Coming to campus? Visit this page for important information.

Program Requirements

Students must complete five courses (three required and two elective)—and a major research paper (MRP).

Students are encouraged to complete these requirements in one year (three semesters).

The following few steps can help students achieve this goal:

  1. Complete all 5 courses over the Fall and Winter semesters. The three required courses are: CASJ-8500, CASJ-8501 and CASJ-8502. A list of elective courses can be found here. Please note that elective courses are offered on a rotating basis.
  2. Students should finalize the topic for their MRP by the end of the Fall semester and should have their committee informally in place by the end of week 6 of the Winter term.

Forms can be downloaded from the Faculty of Graduate Studies website or are available from the Graduate Secretary in Room 4110 Lambton Tower.

Major Research Paper/Project

The Major Research Paper (MRP) is a scholarly research project of approximately 40 pages (double-spaced) in length. It provides a critical analysis of an object/event/case study/text and serves to augment or enhance our knowledge thereof. Normally, MRPs include:

  1. a primary research question that serves to guide the MRP;
  2. a clearly articulated theoretical framework that provides a review of the pertinent literature;
  3. a critical analysis of the relationship(s) that obtain between the object/event/case study/text and the chosen theoretical framework; and
  4. a conclusion.

MRPs need not reference a recognized research methodology to be successful. Rather, an emphasis is placed on critical analysis of the object in its relation to a body of theory.

The student may undertake portions of the major research project as a part of course work, but the final piece of work must be publicly presented at an oral defense. This option requires two intra-departmental committee members (Supervisor & Program Reader), but not an external examiner.

Other Information

Thesis Option

Under special circumstances, students have the option of completing a thesis instead of an MRP. Students approved to undertake the thesis option (with faculty recommendation based on performance evaluation) must complete a total of four courses.

The Thesis is a scholarly research project of approximately 70 pages (double-spaced) in length. It is an original piece of research, employing a recognized research methodology, yielding novel conclusions via exhaustive critical analysis. Normally, theses name an object/event/case study/text as their central focus and include:

  1. a primary research question that serves to guide the thesis;
  2. an exhaustive and clearly articulated theoretical framework that provides a comprehensive review of all the primary and secondary literature;
  3. a recognized methodological framework that enables the student to gather and analyze an original data set;
  4. a critical analysis of the relationship(s) that obtain between the object/event/case study/text, data set(s), and theoretical framework(s); and
  5. a concluding section wherein the thesis’ original contribution to the body of scholarly knowledge is fully articulated.

Academic Standing

All M.A. students must maintain an average of B- or higher. A grade of C+ or less for any course in the Master’s Program normally signifies a failure for that course. Students may elect to repeat any course once if they receive a grade of less than B-. A student with a grade point average of less than B- for two successive terms will normally be asked to withdraw from the program.

Annual Report

All M.A. students are required to submit a report detailing their progress through the program on May 31 of each year. The forms must be completed by the student and signed by their supervisor. Forms are distributed through the Graduate Secretary’s office or online at the Graduate Faculty website.

Residency Requirements

Students must be registered for a minimum of three semesters on a full-time basis. Students must be enrolled in CASJ-8960 (major research paper) or CASJ-8970 (thesis) in the semester in which they intend to defend. Registration in CASJ-8960 or CASJ-8970 is considered full-time.