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.

Graduate Coordinator
If you have questions about the MA program, please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Can Mutlu.

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 
Students must take POLS 5143 (Master's Colloquium), and five additional courses. Of these five required courses, students must take at least one from 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

One of these courses can be a 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.

*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. To learn more about these courses, click here.

2. Thesis Proposal
All MA students will 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 proposal and present it to the department as part of the Master’s Colloquium (POLS 5143) in the Fall semester. A final draft of the proposal should be approved by the supervisor and shared with the Graduate Coordinator. The Graduate Coordinator will ensure 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 do consider candidates without honours degrees or with degrees in other disciplines.

Please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Can Mutlu if you have questions about your eligibility.


To apply, please complete an ONLINE APPLICATION.

Your application must include:

  • Application form
  • Two (2) 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
  • International 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. Can Mutlu.

Scholarships and Funding
Graduate Funding

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

To learn more about funding opportunities, visit Acadia's Office of Graduate Studies.

International Applicants: We encourage international students to apply, however, we are unfortunately unable to provide funding that covers the full costs of international tuition rates.


J.M. Brown Scholarship ($5,000)

Established in 2022, the J M Brown (’71) Scholarship is awarded in recognition of academic excellence to a full-time graduate student in Politics or Sociology. If there is no eligible graduate candidate, undergraduates majoring in Politics, Sociology, History or Philosophy are to be considered for this scholarship. Financial need may be used as criteria to choose between equal candidates.