Applying to the M.A. in Political Science
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. 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 well over one hundred 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 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 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. That said, students who are admitted to the fall term may, in exceptional circumstances, apply to defer their admission until the winter.
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: 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. You are not required to identify a supervisor when you apply to the program, but for students applying to the Research paper and Thesis streams, it is easier for us to fully understand your application and your plans and goals if you do identify who you would like to work with. Students applying to the internship stream do not need to identify a supervisor.