The Department of Political Science offers very competitive funding packages for graduate study. Doing a graduate degree is a demanding full-time commitment, and the department works very hard to assure students that their education will be supported either by scholarships or by paid employment within the department as a Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, or (for PhD students post-candidacy) as a Principal Instructor. In 2015-16 incoming doctoral students were guaranteed an annual income in the first year of $30,000 and MA students of $20,000, from which tuition and fees must be paid. The department is sometimes able to offer additional financial support to international students to offset the higher tuition fees.
The department has a policy of offering full funding to admitted PhD students for years one through four of the program. The department normally offers a first year of funding to full-time MA students but also may make offers of admission to the MA without funding. Part-time course-based MA students are not eligible for funding.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research website includes estimates of the cost of living in Edmonton as well as the latest schedules for tuition and fees. The department considers a “full funding offer” to be any total annual income in excess of FGSR’s minimum estimate of the annual cost of living for a single person in Edmonton.
Teaching Assistants are employed on four-month contracts usually at either six or twelve hours per week. (Twelve hours of academic-related labour is the university’s maximum permitted for full-time students.) In practice this means that you will be assigned as a TA during the September-December and/or January-April semester, working on one or two courses, and possibly as an RA during the May-August semesters. The Association of Employed Graduate Students collective agreement can be found on the university’s website as well as through the Graduate Student Association, and it includes up-to-date pay schedules as well as important information about employment conditions.
All eligible doctoral students are required to apply annually for a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in order to remain eligible for departmental funding. Each year the department will nominate outstanding incoming or current students for the SSHRC Vanier Canada Graduate scholarships.
Doctoral students who are successful at winning a major doctoral scholarship from SSHRC or the Trudeau Foundation are eligible for the President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction.
MA applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship in the year before applying for graduate studies. All eligible MA students must apply for SSHRC funding in the fall of their first year in order to remain eligible for departmental funding. Students who hold a SSHRC MA scholarship are eligible for the Walter H. Johns Graduate Fellowship from the University of Alberta, valued at the equivalent of tuition and fees.