Political Science

Graduate Programs

The Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta is internationally acclaimed for its critical, progressive, and plural approaches to the study of politics. We offer three graduate degrees - MA (course-based), MA (thesis-based), and PhD  with the option of completing a PhD with either a traditional dissertation  or dissertation-by-publication.  The graduate program  draws  on the   diverse talents of our 28 full-time faculty members. With a graduate student body of around 70, we offer a collegial and supportive environment for students who are committed to the advanced study of power, governance, and political life.

We are Canada’s premier institution for the study of Gender and Politics, Critical Political Economy, and the politics of Canada and Alberta. There are also clusters of faculty working on more specific themes: indigenous politics and decolonization; China and the world; the politics of resource extraction and environmentalism; ethnic politics and migration; and globalization. The department is home to two Canada Research Chairs—Janine Brodie in Political Economy and Social Governance and Cressida Heyes in Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality—and Mojtaba Mahdavi holds the ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies; we also host the European Union Centre of Excellence directed by Lori Thorlakson as the Jean Monnet Chair in European Politics. Our faculty are a close-knit group of emerging and established scholars who stress excellence in teaching and mentoring, and who seek to integrate graduate students as junior scholars into our intellectual community. 

Every year we invite applications to our graduate degree programs from outstanding students who are excited to mesh their talents and interests with our department expertise. We seek applicants who are highly self-directed, committed, and curious; although we offer a broad graduate education in Political Science, we are most interested in students who have thought carefully about how to match their own projected research with a cluster of faculty and who are interested in critical approaches within our discipline. We fully support students at all levels in pursuing a diversity of career paths, whether within academia, in para-academic or “alt-ac” careers, or in professional directions related to Political Science (such as public service, political office, law, journalism, or working for NGOs).