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 a topic of their choosing. Students in this stream complete a minimum of five courses in the Fall and Winter semesters (including a required course, either 6000 or 6010) and then complete a major research paper over the spring semester (May to August). Students in this stream work under a research supervisor. Students normally find a supervisor by approaching members of faculty working on topics of interest during the fall; students are also encouraged to consult with the Graduate Coordinator as part of this process. Once a supervisor is chosen, students generally prepare a research proposal for the supervisor’s approval in early May and complete the research project over the summer. The principal 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 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 choosing the M.A. with research paper must completed a minimum of 24 credit hours in political science graduate program courses of which 9 credit hours must b attained from POSC 6999 and 3 credit hours must be attained from either POSC 6000 (Concepts) or POSC 6010 (Methods).
  • 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 Hea. 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.


  • 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". The supervisor 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 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.


Department of Political Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000