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Department of Political Science | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Simon Fraser University Calendar | Fall 2019

Political Science

Master of Arts

The department has five fields of study: political theory and methodology; Canadian government and politics, including political behaviour and political economy; comparative government and politics; international relations, including foreign policy analysis and international political economy; public policy, public administration, local governance and administration.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. In addition to the graduate general regulations, the department requires written statements of the student's current interests and proposed areas of research. Applications for graduate work will be considered with reference to the manner in which the proposed area of the candidate’s research coincides with faculty teaching and research interests. See the list of faculty for general research interests. Should additional course work be deemed necessary, the graduate studies committee will indicate the same as a prerequisite.

Program Requirements

The MA program may be completed through either an extended essays or project option, a course-intensive option or thesis option. Students wishing to pursue the thesis option must receive approval from their supervisor. Except in extenuating circumstances, students may only transfer once. In accordance with Graduate General Regulation 1.6.4, each student will be assigned a supervisory committee.

NOTE: SFU students enrolled in the Accelerated MA within the Department of Political Science may apply a maximum of 10 graduate course units, taken while completing the bachelor’s degree, towards the upper division undergraduate electives of the bachelor's program and the requirements of the master’s degree. For more information go to: https://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/future/academicprograms/AcceleratedMasters.html.

Extended Essays or Project Option

This program option consists of six courses, a proposal, and a research project or extended essays for a minimum of 36 units.

Students must complete

POL 800 - Research Design in Political Science (5)

This course provides an introduction to designing research in political science. It aims to provide graduate students with the basic knowledge of how to set up their own research project, with an overview of the different ways in which they might do so and with the tools to critically assess existing research.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Jeremie Cornut
Fr 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
HCC 1415, Vancouver

and one of

POL 802 - Quantitative Research Methods in Political Science (5)

A survey of the principles and techniques of quantitative research design, methods, and data collection tools needed to conduct systematic quantitative political science research.

POL 803 - Qualitative Research Methods in Political Science (5)

A survey of the principles and techniques of qualitative research design, methods, and data collection tools needed to conduct systematic qualitative political science research.

and four additional elective courses from at least two of the department's five fields of study

and a proposal

POL 891 - Master's Seminar (0)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

and either a research project or extended essays

POL 892 - Research Project (6)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

The extended essays or project option requires completion of either extended essays in two department fields of study or one research project. Students who choose the research project normally will submit a work with a maximum of 12,500 words, with substantial original content. If the extended essays option is chosen instead of a project, each extended essay will elaborate upon course work research and normally will not exceed 7,500 words. Both extended essays and research projects are defended in an oral defence and upon completion are submitted to the library.

Thesis Option

This program option consists of five courses, a proposal, and a thesis for a minimum of 31 units.

Students must complete

POL 800 - Research Design in Political Science (5)

This course provides an introduction to designing research in political science. It aims to provide graduate students with the basic knowledge of how to set up their own research project, with an overview of the different ways in which they might do so and with the tools to critically assess existing research.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Jeremie Cornut
Fr 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
HCC 1415, Vancouver

and one of

POL 802 - Quantitative Research Methods in Political Science (5)

A survey of the principles and techniques of quantitative research design, methods, and data collection tools needed to conduct systematic quantitative political science research.

POL 803 - Qualitative Research Methods in Political Science (5)

A survey of the principles and techniques of qualitative research design, methods, and data collection tools needed to conduct systematic qualitative political science research.

and three additional elective courses from at least two of the department's five fields of study

and a proposal

POL 891 - Master's Seminar (0)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

and a thesis

In the thesis option, students must submit to the thesis supervisory committee a thesis proposal outlining a brief topic summary, its relevance, the methodology to be followed, a chapter-by-chapter outline, thesis completion timetable and a bibliography. The proposal must be approved by the thesis supervisory committee. The thesis is normally 18,750 to 25,000 words in length (excluding bibliography) and is defended in an oral defence. Upon completion, the thesis is submitted to the library.

Course-intensive Option

This program option consists of seven courses and an examination for a minimum of 41 units.

Students must complete

POL 800 - Research Design in Political Science (5)

This course provides an introduction to designing research in political science. It aims to provide graduate students with the basic knowledge of how to set up their own research project, with an overview of the different ways in which they might do so and with the tools to critically assess existing research.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Jeremie Cornut
Fr 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
HCC 1415, Vancouver

and one of

POL 802 - Quantitative Research Methods in Political Science (5)

A survey of the principles and techniques of quantitative research design, methods, and data collection tools needed to conduct systematic quantitative political science research.

POL 803 - Qualitative Research Methods in Political Science (5)

A survey of the principles and techniques of qualitative research design, methods, and data collection tools needed to conduct systematic qualitative political science research.

and five additional elective courses from at least two of the department's five fields of study

and an examination

Students will be required to write either a take-home examination related to their coursework in one of their courses or pass an oral examination of a graduate course research (capstone) essay. For details on the format of the take-home exam and the capstone essay, students should consult the Political Science website or the Political Science Graduate Handbook.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in 3 to 6 terms (1 to 2 years).

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.