May I apply if my degree is not in political science?
The graduate admissions committee only considers applications from those who already have an undergraduate academic degree in political science (or international relations, international studies, politics and government, etc) or a closely related field (e.g. sociology, economics, history, philosophy for prospective political theorists, etc.). In the case of candidates with degrees in related fields, a minor in political science is preferred.
May I start the graduate program in the winter semester?
No, the department only offers fall admissions. Very important: Do not apply to start the program in winter or summer – applications for winter or summer will be cancelled and the application fee will NOT be refunded.
May I take graduate courses as a special (non-degree) student?
You may only take graduate courses in the department if you are a currently registered McGill student or if you are a registered student in another graduate program with which McGill has a student exchange agreement. Exchanges among Quebec universities take place through the Quebec Inter-university Transfer Agreement. Please refer to https://www.mcgill.ca/students/iut/.
Do you offer a part-time program?
Both our MA and PhD programs are full time only.
How competitive is the admissions process?
The department typically receives between 450-500 total applications for an entering MA class of 25-35 and an entering PhD class of 5-8 students. Successful applicants typically have CGPAs of 3.5 or above.
Do I need to contact a prospective supervisor ahead of time?
No. You do not need to secure a supervisor at the application stage. We recommend that you look through the faculty profiles to identify a professor(s) you would like to work with, should you be admitted to the program. In the research statement, explain briefly how your interests match the research expertise of the professor(s). The department’s Graduate Committee makes all admissions decisions.
May I apply to the PhD program if I only have a BA degree?
Yes, especially outstanding students with BAs in political science may apply directly to the PhD program. However, the majority of successful applicants to the PhD program are currently in MA programs or have completed their MA degrees.
May I start the graduate program in winter semester?
No, the department only offers fall admissions.
Do you offer funding for graduate students?
For incoming PhD students, the department guarantees each student a financial package of at least $20,000 per year for five years, subject to satisfactory progress in the program. The precise composition of this package varies each year, and is a combination of internal and/or external fellowships, research assistantships, and/or teaching assistantships. Once ABD, PhD students may apply to teach summer courses as well.
While the department cannot guarantee funding for MA students, there will be opportunities to apply for both teaching and/or research assistantships. As of January 2021, full TAships (180 hours per semester) pay $5,686 per semester. Admitted students apply directly to the department for TAships after the Student Affairs Manager circulates the call for applications. RAships are arranged individually with professors.
In addition, graduate students may apply for department and faculty funding for conference travel, advanced methods training, and fieldwork.
How long is the MA program?
Students typically complete the MA program in either three or four semesters, not including summers. Please see the MA Program Guide at www.mcgill.ca/politicalscience/grad/gradformsdocs/ for sample completion timelines.
How long is the PhD program?
Completion times vary by subfield and specialty, but students typically complete the program in five to six years. Please see the PhD program guide at www.mcgill.ca/politicalscience/grad/gradformsdocs/ for a sample completion timeline.
Where can I find more information about MA and PhD program requirements?
The MA and PhD Program Guides have detailed information about program requirements and opportunities, including coursework, theses, funding, options programs, and much more. You may download them at www.mcgill.ca/politicalscience/grad/gradformsdocs/
When should I expect to hear from McGill?
The department aims to contact PhD applicants no later than mid-March and MA applicants no later than mid-April. Applicants may always check the status of their applications on Uapply.