The Department of Political Science is committed to funding all our PhD students and the majority of our MA students.

The main sources of funding are teaching assistantships (TAs), research assistantships (RAs) and/or graduate fellowships (GFs). To date, all our PhD students have received at least three years of funding of $20,000 minimum per year. Most MA students receive at least one semester of funding and approximately half of them receive two semesters of funding.

Graduate fellowships and scholarships

Graduate Fellowships

  • Value: $3,250 or $6,500 (MA and PhD) 
  • Application deadline: September
  • Recipients are full-time students in any SFU graduate program; awards are made on the basis of academic merit
  • Terms of Reference for Graduate Fellowships can be found on the Graduate Studies website

Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship

  • Value: $2,000-$10,000
  • Application deadline: June 30 (by nomination)
  • One year award between $2,000 and $10,000 to students entering a new graduate program at SFU. To be eligible, a student must show academic excellence and proof that they are being actively recruited by another university.

Somjee Graduate Fellowship

  • Value: PhD $5,000, MA $2,500
  • Application deadline: Early June
  • One PhD fellowship and two MA fellowships are available through this award. The purpose of the Somjee Fellowship is to provide financial assistance and reward outstanding graduate students enrolled in the Department of Political Science. Preference will be given to candidates focusing on political and/or international development.

Ted & Shirley Cohn Graduate Scholarship in Political Science

  • Value: $1,450
  • Application deadline: Early June
  • The purpose of this scholarship is to recognize and provide financial support to a graduate student studying international relations, preferably with an interest in international political economy, in the Department of Political Science. Applicants must have demonstrated academic excellence at the graduate level or in the most recent degree program completed and be studying international relations.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowships

  • Value: $20,000
  • Application deadline: Early November 
  • SSHRC offers doctoral fellowships in the humanities and social sciences valued at $20,000 per year. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, living in Canada at the time of application. Applicants must have completed a master’s degree or at least one year of doctoral study, and be pursuing full time studies leading to a PhD or its equivalent. This is a renewable award.

Tricouncil Canada Graduate Scholarship-Master's (CGSM) Award

  • Value: $17,500
  • Application deadline: Early December
  • The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program is to help develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies. The CGSM Program provides financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in eligible master’s programs in Canada. 

Simons Foundation Doctoral Entrance Fellowship

  • Value: $17,000
  • Application deadline: June 30 (by nomination)
  • The recipient is an outstanding female scholar entering any PhD program at SFU. The recipient must show potential for significant contribution to society through achievement in her chosen field. One award valued at $17,000 per annum is made. Tenure is one year and may commence in any semester.


Teaching Assistantships

  • Value: The value of MA student assistantships for a normal workload is $4,689 and for PhD students $5,525. 
  • Recipients are full-time students in our graduate program.
  • Application deadline: Varies per term
  • Teaching Assistants conduct weekly tutorials and have grading responsibilities as well.

Research Assistantships

  • Value: varies
  • Application deadline: varies
  • The duties and scope of work for research assistants will depend on the project.

Apply to SFU or get more info

To take the next step toward your graduate degree in political science, apply now.