Application for Graduate Studies

Applicants are normally admitted only in the Fall semester which begins in September. Students seeking admission to the graduate programme must submit a completed application package by the deadline noted below. The Department reserves the right to admit only those students for whom research space and an appropriate faculty supervisor are available. Students transferring from other graduate programs may petition the department for credit for equivalent courses. Please see the SFU Calendar for more information about our programs.

The application system for Fall 2018 admissions is now open. The final application deadline is January 15, 2018. 

How to Apply to the PhD Program 

PhD Program Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Chair of Political Science Graduate Program Committee:
Dr. Genevieve Fuji Johnson - gfjohnso@sfu.ca

Department Contact: 
Graduate Program Assistant - polgrad@sfu.ca

Department of Political Science
Simon Fraser University
AQ 6069
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6
Tel: 778-782-5487, Fax: 778-782-4786

General Admission Information: 

The Department of Political Science accepts applications from political science MA students normally with a minimum 3.67 GPA (See FAQ). Applicants' proposed research interests should coincide with our major teaching and research areas, as described at http://www.sfu.ca/politics/graduate/prospective/phd_program.html.

*Application packages MUST BE COMPLETE when submitted. Incomplete application packages will NOT be reviewed.
*Please ensure that your application and all supplementary documentation are received by the posted deadline. 

Application Procedure:

Applications have two components: completion of an online application and submission of paper documents.

1) Submission of online application. The online application can be accessed here. Please note that there is an application fee.

A) The application will ask you to provide

  • Information about all past post-secondary studies you have attended
  • A statement of interest
  • Details about your research plans
  • The names of three preferred supervisor(s)
  • Email contact information for three (3) academic referees. The referees should be able to comment on the applicants qualifications for graduate study. Recommendations from a non-academic person should not be used unless the applicant has been away from an academic institution for some time. The system will send an automated email providing referees with access to the online referee form they need to complete. 

Note that the initial part of the application process must be completed and submitted before request for references are sent out to referees and before documents can be uploaded. Allow sufficient time for referees to complete references before the January 15 deadline.

B)  Submit your application and pay the application fee (you have seven days to pay the application fee, which will then enable you to upload the transcripts and other documents).

C) After payment of the application fee upload pdf files of:

  • One (1) set of UNOFFICIAL transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions attended
  • An academic paper in English as a writing sample. It should include a hypotheses, evidence analysis and conclusions and should not exceed 30 pages in length. 

2) Document(s) to be submitted by mail, which should be sent to the address below:

  •  One set of OFFICIAL transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions attended. Transcripts must be in sealed envelopes which bear a university seal. Student copies are not accepted. Transcripts that are not in English require an official translation. (Transcripts from Quebec universities are exempted from this translation requirement.)
  • PhD Check List  (the checklist can be sent by mail or by email to polgrad@sfu.ca)

Please direct all documentation to:
Department of Political Science
Graduate Program Assistant
Simon Fraser University
AQ 6072 
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC
Canada V5A 1S6

** When mailing transcripts and other documents to the Department please ensure that you list Graduate Program Assistant as the recipient.


English Language Requirements

English is the language of instruction and communication at SFU. Accordingly, an applicant whose primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field. See graduate general regulation 1.3.12. 

International applicants whose primary language is not English will not be required to complete an English-language test if they have completed a degree at an institution where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where English is the primary language.

Simon Fraser University Graduate Program accepts the following tests:

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems)

The minimum graduate program admission requirements for test scores:

Internet-based TOEFL: 93 with minimum of 20 in each section
Paper-based TOEFL: 580 and TWE 5.0
IELTS (academic):  overall band score of 7.0 on the academic (NOT general) test with a minimum of 6.5 in each section

Official test scores must be sent directly to the Department of Political Science from the language testing service. We do not accept student copies or photocopies.

 

*Please allow for a delay when checking the status of your application. Your documents may have arrived in our office but this may not be reflected online for a few days. If updates have not been made online, please check back with us. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all documents arrive in our office by the deadline.

How to Apply to the MA Program

MA Program Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Chair of Political Science Graduate Program Committee:
Dr. Genevieve Fuji Johnson - gfjohnso@sfu.ca

Department Contact: 
Graduate Program Assistant - polgrad@sfu.ca

Department of Political Science
Simon Fraser University
AQ 6069
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6
Tel: 778-782-5487, Fax: 778-782-4786

General Admission Information: 

The Department strongly prefers that applicants to the MA program have a BA in Political Science. The minimum SFU requirement for admission to an M.A. program is a Bachelor's degree with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 (or B average) from a recognized university. In practice, however, our successful applicants have much higher CGPAs. We suggest that students coming into the program have at least two years of background in political science. Some students with insufficient political science training may be required to take up to a year of qualifying work in the upper-division undergraduate courses in our department.

*Application packages MUST BE COMPLETE when submitted. Incomplete application packages will NOT be reviewed.
*Please ensure that your application and all supplementary documentation are received by the posted deadline. 

Application Procedure:

Applications have two components: completion of an online application and submission of paper documents.

1) Submission of online application. The online application can be accessed here. Please note that there is an application fee.

A) The application will ask you to provide

  • Information about all past post-secondary studies you have attended
  • A statement of interest
  • Details about your research plans
  • The names of three preferred supervisor(s)
  • Email contact information for three (3) academic referees. The referees should be able to comment on the applicants qualifications for graduate study. Recommendations from a non-academic person should not be used unless the applicant has been away from an academic institution for some time. The system will send an automated email providing referees with access to the online referee form they need to complete.

Note that the initial part of the application process must be completed and submitted before request for references are sent out to referees and before documents can be uploaded. Allow sufficient time for referees to complete references before the January 15 deadline.

B)  Submit your application and pay the application fee (you have seven days to pay the application fee, which will then enable you to upload the transcripts and other documents).

C) After payment of the application fee upload pdf files of:

  • One (1) set of UNOFFICIAL transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions attended
  • An academic paper in English as a writing sample. It should include a hypotheses, evidence analysis and conclusions and should not exceed 20 pages in length. 

2) Document(s) to be submitted by mail, which should be sent to the address below:

  • One set of OFFICIAL transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions attended. Transcripts must be in sealed envelopes which bear a university seal. Student copies are not accepted. Transcripts that are not in English require an official translation. (Transcripts from Quebec universities are exempted from this translation requirement.)
  • MA Check List (the checklist can be sent by mail or by email to polgrad@sfu.ca)

Please direct all documentation to:
Department of Political Science
Graduate Program Assistant
Simon Fraser University
AQ 6072 
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC
Canada V5A 1S6

** When mailing transcripts and other documents to the Department please ensure that you list Graduate Program Assistant as the recipient.


English Language Requirements

English is the language of instruction and communication at SFU. Accordingly, an applicant whose primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field. See graduate general regulation 1.3.12. 

International applicants whose primary language is not English will not be required to complete an English-language test if they have completed a degree at an institution where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where English is the primary language.

Simon Fraser University Graduate Program accepts the following tests:

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems)

The minimum graduate program admission requirements for test scores:

Internet-based TOEFL: 93 with minimum of 20 in each section
Paper-based TOEFL: 580 and TWE 5.0
IELTS (academic):  overall band score of 7.0 of the academic (NOT general) test with a minimum of 6.5 in each section

Official test scores must be sent directly to the Department of Political Science from the language testing service. We do not accept student copies or photocopies.

 

*Please allow for a delay when checking the status of your application. Your documents may have arrived in our office but this may not be reflected online for a few days. If updates have not been made online, please check back with us. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all documents arrive in our office by the deadline.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

I have an MA in another discipline clearly different from political science (e.g. sociology, anthropology, econmics, history) and I do not have a B.A. in politcial science. Am I still eligible for your PhD program?

No. Our PhD program requires sufficient background in political science training. We strongly suggest that you stay in your discipline and pursue a PhD in that discipline. While doing so, you can expand your intellectual horizons to encompass political science (e.g., taking graduate courses in political science).

I do not have a BA in political science. Am I still eligible for your MA program?

That will depend on how much political science training you received in your undergraduate program. Generally speaking, your MA application will not be strong, unless you have received significant political science or social science training. If you have a weak political science background, your best possible outcome is to be accepted to the qualifying year program. This program is for you to establish your eligibility for the MA program. If accepted as a qualifying student you will be required to finish some 300- or 400-level political science courses with high grades in our undergraduate program (within a maximum of one year). After that, you can apply for our MA program. Please note that the successful completion of a qualifying year does not guarantee an entry to our MA program. Alternatively, you may want to get more undergraduate training in political science before applying for our MA program.

I have an MA in an interdisciplinary field (political science is part of it). I notice that you require an MA in political science to apply for your PhD program. Am I still eligible?

The requirement of having an MA in political science is used to make sure that our incoming PhD students will have received sufficient training in political science at an advanced level. While we accept PhD applications from those who do not have MA degrees in political science, the admissions committee will carefully assess them, on a case-by-case basis to determine, if they have received advanced and sufficient political science training.