Political Science at UWindsor

MA Program Description

The University of Windsor offers a challenging M.A. degree in political science with specializations in international relations and global politics, and Canadian government and politics. Courses and research supervision are also available in comparative politics, political philosophy, public policy, development and municipal politics. From an area standpoint, research and teaching interests of faculty range beyond Canada and the United States to embrace Europe, Asia, and Africa. Of major note is the departmental expertise in the politics of the Middle East. The Department houses the Jerusalem Old City Initiative, which is developing creative options for governance of the Jerusalem Old City that could be used in preparation for a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. The initiative has a partnership with Princeton University, as well as with NGOs, and a number of leading academics and international civil society specialists. The initiative has been supported by over $1,000,000 in research funding over the last several years and has offered research assistant opportunities for several graduate students.

The M.A. may be completed in one year with thesis or research paper options, and a year and a half with the new internship option. In the first two of these, students take courses and complete a major assignment (either a major paper or a thesis) over the course of one academic year. Most students begin the program in September and it is possible to complete the program by the following September. For the M.A. internship option, students complete coursework in the first two semesters of the program, followed by a 6-month internship and a final research paper and presentation based on the internship experience. In all cases, students must complete the M.A. degree program within three years of starting. Occasionally students are admitted in January, but this option is available only in exceptional circumstances. Students who begin the program in January may miss funding opportunities and must wait until the following fall semester to complete the program's core required course (POLS 8000 Scope and Approaches to Political Science). At the present time, students who enter in January are not able to complete the degree via the internship option.

Students who begin the full program in September enroll in three graduate courses during their first term, one of which must be POLS 8000 Scope and Approaches to Political Science. This course acquaints students with the major theoretical concerns of the discipline, and the use of various research methods. This course also provides students with the opportunity to develop a research problem and design; many students utilize this work in their final major paper/thesis.

After the first term is completed, the department's Graduate Committee meets to review each M.A. student’s performance in the program. The committee evaluates students primarily in terms of their performance in the first three graduate courses, and reviews student applications for the internship option, selecting those students who will go forward to interview for an internship placement. Students selected for the internship will then be matched with a potential employer and will interview for a position.* The successful candidates will complete three graduate classes in the winter semester and will complete their internship in the subsequent summer and fall semesters.

Students who do not wish to participate in the internship stream, or who are not successful in securing an internship placement, will complete the M.A. degree by one of two streams. Students securing an average of 86 or higher in their first three classes will be offered the possibility of completing a thesis. While every graduate cohort is different, in most years very few students will be offered the option to complete a thesis, and most students proceed on the major paper track. There is, however, no difference in the degree that is awarded to students completing either a major paper or a thesis. 

*Please note that an internship position is not guaranteed. Students who are not selected will complete the M.A. in either the major paper or thesis stream.

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