The Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba offers a program of full or part time study leading to the Master of Arts (MA) degree. The objective of the MA program is to provide an advanced level of understanding of political systems, decision-making processes, and procedures, institutions, and policies at all levels of government. The degree is designed to prepare students to pursue further graduate work and also prepare them for careers in education, law, politics, community development, policy analysis, journalism, advocacy, management, and consulting.
For students who do not meet the admission requirements of the MA program, there is an opportunity for students to better prepare themselves when they decide to apply to an MA program by applying to the pre-Master's (pre-MA) program. It is important to note that completion of the pre-MA program does not guarantee a student will be automatically admitted to the MA program.
In all cases, Faculty of Graduate Studies' regulations will apply except where these have been modified by the Department of Political Studies' Department Council.
Admission Requirements to the Pre-Master's and Master's Programs
The Pre-Master's program is designed for students who do not meet the requirements for admission to the Master’s program. To be eligible for pre-Master's study, applicants will normally possess a general Bachelor's degree with a major in Political Studies (30 credit hours including one course in Political Theory) with a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 (B). Applicants possessing a general Bachelor’s degree in another discipline with an overall grade point average of 3.0 (B) will also be considered for direct entry into the Pre-Master’s program, primarily on the basis of their completion of Political Studies or directly related courses.
Master of Arts Program
To be admitted into the Master of Arts program, a student must meet the admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba, including English language proficiency requirements. Each student must also meet the supplementary requirements established by the Department of Political Studies. Normally, admission to the Master's program in Political Studies is through successful completion of a BA (Honours) program in Political Studies or the pre-MA program (as outlined below). Students holding a BA (Honours) degree are expected to have maintained a grade point average of 3.0 (B) in their last 36 credit hours in Political Studies courses and to have maintained an overall grade point average of 3.0 (B). Other applicants will be considered for admission to the Master's program in Political Studies if they hold a BA (Advanced) with a major in Political Studies, and have a course selection pattern and performance in those courses that is comparable in quality to that of a BA (Honours) student. Applicants possessing a BA (Honours) degree in another discipline with an overall grade point average of 3.0 (B) will also be considered for direct entry into the program, primarily on the basis of their completion of Political Studies or directly related courses.
Application Deadlines and Procedures
International applications must be received in the Department by January 15th. Canadian applications will be accepted until June 1st. Students should understand, however, that Canadian applications received after the January 15th deadline will have missed the deadlines for most graduate awards and fellowships.
To be considered for admission to either the pre-Master's or Master of Arts programs, students must apply on-line to the Faculty of Graduate Studies (http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/admission/index.html). Applicants must submit the following documents directly to the Faculty of Graduate Studies:
i) the Faculty of Graduate Studies Application for Admission form;
ii) the application fee;
iii) One copies of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions that the student has attended (if academic records are produced in a language other than English, the applicant must arrange for the submission of official literal English translations of all records. Foreign language documents and their English translations must arrive together in an envelope that has been sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution);
iv) Two letters of reference (at least one of which is academic). These letters must be submitted electronically to the Faculty of Graduate Studies;
v) a brief letter of intent (approximately 500 words) indicating the student's research interests and outlining why they wish to study with the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba;
vi) a copy of birth certificate or passport (for those students who have never previously registered at the University of Manitoba)
vii) a sample of written work;
viii) where the applicant's first language is not English, evidence of proficiency in the English language is required.
English Proficiency Requirement: http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/graduate_studies/admissions/139.html
The pre-Master's program is a one-year program designed to prepare students for subsequent entry into the MA program. Admission to the pre-Master's program does not guarantee future admission to a MA program in Political Studies; students in the pre-Master's program are required to follow the normal application procedures for entry into the Master's program.
A student in the pre-Master's program will normally be required to successfully complete 24 credit hours at the 4000 level in Political Studies. Under special circumstances, the substitution of 6 credit hours at the 4000 level in an ancillary subject or at the 3000 level in Political Studies may be allowed. Decisions regarding the substitution of courses for the fulfilment of the program requirements rest with the Department's Graduate Committee and must be obtained in writing.
Students in the pre-Master's program must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 (B+) with no grade lower than a B (3.0 grade-points) in course work to be eligible for admission into the Master's program.
The Department's Graduate Chair normally acts as advisor to students admitted into the pre-Master's program. As early as possible, the Chair and the student must meet to develop the program of study for the following year. Any requested changes to the agreed-upon program must be submitted in writing to the Department's Graduate Committee for approval.
The main purpose of the MA program is to provide students with a solid background in Political Studies, first, by ensuring that they acquire a comprehensive knowledge in at least two fields of Political Studies, and, second, by developing their ability to undertake independent research. The five fields of Political Studies covered by the Department of Political Studies are: Canadian politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory and public administration. The MA program consists of two independent streams of study: the course-based stream and the thesis stream. Students are expected to select a stream at the beginning of their program of study.
The maximum time length to complete the MA program is 5 years.
Students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 (B+) with no grade lower that a 3.0 (B) in their course work. In cases where this requirement is not met, the Department's Graduate Committee may, at its discretion, allow a student either to repeat up to 6 credit hours of course work at the 7000 level or to substitute up to 6 credit hours of course work at the 7000 level in order to meet this standard.
All MA students (in both the course-based and thesis streams) must take the 3-credit Research Methods course, which will count towards their course requirements.
Student progress shall be reported annually to the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the Annual Progress Report Form. Students who fail to maintain satisfactory performance may be required to withdraw on the recommendation of the Department Head to the Dean of Graduate Studies.
All changes to a student's program, including advisors, fields, or program of study (including course selection) must be submitted in writing in a timely manner to the Graduate Chair for approval.
For further information contact:
Department of Political Studies
532 Fletcher Argue Building