Graduate Program

The Department of Politics at Acadia University offers a 12-month, thesis-based Master of Arts (MA) program to a small and select cohort of students. These students are drawn from the Atlantic region, across Canada, and around the world. The program fosters a close relationship between MA students and faculty in order to offer a flexible and rigorous academic foundation. The program provides comprehensive training in the discipline for those students who wish to continue their studies at the PhD level. It also prepares students for work in the public and private sector, in the areas of journalism, advocacy, international development and organization, education, and law. Your master’s degree in the Department of Politics will help you unite great ideas and urgent practice.

Program Objectives

  • To provide students with comprehensive instruction in the fields of Canadian politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory.

  • To give students the opportunity to work with supportive faculty in developing and carrying out innovative thesis projects.
  • To help students develop the analytical, critical, and interpretative skills, as well as oral and written presentation skills, that prepare them for work in the public and private sectors or further graduate work at the PhD level.

For students interested in political theory, in addition to the MA in Politics, some faculty members in the department contribute to an interdisciplinary MA program in Social and Political Thought. For more information on the SPT program click here.

Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Many of our MA students are attracted to the small scale of both Acadia University and the Town of Wolfville, an intimate community located in Nova Scotia’s beautiful Annapolis Valley. With a vibrant cultural scene, a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops, and great locations for outdoor activities, the Town of Wolfville and surrounding area offer a welcoming and stimulating home for students. Halifax, the largest city in Atlantic Canada, is approximately an hour’s drive from Wolfville. The Halifax Stanfield International airport, with direct flights to major cities in Canada, the eastern US, and some international destinations, is also approximately an hour’s drive from Wolfville.

 

Program Requirements

1. Courses 

POLS 5143 (Master's Colloquium), and five additional courses. Of these five:


a) Students must take at least one course in three of the four subfields

  1. Canadian Politics: POLS 5103, 5203, 5303, 5403, 5603, 5803

  2. Comparative Politics: POLS 5193, 5293, 5693, 5893*
  
  3. International Relations: POLS 5183, 5283, 5383, 5483*, 5783*, 5983*, IDST 5186
  4. Political Theory: POLS 5043, 5243, 5343, 5443, 5743


*POLS 5483, 5783, and 5883 can be counted as International Relations or Political Theory, but not both. In some years, POLS 5983 may count as Comparative Politics.

b) Students may take one MA-level directed readings course from a faculty member in any 
department or one MA-level course from a cognate department, subject to the approval of 
that faculty member and the graduate coordinator.

2. Thesis Proposal

All MA students are required by the Office of Graduate Studies to submit a formal thesis proposal. The thesis proposal should be 1500-2500 words, excluding the bibliography. It should include/discuss the research question, preliminary argument, methodology, relevant literature, and preliminary chapter breakdown of the thesis.

 With the advice and support of their supervisor, students will complete a draft of their formal proposal and present it to the department as part of the Master’s Colloquium (POLS 5143) in November. A final draft of the proposal, signed by the supervisor, is due to the Graduate Coordinator by the first day of classes of the Winter term. The Graduate Coordinator will ensure that the student receives a copy of the signed proposal and that a copy is kept in the student’s departmental file.

3. Thesis: POLS 5960

The thesis may not exceed 40,000 words in length except with the permission of the department. The department encourages students to complete and successfully defend the thesis within 4 months after the completion of course work.


Admission Requirements


Successful applicants typically hold a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Politics or Political Science, with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the last two years of study. We occasionally admit candidates without honours degrees or with degrees in other disciplines; however, we may require coursework in the politics department prior to admission to the MA depending upon the actual qualifications of individual candidates. Please contact the Graduate Coordinator if you have questions about your eligibility.

Applications

To apply, please send a complete application package found online: https://central.acadiau.ca/apply/application?apptype=GR

 Your application must include:

  • Application form
  • Three letters of reference

  • Curriculum vitae

  • Undergraduate university transcripts

  • A sample of your recent written work
(maximum 15 pages, double spaced)
  • A general statement of your proposed thesis research

  • Application fees as required by Acadia University

  • Foreign students must also take the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieve a minimum score of 580 (paper) or a computer-based score of 237.


Applications are due February 1st for applicants who would like to be considered for funding. Applications are accepted after February 1st as long as there are places remaining for the upcoming academic year.

If you have any questions concerning the MA program or the application procedures, do not hesitate to contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Rachel Brickner.

Graduate Funding: All completed applications that are received by February 1st will be considered for an Acadia Graduate Award (AGA), currently worth up to $9,000.