Master of Arts in Political Science (MA)

Overview

The Department of Political Science offers Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs that are structured around five substantive fields: Canadian politics, international relations, comparative politics, political theory, and U.S. Politics. We offer in the range of 25 graduate seminar courses per year and ample support for mentoring grad students in their professional development, through research collaboration, workshops, and colloquia. We have very successful doctoral graduates, judged by our record of placing graduates in academic positions in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and elsewhere.

What makes the program unique?

One of the key criteria that sets the Political Science department at UBC apart is the methodological breadth and diversity of research interests of faculty members, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. We have particular strengths for graduate students in:

  • indigenous politics, with indigenous faculty members in two different subfields
  • critical political theory and identity politics
  • democratic theory and practise
  • political behaviour, parties and elections
  • comparative public policy and institutions
  • migration, social diversity, and identity
  • environmental politics
  • international norms, institutions and goverance, and human security.

Quantitative Methods: we are particularly strong on quantitative methods for students using this kind of approach, with the deepest lineup of persons engaged in systematic quantitative research and the country’s most robust sequence of graduate methods courses for those students wishing to acquire a sophisticated understanding of quantitative analysis.

Regional Area Strengths: we are exceptionally strong in the study of Asian politics, the politics of the Americas, European politics, U.S. politics, and Canadian politics.

Quick Facts

Degree
Master of Arts
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Specialization
Political Science
Program Components
Coursework + Thesis required
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

92
22
25
22
23
6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.

This program has not specified whether applicants should reach out to faculty members. Please review the program website for additional details.

Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Research Information

Research Focus

Canadian Politics: federalism, the Canadian electoral system, the constitution, the courts, electoral reform, parliamentary institutions, political parties, Canadian public policy, Canadian political thought, voting behaviour
Comparative Politics: democratization and democratic institutions, state-society relations, comparative public policy, comparative political economy, constitutional design and comparative political institutions, executive politics, separation of powers, governance, non-governmental organizations, and immigration politics
International Relations: International Relations Theory, International Political Economy, International Security, International Law and Organization, International Norms, Human Security, the politics of international law, and global governance
Political Theory: democratic theory, liberalism, constitutionalism, human rights, feminism, multiculturalism, nationalism, identity politics, critical theory, history of political thought

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
17 July 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 07 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 07 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 07 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 07 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2021

Funding Sources

We offer full TA funding to incoming MA students.  We also offer some additional fellowship funding to our top candidates, including tuition coverage and Research Assistantships, if and when available.

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Options

Our MA students have been highly successful in pursuing both academic and non-academic careers.

In recent years, approximately one-third of MA graduates from our program have gone on to pursue a PhD. Many have been offered PhD admission at US institutions such as Duke University, University of California San Diego, University of Michigan, Brown University, John Hopkins University, Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin; many have been admitted at Canadian institutions, such as University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, and Queen’s University; and some have been admitted to programs outside North American such as Cambridge University.

Many of our MA graduates have gone on to careers in the worlds of policy, politics, and NGOs, within Canada and internationally. Past MA students have taken jobs as policy analysts, planners, data analysts, researchers, and consultants. They have gone on to work for government agencies, NGOs, and private sector employers including the United Nations Development Program, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, Statistics Canada, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, the First Nations Health Authority, the City of Vancouver, and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications141119120131155
Offers2440343343
New registrations1420221518
Total enrolment3542383034

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 95.18% based on 83 students admitted between 2009 - 2012. Based on 66 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 0.82 years and the maximum time is 5.33 years with an average of 1.56 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Arneil, Barbara (Identity politics, history of political thought)
  • Baier, Gerald (Canadian politics, federalism, constitutional law, courts, federal-provincial relations, Constitution, federalism and public law in Canada)
  • Baum, Bruce (Political Culture, Society and Ideology, critical social theory, feminist theory, critical hermeneutics, issues of cross-cultural interpretation, American political thought and cultural politics, political theories of Mill and Marx, philosophy of political inquiry, liberal and democratic theory)
  • Byers, Michael (International Law, International Cooperation, international relations, oceans, Arctic, space, war)
  • Cameron, Maxwell (Political Regimes (Democracy, Monarchy, Federalism, Parliamentarism, etc.), Social Organization and Political Systems, Comparative Politics, Latin America, Democratization, Practical wisdom)
  • Chowdhury, Arjun (Failed states, intervention, civil war, autocrats, revolution. )
  • Coleman, Katharina Pichler (International organizations, international relations, international security/peace operations, interntional rules, noms and legitimacy, sun-Saharan Africa)
  • Coulthard, Glen (First Nations politics – national; political theory )
  • Cruz, Cesi (political economy, focusing on the interplay between electoral incentives and development outcomes in consolidating democracies. Her research uses quantitative and qualitative methods, social network analysis, surveys, and field experiments)
  • Dauvergne, Peter (Refugee law, Immigration law, citizenship law, Global governance and emerging powers, environmental politics, asian)
  • Ellermann, Antje (Migrations, Populations, Cultural Exchanges, Migratory Flows, Public Policies, Identity and Transnationality, Role of Governments and Institutions, Migration and Citizenship, Comparative Public Policy)
  • Harrison, Kathryn (Canadian politics, environmental politics, environmental policy, climate change, global warming, climate change policy, Canadian public policy)
  • Huebner, Kurt (European integration; euro and global currency regimes; international trade and fdi; sustainability and innovation policies; global macroeconomics;European politics, Money and currency regimes, politics and economics of European integration as well as on contradictions and complementarities of sustainability and international competitiveness)
  • Jacobs, Alan Michael (Social Organization and Political Systems, Political economy, Public Policy, public opinion, economic inequality, Research Methodology)
  • Janara, Laura (Language and symbolism especially in gendered and familial thinking, politcal theory)
  • Jeong, Gyung-Ho (Social Organization and Political Systems, US politics, Congress, Legislative Politics, Foreign Policy, Trade Policy, Immigration Policy, Public Choice)
  • Job, Brian (international relations of Asia Pacific countries, especially political/security matters; Canadian political/security interests and policies vis-a-vis Asia, International security, liu institute)
  • Johnston, Richard G (Party Systems, Immigration, Multiculturalism, Canada, United States, Postwar Germany, and Political communication)
  • Jurkevics, Anna (critical theory, democratic theory, and the history of German political thought)
  • Kam, Christopher (Nature and evolution of parliamentary democracy, historical development of institutions)
  • La Selva, Samuel (Political theory, legal philosophy)
  • Li, Xiaojun (international and comparative political economy with a focus on China; Does Conditionality Still Work? China)
  • Lightfoot, Sheryl (First Nations, international relations )

Pages

Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Program Information

 
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
17 July 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
07 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
07 January 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

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