University of Manitoba - Faculty of Arts - Political Studies - Comprehensive Stream
Comprehensive Stream

 The comprehensive stream of the MA in Political Studies consists of course work, a research paper, and oral examination.

Course Work

Students in the comprehensive stream of the MA program must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in Political Studies, 18 of which must be taken at the 7000 level. In some cases and with written permission of the Department's Graduate Committee, students may substitute 6 credit hours of course work at the 7000 level in a related discipline or may be permitted to take 6 credit hours at the 4000 level in Political Studies. Students who have completed the Manitoba Legislative Internship can have this count as six credits towards the required 24 credit hours of course work.

 Research Paper

Students must submit a research paper in their major filed, on a topic approved in consultation with the advisor. The research paper must be no more than 20,000 words in length, in double-spaced typescript (roughly 80 pages). These papers can be based on a paper prepared for a 7000 level course, but should also demonstrate: a) a more substantial research effort and b) greater familiarity with the secondary materials relating to the topic than would be the case for a course papers. The student is expected to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the subject-matter and the major research literature on that topic; in addition, he/she is expected to analyze the available evidence cogently and critically. While the use of primary and documentary sources is not required, it is strongly encouraged.

 Written and Oral Examination Committees

In consultation with their advisor, an oral examination committee will be chosen consisting of two additional members of the department, each specializing in one of the candidate's chosen minor and major field, and a fourth member of the Department who shall act as committee chair for the purposes of the oral examination. Neither of these committee members should act as the student's advisor.

Comprehensive Oral Examination

The comprehensive oral examination is usually a one to three hour oral examination of a student's competency, based upon the student's performance on the research paper. The examination is conducted by the oral comprehensive examination committee consisting of four Department members (see above). Notice of the oral examination is sent to members of the Department and the wider University community at least one week in advance of the oral examination but their participation in the proceedings will be governed, in each instance, by rules determined by the chairperson of the examining committee in consultation with committee members and the candidate. Students who fail the oral examination are expected to re-sit the oral examination within the five-year period allowed for degree completion. Failure at a second attempt normally requires withdrawal from the program.