Study an MA 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. While we are interested in the student’s overall record, we are especially interested in performance in political science courses. That said, we will consider applicants with degrees in cognate fields, such as sociology, economics or history. Depending on the content of the coursework, such background may be suitable; however, this can only be assessed in the context of a complete application to the graduate program.
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.
More generally, prospective applicants should note that we receive hundreds of applications each year and generally admit fewer than 30 students. A large number of quality applications, thus, must inevitably be declined. Beyond the prevailing competitive conditions, important factors we take into consideration include: background preparation in political science courses; the quality of the writing sample, particularly the degree to which it demonstrates a capacity for analytical work at the graduate level; the strength of the recommendations from academic referees; and the fit between student interests and the research capacities of our faculty.
Memorial and the Department of Political Science are excited to work with 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 January 15. Applicants submitting after this date will be considered for the subsequent year – i.e., admission in the subsequent fall. At the present time, the department is not considering winter admissions
What You Will Need
Students considering applying should start preparing their application well ahead of the January 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: It is not necessary to have agreed upon a thesis supervisor to gain admission to our programs. However, if there is a faculty member whose research interests align with yours, or who you would particularly like to work with, you may wish to list them in your application. Students applying to the internship stream or the course work stream do not need to identify a supervisor.
For those applying to our MA thesis stream, it will be easier for the admissions commitee to understand the "fit" of your application if you can speak to how your plans and goals align with the research interests of our faculty members and their specialities. Your application should go beyond simply listing any alignments, or copying word-for-word a faculty member's publications or profile, and instead explain to the committee in detail your research interests and what you hope to accomplish during your time with us.