We have two main graduate programs in the Department of Political Science. The graduate Diploma Program, and the Master of Arts Program.
Disciplinary graduate diplomas provide an opportunity to acquire additional academic credentials at the graduate level without committing to a full master’s program. These programs allow students to expand on their knowledge of a particular discipline and may also be used for professional development within their careers. Students are required to take 9 credit hours in Political Science in order to qualify for the Diploma. Students may take this program on either a full- or part-time basis.
Applications to the Diploma Program are accepted twice a year, with deadlines of March 15 for Fall admission and September 15 for Winter admission to the program. You may apply at any time, and your application will be considered after these dates.
Master of Arts Program
The political science M.A. can be completed by three different full-time program streams:
1. M.A. with Thesis (2-year program)
2. M.A. with Co-operative Internship (1-year program)
3. M.A. by Course work
• The thesis stream is designed for students who are extremely keen to conduct their own original research on a topic related to politics. After completing their course work, students will work one-on-one with a supervisor to execute a research project of their own, using the skills and information they have obtained over the course of the first year of their program. Students may write a thesis across any part of the political science discipline, provided that we have a Faculty member with the research specialization and expertise necessary to supervise it. For students who are considering a PhD in the future, we recommend the thesis stream over the other two MA program streams.
• Students choosing the M.A. with thesis must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours in political science graduate program courses of which 3 credit hours must be attained from either POSC 6000 (Concepts) or POSC 6010 (Methods) and 3 credit hours must be obtained from POSC602A/B. Further courses beyond the minimum number may be required, depending on the background and needs of the student.
• Each student choosing the thesis option will submit a thesis on a subject that has been approved by the supervisory committee of the Department.
• Students applying for the thesis option must submit a brief (one page maximum) statement of their research interest with their application.
• The Co-operative Internship stream is designed for students who are interested in gaining work experience in policy, public administration, program delivery or government. For their final semester, students work to identify and secure a 12 to 16-week co-operative internship in a position that is approved by the co-op office. In the months prior to the start of the work term students work closely with the Academic Staff Member in Co-operative Education and participate in a series of professional development activities to support the job search process.
• Students choosing the M.A. with co-operative internship must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in political science graduate program courses of which 12 credit hours must be attained from POSC 6030 (6 credit hours), 602A/B (3 credit hours), and POSC 6790. Further courses beyond the minimum number may be required, depending on the background and needs of the student.
• Each student choosing this option will complete a full-time co-operative internship 6030 of at least 12 weeks duration, normally in the Spring semester.
• The MA by course work is a new program stream developed to satisfy students who hunger for a breadth of knowledge across the discipline of Political Science, but who may not be interested in conducting their own original research project through a thesis, or working in an internship position. This is a one-year program that is designed to be completed in 12 months through course work alone, providing students with a substantial degree of insight and awareness of the political problems around the world, and the various and diverse ways that researchers have studied those problems across the many subfields of Political Science.
• Students choosing the M.A. by course work must completed a minimum of 24 credit hours in political science graduate program courses of which 3 credit hours must be attained from POSC602A/B. Further courses beyond the minimum number may be required, depending on the background and needs of the student.
Note: for all program streams, requirements vary. Please see the University Calendar for complete details. For all graduate students, POSC602A/B is a required course. This course, Research Design and Professional Development, spans over two semesters and involves seminars and workshops offered by faculty members from across the department, providing students with a wide variety of insights into both academic and research-related tools and skills, as well as expertise and skill development related to non-academic career paths.
Students may request a switch from one stream to another; however, transfers must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator. Transfers from the co-operative internship or thesis stream to the course work stream are generally approved fairly automatically. Transfers from either of the other streams to the co-operative internship stream will be permitted only if places are available and must be initiated at least four months before the intended start of the internship.
As transferring to the thesis stream from either the research paper or co-operative internship streams extends the length of the student’s program, such transfers will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and generally require the prior endorsement of the intended research supervisor. Finally, note that fellowship commitments can be affected by transfers between streams. In particular, students transferring from the thesis to either the research paper or co-operative internship stream will not be eligible for any second-year funding commitment they may have been promised in their letters of admission, as the former streams are one-year programs.
While the Department does not have its own "in house" Ph.D. program, Memorial's interdisciplinary Ph.D. program does make it possible for students to pursue a doctorate, working with members of the Political Science Department under special arrangements. For information on this program, prospective students should contact the interdisciplinary program director.